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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    A higher stem solves both issues.
    Not really though. It's the upturned angle of the levers that's critical. It keeps the hands from sliding forward on the hoods in technical sections. Bart Wellens Ridley.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone else feel awkward on drop bars...switch to flats?-bart-wellens-ridley-x-night-cyclocross-bike-img_9649_11.jpg  

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  2. #27
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    What kind of change in your stem do you need to switch to flat bars from drops with relative reach? +30mm?
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  3. #28
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    30mm is the recommended but I have a feeling this all bs as most "rules of thumb" are. You probably have to measure where you hands end up from the saddle (just deciede on a point) and then also consider how the changed hand angle affects comfort. On my regular riser bar on my commuter I feel to stretched out and too low, but if i put my hands as if I had some barends pointing straight ahead on that same bar in the middle of the grips it feels ultra comfy and not at all low or stretched out.

    So I guess it depends. Mock something up and take measurements before you buy. I've been spending all week trying to figure out how to get drop bars ona mtb frame.

    I got one of those cheap crappy adjustable angle stems just for this. Maybe you should too.
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  4. #29
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    So Im on a 120mm stem with cowbell drops. Got a 140mm stem on the way to use with flat bars. Hoping I get enough reach out of them to make them work.

    Anyone feel any decreased performance with flat bars? Handling, climbing, sprinting?

    Obviously in the wind your going to have to use more power with flat bars....

    And what width bars are people using? This will be for my race bike. So I need to be able to cut corners near tape and not get tangled in a mass start. Im thinking 600-620...
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet View Post
    Not really though. It's the upturned angle of the levers that's critical. It keeps the hands from sliding forward on the hoods in technical sections. Bart Wellens Ridley.
    Well, a higher stem negates the need to run the levers higher AND provides a more secure grip in the drops. Having the levers that high, for 'cross or the road, basically makes the drops unusable.

    I really do not understand the use of the hoods as the main position for 'cross. With the bars at a proper height , and the levers mounted low, the drops are the power and control position.
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  6. #31
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    anyone want to sell your drop setup cheap? I hope to build a cross bike for next season. After spending a lot of training time on the road, I'm pretty comfortable with drop bars. For CX, I'm only using drop position for straights. On the bike I used last weekend, the braking was strong enough I about ate it using brakes from the drops so just went back to hoods. I feel much more nimble on the hoods than drops. Probably will have to fix that for criteriums next season
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  7. #32
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    I thought I was going to die my first couple times in the drops on my cx bike (never having ridden a non-mtb before). now I find myself in the drops >80% of the time if not higher. I think it can just take getting used to. and I'm envious of people feeling they have good braking from the hoods.

  8. #33
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    I ordered the stem on tuesday. Just today I have decided that I will not be able to get enough reach... If I imitate my MTB 100%, reach will still be too short for me for CX.

    Im going to stick with my drop bars for now.

    Chainthruster, I feel you man. I cant ride on my hoods comfortably and I dont know how most people do. I am always in the drops when handling my bike during racing. The only time I get on the hoods is on the flats.
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  9. #34
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    For those here that use and ride the drops, are any of your cross bikes set up with Halter Tops remote brake levers?

    For those that are uncomfortable in the drops, how much of a factor is your neck position for being able to look 50 feet or more in front of you? Part of my discomfort is the extreme neck contortion needed to see dwn the road. Having to were glasses makes it even more difficult.

