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Old 09-09-17, 09:14 PM   #51
djb
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Saddle, funny it's the opposite for me.

But don't forget, bar height and reach from seat, not to mention bar specific shapes all have a huge impact on this too.
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Old 09-09-17, 09:30 PM   #52
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Ah, I see you labour under the false assumption that drop bars somehow require a racing geometry to go with it. There are however plenty of tourists, roadies and long distance riders to prove you otherwise. A drop bar can be fitted like any other bar, ie. to be high and back but it is still the most versatile road bar available. You should try to educate yourself away from silly assumptions like when someone is using an object for activity A, the object becomes locked and can no longer be used in any other activity. Frees the mind and allows for new kinds of creativity
I'm speaking from REAL-WORLD experience. I've done two long tours on drop-bar equipped bicycles (3,800 total miles (6,115 km)). My OPINION is, AGAIN, that drop bars are not really all that great for long-distance touring. My mind is open and through experience I've come to this conclusion.


My Cross-Check (from a few years back) ready for a light-n-fast bike-camping trip.

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Old 09-09-17, 09:57 PM   #53
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Those bars are still well below the saddle, though. They can go much higher if you feel you're missing out on the scenery.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 09-10-17, 12:32 AM   #54
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In my limited experience with adjustable stems, they creak annoyingly and just don't feel very solid. Modifying one, removing material, wouldn't make me feel any better about it.
Interesting to read about the creaky adjustable stems. I have this problem but previously assumed it was the handlebar clamp part creaking, didn't realize it could be the adjustable part.

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I still don't get why so many cycle-tourists are drop bar fans. Except for racing, for which they were designed, drop-bars seem like a total waste. Most non-racers hardly ride in-the-drops. Mustache-type-bars and other flat or slight riser bars are king for touring, IMO.
I grew up riding drop bar racing/touring bikes so I'm used to them. I'm much slower now but still prefer drop bars.

My skinny build & long arms probably make them more comfortable for me than for some tourists. I ride on the drops a lot, esp nice for headwinds. With flat bars (not trekking) leaning forward can cause arm strain.

Forward position helps keep lower back stretched out & reduces weight on saddle. In harder efforts I have the instinct to lean forward more since it seems to get back/hip muscles engaged more efficiently.
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Old 09-10-17, 01:13 AM   #55
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I'm speaking from REAL-WORLD experience. I've done two long tours on drop-bar equipped bicycles (3,800 total miles (6,115 km)). My OPINION is, AGAIN, that drop bars are not really all that great for long-distance touring. My mind is open and through experience I've come to this conclusion.


My Cross-Check (from a few years back) ready for a light-n-fast bike-camping trip.

So we have around the same amount of real world touring experience. Now I did have my own amount of issues with drop bars when I was doing really long tour distances in the past, but those were largely other than bar issues and I've solved the bar issues since. Like I said, drop bars are fussy (like a saddle really) but when right, they are REALLY right.

Firstly, I had the wrong shaped bar. I need some seriously long ramps with a lot of drop and a long drop tail. I have large hands so I need space to move around. I used to have Deda RHM01's which were too tight in every direction. Now I have a Fizik Cyrano chameleon which is a vast improvement. Still considering going to 3T at some point but we'll see.

Secondly I had the wrong brake lever shape. This is actually really improtant since a lot of time is spent at the hoods. For some reason there are no properly ergonomic offerings MTB cable pull brake variety and I had the one's you had in your cross check. They suck, like seriously suck. The curved upwards shape is doing no one's hands any favors while is also reduces contact points making the fewer contact points more intense. If anything, the hood should curve slightly, not up.
So Anyways, I swapped to road brake standards and now use Sram Rival 1 brake levers which are glorious. I can achieve the seamless straight transition from bar to hood end creating this massive long ramp I can use completely.

I know this is bad idea but.... Check how the drop bars are setup in pro racer's bikes. That usually how you should prefer your bars to be as well.

