Flat or drop bars for Commuting

ianganderton
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby ianganderton » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:43 pm

My 2 cents worth

Drop bars offer more hand positions and this leads to better comfort. The also have the aero position which is awesome when sprinting or into a significant headwind

Compared to a flat bar though there tends to be less control. Hands can be a long way from the brakes or in a weak position (on the hoods)

I find I have much more control with flat bars (there is a good reason most mountain bikes are flat bared!). Disc brakes are readily available (and cheap), hands are can be on the brake levers in a powerful position all the time and lastly the hand position allows more power for fast control

For a long commute without much influence from traffic a drop bar bike will be significantly faster and more comfortable.

If traffic is significant then a flat bar bike will be more controllable and safer.

Horses for courses

My urban bike has flat bars and mtb style geometry. No where near as fast as my road bike but copes with the everyday rigours of the city much better
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koshari
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby koshari » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:44 pm

caneye wrote:- the bike is heavy though, low 9kgs. it's got heavy wheels. i might get a 2nd set for weekend rides, but it's not a priority at the moment.


you call 9kg heavy? strewth my carbon road bike with ksyriums is 9.4 riding weight! my cro-mo roadey is about 12kg and my gravel grinder 13.5.
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Calvin27
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:26 pm

koshari wrote:
caneye wrote:- the bike is heavy though, low 9kgs. it's got heavy wheels. i might get a 2nd set for weekend rides, but it's not a priority at the moment.


you call 9kg heavy? strewth my carbon road bike with ksyriums is 9.4 riding weight! my cro-mo roadey is about 12kg and my gravel grinder 13.5.


Agree, 9kg is ok. No lightweight but certainly not heavy, in my sense. Not everyone rides a carbon racer to work!
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Chris249
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Chris249 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:55 am

Ss others have said, it probably gets down to individual physique, style, and roads. After years using flat bars for commuting and a few months as a courier, I'd never go back. However, it could be very much a personal thing related to my own body, riding style and position. I find it hard enough to get enough variation in position on a flat bar - if it's set up at a comfortable height for cruising you cannot get lower unless you get out on bar-ends and then the brakes and gears are out of reach. I also like having lots of different hand positions to avoid fatigue, and to have the ability to get into the drop bars in headwinds or to sprint when in traffic. In many ways I really like the look of a nice flatbar, but they just don't work for all of us.

Personally I find the hoods to be as secure as flat bars, but my favourite option is CX bars where you have the option of sitting up higher and still having brakes within reach. For some commutes, aero bars can also be very comfortable and efficient; for a while I had a cheap flatbar with home-made clipons and even dragging panniers it felt faster than a road bike, while also offering the advantages (to some people) of flat bars. Not the usual setup, though!

PS - sorry about using all the "Is", I was just using my own example to underline is that it's very much a choice related to an individual's own situation and tastes.
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koshari
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby koshari » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:25 pm

Chris249 wrote:Personally I find the hoods to be as secure as flat bars,

these grips are the closest to the natural pistol grip of your hands, bar ends and drops are prolly the next closest.
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dontazame
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby dontazame » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:22 pm

I always feel compelled to overtake flat bars (except in very strong wind). Might be way to go if you hate wheel suckers.

Calvin27
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:11 am

koshari wrote:
Chris249 wrote:Personally I find the hoods to be as secure as flat bars,

these grips are the closest to the natural pistol grip of your hands, bar ends and drops are prolly the next closest.


I tried riding a drop bar mtb on downhill sections. Flat bar definately gives you more secure hold. On the road, you might not notice it.
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outnabike
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby outnabike » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:26 pm

Growing up with bikes as a kid, mine was a semi -racer healing with the sort of wide flat bars. Not wide enough though, so a couple of bits of broom handle with soft covers completed the deal. :)
So when I started cycling again a few years ago I thought the randonneur bars on the VWR would be great. And they were, but a bit wide for traffic at around 500 mm wide.
I never thought I would like them but the drops turn out to be the preferred system.
And just to be contrary , I don't wrap them completely, as i like the coolness of the exposed metal on the days that my hands feel hot. My bars are aluminum and seem to shed the heat.
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Thoglette
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Thoglette » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:59 pm

Sheldon Brown wrote:The main advantage of drop handlebars is that they offer several different hand positions. For longer rides, the ability to change positions is very desirable. Riding for a long time in any one position tends to be uncomfortable.

People who think they don't like drop handlebars are often actually objecting to the position of the bars on the drop-bar bikes they have tried.

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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Boognoss » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:30 am

+another 1 for drops.

I have 2 commuters now, a CX frame and retro roadie with drops, rack/panniers and mudguards. Minimum 50km per day round commute 5 days a week.
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby human909 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:07 pm

DavidS wrote:To be honest I'd have to say it is a matter of preference.

Most people here will say get drop bars, but that does reflect the crowd here, a higher proportion of sporting cyclists than you would normally find.

Agreed. The comments are heavily reflective of the crowd here. Ask the same question in Copenhagen or Amstedam....

Personally I prefer flat bars and more upright for short commuting. (Though my version of upright is far less upright than a typical upright bicycle.

However 20km is not a short commute....

Th0m0 wrote:The consensus so far seems to be drops. I haven't ridden the route. It will be along the coast roads from Miami to Main Beach and then I'll have to head west through Southport. So yes, I'll be riding into a headwind on the way home 95% of the time. Looking at the big brand web sites drop bar models, I'm thinking the models they generally classify as "endurance" rather than "race" will be a good compromise. Still having drop bars but with a more relaxed geometry. Is that a sound line line of thought?

I think that is reasonable. Have a looking at touring bikes. They often have dropped bars but with even more relaxed geometry than a "endurance" road bike. They are also robust and have all the necessary attachments useful for commuting.

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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby stretts » Thu May 05, 2016 9:35 pm

I love my bullhorns, can be a little more upright and relaxed or stretch out a bit when im rippin it

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hazarama
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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby hazarama » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:39 pm

For neither, as I find swept riser both more comfortable and gives you more control than both flat or drop. I also like the porteur types as I like to configure a quite upright position, even with track geometries.

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Re: Flat or drop bars for Commuting

Postby Mububban » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:50 am

Did my first commute on my new drop bar road bike, it was quite windy and I did appreciate being able to use the drops to get a bit more aero.
We'll see how my neck goes, wearing glasses means I can't just move my eyeballs up, I need to look through my lenses or I'm blind as a bat, so hopefully increasing the angle on my neck doesn't cause me any major problems.
I do have and use disposable contacts sometimes, but I don't like them, although they are an option if required.
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