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  1. #1
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    Changing from drops to flatbar.

    Hi folks, I got a little question for y'all. More of an aesthetic thing than anything else: I just bought a Bianchi Volpe with the intention of using it for light touring and commuting. I'm thinking of changing the drop bars over to a flatbar setup with Shimano LX dual control levers and a Ritchey riser bar.

    This is mainly because I have found that not matter the geometry, the size of the frame or how I sit, I can never really get totally comfortable on drop bars. Whether I ride the hoods or the drops, and with multiple types of bars (width, stem length or height) I can't seem to find the perfect fit.

    I do, however, know that I fit perfectly on my Bianchi Bergamo, which has a semi-mustache bar and my Trek 820, which has a riser bar.

    I hope I'm not committing an act of heresy on here, but I need to go with what is most comfortable for me.

    Finally, do you think this would look right? I mean, I do also want a certain element of style on this bike to match my rather eccentric and flamboyant personality...

    Thanks!
    C
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  2. #2
    That's bone. sancocho's Avatar
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    Actually, I really dig the look of an all-out road machine with flat bars. It's a killer street weapon kinda look, imo.

    a la:


  3. #3
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    I like the fact that alot of the FB's come with frame eyelets. Great for inner city commuting. I wish my old Centurion had them. I gotta use P-clips.
    President, OCP
    --"Will you have some tea... at the theatre with me?"--

  4. #4
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    As far as components go, any recommendations? The bike already has a Deore long cage RD and a Tiagra FD with Cane Creek canti's.

    And I too think that a flat bar bike looks sexy...
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  5. #5
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Yeah, conventional drops are kinda poor.

    Before you buy a "flat" handlebar, consider the Midge drop-bar from On-One. It's somewhere in between a moustache bar and a flared drop... if that makes any sense.

    Just go to www.on-one.co.uk and check it out. They also have some other awesome handlebars-- the "Mary" which is a radically swept back "flat" handlebar; the "Mungo" which is a moustache essentially.

    Anyway-- the "Midge" offers incredible ergonomic benefits over a conventional drop AND a flat bar!

    This is something that i've told others-- let you hands dangle by your sides. Note the natural, relaxed rotation of your hands. This is the angle of the flare of the Midge bar. Your hands stay in this position on the hoods.

    Riding on the hoods used to cause quite a bit of discomfort for me, but this is no longer a problem with the Midge bar!

    (No, I DON'T work for On-One... i'm in the wrong country! But they DO make incredibly well designed stuff!)
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  6. #6
    Senior Member biker7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voileauciel
    Hi folks, I got a little question for y'all. More of an aesthetic thing than anything else: I just bought a Bianchi Volpe with the intention of using it for light touring and commuting. I'm thinking of changing the drop bars over to a flatbar setup with Shimano LX dual control levers and a Ritchey riser bar.

    This is mainly because I have found that not matter the geometry, the size of the frame or how I sit, I can never really get totally comfortable on drop bars. Whether I ride the hoods or the drops, and with multiple types of bars (width, stem length or height) I can't seem to find the perfect fit.

    I do, however, know that I fit perfectly on my Bianchi Bergamo, which has a semi-mustache bar and my Trek 820, which has a riser bar.

    I hope I'm not committing an act of heresy on here, but I need to go with what is most comfortable for me.

    Finally, do you think this would look right? I mean, I do also want a certain element of style on this bike to match my rather eccentric and flamboyant personality...

    Thanks!
    C
    Your inquiry is well stated and believe you will come to the conclusion you seek. What I would do before you abandon drop bars completely, is measure your Bergamo and see if you can replicate the postiion of a drop bar top surface with the appropriate stem. My guess is the ergonomic deficit you feel is born out of different reach. There is no magic to drop bars but most would agree on this forum including many that don't race...drop bars provide many different hand position options and why they are so popular. The biggest mistake made however is getting into the trap of setting them up too aggressively if you have more of a touring mentality which you may have since you are considering an alternative. If you look at the profile of the flat bar bike shown, no reason why you can be comfortable on the hoods of a drop bar that has its supporting top surface in the same place as a flat bar.
    Good Luck,
    George
    Last edited by biker7; 03-14-07 at 08:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voileauciel
    Finally, do you think this would look right? I mean, I do also want a certain element of style on this bike to match my rather eccentric and flamboyant personality...
    I think that it will look goofy.