So in other words, your crosscheck setup looks painful to me and I would not ride it for a second.

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Old 09-10-17, 04:20 AM   #56
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Check how the drop bars are setup in pro racer's bikes. That usually how you should prefer your bars to be as well.
Seriously? That's MY point I'm NOT a racer. Sheesh!



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So we have around the same amount of real world touring experience.
Not to be pissy, but just for clarity. The 3,800 miles total was touring with drop-bars. My total (11 long-tours) lifetime experience is 20,100 miles (32,350km).

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So in other words, your crosscheck setup looks painful to me and I would not ride it for a second.
Well it wasn't painful for me.

It's just when I changed to a full upright position that I realized what I was missing in terms of view and enjoyment.

A delightful ride...my LHT as used for 100 days of touring Alaska & Northern Canada.

BTW: You'll notice that my bars are basically flattened drop-bars, without the drop-position. Again: my opinion and experience is that the rarely used (by me & many others) drop-racer-position is a waste for long-distance touring. For those who enjoy road-racing and aero-advantage, drops are fine.

Last edited by BigAura; 09-10-17 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 09-10-17, 05:27 AM   #57
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Aura, as you say, your bars are different than regular straight bars, specifically for wrist angle, which is a big advantage. When I use flat bars, even my riser ones with a slight rear angle, I nearly always am in the bar ends, which sort of replicates the angle and wrist position of drops and your bars.
My troll setup has the drops higher than my other drop bar bikes, plus the flare out of the salsa cowbells makes a very comfortable drops position, which I really appreciate with really tough headwinds.
I'm not a strong rider, so appreciate any less work re headwinds and being less pushed around by gusty sidewinds with little space and lots of passing trucks.

But in the end, it's all bike stuff, and if one person is happy with X or y, then it's all good.

PS, I rode a bike with Jones bars a bit, bike way too small for me, but it gave me an idea of what you describe. These bars are off my wife's bike now, and one day I'd like to try them on my troll. If I do it, it will be transformation #4 for it-- flats, trekking, drops to date.
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Old 09-10-17, 06:35 AM   #58
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Seriously? That's MY point I'm NOT a racer. Sheesh!
I'm facepalming myself so hard right now.........

Don't think of yourself as a racer... But do look at the bar, the bar, the bar tape, the brake lever. See how they are oriented. See how a lot of the time in bikes of the pro racers the brake lever creates one continuous straight surface with the bar ramp. That is what one should usually be looking for as a starting point for a drop bar setup.

I may have mentioned something earlier about creativity and mental rigidity. However if you do something that racers do does not in fact mean you are a racer or then need to imitate everything in the racing scene. The drop bar setup however is pretty universal and is used equally the same way in both touring, long distance riding and racing. That is what I meant, as in check bikes the racers use to see what a proper starting point looks like (what your cross check did not look like at all)


Quote:
BTW: You'll notice that my bars are basically flattened drop-bars, without the drop-position. Again: my opinion and experience is that the rarely used (by me & many others) drop-racer-position is a waste for long-distance touring. For those who enjoy road-racing and aero-advantage, drops are fine.
Drop-racer-position? What on earth is that? Nevermind, I don't want to know.

The drops are admittedly handy in a racing situation, that is true. You know what else is handy in a racing situation? A straight bar. As in mountain bike racing. "Dang those racing bars I don't want them on my tourer!"
But just because the drops work well in one context of use does not mean they cannot be utliized in other uses (like I distinctly remember mentioning previously). The drops for touring are neat for headwinds yes (although I prefer aerobars for that) but what they are really for is handling. Especially in downhills the drops position is unparallered in terms of control and braking ability due to lower center of gravity, optimal brake lever position, optimal hand position for cornering AND hard braking etc etc etc. Drops also allow for two to three additional hand positions which also radically change the riding position which allow for stretching the back for example.

