What is the point of drop bars?

  • This topic has 64 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by  aP.
Viewing 25 posts - 41 through 65 (of 65 total)
  • What is the point of drop bars?
  • Premier Icon Nipper99
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    Rorschach
    Member

    Peregrines always make me go ‘oooohhhhhhhhhhh’

    mtbel
    Member

    mspaint bicycles though… such clean lines and so light and efficient (even with only one crank arm) πŸ˜‰

    samuri
    Member

    Road/CX bike setup has to be most mature and best understood relationship between man and machine ever, in the world, ever.

    But STWers have spotted the flaw in it.

    Yep, figures.

    TiRed
    Member

    Al sums it up for me. Properly set up drops, with hoods in the right position, and correct stem length, offer FIVE natural hand positions. On the road I use them all.

    Commonest mistake is to rotate the bars to bring the hoods closer. Use a shorter stem. Second commonest is bars to low so the hoods are (too) comfortable and the drops too low. There is far more control on the drops.

    Off road I ride with Soma Sparrow bars that look a bit like H bars. I use Ergon grips. Hands are at about 60 degrees rather than 90 for drops. Bars are 47cm wide. Had to learn to steer with the shoulders. But I rather like them. More control than proper drops.

    Xylene
    Member

    I have never risen drops until this year and so far I haven’t found the right position.

    I always feel a bit squashed riding on them. I am a bit tubby though.

    Everything else feels fine on the bike and the few times I have used the drops I do feel the power difference.

    Which is a guide to read on setting up my bike
    and

    Well, going by the replies it looks like I was wrong and riding on the drops is far more common than I thought by simply watching other cyclists with drop bars out on the road as they ride past on the hoods.
    I still have my suspicions that some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor and would in fact be better off with short flat bars, bar ends and aero bars.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Member

    Much like those that ride tandems offroad πŸ˜‰

    STATO
    Member

    If you want drop bars to be comfy for all round use then position so an equivalent flat Setup would sit in the centre of the bend. This mean the Centre bit near them stem is higher and closer, the bend behind the hoods is neutral stretch but a little higher, the hood position is a little stretched, the drops are no further away but a little lower. As others have said, if you set up or just ride around on the tops all the time, going to drops will feel odd. The reason you probably don’t see anyone on them is most people try to set them so it doesn’t feel like they are sat up on the tops, leaving drop position very stretched. Either that or they have never actually made any adjustments to the bike at all.

    Off road tandems are awesome.
    They’re one of those niche things, like Lefties, Rohloffs and orienteering, that really are better. πŸ˜‰

    STATO
    Member

    I still have my suspicions that some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor and would in fact be better off with short flat bars, bar ends and aero bars.

    I assume by offroad and your suggestion of aero bars you think people are doing gravel riding like those in the US? Don’t think I’d want to ride aero bars on actual offroad stuff, and not really on road either (since the aero thing about drops is more for a headwind and on an offroad bike I’m not exactly racing on Tarmac)

    I have flats and bar ends on one of my commuters. Its and MTB so can’t fit drops in right position, as it’s just a commuter the bars are slammed for a bitter aero and bar ends help. Would be nice to have a sit-up position tho for time when pootling or on shared paths (where you are going slow and bent over the bars does not lend itself) My other commuter, a cx bike, is much better in this respect, with its multi hand positions.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    MidlandTrailquestsGraham – Member
    Well, going by the replies it looks like I was wrong and riding on the drops is far more common than I thought.
    I still have my suspicions that some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor

    Not too sure you’ve read all the replies, niche it ain’t.

    Ah well.

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Yep, he doesn’t get it. Therefore drops are wrong.

    I ride my CX in the drops all the time off road, gives me loads of control. I had no idea I was acting niche. Me and my properly setup stupid bike. Perhaps I’ll get some super wide niche flat bars.

