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Why drop bars?

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Why drop bars?

Old 06-30-23, 08:12 AM
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Drop bars for 40 yrs. Then I got old and fat and switched to swept back upright bars. IMHO straight flat bars are an abomination appropriate for motorcycles and mtn bikes where you’re descending steep inclines but not good for regular riding without a range of add-ons/bar ends for more positions. When I was transitioning to upright bars I was also commuting with heavy front panniers and found drop bars inadequate for low speed maneuvering in traffic. Traditional swept back are much better than straight bars. Drop bars are standard for racing, high output and aerodynamics.

Last edited by LeeG; 06-30-23 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-30-23, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638
My observation over the years is that few riders use any position other than riding on the brake hoods in the most upright position.
The most upright position is with the hands on the tops, but otherwise, I certainly identify with your observation. Honestly, someone could sneak into my garage at night and swap all my drop bars for bullhorns, and it would be weeks before I'd notice.

But I still like drops. I had a flat-bar 90's hardtail mountain bike that I converted to drops, cuz I like 'em better. The odd time I ride a modern mountain bike in the mountains, the uber-wide hand position feels almost hyperbolic.
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Old 07-05-23, 07:36 PM
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I pretty much put drop bars on everything I ride.

drop bars are the only way to redistribute some of your weight onto your arms. Flat bars canít do this really.

the argument I see for flat bars about maneuverability doesnít make sense. This isnít like an old car that requires arm strength to turn the wheel. It might make sense for mountain bike applications but even then only like technical stuff. Most bike riding is not extreme turning.

you can still ride a drop bar like a flat bar if you feel like too.
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Old 07-10-23, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638
The traditional explanation for drop bars is that they provide multiple hand positions. My observation over the years is that few riders use any position other than riding on the brake hoods in the most upright position. There are plenty of bars out there that provide multiple hand positions and a more comfortable body posture. You just have to find what works for you. 30??? you have a lot ahead of you!

This is probably true of me if you just see me on a short ride around town. But When it gets longer like my commute I definitely move around. True there are other bars that offer multiple positions. The two things for me are:
1. There is usually a set of drops in my parts bin.
2. I like drops
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Old 07-10-23, 01:43 PM
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After having a few vintage roadies, including one that was fitted for me from a bike shop years ago I have never found drops comfortable, and vintage road bikes unforgiving. And reaching, another neck killer.

To each his/her own.
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Old 07-13-23, 08:07 AM
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I have a good size climb at either end of my commute and I find the drop bars way better and more comfortable for that commute. If I am just commuting on the very flat bike paths in my city I take one of my upright cruisers. But like most people said it is just a matter of personal preference but when commuting in the city I think most people prioritize speed and drop bars typically allow for a better position for that purpose.
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Old 07-20-23, 10:13 PM
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You know, for all this debate on which is supposedly better for you, I can say that I read about how great drop bars were supposed to be when looking for a bike back in 8th grade that my parents were going to buy as a graduation gift.
I got the drop bars, but found that I disliked them. I rarely used the lower bars except when ducking low-hanging branches (of which there are 2 on Wilkie Road on the way to the Bussie Woods Forest Preserve when riding on the sidewalk.). I tended to always use the upper position, but disliked how close my hands were together and found the bike did not corner well.
I replaced that bike my parents bought about 5 years ago and got straight, or at least slightly curved handlebars and I find that I like them a lot better and am more comfortable.

I feel that ultimately, that is the only thing that really matters, that I personally found the upright bars more comfortable and that I liked them better.
I believe that for casual riders, the two are about equal and whatever feels more comfortable to that person is the superior pick. The advantages for racers don't matter if you aren't doing racing, and might not outweigh the discomfort if you don't like them. Granted, some people might find the lower bar positions more comfortable.

I know they were not as uncomfortable before I outgrew the frame by an inch or two and the handlebars were higher relative to the seat as I had to have the seat at the absolutely highest position in order to use the bike. When I was smaller the drop bars were not as uncomfortable in the lower position, so that might be part of my bias. When I got the bike, it was slightly too big, when I replaced it it was slightly too small. Amazing how much I grew in just the four years of high school.
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Old 08-24-23, 01:15 PM
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20km around the city, with a dorp bar there is much less fatigue in the hands than with a riser (fixed).
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