Of course it is possible that one tours in a way that downhills are never present, but I thinks that's rather unlikely. Even small hills in terms of absolute elevation can be difficult and technical and such situations are impossible to predict. Then there's the occasional alpine descent that may come one's way.
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Old 09-10-17, 06:45 AM   #59
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Then there's the occasional alpine descent that may come one's way.

Lovely descent. Not the steepest I've done but beautiful. Braking was not an issue...AT ALL!

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Old 09-10-17, 07:00 AM   #60
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Lovely descent. Not the steepest I've done but beautiful. Braking was not an issue...AT ALL!
I'm not sure if I'm getting misunderstood by you on purpose or are you just not getting it...

While you of course CAN do a descent with any bar successfully, (there's this italian dude who does alpine descents with no bars whatsoever) for road descents the drop bar is the best tool for the job.
Now try not to think I'm raging against your preference. You do you. I'm arguing against your argument that you don't get drop bars on touring bikes. There is a subtle but MASSIVE difference in these two things.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:20 AM   #61
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and meanwhile, the fellow who started this thread made an interesting, but goofy, moveable stem.

hey, in the end, its all bike stuff, and entertaining--this forum is basically entertainment for us bikey folks, always fun to discuss stuff.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:34 AM   #62
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and meanwhile.....
shhhhhh! they're arguing! ..........
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Old 09-10-17, 08:08 AM   #63
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Seriously? That's MY point I'm NOT a racer. Sheesh!





Not to be pissy, but just for clarity. The 3,800 miles total was touring with drop-bars. My total (11 long-tours) lifetime experience is 20,100 miles (32,350km).



Well it wasn't painful for me.

It's just when I changed to a full upright position that I realized what I was missing in terms of view and enjoyment.

A delightful ride...my LHT as used for 100 days of touring Alaska & Northern Canada.

BTW: You'll notice that my bars are basically flattened drop-bars, without the drop-position. Again: my opinion and experience is that the rarely used (by me & many others) drop-racer-position is a waste for long-distance touring. For those who enjoy road-racing and aero-advantage, drops are fine.
looks real close to how my bob is set up. nice to know i am not crazy. of course my gf likes the same position but then you know how women are..... they dont worry about being boy racers, they just want to enjoy bicycling.
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Old 09-10-17, 09:30 AM   #64
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+1 Drops suck ...MTB Straight bars suck ...The OP invention sucks ....
My bars are the old swept back style, same hand positions as any dropper. My dominant position is right hand on the bend and left on the grip, try that on anything else but a butterfly. Drop bars that may need 2 sets of levers ??? LOL Goooofy.

So, do you notice that all the race drops now are the shallow variety??? Not so great an idea afterall.

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Old 09-10-17, 12:40 PM   #65
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I think trying to argue which bar is best is nutso.

I've done plenty of steep pass descents and never felt my trekking bars were an issue. At the same time I have two bikes with drops. I also spent years riding flat bars with bar ends no problem. Depends on the bike and the job you want to do with it.

I like my new drop bar endurance bike because the slightly upright fit allows me to feel quite comfortable in the drops for a long time. Not something I've always felt in the past. But they are not perfect either. I think the perfect dropbar would include aeros to allow one to take weight off the hands occasionally.

I like my trekking bars for mixed surface riding and more pleasure oriented touring. They provide a wider grip which gives better control on loose gravel and allow a more upright position. What they lack is a more stretched out go fast posture but that's not what I'm looking to do with that bike anyway.

I see the difference as being between a sports car and a jeep and all points in between.

It's six of one and half dozen of the other.

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Old 09-10-17, 04:29 PM   #66
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I've ridden 17,309 miles fully loaded touring on drop bars and wouldn't use anything else. They provide too many hand/wrist positions to take the pressure off the hands/wrists while riding.

To get back to the original post.

