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Flats Bars or Drops ... Which Do You Prefer

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Flats Bars or Drops ... Which Do You Prefer

Old 03-26-19, 08:27 AM
  #1  
Witterings
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Flats Bars or Drops ... Which Do You Prefer

I was just thinking about the best “Do It All” bike mainly for pleasure riding for a mix road and gravel paths with typical distances between 20 and up to 50 miles.

If you knock Mountain and Racing Bikes out as extremes on either end of the spectrum you’re really left with Hybrids or Gravel bikes in between.
If they both have comparable tyre clearance, gearing, brakes and weight, the only thing left that really separates them apart is one has drops and the other flat bars.

Interested to see generally whether people prefer flats or drops but even more so the reasoning behind your choice and if there is a far greater percentage in favour of one against the other.
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Old 03-26-19, 08:58 AM
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Old 03-26-19, 08:59 AM
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Drop bars, because of the multiple hand positions.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:26 AM
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Drops. I haven't ridden flat bars since 5th grade on my "English racer" 3 speed. After about a year, I put drop bars on it, because all the cool guys had them. Still do. 😀 At 69 years, they are all I know, and I love the multiple hand positions, though I'm "on the hoods" about 80% of the time. I like the feeling of control at high speeds too.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:52 AM
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I definitely prefer flat bars over drop bars. However, I just bought a set of these to see how I like something with a little more sweep. The Jones bars above are probably more comfy, but they also cost a good bit more and I have a couple of big bills coming due this Spring so I went cheap.

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Old 03-26-19, 10:09 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
drop bars, because of the multiple hand positions.
+1
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Old 03-26-19, 10:10 AM
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Basically yes to all 3 of 2 ....

Generally, answre is : Yes both depends on the bike Plus ... Door Number 3 ...

Figure 8 bend Trekking bars for same reason as (Drop bars), because of the multiple hand positions.


Last edited by fietsbob; 04-08-19 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-26-19, 10:29 AM
  #8  
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Steering wheel. Because, multiple hand positions.

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Old 03-26-19, 10:33 AM
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Definitely drop bars. The ergonomics of vertical palms with thumb up really keeps my wrists in a neutral position.

To explain just how important drop bars are to me, the bike I am currently having built is a full custom Rodriguez with a Rohloff hub and Gebla Rohbox just so that I can get the ergonomics right. Yes, the bike will have S&S couplings & clearance for 2 inch wide mountain bike tires with fenders, but will usually run 559-28c's for road use. A truly go anywhere, do-all, bike. (For anyone curious: 58mm trail for skinny tires, 65mm trail for off-road tires.)

The Gebla Rohbox is the only thing makes the drop bar possible with the Rohloff. If I settled on a Alfine 8, then the choice would've been a Microshift shifters.

As a close second, tourist bars work well for me too for many of the same reasons.

Flat bars? Only for bikes not meant to be ridden very far for very long. YMMV.
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Old 03-26-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Drops. I haven't ridden flat bars since 5th grade on my "English racer" 3 speed. After about a year, I put drop bars on it, because all the cool guys had them. Still do. 😀 At 69 years, they are all I know, and I love the multiple hand positions, though I'm "on the hoods" about 80% of the time. I like the feeling of control at high speeds too.
My story to a "T" - except I'm a 65 yo youngster and I have always set my bikes up to be most comfortable in the drops and spend a lot of time there. Got my 3 speed in 5th grade. Next year got dropped bars, a 2-speed rear derailleur and centerpull brakes for it. 8th grade, my UO-8. Never looked back after these upgrades. A MTB is the only reason I would have straight bars. Maybe next lifetime.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 03-26-19 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-26-19, 10:49 AM
  #11  
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I've had some hybrids with flat bars and they were okay, but the drop bars are superior. If you do go flat bar get some quality bar ends. They make a big difference.
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Old 03-26-19, 10:51 AM
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Definitely drop bars for me. I have issues with hands/thumbs and drops give me more positions to change to. I had put flats on one of my bikes, road steel frame, and quickly realized it was only going to be good for relatively short rides. I am in the process of rebuilding that bike to as close to original as I can get.
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Old 03-26-19, 11:03 AM
  #13  
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I use drops.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Definitely drop bars. The ergonomics of vertical palms with thumb up really keeps my wrists in a neutral position.

To explain just how important drop bars are to me, the bike I am currently having built is a full custom Rodriguez with a Rohloff hub and Gebla Rohbox just so that I can get the ergonomics right. Yes, the bike will have S&S couplings & clearance for 2 inch wide mountain bike tires with fenders, but will usually run 559-28c's for road use. A truly go anywhere, do-all, bike. (For anyone curious: 58mm trail for skinny tires, 65mm trail for off-road tires.)

The Gebla Rohbox is the only thing makes the drop bar possible with the Rohloff. If I settled on a Alfine 8, then the choice would've been a Microshift shifters.

As a close second, tourist bars work well for me too for many of the same reasons.

Flat bars? Only for bikes not meant to be ridden very far for very long. YMMV.
We must see this bike when done.

I have a Rodriquez fixed gear manufactured March 2018 which I built up for road riding.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/2018-...z-custom-37179


-Tim-
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Old 03-26-19, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I use drops.
We must see this bike when done.
I have a Rodriquez fixed gear manufactured March 2018 which I built up for road riding.
https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/2018-...z-custom-37179
-Tim-
Oh, you know it!
I think it will be ready in approximately 8 weeks from today. We'll see. I can hardly wait.
It was going to have a Nuvinci N380 & a Schlumpf drive (both planerary gear sets) and be christened the "Planet Express" but the inability to get a reasonable shifting solution changed the plans.

