Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-13-05, 08:13 PM   #1
geeklpc1985
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
geeklpc1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 2004 Martin Novato w/ 2004 Burley Nomad
Posts: 408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What is more comfortable flat bar or road bars? I'm updating my Marin Novato, and need some help.

Thanks,
GEEK

Last edited by geeklpc1985; 03-15-05 at 01:37 PM.
geeklpc1985 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 08:20 PM   #2
Blackberry
In Memory of One Cool Cat
 
Blackberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Bikes: Lemond Victoire, Cannondale.Mountain Bike, two 1980s lugged steel Treks, ancient 1980-something Giant mountain bike converted into a slick tired commuter with mustache handlebars, 1960-something Raleigh Sports
Posts: 2,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For me, flat bars are ok for an hour or two but my hands seem to feel very uncomfortable stuck in the limited positions they offer (even with bar ends) when I'm riding all day. I honestly would find it torture to tour with flat bars. But that's just me. You'll hear different from others, I'm sure.
__________________
Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.
Blackberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 08:29 PM   #3
bradw
Slow and unsteady
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: St Louis, MO
Bikes: Bacchetta Agio, Bacchetta Giro 20, Trek 520
Posts: 473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't like drop bars. Give me flat bars with bar-ends (or something similar like a Brahma bar).

But I didn't find that out until I had tried both for awhile.
bradw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 08:50 PM   #4
Alekhine
1. e4 Nf6
 
Alekhine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 78║44`W, 42║46`N
Bikes: Mercian KoM with Rohloff, Bike Friday NWT, Pogliaghi Italcorse (1979)
Posts: 872
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Drop bars. Ditto to what Blackberry said. I need hand positions, and they provide me plenty. Just have to have them high enough so that I'm not putting massive torso weight on my wrists and thenar areas.

Sheldon Brown has a rather hilarious, ingenious, and functional Surly with both droppers and flat bars (and a Rohloff, and dual disc/cantilever brakes...that guy is excellent).

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...off/index.html

Last edited by Alekhine; 03-13-05 at 08:56 PM.
Alekhine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 09:42 PM   #5
madhouse
Senior Member
 
madhouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Podunc, Minnesota
Bikes: 07 Sun EZ-Rider, 04 Fuji Royale, 97 Giant ATX890, 89 Burley Duet, 86 Trek 560
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought a flat bar road bike for commuting and found that I need/want more hand posisitons. I also wanted a way to get out of the wind more when needed. I put a clip-on aero bar along with bar ends... It looks rather hideous, but is very effective. I think I would be happier with drops though, and am planning to put some on this summer.
madhouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 09:46 PM   #6
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can't you pop some inline brake levers on your drop bars, then bring the drop bar a little higher and towards you a little so you can essentially use them like a flat bar if you want.
You can get the same hand positions with a flatbar and bar ends. But believe me, the first time you hit a 20 mile section of headwind, you'd be very glad you have your drops.
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-05, 10:01 PM   #7
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,630
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Flat bars seem more comfortable for short trips and rides up to maybe 2 hours. After that the extra hand positions on the drop bars provide more comfort. One does not have to have drop bars very, very low. With a taller stem you can somewhat have your cake and eat it. You can be up high like straight bars on the tops and still get low for headwinds and speed. This is very comfortable on long tours or rides.
As slvoid says even if you only going 20 or even 10 miles in a headwind, you will love the drops.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 01:36 AM   #8
hoogie
aspiring wannabe
 
hoogie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: timaru/oamaru, new zealand
Bikes: trek 520, thorn nomad, giant yukon, avanti aggressor, bauer racing bike, couple of other projects ...
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
flat bars for me ...

