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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

drop bars on Mt bike

Old 12-16-16, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Your bike shop should be able to get you an adapter. If they don't have one in stock, QBP has them in 1" and 1-1/8" varieties.
Yeah, I actually have a couple of different types of adapters from various builds, but velo orange specifies that they need 55 mm clamping area for that stem and my largest adapter is more like 45 mm or so (also the topcap bulges like the one in your picture, so that wouldn't work for a stem that fits like a sleeve over it). I'm fine with just getting a Nitto MT-10 or something, I just thought those are pretty if I could get one to work on my bike.
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Old 12-16-16, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
You might also need a zero offset (or inverted) seatpost.
Why?
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Old 12-16-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
I am creating the perfect no nonsense graveler using my old 26 inch 1990's Mongoose rockadille. I am going to add drop bars and bar end shifters. After reading how vicious the Dirty Kanza and some other grinder events are to tires and gear I am afraid that my current steed a 1974 Raleigh Record 5 speed with 1 1/4 tires is not a good choice. I wanted to ask what have been the experience of people using drop bars. I read that compact bars are best and there are many mt bike specific drop style bars but the cost close to $100 each.
I figure a good adjustable stem is a safe bet for getting proper fit.
I've done a number of gravel grinders over the last few years, including the Almanzo 100, Westside Dirty Benjamin, and Filthy Fifty.

I ran my Kona Dew Drop with 700x28 (run-whatcha-brung-tires) at the 2015 Almanzo and hated life (these tires were fine on the 2014 Benjamin). So last winter I hatched the idea of a drop-bar conversion for my Pugsley. I got Salsa Woodchippers, Gevenalle shifters, shorter stem (90 mm) and maxed out the stem height. I really like the wide Woodchippers for the soft gravel sections, then on the flats, you can get on the hooks to get your arms in tighter (more 'aero').

65778889-Almz16-00430.jpg

This set up worked great for me, on the Almanzo the gravel is very loose and deep in places with fast descents (speeds over 35 mph). So the float of the 4" Fat B Nimble tires was great! I was 136th of roughly 1,000 riders registered and 504 finishers. Official time of 7:35:37 on a fatbike. Best I can tell, I was the fastest rider on a fatbike (Almanzo has no classifications/divisions).

Also rode it on the Filthy Fifty - Official time: 3:11:30, 139th of 536 racers (including 89 DNF). Estimated 4th place of 50 in the men's fatbike division.

Tweaks for 2017: lower the stem height, higher pressure in the tires, don't get stuck at the back of the pack at the start while socializing.

Edit/afterthought: If I had access to my old Rockhopper, I would have done the drop-bars on that bike. The reason I selected the Pug is that it was the only "MTB" bike I had in the garage.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 12-16-16 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-16-16, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
I've done a number of gravel grinders over the last few years, including the Almanzo 100, Westside Dirty Benjamin, and Filthy Fifty.

I ran my Kona Dew Drop with 700x28 (run-whatcha-brung-tires) at the 2015 Almanzo and hated life (these tires were fine on the 2014 Benjamin). So last winter I hatched the idea of a drop-bar conversion for my Pugsley. I got Salsa Woodchippers, Gevenalle shifters, shorter stem (90 mm) and maxed out the stem height. I really like the wide Woodchippers for the soft gravel sections, then on the flats, you can get on the hooks to get your arms in tighter (more 'aero').

Attachment 546047

This set up worked great for me, on the Almanzo the gravel is very loose and deep in places with fast descents (speeds over 35 mph). So the float of the 4" Fat B Nimble tires was great! I was 136th of roughly 1,000 riders registered and 504 finishers. Official time of 7:35:37 on a fatbike. Best I can tell, I was the fastest rider on a fatbike (Almanzo has no classifications/divisions).

Also rode it on the Filthy Fifty - Official time: 3:11:30, 139th of 536 racers (including 89 DNF). Estimated 4th place of 50 in the men's fatbike division.

Tweaks for 2017: lower the stem height, higher pressure in the tires, don't get stuck at the back of the pack at the start while socializing.

Edit/afterthought: If I had access to my old Rockhopper, I would have done the drop-bars on that bike. The reason I selected the Pug is that it was the only "MTB" bike I had in the garage.
That's an awesome bike!! Your reach looks quite short and low, even with the maxed stem height?

Last edited by nillevang; 12-16-16 at 10:12 AM. Reason: typo!
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Old 12-16-16, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Why?
Because the hoods are much further away on drop bars than your average mtb flat bar thus making the reach (the distance from saddle to bars) longer by quite a bit!

