Something I've been curious about. My bicycle is equipped with randonneur type drop bars. Randonneur bars are basically like your basic, normal drop bars, only the top, flat part is curved slightly upward on each side of the stem clamp. The end result is that the top part of the bar is slightly higher, and the drops themselves are splayed outward just a bit, rather than completely vertical. Does anyone else have these?
I ask because I have them and don't like them very much, and am wondering what the benefit is. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that they raise the hands ever so slightly, allowing a more upright position. I can't see why this would be necessary, though, when the stem can just be raised. All that the upward bend does for me is to turn my hands inward and therefore cock my wrists outward. This is awkward, and over a long period of riding, can make my wrists pretty seriously uncomfortable. The bend also seriously limits the amount of "real estate" on the bars for attaching lights and what-not. Sadly, changing them isn't really an option, as I just got all of my cables and such things working just the way I want them, and have no desire to re-wrap my handlebars yet again. Fortunately, this isn't a big deal - more of an occasional annoyance than a real problem, since my wrists don't bother me too frequently.
I understand that these are old-style bars meant for touring, but why? What's special about them? They don't really do me any good, so I'm wondering what the benefit of this kind of handlebar supposedly is. Thanks!