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  1. #1
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    Compact handlebars.... I really don't see the point... No really...

    More and more people are out of shape but they are coming into the sport looking for a bike that looks like a racing bike but is comfortable, so the producers have to produce compact handlebars. Just look at the handlebars on the latest Venge or Madone for instance. The point of a drop is to provide you with another position on your bike, but people set their drops up at a height that is comparable to my tops and use their tops as if they're riding a commuter bike.

    I've been in the process of modernizing my 2007 bike, but I just can't get into the whole concept of compact drop handlebars even though what's currently in vogue is more and more compact handlebars, I just don't see what it is with this? I mean honestly.

    Can someone enlighten me?

  2. #2
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    If you can explain why this bothers you, I'll explain why it is.

    If you can't handle other people with high bars, find a new riding group.
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  3. #3
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    I just can't see what the benefit is... A road bike isn't supposed to be comfortable to that kind of point. Maybe I'm just old fashioned or whatever.

  4. #4
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    Or maybe you're just wrong or misinformed.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  5. #5
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    Maybe I am, I didn't start this thread because I'm closed minded.... Change my mind without causing an argument.....

  6. #6
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    So is your issue with equipment choices/design...or with people who aren't fitted to their bike properly...or people who are inflexible/out-of-shape?


    You start off with a question in your thread header...and then go off into tangents about everything else.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  7. #7
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    I'm just wondering what the point is, or maybe I've already answered that through my own lack of need for them. If I'm going to analyse something I want to know the pros and cons of something though. I just can't see any pros in my case (yet)... Other than vestiges of well every other person is doing it so why don't I. You see more than 10 years ago there was far less choice... Now I have another choice but I'm not inclined to see why I should use it.

  8. #8
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    I'm just wondering what the point is, or maybe I've already answered that through my own lack of need for them. If I'm going to analyse something I want to know the pros and cons of something though. I just can't see any pros in my case (yet)... Other than vestiges of well every other person is doing it so why don't I. You see more than 10 years ago there was far less choice... Now I have another choice but I'm not inclined to see why I should use it.
    The point is less drop/reach than an old-school bend. The hoods/hooks are closer fore/aft, while the bottoms are a bit higher (less difference compared to tops/hoods), while not moving the tops fore/aft. If a standard drop/reach works and you're comfortable, then don't worry about compact ones. It is all about options in fit.


    Lots of people don't have a properly fit cockpit such that the drop-in-dropbars is useless. But that is a separate issue from compact bars.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  9. #9
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    Some people don't have a properly fit cockpit such that they can't use the drops on their bikes properly. Some people are just inflexible and unwilling to work on that. I don't really have either of those issues, but maybe there's some other issue. I guess I shouldn't worry though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    I just can't see what the benefit is... A road bike isn't supposed to be comfortable to that kind of point. Maybe I'm just old fashioned or whatever.
    So if you're not comfortable, you should modify your bike to where you're uncomfortable? Is that it, it's a torture chamber?
    I love compact bars. I can set up my bike and when I move to the drops, it is not a super big change, so.... I can run my hoods lower, because going to the drops is not a huge drop.

    Why don't u put some track bars on your bike, then you will understand.

    Oh, yea, the reason... inflexiblility usually, or they are dorks! (note: nothing wrong with dords, just a group of other type of people).
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  11. #11
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    I can't speak for anyone else. But for me a compact works much better than classic bars because I race a lot of criterium style events and when in the hooks I have better control and can keep a finger on the brake/shift levers easier. So more control for me. I have a 5mm spacer under the stem fwiw.

  12. #12
    What the what???
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    I just can't see what the benefit is... A road bike isn't supposed to be comfortable to that kind of point. Maybe I'm just old fashioned or whatever.
    You’re not old-fashioned. You just seem to be confusing “road” bike with “race” bike.

    If you want to slam your stem, jack up your seat post, and go with classic drop bars... go nuts. But don’t look down your nose at others who don’t. Some people prioritize comfort over power/aero/performance. To each their own.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    Some people don't have a properly fit cockpit such that they can't use the drops on their bikes properly. Some people are just inflexible and unwilling to work on that. I don't really have either of those issues, but maybe there's some other issue. I guess I shouldn't worry though.
    And some of us are just older and have neck and back issues.

