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Drops or flats

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by vbc, 19 Sep 2007.

  1. vbc

    vbc Guest

    Location:
    Bristol
    Out of interest, I'd like peoples views on the suitability & comfort of drop bars versus straight bars for touring.

    I plan to do a JOGLE in the future (might have to delay a year due to accident) and am wondering if I would be better off getting a dedicated flat bar bike with 700c wheels and disc brakes made (Argus & Robin Mather are nearby) or would I be OK using my Planet-X Kaffenback?

    Opinions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I'm no expert but I reckon it's just whatever is most comfy for you. Touring you tend to spend a lot of time sitting more upright. I have drops...and I love'em....plenty comfortable and I have three positions to choose from instead of one.
     
  3. alfablue

    alfablue New Member

    I prefer drops, I use them mainly holding the hoods, but I find the wrist much more comfy oriented vertically; on flats they always seem a bit twisted too far inwards to be comfy
     
  4. Leilei

    Leilei New Member

    I prefer drops, there are at least three hand positions and they are all natural and comfortable, going down onto the drops into the wind is also very convenient.
     
  5. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    Drops are best for any sort of distance. Being able to change position is a big advantage esp. as Leilei says when going into a headwind.
     
  6. campagman

    campagman Über Member

    Location:
    at home
    I used to tour on drops and yes my hands would be moving pretty frequently to find a comfortable position. I then started to use my old MTB for touring and have not had a problem with the flat bars. Bar ends are a must though, they make climbing so much easier and also offer an alternative position.
     
  7. Drops. There are at least five different hand positions with drop bars, makes all the difference when you're riding all day.
     
  8. Tony

    Tony New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Drops.
     
  9. JC4LAB

    JC4LAB Guest

    Drops..but how expensive it is to get one nowadays.!
     
  10. dubman

    dubman Über Member

    Location:
    Derby
    flats with bar ends a million times better :blush:
     
  11. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I have drops and like them, but toured with flats for a a couple of trips and never had any issues. Not sure I'm entirely believing the received wisdom that drops are best for touring.
     
  12. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    Drops make a big difference if you want to make progress into a headwind. My tourer has them, although it is has mtb wheels and clearances. Recently I encountered two mtb tourers with flat bars and for most of the morning we were doing much the same speed. Around mid-day they were about 200 metres ahead, and hit the headwind just before a summit. Being able to lose a bit of wind resistance on the drops I left them behind.

    Around 4pm I was having a break in the town square and when they suddenly appeared and very kindly returned one of my drying socks which had fallen off the pannier.:biggrin: So, if no drops, only one sock:sad:
     
  13. fks

    fks New Member


    The Kaffenback should be fine to do the trip. Just make sure you have a wide range of gears and wide tyres.
    I use flats with barends, Ihave also used drops(XC USA and LEJOG) but I prefer flats as I feel that I have better braking control.
     
  14. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Flats with barends are better.
    Most of the people with drops (well, all the ones I see) never actually use the drops, so they're pointless. If you watched that film of Jane Tomlinson's (RIP) tour across america, never uses the drops once.
    People will say 'ah but you can use the hoods', although having bar ends gives you the ideal version of the 'hoods' position, and the position is more adjustable.
    Drops are uncomfortable because your body's hunched over too much, so it's uncomfortable on your torso and abdomen - consequently people only use it when they have to, i.e. for maximum aerodynamics when racing.
     
  15. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Completely disagree. I've toured with flat bars/ ends, and with drops. I much prefer drops - the hoods position is very comfortable and allows you to access gears and brakes without moving your hands. I use ITM "Marathon" bars, which have extra flex built in, and have a nice anatomic shape. Didn't have any discomfort in my upper body or arms all the way to JOG. What I did do though, was to raise the stem (advantage of still using a quill stem) and to rotate the bars slightly back so the hoods were higher.