Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

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Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby shann » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:39 pm

My husband has started to get back in to riding, and is dreaming of swapping/adding a road-appropriate bike to his current collection of MTB and BMX. I think he'll eventually want to go on rides with me, so that will mean 50 - 100km. He likes the look of flat bar roadies, but I think he'd regret not getting a 'real' roadie. What say you, wise people of the internet?
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by BNA » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:42 pm

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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby drnick79 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:42 pm

I find hand position the biggest issue with flat bars, esp with long kms. It's doable, but you would want some type of ergo ends on the bars. I chuck cyclocross tyres on my dually MTB and am all fine riding that on the road for 40-50kms. Just runs out of gearing on the flats and down hills a little.

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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby celeste boy » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:17 pm

I started off serious riding with a flat bar roadie. It's on permanent loan now. Vibration on the hands is pretty bad. On a drop bar you have 3 positions for the hands and i use them. The guys I ride with who all have hybrids (flat bar) are always shaking their hands when they are riding to get rid of the pain and the pins and needles.

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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby jacks1071 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:19 pm

celeste boy wrote:I started off serious riding with a flat bar roadie. It's on permanent loan now. Vibration on the hands is pretty bad. On a drop bar you have 3 positions for the hands and i use them. The guys I ride with who all have hybrids (flat bar) are always shaking their hands when they are riding to get rid of the pain and the pins and needles.

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Pins and needles in your hands has nothing to do with flat bars and everything to do with bike fit.

If you're getting pins and needles in your hands barring some other medical problem you have too much weight on your hands. Means the saddle and/or stem need to be moved rearwards to put more weight on your backside and less on your hands.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby thejester » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:51 am

I ride a flat bar and regularly ride 50 - 100km with no problem and every year ride the 210km Around the Bay on it.
I am a very wide body and shoulders, a footballers, build, when the wind blows I curse my aero-dyamic profile (lack of). Otherwise my bike is comfortable and quick.
Flat bars are better if your stomach is on the large side too. You wont push your knees out wide to accommodate it.
To better my aero profile I do what MTB'ers do; drop some spacers, angle the stem down. These adjustments can be done gradually as your body adapts to riding.
When buying, look to ride a larger size than you would on a roadie as the bars/grips are not as long a reach as the hoods on a roadie. This will also help with aero-dynamics.
Full carbon flat bars are available to give better ride quality and with some simple upgrades easily can go sub 8.5kg. (Bracciano's? :lol: better tyres?)
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby thejester » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:02 am

jacks1071 wrote:
celeste boy wrote:I started off serious riding with a flat bar roadie. It's on permanent loan now. Vibration on the hands is pretty bad. On a drop bar you have 3 positions for the hands and i use them. The guys I ride with who all have hybrids (flat bar) are always shaking their hands when they are riding to get rid of the pain and the pins and needles.

Graham


Pins and needles in your hands has nothing to do with flat bars and everything to do with bike fit.

If you're getting pins and needles in your hands barring some other medical problem you have too much weight on your hands. Means the saddle and/or stem need to be moved rearwards to put more weight on your backside and less on your hands.


As your core strengthens, this should become much less of a problem. You body will support more of its own weight as opposed to sagging forward onto your hands.
Also as you tire you tend to clench grips and stiffen your arms, as you strengthen you wont do it as much.
I use grips with palm rests and only actually grip the grips when powering.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby Ozkaban » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:03 am

I would say a flat bar roadie will be fine for 50k+ - so long as it fit correctly.

But I think you're correct. If he gets into it and enjoys the longer rides he'll regret not getting a drop bar roadie.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby jasonc » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:27 am

did the brissy to gold coast ride last year on mt flat bar. 150kms for the day, no problems.
i've now got a roadie as well. so a flat bar will work, but a roadie will be quicker
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby rangersac » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:56 pm

They be fine. I do 60km a day on mine, although I did fit bar ends to give some more hand position options.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby Mrfenejeans » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:19 pm

Flat bar would be fine to do 50km+ rides, although if you wish to prevent "Sudden onset uprgraditis" in my opinion a road bike would be the way to go.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby m@ » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Ozkaban wrote:I would say a flat bar roadie will be fine for 50k+ - so long as it fit correctly.

But I think you're correct. If he gets into it and enjoys the longer rides he'll regret not getting a drop bar roadie.

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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby rjk » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:49 pm

have him look at a cx bike, i know i am biased but its a great compromise.

Put on some slicks and go for a quick ride on the road, then replace them with knobbies and go try some hard pack :)

Th cx also has interrupter brakes that are great for when you want to sit more upright
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby cjrich » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:45 am

I too started out on a flatbar, really enjoyed riding it and 50-80 klm was no problem. However I upgraded to a drop bar within 9 months.
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Re: Flat bar roadies - any good for riding 50km+

Postby marckietan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:04 am

I had a great flat bar roadie for about 3 years. Mainly for commuting (13km each way) on and off. Last year started riding more regularly and then started doing bigger rides over 50km as well as the Sydney to Gong. No worries for the bike, handled all with aplomb but it was too late....I was hooked and got a carbon roadie for Xmas. Love it....

More than likely, he will want to upgrade to a roadie at some stage, I would suggest that you try to buy a second hand flat bar for a while to see if he gets into it (like everyone else here on this forum) and if the does then he can upgrade (roadies seem to really be dropping in price but flat bars have been pretty consistent in price) and you can sell on the flat bar. Probably won't lose too much in the process.
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