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Thoughts/Input on a flatbar road bike

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Thoughts/Input on a flatbar road bike


Old 12-26-17, 12:21 PM
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That is a sexy bike ... and I don't think i have ever thought that before let alone uttered it.
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Old 12-27-17, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Rudebob View Post
..........................Basically my question is in hopes that I might get some input from someone who has actually has ridden a road geometry built bike such as this over extended distances that give me an idea has to how much lost efficiency I might experience-especially on the tail end of a century ride.

1983 Waterford Road Race Paramount with theses bars https://www.amazon.com/Wald-803BL-Bi.../dp/B00IDAT25I ridden before and after total right shoulder replacement. Added bar ends before brake levers https://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Compe...SC1JR5FHCG7N55 with foam grips used on bars and bar ends.

Bar ends allows for very comfortable aero riding. With heavy duty wheels with 700/25mm tires, tool bag, cable, bell, lights, 2 water bottles, touring-padded saddle the bike weighs in at 29 pounds. Used it this past April in Cross Florida one day ride https://spacecoastfreewheelers.com/charities/xfl/ . Hooked on to TCCA team group about 15 miles into the ride and with drafting and occasional pull managed first 100 miles in 4:40. They had a rolling sag and stopped a number of times so I just continued on and re-hooked when they caught me since my first stop was at the 100 mile mark where my wife met me. Managed to stay with them until 15 miles left and at one stop light I was asked if I had a motor hidden in the frame. This 66yo felt pretty good after being asked.

A couple of months ago I used the Paramount for the first 100.3 miles then switched to my 2018 Roubaix Expert for the next 100.3 miles and completed my 200 miler in a day ride for this year. RR frame bike set up for you in the right way can still be fast AND comfortable.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rudebob View Post
Well I pulled the trigger on a Kestrel TR-1000 flat bar. Felt like I got a pretty good deal so it would not be the end of the world should/if/when I go back to my regular roadie. Will likely swap out for better wheels/tires and saddle in the next week or so, but with a 70 degree forecast today I am itching to get it rolling.

Thanks for all the input.

When in doubt, always go for the new bike. Love the looks of that one!
The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time. -Bertrand Russell
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Old 12-30-17, 01:17 AM
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You done it. Geometry looks friendly, that should suite you well.
No one mentioned Jones H-bars. If you are looking for multiple hand positions in a flat bar, give them a look.
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Old 01-08-18, 11:20 AM
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Well now that the holiday traveling is over I got in three rides on the new flat-bar, the last was a 65+ miler this weekend. General impressions: This is very much a roadie in my opinion, more so than any other fitting definition (comfort or hybrid). However, this bike and geometry is also identical to Kestrelís RT1000 endurance road bike, including 25mm tires, sans the drop bars, so it definitely is not built to be a hybrid. It is pretty light, quick and nimble which equals fun!

Riding solo, it feels no different than any of the other road bikes I have owned until you hit about 17.5 miles and hour, then you begin to lose on the aeroside of the equation. This weekend I rode with a group in a paceline so most of the aero-disadvantage was negated (until my turn to pull). Incidentally, I made a mental note as to the position of the others I rode with this weekend. Most ride on the hoods and it seemed like my torso angle and height was not really any different that theirs-other than the had to choice to go to the drops where I was lacking. It is easy to take a more aero position without much discomfort for shorter distances when needed, however.

Generally, it is more comfortable on my lower back and neck since visibility is much improved. I felt no discomfort in my elbow/bicep area from my surgery-which was the main reason I considered going this direction in the first place. However, the flat bars were very uncomfortable on my wrists/hands. This seems to be a common complaint for this handlebar style and has me currently shopping for end bars to provide an alternative hand position.

The bike got several looks and a few questions from the other cyclists on this weekends ride. However, I held my own with a core group whose median age was significantly younger, so any criticism of my new steed was out of my ears range.

Overall, if endbars will help reduce hand/wrist fatigue, I will say that this was a very good purchase. Once I have fully recovered from my injury, my regular road bike will likely be my go-to machine. However, I can continue to see myself including this bike in a regular rotation.

Thanks for all the replies,

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Old 01-08-18, 12:36 PM
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I like my flat bar hybrid but you've described the main reasons I ruled out that configuration for a road bike: less aero above around 16 mph; fewer hand positions.

Even if a flat bar is as low as riding the top of a drop bar, it's less aero because the flat bar opens the armpits and elbows. Those are closed when riding the hoods on a drop bar. Even if I use the top of the drop bar for awhile to rest my neck and back, or just for another hand position, the arms are closer to the torso and less open to catching the wind. The downside is no access to brakes and shifters unless we're using interrupter levers or 1970s style brake extension levers.

And on longer rides my wrists ached with the flat bar. In fact I recently switched from the flat bar on the hybrid to a riser bar with a bit of back sweep. The back sweep feels a bit more comfortable but I don't need the riser, so I'll probably switch to something like an arc bar to get the same effect without any rise. I'm comfortable on the hybrid up to around 14 mph, but beyond that it begins to demand effort disproportionate to gains to overcome wind resistance.

A friend swapped his hybrids to flipped albatross and North Roads bars. Those are remarkably aero -- the armpits and elbows are tucked -- and he says they're comfortable on longer rides up to metric centuries. When he switched to those flipped albatross bars I had trouble keeping up with him riding my flat bar hybrid. He gained just enough aero advantage to make me work harder to keep up compared with when we both had similar bars. (Well, okay, he's younger and stronger too...)
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