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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-31-08, 02:38 AM   #1
1150A
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Racing cross with flat bars?

What do you guys think about flat bars and cross bikes?

I know it's banned from UCI races, but I see them once in awhile in amateur race photos.

I got a used Surly Cross Check that came with a Shimano XT group, thumb shifters, and risers. I feel quite comfortable on them, but I've read that I'm really missing out since I only have one hand position.

I'd like to try it, but, I'm happy with what I have now. I'm not sure if I'll like it, and it would be a bit of an investment if I were to experiment with it.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:18 AM   #2
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Using flat bars makes sense for cross.

There are at least three hand positions you can use. 1. The usual. 2. Hands near stem. 3. Hands on bar-ends (as if you had bar-end extensions).

Watch the pros race cross. They spend 99% of their time in the same place (hoods), and the other 1% is in the hooks for steep descents because grabbing the levers is most secure there.

Thomas Frischknecht got a second place in 1996 Cross Worlds using flat bars before the UCI required drop bars. See
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONGYDR7STA8 @ 5:36. I've read that Liggett was predicting the flat bars would be a handicap in the sprint for second place; Frischknecht then proceeds to outsprint Luca Bramati.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:32 AM   #3
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I believe that bar-ends are not allowed in cross racing
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Old 07-31-08, 07:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by nowheels View Post
I believe that bar-ends are not allowed in cross racing
right. flargle was saying hands on the end of straight bars, as if they were there.

lots of guys run flat bars, and some do really well. doesn't seem to be much of a disadvantage, if at all.
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Old 08-01-08, 03:20 PM   #5
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The more techy the course, the more it makes sense. You may only really have a disadvantage on fast/dry courses or ones with lots of pavement, where drafting and higher speeds enter into the equation. Or if it's a really windy day.
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Old 08-01-08, 04:34 PM   #6
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UCI alows flat bar as long as there are no bar ends I believe.
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Old 08-01-08, 06:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
UCI alows flat bar as long as there are no bar ends I believe.
The UCI does not allow flat bars for cyclocross. Section 1.3.022:
http://www.uci.ch/english/about/rules_2004/ch01.pdf
As I wrote earlier in this thread, Frischknecht rode flat bars before they were disallowed by the UCI.

This rule, of course, only applies to UCI-sanctioned races. I have never heard of flat bars being forbidden in non-UCI races.
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Old 08-02-08, 11:18 PM   #8
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I vote for hands on the ends of the bars. It's always been the most comfortable and natural feeling for me.
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