Below is the inspiration for the color scheme.
planet_express_ship_ortho_by_unusualsuspex-d7gaoc6 by Richard Mozzarella, on Flickr
PPG Gulf Coast Green (42240)
PPG Pale Mint Green (43816)
PPG Porsche Red (72060) for the accents and the "Rodriguez" script.

I did get the headbadge, so at least there is that.

Your bike bike is quite the eye catcher too.
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Old 03-26-19, 11:57 AM
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It depends.

On my hybrid commuter I like flat bars because it's easier to control when doing quick jerky motions like hoping over a curb or avoiding a pothole. I also like the stability of it for when I hit a bump in the street I didn't see coming.

But my commuter is 3 to 10 miles (depending on the weather) and that's about as far as I like to go with a flat bar because it wears my hands out. But on those short sprints it's great. The one caveat is that I have vertical grips in the middle of my bar as a second hand position.

On my gravel bike it's drops all the way. I can ride that bike all day long and my hands feel great because of the numerous positions I have. I don't know how I ever rode a flat bar for 40-50 miles now that I switch those rides to a drop bar.
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Old 03-26-19, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
figure 8 bend trekking bars for same reason as (drop bars), because of the multiple hand positions.



+ 1
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Old 03-26-19, 01:16 PM
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Drop bar for me and again for the variety of hand positions. Likewise I set it up so I am comfortable in the drops which helps in ways, especially with a headwind.
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Old 03-26-19, 01:45 PM
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I recently awarded myself a Trek FX 4S 'fitness' hybrid for my 70th birthday. I ride about 250km per month so nothing arduous. After 700/800 km of some great rides over road and gravel I find my enjoyment is spoilt by hand and wrist issues. After only 30km my fingers are unusable and even changing gear is a problem. This is somthing I didn't experience on my Trek 2100 and rarely on my Trek 790 hybrid. Is it an age thing or is it indeed the lack of variety of hand placements on the straight bars. The isobars and some quality gel half gloves only help a little. Rough tracks can become purgatory without regular stops for wrist and hand exercises.
Question: is this a problem that would be solved by a bike with drop bars which would obviously increase the variety and quantity of hand positions. - or have I missed somthing else in my bike fit?

james
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Old 03-26-19, 02:26 PM
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Aesthetically, I far prefer the look of road bikes with drop bars. I've twice purchased, and tried to adapt to, a drop bar bike, and have twice returned it. Yes, I have a good relationship with my lbs.

For my own cycling I prefer flat bars, with bar ends -- 580mm width; 5 degree bend; Ergon GP2 grips/integrated bar ends -- on a frame designed specifically for flat, rather than drop, bars. That means, for me, a reach measurement of around 400mm as opposed to the 360 or so I would want on a drop-bar frame.

Reason: personal preference. I do pay close attention to fit/set up, but I have never found flat bars in any way limiting for the riding I do. I ride alone, and do not race. I do 6/7000kms a year: shortish rides daily March through December; longer rides (40+ miles) at least once every weekend in that same period. I've done a couple of century rides -- just to see if I could. I've never experienced the 'issues' with flat bars mentioned by some in this thread.

My flat bar road bike below; soon to be replaced by a new full carbon Sirrus w/Future Shock (I'm old [67]).
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Old 03-26-19, 02:40 PM
  #20  
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Ergon grips make a flat bar almost endurable for me, but only up to about 20 miles. I prefer drop bars because I can get narrow and aero, helpful since I'm riding against prevailing winds the vast majority of the time. Had my first strong tailwind in a year when we had record setting high temps coming from the east last week and it was glorious.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:52 PM
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Up still 7 years ago I would have answered this with a drop bar for my road bike and flat bar for my mountain bike. Then at age 62 I found out I have congestive heart failure and my docs implanted an ICD (mplantable cardioverter-defibrillator) right under my left collar bone. Using a drop bar causes the wires coming out of the top of the ICD to hit the collar bone. NOT FUN. So it's flat bars for me.. However, doesn't mean you can't have a fun cycle. Here's my Canyon RoadLite 9.0 Ltd.



and my Giant FastRoad CoMax 1

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Old 03-26-19, 02:52 PM
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Drops all the way
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Old 03-26-19, 03:16 PM
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Drop bars for long rides and flat bars for shenanigans.
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Old 03-26-19, 04:04 PM
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I hate drop bars and I prefer to use flat bars with bar-ends or riser bars with bar-ends.
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Old 03-26-19, 04:16 PM
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Thumb, palm and wrists very quickly ruined my rides even after a few miles last year when I bought my first bike in 40 years. A Giant Roam. I took the plunge and put Jones H Loop bars on it and that helped a lot, I was up to two hour rides on it. But I could not cure the discomfort that turned into pain along with some disturbng soft tissue problems around my sit bones. Tried a few seats but came to the conclusion that the geometry of the Roam was screwed up and I was sitting up too much for the design of the bike.
Went back to my stock bars with Ergon GP2's on it this time, just last week.

Did 4 half hour rides this past week and today a 1 hour ride. Hands are starting to get sore again but the seating position is much better, no bruising as of yet. I think I am going to narrow down the bars a bit, I do not like how wide they feel when resting on the bar ends. As nice as the ergon pads are, I wish I had gotten longer ends.

I tried out a Trek Cross Rip a few weeks ago, the lbs set it up for me to ride and it was immediately comfortable, but I only rode it for 15 minutes or so and the roads were still covered in snow and ice. Wish I could ride one for an hour. I was afraid of getting a drop bar bike to start last year and now I almost wish I had. I will be 69 in June, I did not know whether I would like riding a bike at all, of course now I find I love it. Hunting for comfort without re-mortaging the house.
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