    The killer is the riser bar. Riser bars have to be a lot wider to allow space for the grips, shifters and brake levers on the outside of the bend. A typical road bar is around 18" or 19" wide. A flat mountain bar is 22" and lots of guys shorten theirs a bit from that. A riser bar is around 24" wide and, the more rise, the wider they are. 18" to 24" that's 33% wider.

  8. #8
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by voileauciel
    More of an aesthetic thing than anything else...
    You're OK in my book!
    Out of 6 road bikes, only 2 of mine have drop bars!

    And here's the Merlin as it comes together.
    Yes, the cheesy brake levers will be replaced by Paul Love Levers that I just won. (in silver & black)
    And then to make a Vendetta like lugged stem that I saw at NAHBS!
    (the one pictured on the cover of the show guide) That stem is GORGEOUS!!
    In chrome & black of course!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    You're OK in my book!
    Out of 6 road bikes, only 2 of mine have drop bars!

    And here's the Merlin as it comes together.
    Yes, the cheesy brake levers will be replaced by Paul Love Levers that I just won. (in silver & black)
    And then to make a Vendetta like lugged stem that I saw at NAHBS!
    (the one pictured on the cover of the show guide) That stem is GORGEOUS!!
    In chrome & black of course!
    Ooohhh that's pretty! Can't wait to see when it's finished!

    Thanks for all your help everyone, I'm going to look at the actual components and then make a decision later on this week.
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  10. #10
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    If you're gonna go flat bar roadie, particularly Bianchi, I suggest Chorus FB.
    Kinda silly perhaps, but in an elegant true to purpose OCP way.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  11. #11
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron
    If you're gonna go flat bar roadie, particularly Bianchi, I suggest Chorus FB.
    Kinda silly perhaps, but in an elegant true to purpose OCP way.
    Those ARE pretty sweeet!
    But they don't look "retro" enough for the Merlin.
    Besides, I've been saving these downtube shifters for just the right bike.
    So all I needed was brake levers.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    100% USDA certified the beef's Avatar
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    Better yet, get some pursuit bars. I've always loved the looks of those.

  13. #13
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...switching to Campy with FB components on my Bianchi? Don't tempt me!!! I'll be in debt for years if I do that!
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  14. #14
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    Is it possible that the Campy parts will work with a Deore RD and a Tiagra FD?
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Cycleman1958's Avatar
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    I find the flat bar on my commuter, coupled with bar ends for climbing, tremendously improved my commute. Its safer to be up and looking around when in the city, even when accelerating. My commuter has 'em.

  16. #16
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycleman1958
    I find the flat bar on my commuter, coupled with bar ends for climbing, tremendously improved my commute. Its safer to be up and looking around when in the city, even when accelerating. My commuter has 'em.
    +1 My Commuter road bike too has a flat bar and bar ends. Great for the city traffic and also for climbing to see my clients in the hills.
    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin WSD 29er

  17. #17
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned bullhorns. If you're at all used to and comfortable with riding on the brake hoods, you might really miss that position. Bullhorns at least give you another option other than on the flat bars all the time.

    Just food for thought.

  18. #18
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    One snag: the bloody shop I bought it from will invalidate the extended warranty I got with it if I do the changeover myself. At least they said that they'd only charge me labour if I bought the parts and brought them in with it...

    Anyone here have experience with Shimano LX FB dual control levers? They're only $99 on performance and I was thinking of picking them up...
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

  19. #19
    Wildman in the Sky voileauciel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned bullhorns. If you're at all used to and comfortable with riding on the brake hoods, you might really miss that position. Bullhorns at least give you another option other than on the flat bars all the time.

    Just food for thought.
    Tried bullhorns on my old Nishiki tourer up in Canada..never really like the hand positions very much. Though I did like trekking bars quite a bit. Problem is, they tend to run for more than what I want to spend.....
    "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

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