My stem is just about 7 cm (3") shorter than the one the bike came with AND i have straight seatpost reducing the reach a further 2 cm (1"). If I used the old stem and seatpost i would barely be able to reach the hoods without lying flat over the top tube. I can take a picture tomorrow if you like?
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Old 12-16-16, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
Because the hoods are much further away on drop bars than your average mtb flat bar thus making the reach (the distance from saddle to bars) longer by quite a bit!

My stem is just about 7 cm (3") shorter than the one the bike came with AND i have straight seatpost reducing the reach a further 2 cm (1"). If I used the old stem and seatpost i would barely be able to reach the hoods without lying flat over the top tube. I can take a picture tomorrow if you like?
Oh that's what I was thinking, I've never used saddle setback to adjust reach, have you noticed any issues? I know most will recommend against doing so. Do you also adjust saddle height?

In my experience I have a setback range of 3cm to 10cm so there's at least one example of it not being an issue.
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Old 12-16-16, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
That's an awesome bike!! You reach looks quite short and low?
Thank you!

For control, I needed to shorten the stem (120 mm to 90 mm). However, I'd like to remove some spacers for the gravel races to get lower. The 2016 Almanzo was notable for 20 mph winds all day (& cold... 35F at the start), getting low was a big help when fighting into that wind.

For snowy single-track riding, I'm really not liking the drop-bar set up. I will likely convert back to the flat-bars for winter to get more upright.
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Old 12-16-16, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Oh that's what I was thinking, I've never used saddle setback to adjust reach, have you noticed any issues? I know most will recommend against doing so. Do you also adjust saddle height?

In my experience I have a setback range of 3cm to 10cm so there's at least one example of it not being an issue.

Well, this is a matter of some controversy! All the road pros have setback saddles, BUT, it's because of UCI requirements and not efficency or practicality (just shoot me now!) - if you look at the triathletes their bikes have little to no setback, because they wanna keep the hip angle as open as possible. In all honesty I guess its a matter of personal preference but I shifted the seat forward on my road bike, mtb and gravel/enduro allroad bike and I really like it. When I ride on someone elses bike I feel cramped and fatigue faster.
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Old 12-16-16, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Thank you!

For control, I needed to shorten the stem (120 mm to 90 mm). However, I'd like to remove some spacers for the gravel races to get lower. The 2016 Almanzo was notable for 20 mph winds all day (& cold... 35F at the start), getting low was a big help when fighting into that wind.

For snowy single-track riding, I'm really not liking the drop-bar set up. I will likely convert back to the flat-bars for winter to get more upright.

Why don't you like it for snow? Lack of steering power?
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Old 12-16-16, 10:36 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by nillevang
Why don't you like it for snow? Lack of steering power?
Lower center of gravity makes balancing in deeper snow challenging. On packed/plowed snow is fine, but cutting trails and tight technical trails are difficult (for me at least).

Here's video from the helmet GoPro, while riding fresh 6" of snow. There were some boot tracks, but mostly untouched.


edit - I need to change the tires on this bike too. The Fat B Nimble suck in snow. I was hoping to keep them on the bike until I get some Dillingers... however, I just hit the deck again. So the factory Nates go back on the bike for now.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 12-16-16 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 12-16-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Lower center of gravity makes balancing in deeper snow challenging. On packed/plowed snow is fine, but cutting trails and tight technical trails are difficult (for me at least).

Here's video from the helmet GoPro, while riding fresh 6" of snow. There were some boot tracks, but mostly untouched.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jlFrMVEsnE
Funny looking bars! How narrow are the at the hoods?
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Old 12-16-16, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
Funny looking bars! How narrow are the at the hoods?
Width measured center to center; 42cm bar is 59cm at the ends, 44cm var is 61cm athte ends, and the 46cm bar is 63cm at the ends
This bike has the 44 cm
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Old 12-16-16, 01:09 PM
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This pic from the Filthy Fifty at a different angle helps show the flare on the drops. On fast/loose descents, I love to get my hands out the end of the drops for stability.

14523168_10154452523694404_534427873910667128_n.jpg
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Old 12-16-16, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
This bike has the 44 cm
I'm not sure I get why they are much wider at the bottom? When you're in the hoods is usually where you want control, and thus a wider "stance". And when you're in the drops, you're usually riding fast and thus want a more narrow stance?
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Old 12-16-16, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
I'm not sure I get why they are much wider at the bottom? When you're in the hoods is usually where you want control, and thus a wider "stance". And when you're in the drops, you're usually riding fast and thus want a more narrow stance?
Again this isn't a road bike drop bar, this is a "dirt bar". I won't put the Woodchippers on a road bike. When I'm descending at high speed on a road bike, I don't need additional stability. OTOH loose gravel at 35+ mph can get real 'exciting'. The Woodchippers allow me to lower my upper body for less wind resistance and keep my hands wide for stability. Not every rider needs this, I'm kinda a wimp on descents, so this extra stability works well for me.

