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Going "full circle" at 66 or who invented the flat bar road bike?

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Going "full circle" at 66 or who invented the flat bar road bike?

Old 10-03-15, 04:00 PM
  #1  
DowneasTTer
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Going "full circle" at 66 or who invented the flat bar road bike?

My wife and I purchased our first adult bikes in 1972 with money from our wedding. We were still in college at the time and bikes were a great way to get around campus. Now 72 was during one of the bike booms and lots of bike brands were popping up. The local hardware store was also the LBS and sold the Astra line of bikes. Low end for sure but still great for a couple of young college kids. The thing was we were both afraid of the drop handle bars so the store converted our new bikes to flat bars. Thus creating for us our first flat bar road bike. We have been riding ever since. Well later on we moved up into a couple of drop handled pugs and used them for touring all over. The funny thing is that the our last bike purchase a couple of days ago were a couple of Giant CoMax 1’s which Giant describes as flat bar road bikes. So I guess we have gone full circle… so to speak.
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Old 10-03-15, 04:19 PM
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Times change, needs change. Whatever suits your current needs is right.

I'm in your age range and have been riding drop bar road bikes for everything for over 40 years. I still do, but when I wanted a dedicated commuter/utility bike for daily rides of 10 miles or so each way, I converted a mtn bike that was collecting dust for road use. I kept the flat bars, because I wanted the more upright since it gave me better sight lines in urban traffic, and I've ridden that upwards of 40 miles at a stretch, but I still prefer drop bars for sport riding.
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Old 10-03-15, 06:51 PM
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I've never much cared for flat bars on the road, tho my mtb appropriately has them. I've always preferred more upright, however, so daily driver is a road bike with drops on a higher, shorter stem.
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Old 10-05-15, 01:55 PM
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I've spent a total of 5 months in the last 4 years riding in Europe. During that time I only saw drop bars on 8 touring bikes, and on the racers' or wanabe racers' bikes. The other several thousand bikes I observed had flat bars. We are just behind the curve here.
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Old 10-05-15, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I've spent a total of 5 months in the last 4 years riding in Europe. During that time I only saw drop bars on 8 touring bikes, and on the racers' or wanabe racers' bikes. The other several thousand bikes I observed had flat bars. We are just behind the curve here.
I prefer to think of us as ahead of the curve.

I do have stock flat bars on my mountain bike, but I spend more time on the extensions, which give me a more drop-like forearm axial rotation, than on the grips. I remain a hard-core fan of drops on road bikes.
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Old 10-05-15, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
My wife and I purchased our first adult bikes in 1972 with money from our wedding. We were still in college at the time and bikes were a great way to get around campus. Now 72 was during one of the bike booms and lots of bike brands were popping up. The local hardware store was also the LBS and sold the Astra line of bikes. Low end for sure but still great for a couple of young college kids. The thing was we were both afraid of the drop handle bars so the store converted our new bikes to flat bars. Thus creating for us our first flat bar road bike. We have been riding ever since. Well later on we moved up into a couple of drop handled pugs and used them for touring all over. The funny thing is that the our last bike purchase a couple of days ago were a couple of Giant CoMax 1’s which Giant describes as flat bar road bikes. So I guess we have gone full circle… so to speak.
I saw the bikes this morning when I was out for a ride. It's the bike I was considering buying before I learned about my back problem. Really nice looking bikes. They look F-A-S-T.
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Old 10-06-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
When I wanted a dedicated commuter/utility bike for daily rides of 10 miles or so each way, I converted a mtn bike that was collecting dust for road use. I kept the flat bars, because I wanted the more upright since it gave me better sight lines in urban traffic, and I've ridden that upwards of 40 miles at a stretch, but I still prefer drop bars for sport riding.
While I'm a bit younger age-range (65) I completely agree. My commute bike (built up from an old steel road frame) has flat bars whereas all my other bikes (okay, except my folder) have drop bars. My commute in 19 mi. round trip, so similar to yours and very high motor-traffic density. So yes, gotta love the more upright sight lines while trying to sus what the motorists will do next (without so much as a signal, of course).

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Old 10-06-15, 01:18 PM
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I'm a recent convert to drop bars and am beginning to like riding them, although I still like the visibility aspect and (to me at least) comfort of flat bars.

I like the feel of my road bike (steel Genesis Equilibrium) so much however, that I am planning to buy an identical frame and build it up using flat bars and mtb gears/chainset to help my riding/sightseeing trips on the steep hills in the Brecon Beacons.

When I was a kid in 1959 I converted my first road bike to flat bars to use dirt-track racing on the coal waste tips near where I lived.

