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Thinking of giving up drop bars...

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Thinking of giving up drop bars...

Old 05-09-18, 09:34 AM
  #76  
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This conversation has become very interesting! I've been rotating between my drop-bars and uprights over the last week or so, considering the advantages associated with both. Last night I finally took out the Club Fuji and hammered out 22 miles in slightly over an hour... I hadn't really bothered sprinting much this season. I realized that I enjoy the opportunity to do that now and again, and it felt good to be going fast and working myself in such a way. Of course, it would not have been physically possible without the riding geometry offered by the drop bars.

I will be keeping examples of each, and using them as the mood strikes me.

-Gregory
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Old 05-09-18, 10:11 AM
  #77  
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Well, you can get low and aero on upright bars, but it may challenge your core and tricep strength even more than drop bars.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:24 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
FWIW, I am not an athlete, just a 69y.o. cyclist who has been at it for a well over half a century. Lately I've been riding about 8000 miles a year. I love drop bars, don't like any of the upright bikes I've ridden lately. But I am decidedly not an athlete. That makes me an exception to your generalization.
Same here, though I'm a dozen years younger, and my annual mileage doesn't get up to 8000. I am not an athlete. I don't exercise, work out, train, or race . I only ride for fun, to get places, to see places, and to clear my mind.

Drop bars FTW.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:30 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Well, you can get low and aero on upright bars, but it may challenge your core and tricep strength even more than drop bars.
I'm also not sure that I'd find a grip position that allows for safe handling characteristics. In the drops I can maintain proper control of the bike and reach the brakes. When I get low on my upright bars the bike tends to flay around a bit...
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Old 05-09-18, 10:40 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
I'm also not sure that I'd find a grip position that allows for safe handling characteristics. In the drops I can maintain proper control of the bike and reach the brakes. When I get low on my upright bars the bike tends to flay around a bit...
While this guy is tucking for a decent, if you picture him on the saddle while riding, that's what I had in mind:


(Image pilfered from https://marathonmtb.com/2014/04/19/t...ke-time-trial/ )
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Old 05-09-18, 11:31 AM
  #81  
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Another angle: When I was discussing setting up my Clem with Rivendell, they suggested angling the bars down a bit. Oddly enough I had been thinking the same thing, so I tried it. It's very nice with these Albatross bars. It's worth a try if your are setting up an upright bar bike.

These bars have long since been taped up all the way to the stem. That's the way to go. I provides a few more positions for climbing and to get a bit more aero if needed. I still prefer drop bars for long rides, especially if stuck 20 miles from home with stiff headwind, but I always have a fun time on this bike.

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Old 05-09-18, 12:37 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
While this guy is tucking for a decent, if you picture him on the saddle while riding, that's what I had in mind:

(Image pilfered from https://marathonmtb.com/2014/04/19/t...ke-time-trial/ )
His flat bars provide a lot easier access to his brakes/gear controls than I would get on the uprights featured on most vintage roadster bicycles using period-correct handlebars, which is what I'm interested in.
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Old 05-09-18, 12:42 PM
  #83  
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Well, angling them down a bit is what you're supposed to do, so your wrists stay at a neutral angle.

This reminds me of something I see a lot of, but only on pictures of bikes owned by Americans. I see the handlebars angled so the ends point streight up in the air like this:



What's that about? It looks incredibly uncomfortable, you must have to hold your elbows up at a weird angle. Or maybe you're supposed to lean your torso far forward and hold the grips from underneath, like you're doing pull-ups? I can't for the life of me work it out.
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Old 05-09-18, 01:47 PM
  #84  
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I'm 62 and have been riding for 54 years. I gave up the lowdown years ago....only straight bars for me now. The last "lowrider" I had was a 70s era Peugeot, (which was stolen). You do feel the wind more this way.....and that's not always fun. But it's much easier on my neck and back.
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Old 05-09-18, 08:52 PM
  #85  
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As I've aged from 30 years old to 41 in a couple months, I've come to prefer drop bars with a saddle-to-bar drop of a couple inches. It took awhile for my body to adapt, but now I'm more comfortable and more efficient. And efficiency matters even for my 5 mile commute where I would like to average 15 mph without extraneous exertion of fighting air resistance.

i tried riding swept back touring bars that were upright. Fine for goibg around the block. But ride for 6+ miles and your body is a big flap in the wind and the lack of hand positions becomes an issue.

I used to loath my Surly LHT. It felt slow and uncomfortable. While the LHT is not a spring chicken frame...it wasn't the frame to blame. It was the upright setup. I've now got the bars a solid 1.5" lower than they used to be and it feels so much better.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:14 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
Well, angling them down a bit is what you're supposed to do, so your wrists stay at a neutral angle.

This reminds me of something I see a lot of, but only on pictures of bikes owned by Americans. I see the handlebars angled so the ends point streight up in the air like this:
Dumb Americans. I'm American and have only started to see this fairly recently.

Don't assume too much thought has gone into it. They are trying to get the bars as high as possible for 'comfort', even though the bars were designed to be used at a lower angle. So it's all wrong. It's a setup most useful for riding a bike down a sidewalk to the corner liquor store to buy a 40.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:27 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Dumb Americans. I'm American and have only started to see this fairly recently.

