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Bars size depth....how do you choose

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Bars size depth....how do you choose

Old 08-24-11, 04:49 AM
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thehammerdog
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Bars size depth....how do you choose

I attempted to ride in my drops yesterday did feel the power as many here described. My question is this. I luv the feel of riding on my hoods or top of theh bar....mine is flat so comfy but the distance to the drops is to far. IS that do to deepth? will Shallower drops make it better? How would I measure and compare to others?
Thanks
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Old 08-24-11, 04:57 AM
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Yes, some bars have shllower depth. Called compact. I switched to FSA compact which were (I beleive) 2 cm shallower, which is about an inch. Much more comfortable. Dimensions are available on mfgr's web sites.
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Old 08-24-11, 04:58 AM
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If the amount of drop you get with your current bars is too much then you can always get compact bars which are shallower. You can check the measurement of the drop on your bars by either checking the specs online or measuring from the center of the bottom of the bar to the center of the top portion of the bar. Typically standard bars give you about ~130mm and compact ~120mm of drop.
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Old 08-24-11, 07:14 AM
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There's reach and drop. Reach is how far forward the bar reaches. Drop is how low.

Since your torso/arms are set in length, you'll feel uncomfortable if you increase the saddle/bar distance too much. The distance is pretty consistent from where you sit in the saddle to where you hold the bars. Think of it as an arc, the center point at the saddle, the outside of the arc where you want to hold the bars. If you go up it eventually curves back, but the arc will be consistent in radius. If it's 3 feet, then it's 3 feet whether your reaching forward, slightly down, or slightly up.

It's impractical to point down too much. For example it would be hard to pedal a bike where the bars are mounted on the downtube.

If the hoods are in a good place the drops will be a bit too far away. This is because to go down in a straight line (unless your saddle is at the same height as your brake levers) will increase the distance from saddle to grip point.

Some "racers" (I use that in quotes because all racers also train, i.e. don't race) will get a shallow drop bar (replacing a deeper drop one) to improve overall comfort. They're still pretty stretched out, still aero, still recruit the glutes (which you do when you are leaned over), etc, but they're more comfortable.

Finally if you're not used to the drops, your core may need some work. Fitness/slimness is a factor too. When I was about 40 lbs heavier (I'm only 5'7") I couldn't use the drops because my gut got in the way. I ended up using a much longer bike with higher bars. This put the bars further up on that arc, so the distance was the same, but I could hold the bars without holding my breath. When I got some fitness back I gradually lowered the bars, pulling them in towards the saddle a bit.
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Old 08-24-11, 07:17 AM
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I prefer mine as shallow as possible and as un-reachy as possible. I like the bottom of the drops to be as close to parallel to the tops as possible. It just looks better, IMO.
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Old 08-24-11, 08:14 AM
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killerRabbit
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You could look at deda's Newton shallow or Zero 100. I personally recommend the Newtons, 80mm reach and 135mm drop. Love it.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
There's reach and drop. Reach is how far forward the bar reaches. Drop is how low.

Since your torso/arms are set in length, you'll feel uncomfortable if you increase the saddle/bar distance too much. The distance is pretty consistent from where you sit in the saddle to where you hold the bars. Think of it as an arc, the center point at the saddle, the outside of the arc where you want to hold the bars. If you go up it eventually curves back, but the arc will be consistent in radius. If it's 3 feet, then it's 3 feet whether your reaching forward, slightly down, or slightly up.

It's impractical to point down too much. For example it would be hard to pedal a bike where the bars are mounted on the downtube.

If the hoods are in a good place the drops will be a bit too far away. This is because to go down in a straight line (unless your saddle is at the same height as your brake levers) will increase the distance from saddle to grip point.

Some "racers" (I use that in quotes because all racers also train, i.e. don't race) will get a shallow drop bar (replacing a deeper drop one) to improve overall comfort. They're still pretty stretched out, still aero, still recruit the glutes (which you do when you are leaned over), etc, but they're more comfortable.

Finally if you're not used to the drops, your core may need some work. Fitness/slimness is a factor too. When I was about 40 lbs heavier (I'm only 5'7") I couldn't use the drops because my gut got in the way. I ended up using a much longer bike with higher bars. This put the bars further up on that arc, so the distance was the same, but I could hold the bars without holding my breath. When I got some fitness back I gradually lowered the bars, pulling them in towards the saddle a bit.
Thanks for the dissertation, and I'll be following this thread as I'm also interested in changing my bars.

Another related question:

When I'm in the drops, it isn't easy to reach the levers for gear changing or (particularly) for braking. The obvious solution would be to rotate the bars downward a bit, or to move the levers down the bars. But the hoods are exactly where I need them.

Seems to me that compacts might provide better access to the levers..? And - do the various types of bars have different profiles, that might provide better access to the levers?
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Old 08-24-11, 09:22 AM
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I think the correct way to determine what kind of drops you need is to spend the money on a pro fit. They'll examine your body geometry and set you up with the best position possible.
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