Salsa can add their part:
The Woodchipper is our drop bar off-road handlebar. It delivers the most hand position options of any of our drop handlebars, and offers great control on challenging singletrack terrain. The non-conventional shape requires a more unique setup for optimal performance: the brake/shifter position should be canted downward with the drop portion of the bar angled in the 20–25 range. It will only take one long off-road bikepacking trip will convince you of the Woodchipper's amazing capabilities.

Multi-position, off-road drop bars
Bars bend along three planes to create extra-wide lowers while still maintaining a shallow drop
Woodchipper Bar | Parts & Accessories | Salsa Cycles

Set up info - My Woodchipper Set Up | Salsa Cycles
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Old 12-16-16, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Again this isn't a road bike drop bar, this is a "dirt bar". I won't put the Woodchippers on a road bike. When I'm descending at high speed on a road bike, I don't need additional stability. OTOH loose gravel at 35+ mph can get real 'exciting'. The Woodchippers allow me to lower my upper body for less wind resistance and keep my hands wide for stability. Not every rider needs this, I'm kinda a wimp on descents, so this extra stability works well for me.

Salsa can add their part:


Woodchipper Bar | Parts & Accessories | Salsa Cycles

Set up info - My Woodchipper Set Up | Salsa Cycles
Thank you. Still not quite sure 'bout the merits of this bar, but often things work better in real world than we can imagine, and sometimes it's the other way around...
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Old 12-16-16, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
Thank you. Still not quite sure 'bout the merits of this bar, but often things work better in real world than we can imagine, and sometimes it's the other way around...
+1

Plus what works great for me, might be hateful for someone else.

I must say, the joy of being a bike-nut in 2016 ... it's so easy to customize your bike to match your flavor of crazy.
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Old 12-16-16, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
+1

Plus what works great for me, might be hateful for someone else.

I must say, the joy of being a bike-nut in 2016 ... it's so easy to customize your bike to match your flavor of crazy.
It is!! I've never owned a bike that I didn't customize in some shape of form! Right now I dream of converting my Trek 1.5 road bike to 650b; but in a modern look with black wheels/tires and black mudguards/fenders. I don't get why every 650b conversion is decidedly retro or vintage?

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Old 12-16-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
it's so easy to customize your bike to match your flavor of crazy.
sometimes too easy






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Old 12-16-16, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
sometimes too easy







If you didn't have the upper bar ends it would't actually look half bad! Nice old GT by the way - I'm doing one up right now with a friend of mine :-)
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Old 12-16-16, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
If you didn't have the upper bar ends it would't actually look half bad! Nice old GT by the way - I'm doing one up right now with a friend of mine :-)
Yeah, but with them it does look half bad.
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Old 12-16-16, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
Thank you. Still not quite sure 'bout the merits of this bar, but often things work better in real world than we can imagine, and sometimes it's the other way around...
I use a similar style bar on my gravel bike and understand while it isnt for everyone, it certainly has its benefits. As mentioned, it allows for a lot more stability.
I also like how the drop is shallower than traditional C bend bars. There end up being multiple comfortable spots to hold the bars and the drops being splayed out help control the bike on loose gravel much better.
The wider your hands are apart, the more stable steering will be.
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Old 12-17-16, 12:04 AM
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I wanted to purchase a wood chipper bar or one of the other brands similar but they are costly. I may just go with the widest compact drop I can find on sale...the exact stem length and rise is my next step. Keeping it a single speed for now....do to cost of new stuff.
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Old 12-17-16, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
I wanted to purchase a wood chipper bar or one of the other brands similar but they are costly. I may just go with the widest compact drop I can find on sale...the exact stem length and rise is my next step. Keeping it a single speed for now....do to cost of new stuff.
What size is your steerer tube? If its 1 1/8 it's super easy to convert to threadless and then you got access to a whole new world of adjustability!
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Old 12-17-16, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nillevang
What size is your steerer tube? If its 1 1/8 it's super easy to convert to threadless and then you got access to a whole new world of adjustability!
Yes, I replaced the old dry rotted suspension fork with Ridgid fork Threadless...But need bars, stem, brake levers... Cantilever style brakes. $30 for each item. Then I need to add gears...SS for now. It was a free Craigslist find.
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