Penny's dropped on dirt drops

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Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby TTar » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:34 pm

I'm in constant conflict with the handlebars on my day-to-day ride; a CXish flat bar hybrid sorta city commuter type thing.

I'm ashamed to say I've only just recently discovered that "dirt drops" even exist :oops: and I'm thinking they might be the solution I've been looking for. Conventional drops I find are never wide enough, drop too far down for my liking and I just hate vertical brake levers all the way out front as they are. :evil:

This is the sort of set-up I'm envisioning;

Image

Dirt drops' diagonal levers look as though they might be tolerable and maybe even in the ideal position -- that sort of angle is where I think my arms and hands would be most comfortable and naturally fall. The angled hoods strike me as having the same benefit.

Can anyone share their knowledge about these bars, whether fitting indexed shifters on them is sensible, if there's an elegant way to fit chunky and squishy grips, the best place to go looking for them etc?

Thanks.
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by BNA » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:20 pm

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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby gabrielle260 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:20 pm

TTar wrote:Dirt drops' diagonal levers look as though they might be tolerable and maybe even in the ideal position -- that sort of angle is where I think my arms and hands would be most comfortable and naturally fall. The angled hoods strike me as having the same benefit.
Can anyone share their knowledge about these bars, whether fitting indexed shifters on them is sensible, if there's an elegant way to fit chunky and squishy grips, the best place to go looking for them etc
Thanks.

I run a Lynskey 29er set up as a monster cross or gravel grinder. I have 9 speed Shimano STI levers on a Ragley Luxe handlebar.
They took a little bit to set up right but are very comfortable. I use road bike style bar tape double wrapped for comfort.
Issues to consider if you convert;
1. Compatibility between road levers and MTB components - Shimano 9 speed is cross compatible but 10 speed isn't. SRAM 10 speed is, but I didn't want it!
2. Road levers and hydraulic disc brakes didn't work together and even now there are only a handful of options available.
3. Converting a flat bar bike to MTB drops generally means either being more stretched out or going to a very short stem.
4. Ragley Luxe bars are no longer made and very few manufacturers are making MTB drop bars any more. On-One do the Midge Bar, Salsa do the Woodchipper but that's about all I know of.
Happy to answer other questions,
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby Nobody » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:46 pm

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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby Duck! » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:50 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:Issues to consider if you convert;
1. Compatibility between road levers and MTB components - Shimano 9 speed is cross compatible but 10 speed isn't. SRAM 10 speed is, but I didn't want it!

9-speed MTB rear derailleurs work perfectly fine with road 10-speed shifters, so there's an easy work-around. Front derailleurs are argumentative though - road shifters will not play nicely with any MTB front derailleur.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:49 pm

I bought a Nitto RM-014 Dirt Drop Bar recently. They don't really work for my purposes though so I'll consider on-selling them if you are interested.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby il padrone » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:02 pm

Randonneur bars perhaps??

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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby TTar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:04 pm

gabrielle260 wrote:3. Converting a flat bar bike to MTB drops generally means either being more stretched out or going to a very short stem.


Thanks Andrew. Currently I have straight bar-ends that have gradually descended to sit perfectly flat, pointing forward and slightly inwards. It went that way mostly for the more comfortable angled grip it allowed, but I also find myself still gripping the tips of the bar-ends and yearning for something like hoods to rest upon -- exactly where the hoods on the dirt drops of my imagining would be.

I do find the prospect of working out all the levers/shifters/brifters issues rather daunting -- I'm sure it wouldn't be possible to simply transfer my present set-up across to new dirt drops, but the way I'm thinking that would be an ideal situation if possible.

Strewth, Nobody! What on earth are those supposed to be!! :shock: Actually, I can appreciate their appeal (for weirdos, mainly), but the lack of any "flat" section equals reduced functionality from perspective.

Thanks, RonK, that is the sort of thing I have in mind (maybe with a shallower drop, though), but I still need to do a lot more research before deciding what I need, so please don't hold onto them for my benefit.

IP, randonneur bars, eh? This is like being assailed at the souk with all sorts of weird and wonderful things and being so overwhelmed you forget what you went there for in the first place. :?

I do like the rise on the top section, but the drop looks too deep for my purposes and I prefer the idea of a more angled "front curly bit" (whatever that's called).

I assume they're designed for endurance comfort, but they don't look different enough from conventional road drops to me to make that much difference. Or am I missing something?

