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Flat bar road bikes

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Flat bar road bikes

Old 04-11-10, 08:57 AM
  #1  
Monkey Face
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Flat bar road bikes

Can anyone recommend a good, light, flat bar road bike for my wife? Budget - up to $1500.00.

I was going to get her a hybrid - Cannondale Quick - but it was soooooooo heavy we didn't think it was any improvement on her mtb.

We've looked at a Cannondale Synapse and a Spec Sirrus, but what else should we look at?
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Old 04-11-10, 09:08 AM
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Hi... there is a specialized performance flat bar in carbon but no idea how much is it. I imagine more than 1500.

Raleigh used to have one also.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Monkey Face
but what else should we look at?
A bike with drop bars. If you're going to spend $1500 on a road bike it would be shame to cripple it with flat bars.

There's precious little reason you'd want to put flat bars on a road bike. I understand some people have back, flexibilty issues, I also understand that some people value comfort over speed.

But for any kind of riding that you would need a lightwieght road bike, your wife is almost certainly better off with drop bars.

The above issues can be dealt with in the set up of the bike, i.e the drop from seat to bars, and the type of drop bars (i.e how much drop is in the bars.how wide,and the shape of the bend)

If the issue is wanting to brake from the top of the bars, then there are always interruptor brake levers to allow that.

Thus you can set up a bike that is going to be as comfortable and stable to ride with drop bars, as with flat bars, and retain the advantages of drop bars, including multiple hand positions, and the ability to get more aero if you want to.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:16 AM
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I would buy a drop bar bike, sale the shifters and bar and get a set of Shimano 440 0r 770 shifters and a flat bar. You should come out ahead $ wise.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:35 AM
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POI, not everyone wants drop bars.

Also, consider the Trek FX line, similar to the Sirrus.
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Old 04-11-10, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
POI, not everyone wants drop bars.
Thanks Wanderer and lechat... if she'd wanted drops I'd buy her a Synapse... end of story.

But by way of explanation merlin. A lot of people who are new to cycling, or come from mtb's want a flat bar - the shifters are the same as a mtb. When advocating drops, nobody seems to appreciate that drop bar shifters can be intimidating to someone who is new to road bikes.

I prefer drops myself, but the less my wife has to think about, as she gains confidence on the roads (which are pretty busy where we live), the better. She might switch at a later date.

The drop bar conversion might be a good idea... more choice too.

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Old 04-11-10, 12:39 PM
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If you think she'll want to switch to drop bars at some point then the conversion idea may be good, apart from just tuck away the drop stuff rather than selling it.
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Old 04-11-10, 12:43 PM
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Going drops->flat bar is much, much cheaper than the other way around, brifters alone are a few hundred dollars
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Old 04-11-10, 12:52 PM
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if you have the funds, look at getting a road bike and switch to a flat bar and just keep the shifters if you think that there's any chance she'll want them later.

bonus: buy the same speed shifters that are on your bike, if one of yours breaks, you can have a back up.
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Old 04-11-10, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nahh
if you have the funds, look at getting a road bike and switch to a flat bar and just keep the shifters if you think that there's any chance she'll want them later.

bonus: buy the same speed shifters that are on your bike, if one of yours breaks, you can have a back up.
Or buy better ones than you have on your bike, and you have an upgrade.
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Old 04-11-10, 03:57 PM
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GT has an extensive line of flat bar road bikes and hybrids.
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Old 04-11-10, 04:10 PM
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Is "flat bar road bike" a new way to market expensive hybrid bikes, or are there really important functional differences?
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Old 04-11-10, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Is "flat bar road bike" a new way to market expensive hybrid bikes, or are there really important functional differences?
There are hybrids which are more like "comfort" bikes, with upright geometry, fat tires, and front suspension. Then there are hybrids which are more "flat bar road bike", with skinny tires and more aggressive geometry.
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Old 04-12-10, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Is "flat bar road bike" a new way to market expensive hybrid bikes, or are there really important functional differences?