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Old 10-06-15, 01:35 PM
  #9  
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I'm not really sold on flat bars for road bikes. If an upright position is needed, it's so easy to get a different stem to raise and adjust the bars in/out. Then you have other positions got your hands when you want them.
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Old 10-06-15, 01:46 PM
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well touring Yurp on a drop bar bike may give the impression you are not from around there..

Britain, a bit less so..
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Old 10-06-15, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
They look F-A-S-T.
It was great seeing you on the Withlacoochee yesterday. Both my wife and I hope you enjoy your new bike as much as we are enjoying ours. The key word in your quote... LOOK... But with the same OLD engine..... not so much. See ya on the trail.
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Old 10-06-15, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
I'm not really sold on flat bars for road bikes. If an upright position is needed, it's so easy to get a different stem to raise and adjust the bars in/out. Then you have other positions got your hands when you want them.
... or something like this. Ritchey mountain bars with 4-finger Shimano brake handles and short extensions. I ride more on the extensions than on the main grips and find I can brake with fingers 4 and 5 using the ends of the brake handles. Sorry about the distorted view of the brake handles -- probably from a weird camera angle.
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Old 10-06-15, 02:23 PM
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Theres more weight on your bottom (!) wi flatbars. Better wi bar ends specially on the hoof.
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Old 10-12-15, 10:34 AM
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Road bikes gotta have drop bars,..... period! (at least on my bikes).
Not to say that I haven't seen some conversions with 650b or upright bars that looked appropriate for the frameset.
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Old 10-12-15, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
My wife and I purchased our first adult bikes in 1972 with money from our wedding. We were still in college at the time and bikes were a great way to get around campus. Now 72 was during one of the bike booms and lots of bike brands were popping up. The local hardware store was also the LBS and sold the Astra line of bikes. Low end for sure but still great for a couple of young college kids. The thing was we were both afraid of the drop handle bars so the store converted our new bikes to flat bars. Thus creating for us our first flat bar road bike. We have been riding ever since. Well later on we moved up into a couple of drop handled pugs and used them for touring all over. The funny thing is that the our last bike purchase a couple of days ago were a couple of Giant CoMax 1’s which Giant describes as flat bar road bikes. So I guess we have gone full circle… so to speak.
Now that's something,,,, I guess that's why they say ,,, The more things change the more they stay the same **********
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Old 10-12-15, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Road bikes gotta have drop bars,..... period! (at least on my bikes).
Not to say that I haven't seen some conversions with 650b or upright bars that looked appropriate for the frameset.
OK but what would these specs lead you to believe?
[TABLE="class: bike-specifications, width: 860"]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Sizes[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]XS, S, M,ML, L, XL[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Colors[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Composite/Red[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Frame[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]CoMax Composite Technology[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Fork[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Composite, with alloy OverDrive steerer[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shock[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]N/A[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[TABLE="class: bike-specifications, width: 860"]
[TR]
[TH="class: heading, bgcolor: #DDDDDD, colspan: 2"][h=3]COMPONENTS[/h][/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"][/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Stem[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant Connect[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Seatpost[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant D-Fuse, Composite [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Saddle[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant Contact, forward[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Pedals[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]N/A[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[TABLE="class: bike-specifications, width: 860"]
[TR]
[TH="class: heading, bgcolor: #DDDDDD, colspan: 2"][h=3]DRIVETRAIN[/h][/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"][/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Front Derailleur[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano 105[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Rear Derailleur[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano 105[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Brakes[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano M395, Hydraulic disc, 140mm[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Brake Levers[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano M395, Hydraulic disc[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Cassette[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano 105 11x32, 11-speed[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Chain[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]KMC X11[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Crankset[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano RS500, 34/50[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Bottom Bracket[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano, Press Fit[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[TABLE="class: bike-specifications, width: 860"]
[TR]
[TH="class: heading, bgcolor: #DDDDDD, colspan: 2"][h=3]WHEELS[/h][/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Rims[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant PR-2 Disc[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Hubs[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant Performance Tracker Road Disc, Sealed bearing, 28h[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Spokes[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Sapim Race, 14/15g[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Tires[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Giant P-R3 All-condition, 700x25, Front and rear specific, Deflect 3[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Just wondering
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Old 10-12-15, 07:07 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
I've never much cared for flat bars on the road, tho my mtb appropriately has them. I've always preferred more upright, however, so daily driver is a road bike with drops on a higher, shorter stem.
Was thinking more about this today. Out using my mtb, with rack and hybrid tires at the moment, as a run to the store/grocery getter. Found the flat bars to be most annoying.
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Old 10-12-15, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
OK but what would these specs lead you to believe?