I have homemade aerobars(all in one bar) on my bike. My bike has one rather interesting problem with it. The frame 'isn't the correct size', at least not for my upper body. The have the aerobar elbow pads in the correct position(so I have the correct elbow/shoulder angle) I have to have the elbow pads clear back by the stem bolt. Normally they should be much further forward but on my bike if I put them where they normally would be, the elbow shoulder angle is horrible. As a result I can still ride with my hands right up against the stem while the aerobars/elbow pads are mounted on the bike.

I decided today while out riding to try climbing while holding onto the elbow pads instead of on the regular handlebars. It raised me up 2-3 inches higher than I normally would be for the height of my hand position and it put the hand position much further back.

I noticed to big differences.

1) If I tilted the torso forward and put the weight down on the saddle all the way it seemed like I was getting more power to the pedals with much less effort.

2) I opened up the body cavity and it made breathing much easier, again reduce the effort to climb up the hills.

It was the smoothest climbing I have ever experienced. I didn't have a power meter on the bike or a heart rate monitor on the body. I'll change the heart rate monitor scenario tomorrow...don't have a power meter so can't do anything with that. In the standard sense of things it did seems like I was climbing much easier than I would be otherwise on the same hills. Using less energy to get up the hills and feeling far better up top. Toward the end of the group ride I was experimenting with how I had the body positioned on the saddle. It seemed like the more vertical upright that I was, aka the straighter the back was, the less effort I had to use to climb. The more I had the back bent over the more effort it took for the climbing the hill. I think it is a combination of both the opened up body cavity, easier breathing with fully stretched out lungs, and the more efficient power transfer to the pedals because of being able to drive the legs more directly.

Now remember one thing. Which way is easier to run a marathon...all bent over or standing up nice and erect. Which way do have better transfer of power. I'm starting to become a believer it applies the same way on the bike. I'm going to continue to play with this idea the next several days.
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Old 09-10-17, 04:45 PM   #67
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I've ridden 17,309 miles fully loaded touring on drop bars and wouldn't use anything else. They provide too many hand/wrist positions to take the pressure off the hands/wrists while riding.
Not to be argumentative but show me one.
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Old 09-10-17, 05:31 PM   #68
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Not to be argumentative but show me one.
Took me a second to realize your smart-assness. Okay, I meant to change up your hand positions to take the pressure off using the same hand/wrist position all the time.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:28 PM   #69
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What smart-assedness?

You wrote something and I asked for explanation. I'm pretty familiar with drop bars so I found it quite novel that there might be a position that didn't put pressure on the hands/wrists. Being able to change up your hand position as you describe isn't restricted to drops in any case. I can do that just as easily with trekking and flats/bar ends.

With aeros you can actually do that though some would argue you can just rest your forearms on the tops (again, with all three styles). I don't really like that for actual riding though. I can hold the areo elbow rests which really spreads the force across the whole palm. I can also spread my hand spiderman style across the ramps/bar ends and tops on all styles too.

That's all I know of. It applies to all styles of bars.

Just to be clear. I'm not arguing your right to say drops work best for you. Just that they don't offer something in that regard that other bars don't.

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Old 09-10-17, 07:53 PM   #70
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Not to be argumentative but show me one.
One?
  1. Hold onto the tops of the hoods, and lay the arm across the top of the bars. All the weight is off of the wrists. Works best with the newer "knobby" hoods
  2. Hold the bar tops with your finger webs. Ok, so that is the "tallest" position one can do with normal drop bars But, most weight is off of the wrists and hands.
  3. New "Aero" bar tops are more comfortable to hold onto
  4. As mentioned, just move the hands around a bit to relieve strain. Bottom of drops, forward on drops, hoods, corners of bars, tops, .... Scott wrap around bars would give 2 or 3 more positions
  5. I'm not big on riding without hands (after a crash years ago), but some people completely let go of the bars. I will, however, ride one-handed a bit.
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Old 09-11-17, 12:02 AM   #71
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The point being that none are really specific to drop bars.
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Old 09-11-17, 12:42 AM   #72
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+1 Drops suck ...MTB Straight bars suck ...The OP invention sucks ....
My bars are the old swept back style, same hand positions as any dropper. My dominant position is right hand on the bend and left on the grip, try that on anything else but a butterfly. Drop bars that may need 2 sets of levers ??? LOL Goooofy.