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. I don't see a flat bar road bike as a hybrid, I see it as a road bike with flat bars.

A flat bar hybrid would take 28c+ tyres and mudguards... clearly different to a flat bar road bike.
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Old 04-12-10, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Monkey Face
But by way of explanation merlin. A lot of people who are new to cycling, or come from mtb's want a flat bar - the shifters are the same as a mtb. When advocating drops, nobody seems to appreciate that drop bar shifters can be intimidating to someone who is new to road bikes.

I prefer drops myself, but the less my wife has to think about, as she gains confidence on the roads (which are pretty busy where we live), the better. She might switch at a later date.

The drop bar conversion might be a good idea... more choice too.
How hard is it to learn to use STI shifting?

I understand that people may think they want flat bars, particularly if they come from a mountain biking background. And if the use of the bike is under 20 mile rides, with no real concern about how fast they go, that choice may work just fine. (But again do you even need a lightweight $1500 road bike for that?)

If the idea is to do longer rides, and at a pace that isn't going to frustrate you, a bike with drop bars is just so much better suited for the task.

My suggestion is that it would be a better idea to explain to her why road bikes have drop bars, and all the advantages of them. Then let her ride a road bike and try it out in an are that doesn't have much traffic, and I bet she'll find there's nothing really to be intimidated about.

Or you can spend money to downgrade an expensive road bike, and make it less functional, and actually less comfortable for rides of any real length.
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Old 04-12-10, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
How hard is it to learn to use STI shifting?

I understand that people may think they want flat bars, particularly if they come from a mountain biking background. And if the use of the bike is under 20 mile rides, with no real concern about how fast they go, that choice may work just fine. (But again do you even need a lightweight $1500 road bike for that?)

If the idea is to do longer rides, and at a pace that isn't going to frustrate you, a bike with drop bars is just so much better suited for the task.

My suggestion is that it would be a better idea to explain to her why road bikes have drop bars, and all the advantages of them. Then let her ride a road bike and try it out in an are that doesn't have much traffic, and I bet she'll find there's nothing really to be intimidated about.

Or you can spend money to downgrade an expensive road bike, and make it less functional, and actually less comfortable for rides of any real length.
Listen to this man. In Northern Europe you see eight year olds riding with drops and downtube shifters on bike paths with more bikes than most rural highways see cars, I think your wife can manage to learn how to use STIs
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Old 04-12-10, 06:46 AM
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I got one of these for my wife last year. It is really nice 105 components good tire/wheels and relatively light.

https://giant2010.iconum.nl/en-US/bik....0/3876/36258/
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Old 04-12-10, 07:17 AM
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I tried riding on the road with a mountain bike fitted with "road" tires and found the flat bars to be extremely uncomfortable after a few miles. If your wife plans to ride any distance then please encourage her to consider drop bars, the multiple hand position option makes them so much more comfortable. Why not let her try a road bike on a trainer at the LBS, she might find out that drop bars are not uncomfortable.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I understand some people have back, flexibilty issues, I also understand that some people value comfort over speed.
The way I see this statement is that with drop bars, if my back or shoulders start getting tight, I can change positions and get some relief. I can't really do that with flat bars; even barends don't help all that much.

OP, see if she'll consider drop bars. I'd also recommend installing cyclocross/inline/interrupter levers like merlinextraligh mentioned in his post. STI shifting really isn't difficult to learn, IMO. I think that Shimano's shifters make sense, too; I tell a newbie, "Big lever for bigger gears, small for smaller," and they seem to understand pretty quickly.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:07 AM
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I took a short ride on my wife's flat bar bike and have to say the placement of the brake handles are better than my drop bars.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by v70cat
I took a short ride on my wife's flat bar bike and have to say the placement of the brake handles are better than my drop bars.
Hence the recomendation of using inline (interrupter) brake levers as a supplement if that's a concern.
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