How hard can it be to bend a length of pipe into the desired shape? Maybe I should just buy some aluminium tubing from Bunnings and bend it around my knee into what I want. :idea: What do you think?
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:50 pm

Looks like the original pic is just Salsa Woodchipper bars angled up with the brifters moved to me.
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=sals ... =606&dpr=1
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby TDC » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:18 pm

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Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:19 pm

The randonneur bars are actually a very shallow drop. Quite comfy offroad as long as its not single track. I have done 1000km's on a set with just cloth tape and found them very comfortable in the drops with no hand pain. The bends on the top were not so great for my hands. The model I used was Nitto B135's.

SR did a randonneur model of its road champion bar. These were very nice with a very shallow drop and nice long extensions. You can sit in the drop of these bars for hours. The rise on the tops aren't as sever as the Nitto's and are actually quite comfortable.

On my SS 29er I ran a Ragely Luxy bar but found them way to wide for single track riding and have replaced them with a set of On-one Mary bars.

The Mary bars are in my mind the best bars I have ever used for single track riding. Just the right width and the angle backed ends are perfect for cruising and out of the saddle efforts.

I have just bought a set of Nitto RM-013 dirt drops and can't wait to try them for my fireroad/tourer bike. They are flared on the ends and apparently are very comfy on the dirt. The tops have a very slight rise as well.

Nitto Noodles also have a good rep as a dirt road drop bar.

Another bar that I have used a fair bit on dirt roads is the good old Cinelli Giro d'Italia. A nice short reach, shallow drop bar. Because the ramps are very sever on these, due to the short reach, you really need to get your brake levers in the right position.

I once tried a vintage bike with steel Oppy bars and these were very, very comfortable. They were designed for the crappy roads found in Australia back in the 20's and 30's. I wish someone would release a modern version with the exact same bends.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby TTar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:55 pm

TDC wrote:Looks like you are onto something

http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/artic ... 013-38400/



I always knew I was ahead of the curve -- it's good to be acknowledged as the trendsetter I am 8) if it becomes the latest fad, remember you heard it from me first.


SSS; thanks for all that -- the one dirt drops application you didn't address though is the urban use I have in mind -- you're not trying hard enough :wink:

Seriously, that was very helpful, thanks again. The Ragley Luxy seems like what I'm looking for, I think they might even be the bars in the pic I posted. Substantial width is what I'm after and having Googled images of them, they do look like having the form that would suit. They sure are ugly, though.

Andrew tells us they're no longer made, so should I be looking for generic knockoffs (if they exist) or second hand?
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Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:27 pm

I think you will only find them secondhand. I sold mine eBay about 6-9months ago.

I really wouldn't recommend them for riding on the streets. They are seriously wide. Like downhill riser bar wide. I think you'll find yourself leaning to far forward with your arms spread like an eagle.

What about giving a flipped Nitto Northroad a go. Not as wide but still wide enough. Flipped they give a really comfy position that puts your hands and shoulders in a nice neutral position without sitting up in the breeze.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:09 pm

TTar wrote:
TDC wrote:Looks like you are onto something

http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/artic ... 013-38400/



I always knew I was ahead of the curve -- it's good to be acknowledged as the trendsetter I am 8) if it becomes the latest fad, remember you heard it from me first.
All you need to do now is wait a couple of years and then they'll be everywhere. :wink:
Last edited by Nobody on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby baabaa » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:29 pm

this is a good place to start.
http://twentynineinches.com/2010/01/03/ ... omparison/
(in fact the whole site, do a search on dropbars off-road)
I run 46cm woodchippers on the ss 29er and midge bars on the ss cx. Both are fun in the dirt but also good bars for hill climbs in the drops. Dunno about using brifters on any of these bars.
Normally run a set of Nitto RM-016 moustache bars on the commuter in winter but you really need a very short stem or you will throw your back out. I run these with bar end shifters and find they do flex a bit and the wc and the midge bars are just way more comfortable on the wrists for longer rides.
FWIW I commute on all the bikes and never found them too wide in bike paths or traffic, I also run 46 cm salsa short and shallows on the road and the geared cx bike so kinda like wide low drop bars.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby TTar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:31 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: They are seriously wide. Like downhill riser bar wide. I think you'll find yourself leaning to far forward with your arms spread like an eagle.




Admittedly that could be a concern, but I like wide; my present flatbar, from a 30yo MTB, measures 655mm across, the Luxy is 695 at the drops and only 318 at the top. The ugliest, most brutal and emphatic fall I ever experienced happened when a fence post caught my bar end; the only thing that keep moving after contact was me and I wasn't heading anywhere I wanted to go. By comparison the Luxy would make for quite a handsome deflector, gently nudging obstacles (like pedestrians, for example) out of the way...

In any event, availability will likely be a factor, so it might all be moot.


Nobody wrote:All you need to do now is wait a couple of year and then they'll be everywhere. :wink:


By which time, something else will be the "next-big-thing".

