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drop handle bars

Old 03-24-13, 02:40 PM
  #26  
rebel1916
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Well he is nouveau German!
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Old 03-24-13, 02:47 PM
  #27  
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Just about anything is better than a straight pipe bar. I have a set of north roads on one bike, and drops set fairly high on the other. IMO that makes the drop position a lot more usable compared to having them set right down low. I do prefer my north road bars though. With those, you can adjust your grip from the end of the bar (upright position) through the 'hoods' of the brake levers (not entirely accurate but the best way to describe the position) to the front curves and the straight portion in the middle. The last one is actually pretty good for zooming down hills and/or getting out of the wind a bit.

One of these days I'm going to fit a steering wheel to a bike if I can get the brake lever mounting figured out.
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Old 03-24-13, 02:48 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mikhalit View Post
I somehow think that the modern prevalence of straight bars in Germany is the result of marketing efforts. On the old bikes which were actually made in Europe you see plenty of various bend, albatross and drop bars. Ask hipsters!
That cannot be... only Americans are dumb enough to fall victim to a marketing scheme like that. Cha cha. The hipsters will do what they are told.

3 of my bikes have drops and one is straight. I have found that I like shallow, ergo drops the best. I have not ever used mustache bars or other bends, so I can't comment. I would like to set up something to cruise on with a little bit of backwards sweep.
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Old 03-24-13, 02:56 PM
  #29  
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Coming from a road bike background, drop bars on my commuter feel natural and comfortable. If I need to rise up to see something in traffic, I just put my hands on the top of the bars.
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Old 03-24-13, 02:57 PM
  #30  
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To me, any ride over an hour requires drop bars. Otherwise, anything will work.
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Old 03-24-13, 02:58 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
Coming from a road bike background, drop bars on my commuter feel natural and comfortable. If I need to rise up to see something in traffic, I just put my hands on the top of the bars.
Exactly.
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Old 03-24-13, 02:59 PM
  #32  
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I have used drop bars and flat bars and find the drops are better for performance especially when windy but are far less comfortable than flat bars. Flat bars with about a 10 deg rise are better for riding in traffic so you can be a little more upright to watch your surroundings. I don't like a fully upright position so I chose a MTB to build up as a commuter with a riding postion in between upright and hunched over. One thing to remember is road bike frames have a geometry that has the headtube closer to the seat tube and a mountain bikes geometry has the headtube somewhat further ahead. So the hoods on drop bars are ok for road bikes but will have a very long reach if installed on a mountain bike. And of course flat bars on a road bike frame will have the hand position much closer to your body. Also not to get too technical here but a point to make would be flat bars are a little wider and provide better steering response as compared to drop bars. Thats why mountain bikes have flat bars because you need alot more body language and quick steering response when riding single track or rough off road. To answer your question, are drops comfortable? well, they can be for some people but you generally need to be fairly flexible. The lack of flexibility and muscle stiffness is the main reason why some people including myself find them uncomfortable.
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Old 03-24-13, 03:09 PM
  #33  
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Have I ever mentioned that I don't really see them in Germany?
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Old 03-24-13, 03:10 PM
  #34  
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I can't think of any reason I'd use anything else...lots of hands positions, you can take what ever position you want and they have lots of real estate for bells, lights, etc.
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Old 03-24-13, 03:11 PM
  #35  
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This is what i had to try when I was looking for a perfect cockpit. NorthRoad, Road, CX bars aren't on the picture, but there are couple more. Except for the Salsa in the back all these bars are European, and three first ones I've got from small German bike shops. In the end i found short and shallow wide road drops to be the most comfortable. But it surely depends on the ride, the bike and riders preferences. Like I figured from another thread a typical commute in US may be very different from a commute in DE.
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Old 03-24-13, 03:23 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
The lack of flexibility and muscle stiffness is the main reason why some people including myself find them uncomfortable.
My wife rides a touring bike which originally came with straight bars. She had a back injury in the past, yet now she prefers road bars, it just took a long effort to figure out the correct fit. We managed to get it right by choosing a mans frame one size too large (so that the HT is tall enough) and playing with stem height and length to get the correct reach.
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Old 03-24-13, 04:11 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I have 2 fixed gear bikes with riser bars and then I have a rigid forked mountain bike set up with drop bars. I am just waiting for somebody to try and correct me and say that it's wrong to have drop bars on a MTB.
Not going to say a thing about drops on a MTB. Not since I saw one with aero bars
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Old 03-24-13, 05:05 PM
  #38  
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Here are few pics. One of my mountain bikes set up with drop bars
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Old 03-24-13, 05:39 PM
  #39  
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I keep trying to get away from them and keep coming back to them. In most cases, drops are fine for me.
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Old 03-24-13, 05:46 PM
  #40  
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I like drops.

