Flat bar road bikes.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Rock Creek Rider, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Rock Creek Rider

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    I've gone drop-bar-less. I still have a couple bikes with drop bars, but they are collecting dust.
    I know of other, older, riders that have done the same. Some younger riders too.
    Despite the limited hand positions (one), I just feel safer and more comfortable with flat bars.
    Besides a slightly more upright position, which gives you a better view and is more comfortable, flat bars also give you more leverage and your hands are always in position to brake. I can look at the scenery, rather than my front tire.
    With ergonomic grips, such as those by Ergon, I don't really miss the extra hand positions of drop bars.
    Flat bars are a big reason MTBs became so popular. An awful lot of people were buying them for riding on road riding because they didn't like drop bars..
    At first, I was using my MTB for road rides, and still do.
    Over the winter I had a flat bar gravel bike built up. After I get vaccinated for covid and group rides start up again, I needed a faster road bike than my MTB. Last fall I also bought a flat bar commuter bike.
    I now have three flat bar bikes that would work very well for the sagged tours I like to do.
    I don't rule out going to a drop bar in the future. If I find I can't keep up, on group rides, with my gravel bike, I may pull my road bike out of retirement. But, for now, I only ride flat bars.
     
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  2. Jorg Schlagheck

    Jorg Schlagheck New Member

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    I was thinking of building up a vintage frame with flat handlebars. I have them on my touring bike and it enables me to ride all day, rather than just a few hours. Thanks for bringing this up.
     
  3. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I'm putting together a Felt F55X which everyone tells me is a cyclocross bike but the wheelbase is too long to be a cyclocross but rather a gravel bike. I had a bunch of components laying around including an XT group with trigger shifters and Avid disks. Of course it has been a pain in the butt since its been one thing after another. I forgot that BB386 bottom brackets are for 30 mm shafts since there are no good 30 mm shaft off-road cranks. So I had to order a special 24 mm ID bearing BB386EVO. Then I ordered new hydraulic lines since the old ones would need the ends cut off to run internally and that would make them just too short. The hydraulic lines should be ordered from Shimano or Avid since the over-the-counter Chinese versions are 0.3 mm too large and will not fit in the hydraulic connectors. Everything else fit perfectly though the through axle 15 mm should be ordered directly from Felt since no one else is making the correct length. The one from Felt works perfectly of course. My wheels were mismatched since they were a centerlock 15 mm front and a 5 bolt dropout rear. I ended up getting a 160 mm disk for both ends and the front is set up for a 140 mm disk of course.

    But otherwise these small problems that are holding me back for another couple of weeks from finishing the flat bar gravel Felt, I'm really impressed on how much bike it is for the money. There are a few things you have to learn for the first time such as how to thread the hydraulic hoses through the internal frame and fork but once you know how it is pretty easy. Too bad the hoses are outside of the maximum dimensions for the connectors.

    I had a Ridley Crossbow before and that had to be the world's worst cyclocross bike. But it was the best gravel bike I ever rode. I'm hoping that this Felt is as good. The measurements give me the idea that it will be. I think that Felt is making a mistake by only carrying aluminum bikes in the lower levels. Properly made they can be as light as carbon fiber bikes and you would be a lot less worried about the bike coming apart in difficult descents.

    As for weight - that stopped being a matter of concern for anyone but pro racers when the weight got under 20 lbs. I have a local loop that I've been riding and my average speed on a 24 lb bike is the same as on the 16 lb bike. Though I think that I'm more fatigued after the 25 miles and 1600 feet of climbing on the heavier bike. Isn't the entire idea of riding to get fatigued?

    In any case, for people that don't like climbing we have almost endless gravel trails around here We also have gravel roads but you have to be careful of cars there. Or dumbass motor cyclists. But they're on country roads as well.

    Flat bats force you upright so that sort of limits the speeds you can make. But XT cranks with a 44 tooth large ring does the same. Imagine being forced to enjoy the ride rather than attempting Strava records?

    I am delighted with the way it is going together. As for bleeding the brakes when I get the proper hoses - that is so easy that it took me 20 minutes to do both ends of a Shimano setup the first time I tried it.
     
  4. cycle cartel

    cycle cartel New Member

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    I was thinking of building up a vintage frame with flat handlebars. I have them on my touring bike and it enables me to ride all day, rather than just a few hours. Thanks for bringing this up.
     
  5. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Well-Known Member

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    Blasphemy! Lol
     
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  6. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I guess we pretty much agree, though I can see his point since on long climbing rides by forearms get really sore now. This doesn't happen on my Merlin or my Douglas Ti bike - only the Airborne. I have measured everything and for the life of me I can't tell any difference. It must be saddle angle.
     
  7. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Too many things wrong with this post.

    More upright better view? Better get your drop bar roadie fitted better.

    Look at the scenery vs looking at your front tire? That tells me right there, you're way out of line with this one. Really, wow ha ha ha!

    Slightly more upright position with flat bars? Better get a road bike with the proper required geometry, they are not all alike. Maybe you need to do more research on drop bar roadies before making silly comments like this.

    More comfortable hand position? So I ride my drop bar road bike on the hoods most of the time. It is a more natural position for the hands and wrists vs a flat bar. Seeing the flat bar forces you to comply with a 90 degree angel off the arms. That actually puts some stress on the wrists vs the reach out and ride anatomically correct on the angle of the hoods.

    Flat bars fingers always by the brakes? Again, get a proper fit and set up on the roadie drop bar before making silly comments. Riding on the hoods, my fingers are always on the brakes. In the drops, just a finger rise to hit the breaks.

    Might go back to a roadie if you can't keep up with the group? You yourself are saying that you are not sure weather or not the flat bar is as efficient as the drop bar roadie. Not sure yet! I can say the group I rode with, had a couple of guys show up on flat bar roadies and they either did not show back up a second time of they were constantly finishing at the back of the group or after the group.

    I say before making all the silly claims, try getting a roadie that is properly fitted and equipped in the correct geometry. Not one with steep angle and long top tubes and drastically dropped bars that would make most anybody other than a TDR rider uncomfortable. ;)
     
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