Handlebar question: hoods drop
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  1. #1
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    Handlebar question: hoods drop

    Between my 2 bikes I have noticed quite a bit of difference between the hood position that is, I think, due to what I would call the "hood drop" on the bars.

    One bike uses a TTT alum ergo bar and this gets the hoods pretty level with the top position. My other bike uses a Newton shallow drop bar where it seems that the hoods are much lower (20mm lower) than the top, in order to get the hoods level with the tops I would have to really tilt the bar up quite a lot.

    Another factor is that I like the shallow round drops of the Newton a lot more than the TTT ergo drop.

    So in my quest for the best bar I would liketo be able to have the hoods level with the tops as well as a shallow round drop.

    BTW if it matters the TTT equiped bike uses DA and the Newton equipped bike uses Record.

    As most manufacturers are just giving reach and drop spec for their bars and the pictures are not easy to analyse I am looking for feedback. It seems that the TTT Ergosum bar or the FSA SLK compact could fit the bill. Given the precision of C-40 on my Stem thread I am sure he is this one figured out as well

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    info..

    You're right that no brand lists the amount of what I've been calling "ramp down" from the top of the bars to the first bend in hook. I won't use any bar that has much ramp down, unless it's also practical to rotate the bars upward to eliminate most of it. That's what I did when I used Salsa Poco bars. I had them rotated up about 10 degrees. When I set up a bar, the first thing I do is rotate them to produce a comfortable angle in the hook section. I spend a lot of time in the hooks on mountain descents, so I consider this to be critical. After the rotation is set, then I evaluate the resulting ramp down and mount the ergo levers in a position that will level the brake hood, or angle it up a couple of degrees.

    http://www.dedaelementi.com/dettaglio.asp?articolo=123

    http://www.thenew3t.com/details.aspx...=ergosum&d=PRO

    Looking at the 3T bars, I'd say they have no significant ramp down.

    I bought the new FSA K-Force compact bars a few months ago, just for the shorter reach. They are not well suited to Campy ergo levers, IMO. There is a rough section on the hooks, that's supposed to aid in gripping the band clamp on the brake/shift levers. Campy ergos must be mounted well above this area. In this position, the reach from the hook to the brake lever is much larger than other bars I've tried, like the Easton EC-90. I have my own method of modifying the ergo lever to reduce the reach to the brake lever, so I fixed that problem, but it's still something to consider, if you've got short fingers. I don't find the curved hook section of these bars to be as comfortable as an anatomic bar with a straight section creating the hook. The hand is just not meant to bend in that direction and the result is contact with the bars at the top and bottom of the palm and no contact in the middle - not the best for comfort.

    When I ride with my hands in the hook section of the bar, I've got my index finger barely below the edge of the brake hood, so I can get my index and middle finger around the brake lever. In this position, the depth of the drop is irrelevant, since my hands are up high. A lot of bars (like the EC-90) don't even have another comfortable position in the drops and I wouldn't use it anyway.

    The bottom line, is I look for very little ramp down, a short reach, and an "anatomic" shape in the hooks, with little attention paid the the depth of the drop. I've never found a bar with a short reach (around 75mm) with an anatomic hook section.

    Often, a deeper drop just means the straight, anatomic hook is just longer, so it will accomodate larger hands. I (twice) tried Deda 215 anatomic bars and my only complaint was the anatomic hook section was so short that it would barely accomodate my small hands. The EC-90 is more roomy.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the reach to a Campy brake hood is about 10mm less than a Shimano hood.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. A lot of very useful information in there. I also ride quite a bit in the mountains and use the position in the hoods a lot going down. When my new bike came with the Newton Shallow drop I immediately had hand issues (numbness, tingling, etc...). It reminded me that once in the past I switched bars on my other bike and got also hand issues right away and quickly switched back to the 3T. But I never liked the flat portion of this bar in the drops.

    Regarding terminology I always thought that anatomic bars meant that the drops were not round... But you seem to say that it is also used to qualify the shape of the top of the bar.

    Good info on the K-Force, it seems to be excluded with Campy.

    This 3T bar seems to be a good compromise for a "no ramp down" and shallow round drops. I am going to keep looking for alternatives.