Of course, I think a lot of it depends on the geometry of the bike. I ride a Surly LHT, so I'm definitely a bit more upright than most.
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Old 03-24-13, 06:25 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Here are few pics. One of my mountain bikes set up with drop bars
That is a really nice setup you've got there. I like the idea, just never considered it as the reach to the hoods is so much. How is it for you?
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Old 03-24-13, 06:40 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
That is a really nice setup you've got there. I like the idea, just never considered it as the reach to the hoods is so much. How is it for you?
I am a tall guy (6 ft) ,I have the fit dialed in perfectly. It'a a medium frame(18")....I have experimented with different size stems and I am using a 90mm 35 degree stem. Very comfortable set up. Bike handles great on the road or off road, even with front panniers loaded up.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:03 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tgbikes View Post
About 25 yrs. ago, as I thought about geting a real bike I asked a friend (physical therapist) which hand position would be more comfortable. Her instant response was that the MTB ,horizontal pipe in front of you. was not a natural position. It requires many more muscles to maintane than the vertical palm position. Saying that you would never wake up with your hands in the MTB position. I'v wondered at the fortunes made, bar ends ,springey stems. ft. shocks, bar grips..
Mountain biking is very different than road/touring biking. The "attack position" puts you far further forward on the bike with your upper body with almost no weight on your hands, in a position to drive down on the hands to pump terrain or pull back and up to unweight the front. Its much more like doing push ups and deadlifts than it is sitting for hours and hours. Not that there aren't situations where you're chilling there for an hour long climb, but the bars are designed for aggressive riding. More modern bars are also much wider and more swept to enhance control while leaning the bike way over (rather than leaning with the bike), which a flat hand position allows much easier than a "neutral" hand position.

Tl;dr: mountain biking bars are designed for dynamic motion, not static comfort.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:08 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I am a tall guy (6 ft) ,I have the fit dialed in perfectly. It'a a medium frame(18")....I have experimented with different size stems and I am using a 90mm 35 degree stem. Very comfortable set up. Bike handles great on the road or off road, even with front panniers loaded up.
Cool. I figured you were tall. I use a large frame (21") and I'm only 5' 8" and have it setup perfectly with 10deg riser bars but I still like the look of yours. I could do it with a 17" frame possibly.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:19 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by newridenewme View Post
What do you guys think about drop handle bars on your bike. Is it comfortable
Very comfy. I just about lose my mind if I have to ride flatbars on flat road for more than a couple of miles.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:27 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by jmblur View Post
Mountain biking is very different than road/touring biking. The "attack position" puts you far further forward on the bike with your upper body with almost no weight on your hands, in a position to drive down on the hands to pump terrain or pull back and up to unweight the front. Its much more like doing push ups and deadlifts than it is sitting for hours and hours. Not that there aren't situations where you're chilling there for an hour long climb, but the bars are designed for aggressive riding. More modern bars are also much wider and more swept to enhance control while leaning the bike way over (rather than leaning with the bike), which a flat hand position allows much easier than a "neutral" hand position.

Tl;dr: mountain biking bars are designed for dynamic motion, not static comfort.

+1, That is a good explanation of the difference. That is what ergonomic bar ends are for. You get a versatile setup which will give you different hand positions depending on what type of riding your doing. My commute consists of some off road and some paved road so I use both positions. I agree the vertical wrist is more natural for road riding and use the vertical bar end for that but switch it up often to stay comfortable. Its just like going back and forth from the top to the hoods on drop bars.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:29 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
The longer the ride, the better they work; the shorter the ride, the less useful they are.
This.

I've ridden in urban traffic, through low-traffic suburban neighborhoods, over varying terrain, on and off-road, and I've found that the type of handlebar I favor is dependent on what sort of riding I do. I can't choose "one handlebar to rule them all." I find drops way more comfy on long distance rides over varying terrain, and strongly prefer Nitto Albatross bars for urban city riding so that I have a "heads-up" position all the time and be aware of traffic. I absolutely detest flat bars and riser bars, though, because they make my wrists hurt no matter how they're set-up.

However, seeing as how most of my current rides are 20+ miles and hilly, it doesn't make sense to use anything but drop bars for now.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:32 PM
  #48  
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droy45 and jmblur,

thanks for the explanation. I didn't see it before I posted my first response. That makes sense as to why I can't stand using mountain bike-y handlebars, because I don't tend to move my body like that when I'm stuck with one hand position.
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Old 03-25-13, 07:03 AM
  #49  
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Do folks riding on pavement tend to keep their elbows bent or straight with whatever kind of bar they choose to use?
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Old 03-25-13, 07:11 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by seafood View Post
Do folks riding on pavement tend to keep their elbows bent or straight with whatever kind of bar they choose to use?
It's better to ride with bent arms, it soaks up vibration and improves one's control of the bike. But I see plenty of people riding with their arms locked out. Poor posture, poor fit, or just haven't ever been advised to do otherwise.
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