    Premier Icon jamiep
    Subscriber

    MidlandTrailquestsGraham
    I still have my suspicions that some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor and would in fact be better off with short flat bars, bar ends and aero bars

    What do you mean by “better”? A big reason for me getting a drop bar cx bike this year (first time I’ve rode drops) was it turned trails that would be tame/dull on a HT into trials that are challenging sketchy fun. That = better for me

    Depends on how you interpret niche.
    Outside of actual cyclocross races, I see more Rohloffs and Lefties than drop bars being ridden off road.

    As for the type of riding, I was thinking of that which myself and Mrs MTG both like to do, not proper long distance touring and not trail centres, but a sort of mix of the two. Big local loops taking in as much off road as possible, but linking it up with road sections on quiet lanes where possible.
    The sort of riding where many would think a cross bike is ideal, but I prefer a 29er with “fast” tyres.

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    oh dear, I think you best not think about it anymore.

    Or join a yoga class so you can get some flexibility or speak to someone to show you how to set up a bike properly.

    You seemed obsessed with the niche word. Drop bars have been around for a lot longer than your once niche 29er flatbar bike.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I think MidlandTrailquestsGraham is correct in his thoughts and observations.
    For the majority of riders drops are pretty pointless, they’re a historic relic rather than an objective product choice.

    I think a set of flatish bars and a set of clip on aero bars are going to solve the control / aero problems better in many cases.

    An as for flexibilty.. please! Most of the bikes pictured in this thread have set ups where the drops are higher than the flats on my mtb. That gives you the choice of non-aero on the drops, and even less aero on the hoods.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    I agree plenty using drops dont need tgem.

    But no way would I want 1 hand position and aero bars over drops on even a 50 miler, let alone a century.

    TiRed
    Member

    Well my bars are certainly niche. In my first cross race I heard the comment “haven’t seen bars like that since the 30’s”. But there is reason.

    When I’m honking out of the saddle on my 54″ gear, I am pulling hard on the bars, the most neutral hand position to do this is with hands at ten-to-two. So I looked for some bars with just this geometry. To keep the reach, I use a 100mm stem, and to keep the hydraulic brakes, I used 25.4mm curly bars. There are very few proper 25.s diameter non-flat bars. The Soma’s were the only reasonably priced ones.

    An acquired taste, but once ridden and adapted, they are great. A halfway between proper drops and flat bars. Probably something like Jones bars, really, at a fraction of the cost.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Yeah. Soma Sparrow bars are moustache bars.
    Which I like too.

    More on them here.

    Perhaps a flared drop bar with a high stem offers more options, but I do like these.
    Rode Mountain Mayhem one year with them on an inbred. And down the front of the pike on my cross bike too.
    Must have another go with them.

    http://web.stanford.edu/~dru/moustache.html

    How bizarre.
    I asked the question “Is there any real advantage to drop bars, or is it just tradition?” and got answers like “Yep, he doesn’t get it. Therefore drops are wrong and “Drop bars have been around for a lot longer than your once niche 29er flatbar bike“.
    It’s almost as if people are replying to the voices in their head, not to the question that’s been asked. πŸ˜•

    I’m not sure I understood this bit either;
    …turned trails that would be tame/dull on a HT into trials that are challenging sketchy fun“.
    So they are better because they are worse?

    Rorschach
    Member

    Like riding ss,or rigid,or fixed,or cx ‘proper’ off road.
    Is easier always better?

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    MQTG some replies may be due to your goading:

    some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor and would in fact be better off with short flat bars, bar ends and aero bars.

    As for your latter point, in a way, yes: they liven up otherwise dull trails. This gives you more variety, particularly for the all important local rides that can become dull.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    some of those using drop bars off road are only doing it for the niche factor

    I’d say they’re mainly doing it because they want to/fancy a change/can.

    Not everyone needs Lefts and flat bars to be able to ride tame local trails Graham. πŸ˜›
    Didn’t you know dropbars were making to trail come alive well before 650B’s?

    aP
    Member

    MTQG – maybe if I was to say, “What’s the point of a Land Rover? After all, they’re slow, uneconomical, unsafe and most of them never see a muddy bog or river crossing?”

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