Straight Bars v Drops

Hi everyone yet another question. Can someone tell me why it seems that " World Travellers" seem to favour straight bars and yet most Touring Bikes come equipped with drop bars. Is it a fashion thing or something.

As an experiment I am about to change over to straights and I am awaiting delivery of the brake lever & gear levers but having swapped my old mountain bike bars over and just tried the riding position it already seems more comfortable. I will of cause have to reserve my opinion to whether it is or not until I have tried it on the road.

I will be particularly interested to find out whether it makes climbing hills easier or harder but if necessary I could always fit some bar ends I suppose.

I would be interested in learning of anyones views and experiences.
 

snowy10

Well-Known Member
Location
London
Hi, I think the riding position with straights is much more comfortable and I never see cyclists on tourers, with drops, riding in the drop down position anyway.
 

julk

New Member
I think drops on tourers is a British thing.

Every cyclist is unique and no one solution is the best for everyone.
Try to borrow a bike with each setup and try for yourself.

My preference now is for risers with about 20º backward angle, but when younger I rode drops happily for many years. I find it easier to control a heavy laden bike with my current setup.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
Good question, Mark Beaumont has what look like wrap around bars (butterfly bars?)

I wonder if it would be sacrilege to put some of these onto a galaxy?
 
I have toured using both, and really find it hard to explain if there is really any preferance for me. For me it is the type of Bike; as I use both MTB and road bike for touring depending if I plan to stay all onroad or some off road. However I do have more problems with numbness of the hands when using my drop bars;
which is usually related to direct pressure on the base of the palm effect the blood and nerve supply to both [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important][/COLOR][/COLOR]motor and sensory function.
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
rh100 said:
Good question, Mark Beaumont has what look like wrap around bars (butterfly bars?)

I wonder if it would be sacrilege to put some of these onto a galaxy?

I hope not because i've put butterfly bars on my galaxy!! ;)

Having used both sorts of bars I would definitely say (for me at least) that butterfly bars are better for touring. They offer more hand positions and make for a more confortable riding position. Drops are kind of pointless for touring, I would only use them when going fast downhill; 95% of the time I would be using the flat bit.

As for climbing hills, there's nothing in it - both do the same job.

View attachment 5929 View attachment 5930 View attachment 5931
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
You see plenty of drops in other countries as well, and also more butterflies.

I find straight bars very uncomfortable for more than about 20 minutes riding, severe numbness issues, or 30 with bar ends. drops i can use all day, mostly using the tops and hoods with the drops just for hills and wind.

I find the most comfortable of all are the bars fitted to Dutch bikes where hands are parallel with the direction of travel, but control isn't great with them.

It's really down to a combination of personal choice and what's on the bike when you get it.
 

julk

New Member
No one has mentioned the handlebar grips, they make a big difference for me.

I only find 'straight' bars comfy when I use them with Ergon grips - the ones with a large platform support to the rear of the grip. I can ride on them for ages just resting my hands on the supports, no pain or numbness that way for me.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
Anthony said:
I hope not because i've put butterfly bars on my galaxy!! ;)

Having used both sorts of bars I would definitely say (for me at least) that butterfly bars are better for touring. They offer more hand positions and make for a more confortable riding position. Drops are kind of pointless for touring, I would only use them when going fast downhill; 95% of the time I would be using the flat bit.

As for climbing hills, there's nothing in it - both do the same job.

View attachment 5929 View attachment 5930 View attachment 5931

Nice.

I think I may ask the questions in know how rather than hijack the thread, but could you tell me, will standard MTB brake/index shifter combo fit to the bars and work ok with the other gear, at the same time changing the brakes to V brakes (which would fit the frame)? (My galaxy has canti brakes with normal drop levers and cross levers inline, and downtube shifters, is currently 7 speed but will probably change to 8).
 

Crankarm

Guru
Location
Nr Cambridge
Most comfortable for me is drops. I can ride 100+ miles in a day on my road bike without any numbness whatsoever in my hands. Legs are a diffrerent matter ;). But switching to my touring bike with flat bars and bar ends and I have numbness in my hands after 20 miles. I wear padded mits as well. Without them I wouldn't last more than 10 minutes. Would like at some point to fit drops to my touring bike.
 
OP
OP
hondated

hondated

Veteran
Thanks..

everyone for your prompt replies. It does seem to be a British thing now that you mention it doesn't it. I will give the straights a try and then probably try the butterfly bars.
Since asking the question I have been out on my Tourer and two things have happened.I have finally determined in my head that I love the 11 - 34 gearing I have on my bike and any thoughts I had for when I buy a new bike in July of living with a Carbon Fibre bike with 11 - 29/ 34- 50 CW are now totally unacceptable to me and I will opt for gearing over lightness.

The other thing that has happened, and it might be worth taking a look at yours now, is my rim split leaving me stranded 10 miles from home.

Apart from the inconvenience of having to walk the bike home through the lanes and now having to buy another wheel what was far worse for me is that three middle aged cyclists rode straight past me without one of them even asking if they could help and on several occasions drivers with people carriers also passed oblivious of me walking my bike downhill.

What particularly rattles me is that about a week ago seeking a girl looking at a map in the lanes I stopped in my car to ask if she needed asistance and she did and I ended up puting her bike in the bike of my car and took her near where she wanted to go. So after todays experience, will I help anyone out again ! about an hour ago I would have said no but now having had a cuppa I have to say that I would because I believe us cyclists in the majority, whether we are in our cars or on our bikes, look out for each other.And as I said to that young lady who was a little fearful of getting in the car with her bike just read Josie Dew or other cycle travelers books and read how people have helped them out all over the world and also remember there are far more kind people in this world than there are plonkers like I have met today.
 

skudupnorth

Cycling Skoda lover
julk said:
No one has mentioned the handlebar grips, they make a big difference for me.

I only find 'straight' bars comfy when I use them with Ergon grips - the ones with a large platform support to the rear of the grip. I can ride on them for ages just resting my hands on the supports, no pain or numbness that way for me.

I use them on both my road and MTB
 

rmiker

New Member
Location
Cornwall
When I built a new tourer recently I decided to use straight bars.
I have set the bars higher than the saddle, so hand pressure is a lot lighter.
With slightly shortened straight bars, Ergon grips and Thorn bar ends, I have a nice comfy ride.
Mike
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
rh100 said:
Nice.

I think I may ask the questions in know how rather than hijack the thread, but could you tell me, will standard MTB brake/index shifter combo fit to the bars and work ok with the other gear, at the same time changing the brakes to V brakes (which would fit the frame)? (My galaxy has canti brakes with normal drop levers and cross levers inline, and downtube shifters, is currently 7 speed but will probably change to 8).

The shifters and v brakes should fit on the bar ok, but whether or not the shifters would work with your current gearing I have no idea. I managed to keep my bar end shifters by using a thumb shifter converter bought from sjscycles.
 
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