    As Opus said, don't confuse road bike with race bike.

    You like what you like, don't hold your nose up at people who like or need something different.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Thread is not going to go the way the OP thought.
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  15. #15
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    Well, I'm 57, and I can't drop as low in the bars as I used to without feeling very uncomfortable. So, instead of rising bars up, a compact bar might make more sense. I do know that the 2 bikes I have that do have a 'compact' drop bars get rode a lot more than the one I have with 'classic' drop bars.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Thread is not going to go the way the OP thought.
    People take themselves too seriously

    Now back in my day.... We had crotchety old grandpas...
    We didn't have compact bars to choose from and if you wanted a touring bike you went out and bought one of those instead with touring geometry and a higher stem position. Now people want to ride the examples I already listed above like a Venge or a Madone with compact bars and the whole world has gone and got itself confused.

    Please feel free to not take anything above seriously... Or feel free to do so as you wish

  17. #17
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    People take themselves too seriously


    You're kidding, right? You're the one that started this whole thing and wanted confirmation that you were right.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    We didn't have compact bars to choose from and if you wanted a touring bike you went out and bought one of those instead with touring geometry and a higher stem position. Now people want to ride the examples I already listed above like a Venge or a Madone with compact bars and the whole world has gone and got itself confused.
    Perhaps what people have figured out is that with a compact you can get as low as a super deep bar by simply bending your elbows a little more. Why ride a deeper bar with elbows locked is beyond me but, I see old timers do it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I can't speak for anyone else. But for me a compact works much better than classic bars because I race a lot of criterium style events and when in the hooks I have better control and can keep a finger on the brake/shift levers easier. So more control for me. I have a 5mm spacer under the stem fwiw.
    This.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    People take themselves too seriously



    We didn't have compact bars to choose from and if you wanted a touring bike you went out and bought one of those instead with touring geometry and a higher stem position. Now people want to ride the examples I already listed above like a Venge or a Madone with compact bars and the whole world has gone and got itself confused.

    Please feel free to not take anything above seriously... Or feel free to do so as you wish
    You are also forgetting that back in "the good old days", we had quill stems where you could adjust the height. Now, with threadless stems, your only choice is to change out the stem and even then, your range of adjustent will still be less.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    More and more people are out of shape but they are coming into the sport looking for a bike that looks like a racing bike but is comfortable, so the producers have to produce compact handlebars. Just look at the handlebars on the latest Venge or Madone for instance. The point of a drop is to provide you with another position on your bike, but people set their drops up at a height that is comparable to my tops and use their tops as if they're riding a commuter bike.



    Can someone enlighten me?
    Without such a mark you wouldn't have anything to base just how awesome you are on. That's what spacers, angled up stems and compact handle bars are for. That way you and other cyclist who think bar height correlates with anything can count spacers or see bars/stems and confirm objectively you are relatively awesome.

    If anything a lot of recreational roadies have their bars too high as evidenced by how many don't really ever use the drops.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    This.
    I have 3 bikes with compact (aka shallow drop) bars, and 2 with old-school bars. I am definitely sold on compact for the reason already cited: quicker access to drops, better control and access to levers. Most importantly I spend more time in the drops than with traditional bars. To the OP, I am sorry if that doesn't live up to your expectations of what a real cyclist should use, but their popularity is undeniable

  23. #23
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    I never said they weren't popular I'm just trying to get more information on why this is so.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    I just can't see what the benefit is... A road bike isn't supposed to be comfortable to that kind of point. Maybe I'm just old fashioned or whatever.
    I suspect that my bar tops are 2" lower than yours but my drops are only 1" lower than yours. I don't think you could handle either position. So there is your answer.

  25. #25
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    I never said they weren't popular I'm just trying to get more information on why this is so.
    You really can't figure it out? You have that little imagination? 'Because they work for some people' isn't enough for you?
    I work for some bike racers
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