[TH="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Cassette[/TH]
[TD="bgcolor: #F5F5F5"]Shimano 105 11x32, 11-speed[/TD]

Just wondering
A bike with a 32 cog is an ATB/MTB. Put any handlebars on it.
105 is nice but a lot of generic parts from mfg.
Disk brakes supports the ATB/MTB theory - heavy for a roadie, unless the application is rain/commuter bike.

Hey, ride what ya like - my preference runs to drop bars on roadies.
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Old 10-13-15, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
A bike with a 32 cog is an ATB/MTB. Put any handlebars on it.
105 is nice but a lot of generic parts from mfg.
Disk brakes supports the ATB/MTB theory - heavy for a roadie, unless the application is rain/commuter bike.

Hey, ride what ya like - my preference runs to drop bars on roadies.
Really? Huh. I didn't know that; neither does Alberto Contador, apparently. He frequently uses a 34x32 climbing gear. Surprised the UCI allows the use of mtbs in the Tour, Giro etc.
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Old 10-13-15, 10:04 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
A bike with a 32 cog is an ATB/MTB. Put any handlebars on it.
105 is nice but a lot of generic parts from mfg.
Disk brakes supports the ATB/MTB theory - heavy for a roadie, unless the application is rain/commuter bike.

Hey, ride what ya like - my preference runs to drop bars on roadies.

I thought you may say that... however the specs I listed while from my bike, a Giant Fastroad CoMax 1, are the same as the 2016 Giant Defy Advanced 2. So I guess Giant must have made the same mistake I did.. Defy Advanced 2 (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States Pedal on I say whatever gets us off the couch is a GOOD thing.
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Old 10-13-15, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
Pedal on I say whatever gets us off the couch is a GOOD thing.
^^^ I agree.
Like I said -- "Hey, ride what ya like".
Call me a traditionalist.
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Old 10-13-15, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws View Post
Theres more weight on your bottom (!) wi flatbars. Better wi bar ends specially on the hoof.
I love the flat bar concept, but this is the one issue I wonder about. If there's more weight on your bottom, does that also mean there's more potential of prostate issues? Or would proper fit and decent bike shorts and seat make this a non-issue for either riding style?
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Old 10-14-15, 11:01 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by side_FX View Post
I love the flat bar concept, but this is the one issue I wonder about. If there's more weight on your bottom, does that also mean there's more potential of prostate issues? Or would proper fit and decent bike shorts and seat make this a non-issue for either riding style?
The concern is completely unfounded, insofar as riding with some variation on 'flat bars' no more necessarily puts one in a bolt-upright riding position than does riding with drop bars.

Example: flat-bar road bike (mine) --


My bike fits correctly, without anything out of the ordinary (100 mm stem; standard flat bars w/bar ends). Riding position is such that 'on the grips' I have slightly more forward lean than I would on the tops of the bars on a Roubaix (to which I've also been correctly fitted), and for all practical purposes exactly the same position on the bar ends as on the hoods of a Roubaix. My weight is evenly distributed between butt, feet, and hands/arms -- precisely as it would be on a Roubaix w/drops were I to prefer drop bars to flat.
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Old 10-14-15, 05:11 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by side_FX View Post
.......potential of prostate issues?
I have written this often (and still believe it) = if you want to minimize any prostate issue or soft tissue damage or reduced blood flow or anything similar - you simply need to unweight from the saddle or stand or stand/pedal for a minute or so periodically throughout a ride. How often is "periodically"? Well that should be up to the rider based on the severity of the problem. At a bare minimum, it may be advisable to shift one's position on the saddle routinely so one spot(s) does not carry the burden for an entire ride. There are riders who report (or claim) to have the perfect saddle + short combo; and they can ride for hours without changing position and experience no discomfort - unfortunately, I believe they are a small minority of all male riders.

edit: the above info is valid for flat or drop handlebars. Disclaimer: I am not a MD, nor have I played one on TV.
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Old 10-14-15, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I have written this often (and still believe it) = if you want to minimize any prostate issue or soft tissue damage or reduced blood flow or anything similar - you simply need to unweight from the saddle or stand or stand/pedal for a minute or so periodically throughout a ride. How often is "periodically"? Well that should be up to the rider based on the severity of the problem. At a bare minimum, it may be advisable to shift one's position on the saddle routinely so one spot(s) does not carry the burden for an entire ride. There are riders who report (or claim) to have the perfect saddle + short combo; and they can ride for hours without changing position and experience no discomfort - unfortunately, I believe they are a small minority of all male riders.

edit: the above info is valid for flat or drop handlebars. Disclaimer: I am not a MD, nor have I played one on TV.
Agree completely with this, Wildwood; I think it's good advice.
Disclaimer: Not only am I too not an MD (haven't even played one on TV), I've never even stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.
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