    Regarding shimano vs Campy reach, my other bike has DA 9s which seems to be very close in reach to Campy Record Ergo but I think the new DA is longer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel
    Regarding terminology I always thought that anatomic bars meant that the drops were not round... But you seem to say that it is also used to qualify the shape of the top of the bar.
    I didn't mean to imply that anatomic has anything to do with the top of the bar. Anatomic bars can also have lots of ramp down. The Easton EA-70 is an example. Anatomic usually just means the hook is a straight section of bar, although several brands, like the Salsa Poco have anatomic bump-ups. While those bumps are comfortable, they're not in a position where I can reach the brake levers with my palms centered over them, so they're not ideal either.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Humm. I do not see the reach and drop spec on thier site. I am also quite concerned about the sweep on the tops. I once had a Ritchey biomax that had that sort of sweep and it killed my hands.

  7. #7
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    Typically called a randonneur bar. I've got this type of bar in the parts bin. Mine actually has more sweep than the Riv bar plus the drops flare out a bit to the side. An older style that fits with the Riv philosophy and used more on tourers.
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  8. #8
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    Handlebars

    In the last couple seasons I have installed the Bontrager VR alloy bars on most of the bikes and the Eriksen has the K-Force Compact bar. These bars have similar geometries with a very flat corner right on out to the hoods on the Ergo levers and the large radius hooks. The most significant difference between the two bars is that the hooks on the K-Force are about an inch longer.

    My hands just didn't like the bends in the hooks of anatomic bars and especially the bumps in the hooks of some of them (eg. Ritchie). I do like a wide variety of hand positions all over the bars, up and down the hooks, etc. I do like to spend a lot of time in the drops, upwards of 50%.

    I started with shallow drop bars (Deda 215 and ITM Millenium Strada) and found that to get the hoods higher on the hooks, the levers were pointing at a the pavement a couple meters in front of the bike (well, figuratively) and/or the straight ends of the hooks were pointed at the pavement under the rear wheel. While I didn't mind moving the levers around a bit to accommodate reach, it resulted in a limited number of hand positions.

    I also found that the Ergo levers are mounted well above the roughed up mounting area on the K-Force. Agreed w/ C-40 that reach to the Ergo levers is a problem with smaller hands with either the K-Force or Bontrager VRs.

    I would suggest that bars are as much about personal preference as saddles. As with saddle adjustments, rotating bars, moving levers and moving bars vertically even minimal amounts can have dramatic results.

    Bontrager lists the Race Lite OS with a drop/reach of 135/85.

    The K-Force drop/reach is 125/80.

    Image is of the Bontrager VR alloy w/ Ergo levers....



    Attachment is of the K-Force Compact on the Eriksen. On both of these, you can get an idea of the reach to the levers. For comparison, I can easily reach the lever tips with all my fingers. Obviously, YMMV....
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    Qh6+!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bixe
    I started with shallow drop bars (Deda 215 and ITM Millenium Strada) and found that to get the hoods higher on the hooks, the levers were pointing at a the pavement a couple meters in front of the bike (well, figuratively) and/or the straight ends of the hooks were pointed at the pavement under the rear wheel. While I didn't mind moving the levers around a bit to accommodate reach, it resulted in a limited number of hand positions.

    ..
    Thank you. This seems to describe my exact situation with the Newton shallow drop which is more a less a 31.8 version of the 215 I think.

    I will look into the Bontrager bar as I did not think of this one so far.

  10. #10
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    PRO bars

    [QUOTE=C-40]
    The bottom line, is I look for very little ramp down, a short reach, and an "anatomic" shape in the hooks, with little attention paid the the depth of the drop. I've never found a bar with a short reach (around 75mm) with an anatomic hook section.
    [QUOTE]

    Have you ever looked at the PLT Compact OS2?

    http://pro-bikegear.com/publish/cont.../Products.html

    It seems to have a really short reach (68mm) and a very shallow drop of 110. I am reading a french magazine right now and they are telling a lot of good things about this bar.

    Their carbon bar, the VIBE OS also seems to have a high anatomic hook.

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