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-   -   Drop Handlebars vs a Riser Handlebar (https://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bicycles/1170800-drop-handlebars-vs-riser-handlebar.html)

McMitchell 04-17-19 11:13 AM

Drop Handlebars vs a Riser Handlebar
 
Has anyone tried a Soma Fabrications Gator bar? This handlebar is sort of a drop bar that has 190mm of space, in the low drop position, allowing one to use “flat bar” style shifters and brakes. It is even possible to use grip shifters on this bar, which I happen to have.

I took the drop bars off my Focus Mares CX and replaced the bar with a carbon riser bar. I am still not happy with the position I am riding in. I matched the position I was in on my Rocky Mtn Sherpa to the Focus bike, in an attempt to get more comfortable.

Riding Conditions
I ride on both paved roads with large amounts of gravel and gravel roads. I am torn between riding the Mountain Bike and the Cyclocross Bike. The Focus bike (with WTB 40mm tires) being more like a road bike does better on the roads. The Sherpa (with 27.5 wheels) may get better traction on the often steep gravel hills. I am now living in “The Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia” with lots of single track and gravel forest roads. I should also mention that I will be turning 70 in a few more months.

One of the reasons I switched to a Riser bar had to do with needing to shift rapidly just before steep hills. I did not feel comfortable shifting rapidly with the Shimano 105 2X shifting system that came on the Focus bike.

finch204 04-17-19 11:21 AM

If you use the Gator bar with flat bar shifters/brakes, you effectively have just one hand position. I mean yeah you can ride on the "tops" but it is far from the drops, where your brakes are, which is a similar problem to riding a regular drop bar. Since you don't have STI levers on it, then you also won't be able to ride the "hoods", which at this point makes it inferior to a drop bar. So really you only have the drops as your hand position.

I think a better alternative is the Jones H-Bar/Loop Bar. You get multiple hand positions and the brakes are relatively easy to get to, you just slide your hands up or down the handlebar. I actually have been contemplating on installing one on my Giant Roam as an alternative to getting bar ends.

McMitchell 04-20-19 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by finch204 (Post 20888814)
If you use the Gator bar with flat bar shifters/brakes, you effectively have just one hand position. I mean yeah you can ride on the "tops" but it is far from the drops, where your brakes are, which is a similar problem to riding a regular drop bar. Since you don't have STI levers on it, then you also won't be able to ride the "hoods", which at this point makes it inferior to a drop bar. So really you only have the drops as your hand position.

I think a better alternative is the Jones H-Bar/Loop Bar. You get multiple hand positions and the brakes are relatively easy to get to, you just slide your hands up or down the handlebar. I actually have been contemplating on installing one on my Giant Roam as an alternative to getting bar ends.

I think the review of the Gator Bar I read utilized pseudo levers to provide another hand position.

I do understand your point though. I have studied the Jones bars. I am concerned that that large and heavy bar might be weird on a light Focus bike. I have actually been trying to lighten my bar & control mechanisms. I have been thinking about swapping out the grip shifter, as it can be a limiting factor.

McMitchell 04-20-19 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by finch204 (Post 20888814)
If you use the Gator bar with flat bar shifters/brakes, you effectively have just one hand position. I mean yeah you can ride on the "tops" but it is far from the drops, where your brakes are, which is a similar problem to riding a regular drop bar. Since you don't have STI levers on it, then you also won't be able to ride the "hoods", which at this point makes it inferior to a drop bar. So really you only have the drops as your hand position.

I think a better alternative is the Jones H-Bar/Loop Bar. You get multiple hand positions and the brakes are relatively easy to get to, you just slide your hands up or down the handlebar. I actually have been contemplating on installing one on my Giant Roam as an alternative to getting bar ends.

I think the review of the Gator Bar I read utilized pseudo levers to provide another hand position.

I do understand your point though. I have studied the Jones bars. I am concerned that large and heavy bar might be too much on a light Focus bike. I have considered putting a Jones H-Bar/Loop Bar on my Rocky Mountain Sherpa. I have actually been trying to lighten my bar & control mechanisms, on the Focus bike. I have been thinking about swapping out the grip shifter, as it can be a limiting factor.

The mcroSHIFTER (thumb shifter) seems to require the least space (19-22mm) and may be the lightest too (123g). I have been searching YouTube for reviews, but finding none. The microSHIFTER offers click or friction modes which is also attractive. I am thinking about ordering one to try it out. The mounting ring appears to be small enough to be used practically anywhere, even on a drop bar.

finch204 04-22-19 07:35 AM

The carbon version of the Jones H-bar/Loop Bar is only 275 grams per their website. That seems to be lighter than even some drop bars. Of course the carbon flat bars are lighter still but you've said you've already tried a riser bar, which is similar. What improvement are you looking to get as far as riding position? Did you want to get lower or more aero?

I really didn't care for the Jones H-bar/Loop bar until I saw this video. The various hand positions and the ability to be tuck in almost has me sold. I am even considering putting it on my flatbar Madone, which seems sacrilege due to its super light frame, but those hand positions are so interesting.



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