Handlebars question

Hello, need some advice. I've recently bought my first touring bike, a rather gorgeous little Thorn XTC. She's got drop handlebars, which is the first time I've used them - having had a flatbarred hybrid up until now.

Whilst I'm LOVING the new bike, I don't yet love the drop handlebars. I feel safer with the width of the flat bars and actually prefer the position. I've done week long tours on flat bars and have always found them very comfortable, despite the received wisdom that drop handlebars give you more hand positions etc. So....if, after giving drops more of a chance, if I still don't like them, can I swap my current bars for flat bars? Is this possible???

Thanks in advance for the wisdom....


New Member
It took me a good month or so to get used to drop bars. I'm glad I persisted as now I wouldn't willingly go back to flat bars. Have you had your position on the bike *properly* fitted? Length of stem, positioning of levers on the bars and the like?

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
Do you have the 'auxillary brake levers' on the tops of the bars? The new style one (Cane Creek ?) work well and shouldn't be compared with the old 'suicide levers' that were common in the '70's.

Many people moving from flat bars like the added security of finding the brakes where they expect to find them. The only down side is they can be fiddly with some bar bags.

But as has been said, fit is everything, especially on a touring bike. Don't try to DIY it, have a real expert take a look at you. If your neck is brassy enough, a trip over to Paul Hewitt would be worth the few pouinds he would charge to look at another make of bike. Actually you wouldn't be the first (or 2nd, 3rd...) to take a Thorn to him.

It's worth perservering with the drops as their enduring popularity is due to fashion - they do work.


New Member
Try raising the bars (but not above limit line if a quill stem) and rolling the bars back towards you so as to make the brake hoods easier for you to ride on.
Thanks, there's some good advice and it's just reassuring to know that if I continue to not be comfy, I can swap out. I think the big thing is getting my bike fitted to me, as I know I haven't done that properly. Down the LBS on Thursday for me!!!


Legendary Member
If you decide the drops are not for you, before going over to straights, it might be worth considering butterfly bars.
There can be problems fitting a barbag on butterflies, so do enquire about that before committing yourself.
Sorry for giving you another option to think about.:biggrin:
Oooh...I'm liking butterfly bars. They look mean! I was also thinking of those bars that stick up at the end of a straight...I call them bull bars but have no idea if that's the name!!

I shall try getting my Thorn fitted for me before changing anything though.
How old is the Thorn?

YOu mention "getting the Thorn fitted for me"?

Will they perform this change as part of the 100 day guarrantee, or even subsidise the change with free labour?
I bought it second hand from a C+ forum user so it's not been fitted for me. She was the same height as me (ie 5ft1) so it was a great opportunity as smaller womens' tourers are quite rare. I have a good LBS so am taking it down there next week for a service/fitting.

Liesl (the Thorn in question) is about 3 years old I believe but hardly used...she rocks!!!!


I would persevere for a while yet - it took me a while to get used to drops. I have ITM "Marathon" bars on my Thorn Audax which I find very comfortable, as they have a number of hand positions.
if you have a bar bag with butterfly bars you can just use an extender for the mont on the bars, well at least with the carradice klickfix(?)type anyhow.
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