  10. #35
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    I don't use any remote brake levers. I have my handlebars at a comfortable height for me off-road, which is a bit more conservative than my road position. IMHO, if you need to use secondary brake levers and contort your neck painfully on a handlebar setup, it's wrong. Put 'em where they make sense for your body.
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  11. #36
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    Is it just me that feels awkward on "risers"?? I mean, really, what type of mammal were these designed for? Can't be me at least because somehow when my arms are just dangling around straight down they don't automatically conform to the riser position. Basically they wanty to hang at a slight inwards (towards body with thumbs) tilting angle, this must be more "natural". Loved straight bars in the 90ies, hated them at the end. loved riders when i first got them (compared to straight ones) and ****ing hate them now, and the only logical solution is a drop bar slightly tilted out, that the natural position for me. Or buy all "alt" bars on the market and just try them out. (i might actually do this). The north road style and all even remotely similar ones such as swallow and albatross looks good too. North roads looks really promising.
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  12. #37
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    You may want to consider a set of aerobars. I haven't yet ridden with aerobars on my cross bike yet, but they made a big difference on my road bike in terms of feeling more comfortable and less awkward. Only drawback is that they make the bike feel a little less stable, especially when standing up...

  13. #38
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    I wouldn't want to race cross without drops. I used the drops a lot while racing. Never completely understood why the hoods became the primary position. I see lots of riders setting their bars up to utilize the hoods 90% of the time which generally makes the drops almost useless. Setting up drop bars is all about compromise though in my opinion.

  14. #39
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    Ive been running flats for a year now, love it. Granted im not racing, just out riding. Plus i have bar ends, which helps alot.

    I ride a fair amount of single track with my cross bike set up this way, i feel im way faster on flats then on drops.

    Bill

  15. #40
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    I find I spend quite a lot of time in the drops on race days, and a lot less on training days. Actually I'm pretty happy with that - I have a good position for big efforts, a good position for longer durations at lower effort, and good control in both.

    As an FYI for those who race - both bar ends and aero bars will make your bike illegal. Non-issue outside of competition of course.
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  16. #41
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    In about a year I've completely switched from my last post. I'm now riding a Pinarello CX bike with drops and I love them... I'm running the Soma Hwy One bar, which is short and shallow. I think it was the old style big rounded drops that were making me hate bars of that persuasion.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Well, a higher stem negates the need to run the levers higher AND provides a more secure grip in the drops. Having the levers that high, for 'cross or the road, basically makes the drops unusable.

    I really do not understand the use of the hoods as the main position for 'cross. With the bars at a proper height , and the levers mounted low, the drops are the power and control position.
    My opinion is one of experience. I race and win A masters races. Also, watch the best cyclocross racers in the world, rarely in the drops. Riding in the drops lowers your field of vision makes bunny hoppy'ing near impossible and puts your weight too far forward for techinical stuff. Riding a dirt drop on a MTB is not the same as racing on a cross bike.
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  18. #43
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    Having been a road rider for many years I recently switched to narrow (560mm) flat bars for singletrack stuff and I prefer them as they give me more control. I've also found improved braking power and less fatigue in my fingers and hands.

    That said I just can't get as aerodynamic and I feel it at higher speeds.

    Higher speed, less technical courses I'd prefer drop bars. Lower speed, more technical stuff I prefer narrow flat bars.

  19. #44
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    Of all the sub-disciplines of mass-start bicycle racing, cyclocross is the one with the fewest implicit rules. Sure, if you wanna line up for an elite race and not feel awkward you may choose to run a bike that "falls in line". Short of that, for most folks it is a "run what ya brung" type sport where unorthodox approaches to equipment (e.g. flat bars) can fit in for all races that are not UCI elite (which are out of reach for most average folks). Save the conformity for road or XC racing, and do CX on your own terms.

    That said, I'd practice sessions to see what fits for you rather than thinking about it theoretically. Many intelligent riders have thought they would prefer X, only to find they prefer Y when they actually get out in the field. Approaching preparation with a mindset of experimentation rather than a mindset of rigidity will serve you well in the long haul as a cyclist, and in the short term for finding out what works for you in cyclocross.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    noticed a reduction in performance. More wind resistance on the flats and climbing suffered.

    Like others i spend most of my time in the hoods and my bar set up reflects this. If you want to use the drops more you need to bring the bar up say level with your saddle.

    You might try a different bar? maybe a midge. i love the cowbell.
    Your opinion seems to be the consensus and for good reason. It's true.
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