I used to have drop bars on my trek 520 and also more recently on my Thorn Nomad, but after swapping them for flat bars I find these more comfortable ...

pics of my Thorn Nomad and its development ...

everyone has their own taste and opinion in this ...
hoogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 01:58 AM   #9
Norsman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: BC, Canada
Bikes: Trek 520, Norco MTB
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought a Trek 520 last year and planned to go with the drop bars. I tried to make it work and tried some more but I never got comfortable with them. I finally switched to the flat bars and I am much happier. I plan to add some bar-ends this year.
Norsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 04:13 AM   #10
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Drop bars here, it is a personal preference...like leather saddle or... I just got done switching my Giant Excursion over to drop bars from flat bars, much nicer for me to ride on the road now. Part of it may be what you started out riding. I rode drop bars on the road for over 15 years before I ever got my first flat bar bike. Rode cyclo-cross too with the drop bars.

Aaron
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 06:43 AM   #11
onbike 1939
Senior Member
 
onbike 1939's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fife Scotland
Bikes: Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27 Moulton Esprit
Posts: 2,022
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
I've had no end of problems converting from drops to flat bars re setting-up and now numb hands. Now I have ditched the rubber grips as I think that they, being solid, tend to transmit road vibrations to the hands. So now have copied my usual way with drops ie foam grips covered with cork tape extending all the way up the barends and providing I hope sufficient hand positions. I think I'll thicken them a little at the transition of bars to barends with more tape. Here's hoping!

Last edited by onbike 1939; 03-14-05 at 06:46 AM. Reason: trying to add attach.
onbike 1939 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:10 AM   #12
royalflash
Senior Member
 
royalflash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
Bikes: Lemond Alpe d┤Huez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro
Posts: 1,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would go for a flat bar- you can get quite a lot of different hand positions with wide aerobar and also achieve a reasonable aerodynamic shape if you stretch out on them. Personally I don't really like drop bars.
__________________
only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

Plato

(well if he was alive today he would have written it)
royalflash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:44 AM   #13
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 6,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Has anyone used a "butterfly" -style handlebar? Are they any good?

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines
Juha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 09:24 AM   #14
motorhommmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Bikes: Specialized Sirrus Sport, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp, Brompton, Trek 1500
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Flats for me. No problem doing big distances. Specialized Large grips, set of bar ends which I have not used much and a pair of cycling gloves.
Just could not warm to drop bars - at my stage in life I don't use the drops that much anyway.
motorhommmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 10:07 AM   #15
ScituateJohn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: boston
Bikes:
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a bike with a drop bar, and it is okay for a short while, but after that, the place between the index finger and the thumb is sore from riding on the hoods. I don't use the drops much, and I don't use the top part much either, so it is like there is only one position for me, and it is is an uncomfortable one for me. I won't be buying any more drop bars.

Who makes that butterfly bar?

Last edited by ScituateJohn; 03-14-05 at 10:13 AM.
ScituateJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 10:15 AM   #16
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 6,849
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoogie
flat bars for me ...

I used to have drop bars on my trek 520 and also more recently on my Thorn Nomad, but after swapping them for flat bars I find these more comfortable ...

pics of my Thorn Nomad and its development ...

everyone has their own taste and opinion in this ...
I noticed your handlebars were probably lower than 2 inches (from the saddle) when you had the drops. You could never get comfortable on drops that low and this could have been your problem.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 03-16-05 at 08:58 AM.
Dahon.Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 11:26 AM   #17
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 6,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScituateJohn
Who makes that butterfly bar?
That particular one was from the German web store Roseversand. I don't know the manufacturer. Here's the Nashbar version.

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines
Juha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:24 PM   #18
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm currently trying out a set of modified "Trekking" bars (similar to the butterfly bars above) that I got on sale form Nashbar for $12.00. So far I think this set-up is great. Another option to throw into the mix. Here are some pictures of how I modified the bars and the finished product.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ..._id=17715&v=3v
gregw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:34 PM   #19
sakarias
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Juneau, AK
Bikes:
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm curious.

Since I have used nothing but drop bars since I graduated from my balloon tire bike 4/1 2 decades ago (and 80,000+ miles ago -- would have been more but for military service and a total lack of roads at one point in our living situation) ago, I was wondering what it is about drop bars that people don't like or can't get used to.

