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Drop bar to straight bar questions

Old 08-23-20, 11:42 AM
  #1  
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Drop bar to straight bar questions

Iíve always rode drop bars, but as I get older Iíve been thinking about some sort of straight bar with a small riser on my Trucker. For those of you that have done this, how do you like it? What type of bar and shift system do you use? Thanks
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Old 08-23-20, 02:18 PM
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A friend of mine never used the drops, he finally decided to switch to bull horn bars. Needed different brake levers, may have gotten a different stem with a shorter reach too. He retained his bar end shifters.

If you are comfortable riding on the hoods on drop bars, this could be a good option. But if you want to sit more upright than you do on the hoods, then this is probably a bad idea.

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Old 08-23-20, 02:23 PM
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For touring on flat bars, I'd take a long hard look at a trekking bar. Unlike many flat bars, they give you lots of hand positions. Just think of them as a dropped bar squished flat. They're popular in Europe on touring bikes. I run one on a 1992 Trek 950 and I like it a lot. It's comfortable on long rides. You'll have to get the levers for flat bars and a pair of thumb shifters. Obviously you can run any shifters you like designed for flat bars but I like thumbies a lot.

Or take a page out of the mountain bike/drop bar conversions. These tend to be done with the bars pretty high for control purposes. But that might work well for your purposes. Guitar Ted has some good write ups on this:

https://g-tedproductions.blogspot.co...s-updated.html



Here's my Trek 950:


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Old 08-23-20, 02:29 PM
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Hi, I have (road) bikes set up both ways. Because I had thumb surgery about three months ago, I cannot pivot my left STI lever on my drop bar road bike. My favorite (ok, I actually have quite a few bikes) right now is a bike with "ergo bars" that curve forward on the ends. (they take the place of having bar ends, to give me more hand positions) I actually use electrical tape to attach cut up pieces of "flip flops", to add 1/2 inch of padding and then wrap them with handlebar tape. Boy, this set up is comfortable on the hands.
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Old 08-23-20, 02:31 PM
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Funny, I did not mention that I am using 30 year old Deore thummies too. (LOL).
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Old 08-23-20, 02:38 PM
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I agree with bikemig, trekking bars are imo a better option allowing for more numerous hand positions, which is important in keeping one's hands from becoming numb. If you do use straight bars, at least consider bar ends in order to allow your hands to be positioned at a more anatomically correct position so as not to place hours of compression on the ulnar nerve.
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Old 08-23-20, 08:28 PM
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I too went to those..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-07-20 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 08-24-20, 12:04 AM
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There are Bullhorns.





Trekking bars.





Or you could go bar ends with areo bars.


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Old 08-25-20, 07:17 PM
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I have a pair of trekking bars I had on a Trek 4300 for quite a few years. My son wore the bike out when he was in college. I think I want to put the bars on my 2002 520. Sounds like it might be more of a job than I want to take on.
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Old 09-03-20, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Iíve always rode drop bars, but as I get older Iíve been thinking about some sort of straight bar with a small riser on my Trucker. For those of you that have done this, how do you like it? What type of bar and shift system do you use? Thanks
Like it very much. Plenty of grip position for different handling requirements. Wide for tight turns. Narrow for cruising.

Generic 700mm riser bar. M310 8 speed shifters.

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Old 09-04-20, 07:34 AM
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At age 69 I have experimented with a variety of setups and really still prefer drop bars and set pretty low at that. I have not found raising them to add comfort and find riding with hands on the hoods to be my go to position the large majority of the time.

I have an old rigid mtb (1990 vintage Cannondale) that I also fitted with drop bars. It is nice for mixed on/off road touring and isn't bad even on technical singletrack. One big benefit was that my arthritic thumbs no longer have to deal with the thumb shifters (it now has some old 7 speed brifters). I have it set up with the bars pretty low much like my road bike.

My newer mtb which is used almost exclusively off road has front suspension, flat bars, and the bars are just a little higher, but still lower than the saddle.
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Old 09-04-20, 09:11 AM
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Have a look at the bikepacking setups from the 2019 Tour Divide: https://bikepacking.com/bikes/tour-divide-rigs-2019/

Those racers using flat bars typically have short bar ends for placing their hands in the "hoods" position. Almost everyone uses aero bars. You can also make out some Jones Loop bars, which I've used extensively and love.
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Old 09-04-20, 09:55 AM
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+1 ... trekking bars : provides accommodation for Magura Brakes & Rohloff Shift grip.


Last edited by fietsbob; 09-07-20 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 09-05-20, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Iíve always rode drop bars, but as I get older Iíve been thinking about some sort of straight bar with a small riser on my Trucker. For those of you that have done this, how do you like it? What type of bar and shift system do you use? Thanks
When I hit my mid 50ís and acquired a gut the drops were no longer an option but as well brake control on the hoods was pretty bad with a heavy front load at low speeds so I went to a Jones H bar. Straight mtn bike bars and bar end extensions isnít as comfortable as the various trekking bars. that allow more neutral hand positions similar to the top of the hoods on drop bars.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:23 AM
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This