So, do you notice that all the race drops now are the shallow variety??? Not so great an idea afterall.
This post was surprisingly difficult to understand but let's dive right in shall we!

The swept back bars don't in fact give the same hand positions as drop bars do. I have a bike with moustache bars and I can for a fact tell you that the hand positions are quite different.
As a second matter the butterfly bar is commonly known as the European touring / commuting bar which is pretty much all bend. I'm assuming you've gotten the bar names mixed up since having your one hand on the bend would beg the question: which one?
Drop bars do not in fact require a second pair of brake levers, which are called interrupter levers due to their working mechanism. Some prefer to use them however and they are prevalent in cyclocross. But drop bars are not unique in the reality that if you use a hand position other than that where you have your hand at the brake lever, you cannot brake. All bars suffer from this issue but I've only seen interrupter levers on drop bars. As an additional bonus for drop bars there are in fact two hand positions where one can use the brakes effectively, the hoods and the drops. I don't know a single other bar type that would allow this.

On the issue of shallow drops, you'll probably be surprised to learn that the level at which the drops are on racing bikes has not in fact changed that much (if at all) from the day when drop bars were much deeper. The change to shallow drop bars coincides with the advent of STI-levers which provided vastly improved ergonomics for the rider when compared to the old aero brake levers. Back in the day the brake hoods position was not used all that much due to bad ergonomics. Riders would primarily ride on the bar tops or at the drops. New STI-levers created a new comfortable hand position where riders now spend most of their time.
This relates to bar drop shallowness in the manner that the drops are the lowest position where a rider can comfortably ride for a period of time. So the drop position does not change from shallow to deep drop bar. However now with the new hoods position a deep drop bar would place the hoods too high for aerodynamics and the rider would have to have their arms excessively bent for long periods of time to achieve an aero advantage compared to other riders riding more shallow bars. So essentially the shallow bar is a way to overall lower the average riding position.
And all of that only applies to a portion of riders. Some pro's still ride bars with significant drops. For example the Fizik Cyrano snake is pretty dang deep.

Personally I'm glad there is now a huge variety of bars on the market from super shallow to super deep 'vintage' type bars to flared ends to inbent ends so everyone can find their match. There's nothing negative I can actually find in the advent of shallow drop bars or more commonly, compact bars.
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Old 09-11-17, 06:15 AM   #73
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Personally I'm glad there is now a huge variety of bars on the market from super shallow to super deep 'vintage' type bars to flared ends to inbent ends so everyone can find their match. There's nothing negative I can actually find in the advent of shallow drop bars or more commonly, compact bars.
I tend to agree, and I'd add that about 8 years ago I got a new bike with shallow drops and noticed a real improvement in riding comfort compared to the drops on my previous dropbar bike, about from 90 or 91.

the slightly flared out and still shallow salsa cowbells I have on another bike are even more comfortable, especially when taking into account that that specific bike setup has the bars higher than any of my other drop bar bikes,not much, but enough to help--and considering that I am now more comfortable with drops while in my 50s now, compared to 30 years ago, does to me give credence to how modern drops shape can be more comfortable than some older ones.
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Old 09-11-17, 06:24 AM   #74
indyfabz
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I rode across the county with a guy whose bars were turned up in that position permanently. He was 76 and had back problems. He was highly unstable and fell a couple of times because of his upright position.
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Old 09-11-17, 06:38 PM   #75
djb
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I dont see what his mental state has to do with upturned dropbars.
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