More Energy than Sense
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: 155 miles north of Spokane
Bikes: Thorn Sherpa, Co-Motion Custom Road, Salsa Fargo, Mercian King of Mercia and Motobecane Fantom Pro 29er
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I am 230 and have always used 26mm clamps and have never had a problem w/ flex. Unless you are really big and strong and get out of the saddle a lot to do a tie breaking sprint across the finish line, you won't have a problem. Even if you were the above, you would still be OK. I think the only reason manufacturers went to OS clamps for road bars is because they would hope that everyone would upgrade to something they didn't need. IMO, of course.
I have to be one of the only people out there who don't like Noodles. Tried them twice. The first time I just couldn't get a nice flat ramp using STI shifters. After a couple of years, I kept hearing how great they were so thought I needed to try them again. Again, I couldn't get a nice flat ramp and didn't care for the flare, for lack of a better word, of the tops of the bars.
I have three road/touring bikes and they all have Bontrager Flat Tops, which are no longer made but are still out there. They are the only bars that provide a drop that is actually easy and comfortable to use. The drop is parallel to the top and is long. I will try and take a picture and post it but sounds like you have your mind made up and I am not trying to change it.