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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 04-04-11, 07:47 PM   #1
jerlwe
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new bars

I was wondering what shallow bars people are using, I've heard good things about the fsa Omega. Wondering peoples thoughts on flared vs regular bars as well. Tired of using these monsters with such a large drop distance as well as reach. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 04-04-11, 08:51 PM   #2
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I have FSA wing compacts on both my crossers. I like them but on my singlespeed the 42 width seems a bit narrow, same size is fine on my geared bike though.
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Old 04-05-11, 09:25 AM   #3
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I've got Salsa Bell Laps on my bike, and I love them. The flare is actually a bit subtle. I don't know if it's enough to make a difference in leverage, but it gives a very natural feeling hand angle. I also like the "ergo" bend in the drops. The bump fits nicely in the palm of your hand. Other people don't like it because they feel like it limits hand positions, but I don't think so.

For a nice visual comparison of different flared bars, check out this post:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12331287


I should also mention that I've got a pair of Salsa Pocos on a different bike. They're even more shallow than the Bell Laps with the same bend in the drops but without the flare.
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Old 04-05-11, 10:55 AM   #4
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I run the Salsa Woodchippers ad really like them. I switched from an inexpensive (Performance brand) ergo bar and it was killing me, the Woodchipper was instant relief. The hand position is spot-on with a 46cm bar.

Last edited by mopartodd; 04-05-11 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 04-05-11, 12:32 PM   #5
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I've got Salsa Bell Laps on my bike, and I love them. The flare is actually a bit subtle. I don't know if it's enough to make a difference in leverage, but it gives a very natural feeling hand angle.
I'd agree with that.
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Old 04-05-11, 08:43 PM   #6
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Cool guys, thanks. It looks like I'm between fsa and salsa, starting to lean a bit towards salsa haha.
Another question, when ordering bars with flare, are you supposed to go size up/down or stay with same size?
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Old 04-06-11, 06:26 AM   #7
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I use bontrager race cyclocross 46cm



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Old 04-06-11, 07:01 AM   #8
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Cool guys, thanks. It looks like I'm between fsa and salsa, starting to lean a bit towards salsa haha.
Another question, when ordering bars with flare, are you supposed to go size up/down or stay with same size?
Get bars sized so that the hoods are at least as far apart as they'd be on conventional drops.

In fact, consider going slighty wider than you would on a road bar. A wider hoods position gives more leverage for turning and, more importantly, reduces the destabilizing effects of roots and rocks. My experience is that a couple of extra cm on the bars makes for a bike that I'm willing to push much faster over "lumpy" stuff. And the stability of wider bars helps with climbing, which is why you see all sorts of funky and wide bars on off road single speed bikes. You'll lose a minute amount of aero, but does it really matter?

Combined with the Salsas you might want to use two layers of "cork" tape (Fizik is nice and bouncy) or a inner layer of pipe insulating foam, or Bar Phat. Ideally perhaps with Lizardskins DSP tape as an outer. (Supposed to be the best handling tape, but pricey - I'm waiting until I'm 100% sure I have my set-up right before putting mine on!) You can make bars much nicer off road with a surprisingly small amount of cushioning.

Last edited by meanwhile; 04-06-11 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 04-06-11, 07:06 AM   #9
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I put my old layer of Fizik tape on the bottom and some new bontrager gel tape on top. it's real nice and squishy.

Last edited by chibibike; 04-06-11 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:23 AM   #10
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Combined with the Salsas you might want to use two layers of "cork" tape (Fizik is nice and bouncy) or a inner layer of pipe insulating foam, or Bar Phat. Ideally perhaps with Lizardskins DSP tape as an outer. (Supposed to be the best handling tape, but pricey - I'm waiting until I'm 100% sure I have my set-up right before putting mine on!) You can make bars much nicer off road with a surprisingly small amount of cushioning.

Just finishing up putting Salsa MotoAce Bell Laps on my Fuji. Only ridden on a trainer so far as I'm still futzing with the shifting (I also installed all new cable/housing and downsized crankset to a 48/38 instead of 50/34). Anyway, the Bell Laps were 42cm and the tops were maybe 2cm wider than the Ritchey ergos that were original to the bike. I really like the feel of the flair so far (again, only on the trainer).

