Author Topic: Straight handlebars  (Read 7807 times)

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Offline Badger

Straight handlebars
« on: May 31, 2006, 03:21:33 pm »
I have drop bars on both my road bike as well as my touring bike and have gone with the popular theory that they are better then straight.  However, I keep seeing photographs of riders doing these epic rides using straight bars. So what's the deal?


Offline DaveB

Straight handlebars
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 11:42:26 am »
It could be personal preference or they don't know any better. I would never ride a long distance with flat bars but some riders like them.


Offline RussellSeaton

Straight handlebars
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 01:47:51 pm »
My opinion is the people who do these epic rides are not bicyclists first.  They did not ride and ride and ride for years and years before the epic trip.  They decided to do an epic trip and decided doing it self powered was the way to go and then decided a bike was better than walking.  And then picked out a mountain bike with flat bars because that is the only thing they knew about, sort of.  Drop bars were for racers and going super fast so that was not for them.  Flat bars on mountain bikes were for going slower and seeing things and that is what they planned to do on their epic trip.

There are many, many people today who do not understand that a properly setup road bike with drop bars and a properly setup mountain bike with flat bars have the exact same placement for two of the hand positions.  The hoods are the same as the bar ends.  The tops are the same as the grips.  But on a drop bar you also have the flats behind the hoods and the drops.  Your distance to the hand positions and your back angle will be identical for the hoods/bar ends and grips/tops.

I'm with DaveB, no flat bars for me.  But then I rode for years and years before ever going on a loaded tour.  I've been thinking of converting my uncomfortable flat bar mountain bike to drop bars.  Probably best to just sell the unused mountain bike.


Offline Ryo69

Straight handlebars
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 02:51:25 pm »
With all due respect, I'm one of those "decided to do an epic trip and decided doing it self powered was the way to go and then decided a bike was better than walking" people, and although I've never ridden a bike with drop bars(I went from BMX to mountain bikes), I'm willing to give it a shot.  The issue for me comes in the fact that I:

a) don't like where the brakes are located on drop bars
b) don't particularly like the shifters that are integrated into the brake handles
c) don't feel 100% comfortable riding on a bike that doesn't have one specific place to put my hands

I've been told the benefits of drop bars, and because of that, I plan on giving them a shot, but to automatically put people into a category of being goobers who don't know any better is wrong.  If I try the drop bars and still decide that I like the flat bars better, that's what I will use when I tour.  It doesn't make me any less of a cyclist.


Offline wanderingwheel

Straight handlebars
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 04:02:01 pm »
I think the straight handlebars are chosen due to the riding conditions on those epic treks.  Take a look those pictures again and notice what passes for roads or,  more commonly, goat tracks.  Look also at the amount of gear that they are carrying and the occasionaly miserable weather conditions.  In those conditions, I too would prefer wide flat bars so that I could muscle the heavy load around and comfortably push the bike when needed.  It is not the same as doing a tour on smooth, paved roads.

Sean


Offline DaveB

Straight handlebars
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 04:10:09 pm »
Quote
I've been told the benefits of drop bars, and because of that, I plan on giving them a shot, but to automatically put people into a category of being goobers who don't know any better is wrong.  If I try the drop bars and still decide that I like the flat bars better, that's what I will use when I tour.  It doesn't make me any less of a cyclist.

I don't think Russell or I had any intent of putting you in the "goober" catagory or making you out to be less of a rider.   We just said many riders have no experience with drop bars so they dismiss them as a racing affectation.  

You definitely have no experience with them, as you freely admit, but already say you don't like several features.  I suggest you give them a real test before judging.  I expect your "don't-likes" will turn into "really-likes" after a fair test period.

I've ridden drop bars and flat bars and, IN MY EXPERIENCE, drop bars are far more comfortable for long distances.  

BTW, one warning, don't set your drop bars up with a big drop from the seat to the bars. You are a tourist, not a racer, and if you try to emulate the very low racer position you are almost sure to conclude you don't like them.  Put them at a comfortable level and give them a fair try.

Of course, after that it's certainly your choice what you prefer.  

 


Offline Ryo69

Straight handlebars
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 05:38:55 pm »
You are right.  I haven't given them a fair shake as of yet, but I plan to.  I wasn't trying to ruffle any feathers.  It just seems a bit like there's only one possible right answer to 'What handlebars are right for touring?'.  FWIW-I've been swayed enough(even without using them) that I'm looking at flat-bar bikes as being a bit inferior to the drop bars as I shop now.  My opinion is easily changed!   ;)


Offline Beep!Beep!

Straight handlebars
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2006, 11:11:19 am »
If you study your bicycle history you will see all rounder bars with the slight lift but still straight were at one time fitted upside down especially for what we know call 'roadies' Have a book and there is a few bikes done like this and see no reason why it cannot work today, you are still in the drop position but with straight bars!


Offline alfonso

Straight handlebars
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2006, 10:34:42 pm »
There's a variety of handlebars, offering a variety of hand positions, on
view at http://www.cheekymonkey.com.au/transport%20home.htm.
Click on 'Bikes'.


Offline brad

Straight handlebars
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 01:19:51 pm »
i have a mtn, road and touring bike. i use my touring bike for commuting and touring. i am about to change my drop bars on my touring bike with moustache bars. i feel this offer enough vareity of hand positions but greater straight bar control. thoughts?

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline DaveB

Straight handlebars
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 08:43:14 pm »
Can you try the moustache bars before committing to them?  Some riders love them but they certainly are not for everyone.  Grant Peterson tries to make it sound like they are magic but there is a reason they disappeared from general use.  


Offline bkrbll

Straight handlebars
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2006, 02:19:34 am »
Hey, from someone who has done both.
Give the drop bars an honest try.  I find that when the miles got long, the flat bar did not offer enough options for hand positions.  I find a change in position now and then helps me feel less fatigued.
 
If you are more comfortable with the flat bar,as I suspect you are, another option is to add bar ends. They will allow you to be comfortable with what you are used to but allow you some other hand positions as well.


Offline OmahaNeb

Straight handlebars
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2006, 10:47:12 am »
If you like flat bars and before you buy bar ends, look at the butterfly shaped handlebars.  Nasbar has a Trekking handlebar usually on sale for around $10.00.  They will give you plenty of hand positions.


Offline scottm

Straight handlebars
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2006, 03:41:55 am »
To suggest another option that I don't believe has been brought up.

I toured several trips thirty years ago with drop bars and found them ok. However, I am that much older now and look for various ways to reduce parts of the efforts of biking. My main bike now is a hybrid: relatively light and lively, but with straight bars. I sit upright in a lot of conditions which is good, but . . .

I have a set of aerobars on it and really like 'em. When I am 'down' in the aerobars, my weight is off of my arms and I am not upright and pushing all of that wind.

It is a bit cumbersome and slow to get to the brakes in a hurry, but I try to be prepared when the conditions call for it by having one hand on a break and the other still in the aero position.

I am going to tour again soon and plan to try this set up on the mountain bike I will tour with. In fact the aerobars are already installed and for the riding I currently do with that bike (mostly two track roads) I am comfortable and feel safe being in the aero position a significant amount of time. With weight trailing me (a BoB) I will probably not be in the aero position as much. However when I am, the break from supporting my upperbody weight will be enjoyed.

Any thoughts on this??  I know they work well for my current riding, but will admit that I'll have to try it first before saying it makes sense for touring - I think it will.


Offline scottm

Straight handlebars
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2006, 03:45:54 am »
Oh, I forgot this - I also have bar ends on the mountain bike so I have that option too. Three options with varying amounts of control, safety and comfort.