Don't assume too much thought has gone into it. They are trying to get the bars as high as possible for 'comfort', even though the bars were designed to be used at a lower angle. So it's all wrong. It's a setup most useful for riding a bike down a sidewalk to the corner liquor store to buy a 40.
Yeah, it's all the rage in the beach towns here in California (as I'm sure you've noticed down south). I used to ride a lowrider bicycle with ape hangers before I found the light, and I have to admit it was incredibly comfortable, even for cruising around hours at a time. But such things are pretty pointless for serious riding.
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Old 05-10-18, 09:06 AM
  #88  
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10 months of the year I want something other than drop bars on my commuter. Then it gets to be April, and for the next 2 months I have a headwind to AND from work.
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Old 05-10-18, 12:45 PM
  #89  
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I am 50 and I have tried most available types of upright bars. None work for me for more than a few miles. I use a wider, drop bar (46cm Nitto Noodle) that has many comfortable hand positions and being wider, the straight portion of the bar has flat-bar like leverage. Bars are just at or just a smidge under saddle height.
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Old 05-11-18, 12:31 PM
  #90  
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I like different bars for different purposes. For OP's current situation, I think upright bars are the way to go. Each of my bikes has a different type of handlebars based on my preference for its use. I have drops (though set very high and close) to give lots of positions on my rigid frame MTB all-road bike that I use for longer rides. My commuter has Wald 867 cruiser bars for a comfortable wrist position and being upright in traffic. My fixed gear has bullhorns which work well for standing and mashing on climbs. My folder has flat bars for a compact fold and good enough for short distances. Like @Salamandrine, I prefer a slight downward angle to my risers. I find it puts my wrist at a more natural angle. I do similar for bullhorns and the brake hoods on my drops.

After some neck fatigue on longer rides with drops (described in this thread), I have been experimenting with my commuter by adding bar ends from my parts bin to the risers (inspired by VO crazy bars and to a lesser extent Jones). This allows me three very different positions that are all pretty comfortable: conventional upright on the grips, stretched out a bit on the bar ends, and a quasi-aero-bar resting my forearms on the grips and my hands on the tips of the bar ends. I love it so far for commuting, especially fighting a fierce headwind yesterday. I'm tempted to try it for longer distances just for fun. I suspect my neck fatigue on the drops will go away with better prep and training for future distance rides but it is still fun to experiment especially since it didn't cost me anything but a little time...

I find it funny that there are such strong opinions both for and against drops, but at least we can all agree the steeply upward angled cruiser bars like @Cute Boy Horse posted are ridiculous I've seen cruisers with bars like that but never seen anyone riding them...



Commuter


Commuter


All-road


All-road


Fixed gear
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Old 05-11-18, 01:10 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by crandress View Post
I have had the same internal debate. I just love the look of the drop bars. However I have a set of mustache bars and was thinking of converting one to try out as well.
I have mustache bars on my Raleigh International which I ride more than my other bikes. Most people who try them don't like them, but they're great for me. They don't have as many positions as drop bars, at least the way I set them up, but they have enough for me. I will try them on a long ride. I suspect they will be good for that.
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Old 05-11-18, 01:31 PM
  #92  
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The "not seeing more than 40 feet straight ahead" thing is the main reason I don't like them. I just don't see that as being safe when you constantly have to watch for people and cars doing things they are not supposed to be doing.

If you are not a racer I also don't really see the need for that kind of aggressive posture to gain a few % points of efficiency. I am old and fat nowadays but as a teenager I used to whiz along on an old cruiser a lot faster than many people did on a road bike.
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Old 05-11-18, 01:41 PM
  #93  
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I'm surprised nobody in this thread has mentioned trekking bars yet. Are they some kind of taboo in these parts? I've been thinking about trying them for a while now. I really like drop bars, but I also like being able to stop easily from the flats. Anyone experienced these?
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Old 05-11-18, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
I'm surprised nobody in this thread has mentioned trekking bars yet. Are they some kind of taboo in these parts? I've been thinking about trying them for a while now. I really like drop bars, but I also like being able to stop easily from the flats. Anyone experienced these?
They have three different hand positions and all three of them are painful.
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Old 05-12-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
They have three different hand positions and all three of them are painful.
haha

The main reason I haven't tried them yet is that they seem really wide and look slightly odd. I can't quite tell from your post how serious you're being, but if you'd care to elaborate I'm still interested to know more.
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Old 05-12-18, 03:46 PM
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I don't know what more you want me to say. I've ridden a bike with them and couldn't find a single place to hold that didn't cause me hand pain. That's about it.
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Old 05-13-18, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
I don't know what more you want me to say. I've ridden a bike with them and couldn't find a single place to hold that didn't cause me hand pain. That's about it.
I suppose I was just having a hard time believing that the equivalent position to the flats would be painful - although I do realise that the trekking design puts the flats further back than on drop bars. I've had bikes where the bar position has given me pins and needles after 10 minutes of riding, and it's no fun.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:55 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
I suppose I was just having a hard time believing that the equivalent position to the flats would be painful - although I do realise that the trekking design puts the flats further back than on drop bars. I've had bikes where the bar position has given me pins and needles after 10 minutes of riding, and it's no fun.
I haven't given them a full-on go, but I have found that the "flats" portion is a bit closer together than optimally comfortable, and maybe a bit farther back (closer to you) than you may want.. but you can also angle the bars differently. I have a lot of playing around to do with them.
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Old 05-13-18, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Well, you can get low and aero on upright bars, but it may challenge your core and tricep strength even more than drop bars.
The proposed advantage then assuming that the rider cares a whit about being "low and aero". There was a time in my life when I did. Now I don't. And I find I have more usable hand position variations on my flat bars than on any of my bikes with drop bars. I love my Domane frame, love the riding position I get with flat bars even more.
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Old 05-13-18, 12:10 PM
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I was going to get these

Wald Hi-Rise Handlebar Cp 1" Center-Wald#8069 | Handlebars | Components | Bikewagon.com

Then I realized I already had some aero bars on my flat bars but they were facing the wrong direction. The nuts were stripped so I had to wrench them up with gorilla strength but once I had them upwards it was like riding a new bike. liked it so much when I got back from my little ride I decided to go on another one! These ones curve way around so I get two extra nice positions.
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