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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 04-01-19, 11:17 AM
  #76  
Graywriter
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Drops are Uncomfortable

Gotta get away from the drops -- I'm in my 70s and the drops are just too hard on my arms. Also, trying to look up while on drops gave me a continuous kink in the neck.
Did a 1200 km tour last summer on bullhorns and found the same issue -- my arms and shoulders ached for the first 600 km.
A 4-day tour on my old Pugeot with riser bars was comfortable with no issues (except that the higher gearing made the hills tough). I'm not in any hurry and don't need the aerodynamics of a dropped position; I also prefer having my head up to look at the passing scenery instead of head down looking at the road. When your body is comfortable and you're not leaning forward, you don't NEED multiple hand positions.
Going to try trek bars (figure 8) this summer.

Last edited by Graywriter; 04-01-19 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 04-01-19, 11:20 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
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.
When I began riding again after 50 years off the bike I got a Specialized Crosstrail with the flat bars. One of my biggest complaints was neck pain after an hour or so riding. When I switched to a Gravel/Touring/Bikepacking bike I got a Salsa Journeyman 650b with the drop bars. The neck pains disappeared to be replaced by shoulder pains. Finally I went to the 46cm cowchipper bars and that seems to have solved the problems. I can now ride for 6-8 hours without those particular pains.
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Old 04-01-19, 12:14 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Problem with bar ends is your hands are too far away from the brake lever. And in all positions, yur forward lean is essentially unchanged, which is not so good for the back.

The genius of drop bar is ...
And the hook position put you in super aerodynamic and your gluts muscle are allowed maximum power ( I luv this for strong headwind). Switch to the Hood position, you're less aero but can relax yur core alittle. Switch to the ramp, and you can cruise all day. Go to the top, and you're sitting upright to stretch out your back.
And in any position, yur hands are easily within reach of the brakes. The motion of moving yur hand to reach the lever is very natural too.
That's surprising to me. I never felt like the brake lever was close enough when I rode drop bars. I only ride swept back Jones bars with Ergon grips these days. My fingers are almost always on the brake lever. I often felt like I was reaching and searching for the brakes on drops. I admit that I prefer to ride upright 90% of the time though. It's my bum that usually starts hurting.
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Old 04-01-19, 12:29 PM
  #79  
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Drops.
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Old 04-01-19, 02:58 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Drop bars, because of the multiple hand positions.
As much as I want to believe it 99.9% off all the people I see on drop bars are on the flats. Don't get me wrong I have several bikes with drops. I spend 90% of my riding time on the flats and brake hoods. Honestly Bullhorn bars would be a better choice.
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Old 04-01-19, 03:19 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
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.
Drop bars for hand positions and aero positioning when in a strong headwind; flat bars for riding upright in traffic. Take a page from the late great Sheldon Brown and use a threadless stem adapter (if you have a quill stem) and mount TWO stems on it. The lower one angles down and has the drop bars and the top stem angles up and has a cut-down straight bar. Sheldon used a quill stem for the upper handlebar.

https://sheldonbrown.com/org/thorn-index.html

Cheers
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Old 04-01-19, 06:00 PM
  #82  
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flats for city, drops when I want to look cool
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Old 04-01-19, 06:34 PM
  #83  
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Drops on my.

30 years ago I bought a Giant MTB through the mail. I put drop handlebars on it, and did 5,000 miles of loaded cross country touring across u.s. no problems.
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Old 04-02-19, 01:41 PM
  #84  
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Trekking bars

Originally Posted by mattbur View Post
+ 1
I like the mustache, trekking, figure 8 bars for the multiple hand positions but the close position can be too close and the far position too far so choose carefully. If in doubt go with touring style drop bars. They have less drop and usually a little rise and downward curve on the top area.
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Old 04-02-19, 11:50 PM
  #85  
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These! I like Albatross bars, but these are a little lower and narrower. Good on this bike....
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Old 04-03-19, 02:39 AM
  #86  
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I like the thumbs-forward hand position as offered by riding on the hoods.
But if I set the bar where my back is OK for extended riding on the hoods, then even minutes in the drops will send me into aches and cramps.
If I set the bar where riding in the drops is just about tolerable, then the hoods or the straight position further inboard feels too upright to be worthwhile.
My ideal would probably be some version of Bullhorns.
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Old 04-03-19, 06:10 AM
  #87  
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Depends on application!

