Bars: drop or flat?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Bars: drop or flat?

    Anyone switching over to road frame from "roadized" mtb had to make this choice? Been riding a heavily-modified mtb on-road for some time; realized I never ride off-road, so switching over. Riding is mainly daily commute (about 20 miles return) + from two to four longer (one and a half to two hour) rides per week, depending on available time. Not going to race or anything (too old!), but LOVE to get out and ride. I've just started testing; rode a Trek 2100 and loved it (I can't believe how much smoother/more efficient a road bike is -- wish I'd done this sooner!). Question: I liked the drop bars -- especially in a headwind, and the ability to vary hand position so much -- but felt a little uneasy with the position/brakes in traffic (I'm used to v brakes, which seem much stronger than road calipers); should I investigate 'flat-bar' road bikes as well, OR will I get used to/adapt to the drop bars even when commuting? Two bikes not an option for me, so I'd really appreciate any input from anyone with experience with this. Cheers.

  2. #2
    steel road, fixie, & MTB
    Reputation: TrailNut's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004


    i'm a mtb-er that used to use a 2nd wheelset with slick tires, but now i also ride a Viner road bike ( i purchaed from internet ( with the standard drop bar.

    you'll want drop bars for thrills of 30+ mph leaned over turns and 45+mph straight away descends. I heard of some roadies reaching 60 mph, but i aint there...yet.

    strightbars are best kept for xc race MTBs.
    Viner Pro Team Dedacciai EOM 16.5 light steel Campy 2x10.
    "The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools." - Thucydides.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Having your cake and eating it, too.

    Unless you're worried about being considered Fredly, you can get the bike with drop bars, and add a set of top-mount brake levers (as on a cyclocross bike); you can get them for as little as $20 from Supergo or Nashbar (the Tektros), and they're easy to install and work very well. With these, you can ride on the hoods or drops to get aero, and when you want a more upright position, you can ride on the tops and still have braking.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanks, guys; your comments are indeed helpful. Hadn't considered the 'secondary lever' idea -- makes a lot of sense and, no -- I'm not worried about 'Fredliness'! I am, and will remain, proudly (though I hope only slightly) Fredish; I ride purely for utility/fun/fitness in my own way and in my own time -- though I will claim to be able to move along at a pretty good pace. Better a Fred than a poser (lots of those round here), I say!
    Anyway, I'm making the switch, and thanks again.

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