I slit an old innertube open, cut it in half lengthwise, and wrapped the bars with that first. Fizik tape on top of that. Don't know if the tubes will add any cushion, but I really like the feel of the thickness of the wrapped bars.
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Old 04-06-11, 01:17 PM   #11
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Get bars sized so that the hoods are at least as far apart as they'd be on conventional drops.

In fact, consider going slighty wider than you would on a road bar. A wider hoods position gives more leverage for turning and, more importantly, reduces the destabilizing effects of roots and rocks. My experience is that a couple of extra cm on the bars makes for a bike that I'm willing to push much faster over "lumpy" stuff. And the stability of wider bars helps with climbing, which is why you see all sorts of funky and wide bars on off road single speed bikes. You'll lose a minute amount of aero, but does it really matter?

Combined with the Salsas you might want to use two layers of "cork" tape (Fizik is nice and bouncy) or a inner layer of pipe insulating foam, or Bar Phat. Ideally perhaps with Lizardskins DSP tape as an outer. (Supposed to be the best handling tape, but pricey - I'm waiting until I'm 100% sure I have my set-up right before putting mine on!) You can make bars much nicer off road with a surprisingly small amount of cushioning.

This is what I'm talking about, I do mainly singletrack(and the ride to that) on my cross bike and have noticed that I feel that my bars are too narrow for hard switchbacks and negotiating through roots and such, a little wider bars and possibly double taping is a good idea! Haven't really felt the need for more comfortable hands but I can't see how that could have a negative outcome. I need practice wrapping bars anyway.

chibibike: is that a 29er with drops? I like it, I bet it does great off road!
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Old 04-06-11, 02:35 PM   #12
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I am running the FSA wing pro compact on two of my bikes. I did not think I would like the flat spot on the tops but I really love it. The hand position is like heaven for me. It does shorten up the reach to the hoods and when stretched out in the drops, however. One might want to compensate for that in stem length, but I have found that is is not absolutely necessary; either feels good.
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Old 04-06-11, 02:58 PM   #13
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well it's labeled as a dual sport bike between a road and mountain bike. It's a trek utopia. I put different handlebars on it, 700x25 tires and two sets of brake levers. it rides really well this way on trails as well as roads. I can go up to 30mph on flat ground right now with not to much effort, however, prolly for not a long time.
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Old 04-06-11, 03:16 PM   #14
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Cool guys, thanks. It looks like I'm between fsa and salsa, starting to lean a bit towards salsa haha.
Another question, when ordering bars with flare, are you supposed to go size up/down or stay with same size?
Depends on the type of flared bar. WTB drops don't angle the levers inwards, while salsa woodchippers do making the c-c of the hoods narrower than the c-c of the tops. I havn't found the bellaps to shorten the width when riding the hoods.
However I have never riden 'road' drops, my cx has bellaps and my s/s mtb has woodchippers, and based on my mtb background I like a wide dirtdrop. Woodchippers are also a short and shallow bar. I love them offroad and on pavement, my favorite bar ever.
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Old 04-06-11, 04:16 PM   #15
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I will second the Salsa bell laps, just enough flare. The drops are very comfortable.
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Old 04-06-11, 04:23 PM   #16
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This is what I'm talking about, I do mainly singletrack(and the ride to that) on my cross bike and have noticed that I feel that my bars are too narrow for hard switchbacks and negotiating through roots and such, a little wider bars and possibly double taping is a good idea! Haven't really felt the need for more comfortable hands but I can't see how that could have a negative outcome. I need practice wrapping bars anyway.
I use my crosser the same way. The other suggestions I'd make, based on quite a lot of fiddling around:

- Put a short and high stem on the bike. Something like a 100mm stem with a 30+ degrees upwards angle is right for a typical crosser being used as a singletracker imo. You'll find it much easier to see the trail, steering is faster and more direct, your low speed turning circle drops, and the higher you get the bars the more time you can spend in those flared drops. And moving back the bars lets you push your weight way back on the bike, so your ass is behind the saddle, while using interrupt levers - the class MTB technique for steep descents. Some super low TT stems are flippable to get this position (I used a Cammish TT stem.)

- If you're not racing, ignore the UCI rules and put 40mm (or maybe wider) tyres on the bike. It makes a big difference. I'm really enjoying my Marathon Extremes - nice on the road, on gravel, on grass, general "dirt" - even on semi-mud.

- Do anything you can to get the power of the front brake up. Even with a shorter stem your weight will be placed so that more of your braking traction is at the front and less at the back than with any MTB.
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