Here's my hot tip: second from the right;


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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:12 pm

Actually, dirt drop bars are old hat - they hit the market about 4 years ago but have never really taken off.

The next-big-thing is this - the [urlhttp://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar.html]Jones H-bar[/url]...

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Then maybe you'll want a sexy frame to go with it...

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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:24 pm

RonK wrote:Actually, dirt drop bars are old hat - they hit the market about 4 years ago but have never really taken off.

The next-big-thing is this - the [urlhttp://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bar.html]Jones H-bar[/url]...

Image

Then maybe you'll want a sexy frame to go with it...

Image
Actually Ronk dirt specific drop bars have been around since 79. Invented the day that Charlie Cunningham bent up a set from some Cinelli Giro d'Italia's.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:27 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:
RonK wrote:Actually, dirt drop bars are old hat - they hit the market about 4 years ago but have never really taken off.

Actually Ronk dirt specific drop bars have been around since 79. Invented the day that Charlie Cunningham bent up a set from some Cinelli Giro d'Italia's.

And did he market them?
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:42 pm

As part of his Cunningham bikes.

He along with Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze and Steve Potts were the first guys to start making MTB's.

Cunningham, Potts and another guy known as Mark Slate collaborated and formed Wilderness Trail Bikes, WTB. Part of this was the selling of their WTB dirt drop bar and LD stem.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:01 am

I run a Salsa Cowbell on the cross bike (I vote for the bike in the OP wearing a On-One Midge) which is more of a road bike bare just with a shallow drop and highly flared ends. A damn fine bar that takes brifters or even basic levers (mine wears Rival brifters)
Image

A more extreme version is the already mentioned Salsa Woodchipper which I have sitting in the parts cabinet...waiting...for something
Image

A less extreme version of the Cowbell is the Zipp Service Course SL bar which is both short and shallow and has only a tiny 2 degree flare.

I wouldn't be without them...
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:05 am

singlespeedscott wrote:As part of his Cunningham bikes.

He along with Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze and Steve Potts were the first guys to start making MTB's.

Cunningham, Potts and another guy known as Mark Slate collaborated and formed Wilderness Trail Bikes, WTB. Part of this was the selling of their WTB dirt drop bar and LD stem.

Thanks. So not only are dirt drops not new and trendy, they are in fact downright old-fashioned... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:12 am

silentbutdeadly wrote:A more extreme version is the already mentioned Salsa Woodchipper which I have sitting in the parts cabinet...waiting...for something
Image

This is almost the identical bend to the Nitto RM-014 bar which is sitting in my parts cabinet, but the online images of the RM-014 don't show the shape very well.

This one is a bit better.

Image

Unfortunately I can't use it because the 31.8mm diameter centre section is not wide enough to accommodate both my Ortlieb handlebar bracket and my Co-motion Rohloff shifter.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:55 pm

I wish the RM-014 came in a 25.4mm or 26.0mm clamp.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:19 am

RonK wrote:Unfortunately I can't use it because the 31.8mm diameter centre section is not wide enough to accommodate both my Ortlieb handlebar bracket and my Co-motion Rohloff shifter.


You could shim it out. I'm not sure that the Woodchipper would help you either.

My plan for the 'Chipper is to use it on the 'new' family hauler I've been building up but at the moment I'm staying with the flat bar because I have the brake levers for that and I'm not totally convinced that the old Giant Cypress frame has entirely the right geometry to cope with the drop bar...more testing is required before a Retroshift investment and dropbar installation.
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Re: Penny's dropped on dirt drops

Postby RonK » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:29 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:
RonK wrote:Unfortunately I can't use it because the 31.8mm diameter centre section is not wide enough to accommodate both my Ortlieb handlebar bracket and my Co-motion Rohloff shifter.


You could shim it out. I'm not sure that the Woodchipper would help you either.

My plan for the 'Chipper is to use it on the 'new' family hauler I've been building up but at the moment I'm staying with the flat bar because I have the brake levers for that and I'm not totally convinced that the old Giant Cypress frame has entirely the right geometry to cope with the drop bar...more testing is required before a Retroshift investment and dropbar installation.

Nah, that is not the problem - see the picture of the RM-014 I posted. The 31.8mm clamping section is not much wider than the stem clamp, before it tapers. I need enough width to fit a bracket for a handlebar bag anda Rohloff Twist shifter which unfortunately this bar doesn't have.

The clamping section of the woodchipper is probably wide enough, but compared the Nitto bar it's a bit ordinary. However Tout Terrain are soon to release a trigger shifter system for Rohloff, so I might go that way.
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