Shimano BL-R780 and SL-R770 driving an Ultegra 6500GS RD. These are Ultegra level shifters and brake levers for flat bars. This bike has a Dura-Ace DT front shifter and derailleur. These shifter are so positive in shifting I almost miss that they shifted. They can be found on eBay and I found 3 sets in the Netherlands and non-fixie facilitated for me.
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Old 09-07-20, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
When I hit my mid 50ís and acquired a gut the drops were no longer an option ....
Yeah, I used to hate drop bars but after losing 15 percent of my body weight, I use the drops about a third of the time, mostly for headwinds. Now I can't imagine touring without them.
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Old 09-07-20, 09:41 AM
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Another option is the Velo Orange Crazy Bars. I switched to these after riding across the US and Europe. I really like the hand position options.
Currently touring in Wyoming.
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Old 09-07-20, 11:22 AM
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Ergon GR 5 is their longest comfort grip integrated bar end combination... to add to straight/MTB bars..

https://www.ergonbike.com/en/article-gp1.html
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Old 09-07-20, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A friend of mine never used the drops, he finally decided to switch to bull horn bars. Needed different brake levers, may have gotten a different stem with a shorter reach too. He retained his bar end shifters.

If you are comfortable riding on the hoods on drop bars, this could be a good option. But if you want to sit more upright than you do on the hoods, then this is probably a bad idea.

Couple of things. In the picture, these bars are mounted pretty flat, which is actually pretty atypical for Humpert hornbars and the like (Modolo Mohican being a similar bar, for example). They are typically mounted at at least a moderate upward angle and sometimes a pretty substantial angle. Consider the Vivente touring bike models that come with these by default as an example of a moderate upward angle. I have seen bikes with these bars mounted at closer to a 45-degree upward angle. Second, to have the brake levers and shifters mounted out on the horn on these bars as you have pictured is very unusual. They are typically mounted on the inward portion of the bars adjacent to the stem. Some models of these bars have removable bar ends ("horns") so that grips and hardware can be slid on and then the horns are reattached (long hex bolt IIRC).

Having the levers and shifters mounted closer in along with configuring them with an upward angle on the horns would make this a pretty comfortable option for riders who prefer a more upright riding position. It also makes them an attractive alternative to trekking bars for people moving away from drops (or coming from flat bars) as it doesn't require switching to a much longer stem. Yes, you can indeed mount trekking bars in reverse (open ends outwards), which some people do, but since trekking bars do not normally come apart to facilitate grip installation you probably could not pull off Ergons or anything like that.

Here is a pretty common example (albeit just using foam tube lining):



There is even a "comfort" version of these bars with a 25mm riser made by Ergotec to raise things up even higher. Unfortunately, the non-rise mid-bar portion is so narrow (only about 2 inches), you would not be able to fit any of the common handlebar bag quick releases (Klickfix, Arkel's aluminum bag mount, etc.).

Last edited by jfoobar; 09-07-20 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 09-08-20, 06:44 AM
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Just me but...

One thing I never really understood was why folks seemed to equate drop bars value only with the use of the drops and see a lack of fitness or a gut as a reason to not use them. I have always found the hoods to be more comfortable than the other options that try to duplicate that position, so, I'd use drop bars even if I never used the drop position. If the extra weight was that much of a worry you could always just chop the drops off. Also if you don't want to bend as much drop bars can be mounted higher.

I see trekking bars as a way to almost duplicate drop bar comfort with flat bar levers and shifters.
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Old 09-08-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
One thing I never really understood was why folks seemed to equate drop bars value only with the use of the drops and see a lack of fitness or a gut as a reason to not use them.
Or pelvic flexibility, which is often independent of gut size or fitness.

I see trekking bars as a way to almost duplicate drop bar comfort with flat bar levers and shifters.
I think if you polled people who have switched from drops to some other type of bar on their touring bikes, you would find more than a few that would vehemently disagree with your use of the word "almost" in this sentence. No doubt there would others who regret the change. Different strokes...The other huge advantage to migrating to flatbar-oriented shifters/levers is that it opens up a huge world of different bar types to experiment with.
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Old 09-08-20, 10:26 AM
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Simply changing to bullhorns without changing anything else, is just time and money wasted IMO. First thing I would do if it were my bike would be to change just the stem to something 20cm shorter than whatever it is now. I would go to a bike co-op and get something from a parts bin. New stems are $30 to $$$$$$. If that didn't work and I was serious about a conversion then my advice is to get what is called a 'riser bar'. Ideally something with a bit of backsweep'. The On one "Mary" bar is a classic example. I have an FSA "Metropolis" bar on our tandem and I love it. Velo Orange has some very nice bars that I forget the name of.

A properly designed dropbar frame will be shorter in the top tube than its flatbar counterpart. You might find you now need a much longer stem for the flatbar which is why I advised going cheap while you experiment. I just can't find love in my heart for Trekking bars. I just bought a bike with Jones 'H' bars (knock-off) and they may be going free to a good home as I am thinking hard about getting another "Metropolis" bar for that bike. Triggers all the way. Thumbshifters if you must, but never Gripshifters <shudder>.
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Old 09-09-20, 06:03 AM
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Mustachio bars. Stylish and utilitarian. All these others are either too heavy or just look weird to me.
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Old 09-09-20, 02:26 PM
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Keep the drops and go to a taller stem from VO.

https://velo-orange.com/collections/...nt=51377886919
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Old 09-09-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Keep the drops and go to a taller stem from VO.

https://velo-orange.com/collections/...nt=51377886919
Their "Happy" stem also also a solid choice. 45-degrees up-angle and available in two lengths. The new Surly "Truck Stop" bars also have an additional 30mm of rise and a decent amount of flare so those could be part of a solution as well.
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