Last edited by sakarias; 03-14-05 at 07:39 PM.
sakarias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:37 PM   #20
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
What is more comfortable flat bar or toad bars?
I prefer toad bars because they are softer than flat bars and the eat flies and mosquitos in camp.
supcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 07:44 PM   #21
gregw
Senior Member
 
gregw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
I prefer toad bars because they are softer than flat bars and the eat flies and mosquitos in camp.
I'll have what he's having!
gregw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 08:33 PM   #22
Blackberry
In Memory of One Cool Cat
 
Blackberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Bikes: Lemond Victoire, Cannondale.Mountain Bike, two 1980s lugged steel Treks, ancient 1980-something Giant mountain bike converted into a slick tired commuter with mustache handlebars, 1960-something Raleigh Sports
Posts: 2,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juha
Has anyone used a "butterfly" -style handlebar? Are they any good?

--J
Tried 'em for a week on a rental bike in the UK. Riding 35-60 miles per day. I liked them quite a bit and thought they'd be superb for touring.
__________________
Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.
Blackberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 10:44 PM   #23
halfspeed
Senior Member
 
halfspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SE Minnesota
Bikes: are better than yours.
Posts: 12,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakarias
I'm curious.

Since I have used nothing but drop bars since I graduated from my balloon tire bike 4/1 2 decades ago (and 80,000+ miles ago -- would have been more but for military service and a total lack of roads at one point in our living situation) ago, I was wondering what it is about drop bars that people don't like or can't get used to.
I think many people get road bikes that are fitted improrperly and/or poorly set up. When their hands hurt and they can't reach the drops, they blame the bars.

Incidentally, flat bars are often seen as the =only= alternative to drop bars for more upright riding when there are other options that give the multiple hand positions of drop bars and the upright posture of flat bars. Flat bars really seem to me to be the worst of all worlds for distance riding, but some people manage with them.
halfspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 11:15 PM   #24
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,630
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfspeed
I think many people get road bikes that are fitted improrperly and/or poorly set up. When their hands hurt and they can't reach the drops, they blame the bars.

Incidentally, flat bars are often seen as the =only= alternative to drop bars for more upright riding when there are other options that give the multiple hand positions of drop bars and the upright posture of flat bars. Flat bars really seem to me to be the worst of all worlds for distance riding, but some people manage with them.
This is an excellent point. A lot of people convert to straight bars when all they need is a higher or shorter stem. On my touring bikes, I have the top of the drop bars even with seat. I can sit way up this way, and still get lower on the drops when needed. This is the best of both worlds. Many new touring bikes I see are like this or close to it.

A racer wants to get his back flat and parallel with the ground for aerodynamics. It also takes a long time to adjust your body to this position. Not for me on a century. But I want those drops too. And the hoods for climbing. They work like bar ends for climbing, you are more forward.

Flat bars give you better control off road, that's what they were designed for.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-05, 11:57 PM   #25
royalflash
Senior Member
 
royalflash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
Bikes: Lemond Alpe d┤Huez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro
Posts: 1,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakarias
I'm curious.

Since I have used nothing but drop bars since I graduated from my balloon tire bike 4/1 2 decades ago (and 80,000+ miles ago -- would have been more but for military service and a total lack of roads at one point in our living situation) ago, I was wondering what it is about drop bars that people don't like or can't get used to.
Its just personal preference and you will probably think that I am talking rubbish but In my case I didnt like having the brakes in such an inaccessible position. It seemed that the only way for me to get a decent pressure on the brakes was to ride in the drops. Since most riders spend most time on the hoods/tops it just didn┤t make any sense to me. Trying to swap to the drops to brake in an emergency is quite awkward. This is compounded by the fact that the brakes are positioned (due to having them reachable both from the hoods and the drops) in such a compromise position that they are not easy to reach from the drops.

I also don┤t like the feeling of lack of control with drop bars.

Riding on the hoods gave me Carpal tunnel and this is something I have never experienced with flat bars.

The thin bar tape didnt help much with preventing vibration.

I also was distinctly unimpressed by the Ultegra STI shifters.

Halfspeed is correct that some of the above points may be due to incorrect fitting but the end result made me give up on them.
__________________
only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

Plato

(well if he was alive today he would have written it)
royalflash is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.