Drop on the road bike:



Flat on the city bike!




I'm looking for new bar-ends though - these technically mid-way ones are an emergency replacements as my composite ones cracked
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Old 04-04-19, 07:59 AM
  #88  
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I rode flat bar mountain bikes exclusively until 2013. Then I bought my first road bike. Now... 3 of my four bikes (2 road, 1 gravel) have drop bars. Once you go drop and adapt... flats are just cheesy. But I do like my mountain bike.
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Old 04-06-19, 07:40 PM
  #89  
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Nobody but me likes Ape Hangers? (muscle bike - just for cruising)
Seriously, I don't get along with flat bars, except on motorbikes. So I vote for drops.
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Old 04-06-19, 07:44 PM
  #90  
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Longhorns. Gimme Wald or gimme deth.
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Old 04-06-19, 08:49 PM
  #91  
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I tried a flat bar bike, a nice Trek. I felt like a sail on a boat; hated it. Drop bars for me. Fortunately I live in the burb where it's not so bad. I watch videos of people biking in places like NYC and Boston and my heart rate immediate goes up! Because traffic is getting worse and there density of traffic lights seems to be the only answer, I started biking on weekends to do most of my errands instead of driving. Backpack gets really heavy after the last shopping stop! A bike that had mounting holes for pannier would be ideal, but I already have a beater bike that's a road bike.
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Old 04-07-19, 11:46 AM
  #92  
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After only having bikes with drops for a couple years now, I have been warming up to building an easy mode commuter with very comfortable geometry, flat bars, flat pedals, and wide ratio 1x drivetrain. I just worry the novelty would wear off quickly wishing I was going a bit faster all the time.
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Old 04-08-19, 08:19 PM
  #93  
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Flats on my daily (25mi)
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Old 04-10-19, 10:33 AM
  #94  
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Flats on my commuter and mountain bike. Drops on my road bike.
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Old 04-10-19, 10:50 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
As much as I want to believe it 99.9% off all the people I see on drop bars are on the flats. Don't get me wrong I have several bikes with drops. I spend 90% of my riding time on the flats and brake hoods. Honestly Bullhorn bars would be a better choice.
Same here, I live and start my rides on part of a fairly popular 40 mile +- loop and almost everyone I see is riding along with their hands on the hoods.

I like the looks of drop bars on a road bike but almost never use them.
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Old 04-10-19, 03:14 PM
  #96  
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flat bar, I'm mostly used to it, even when I hop on my road bike I use the flat section more than the lower end of the bars
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Old 04-10-19, 03:56 PM
  #97  
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So far ... taking out people that use both but putting things like swept bars as flats and cowchippers as drops

Flats ... 31
Drops ...27

Whilst it's close at least it's a lot more decisive than our limp wrist-ed government is over Brexit !
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Old 04-10-19, 04:05 PM
  #98  
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Even if I spent 90% of the time on the tops or hoods, drops are worth it for the 10%.
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Old 04-12-19, 06:51 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
So far ... taking out people that use both but putting things like swept bars as flats and cowchippers as drops

Flats ... 31
Drops ...27

Whilst it's close at least it's a lot more decisive than our limp wrist-ed government is over Brexit !

What's the handlebar version of a Soft Brexit?
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Old 04-12-19, 03:46 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What's the handlebar version of a Soft Brexit?
No idea but if someone found one the only place it'd be fir for is somewhere the sun doesn't shine .... let's just say that'd be a lot closer to your seat post than your handlebars though and it's the only place our politicians currently deserve to be as well!!
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