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  1. #1
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    Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?

    okay
    Last edited by tealy; 11-05-2017 at 05:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well is it a road bike or a mt bike? Ever try to get aero on a mt bike? Suboptimal.

  3. #3
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    Drop bars offer a multitude of hand positions and some better ergonomics imo. A frame designed around drop bars eliminates the extra spacers and wonky stem angles as well.
    "Bicycles have the magic power to go
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    Wonky > my new favorite word.

    What Tiretracks said sums it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  5. #5
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    Mtn bikers are closet roadies.
    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    To me, it seems counter intuitive to run a ton of spacers and a tall stem to get your bars up high so that they can then drop down near the top tube.

    Why not run a flat bar with bar ends (or bullhorns) to get your hands in roughly the same position? This is simpler, stronger, and lighter.

    What am I missing? Or is this just an Instagram fad?
    I did this a few years ago with a high rise stem and woodchipper bars and it just didn't work for me. However, there are many it does seem to work for and who I am to tell them it looks odd? Ok, I don't think it looks odd, but the ride was odd and cramped for me. So, all that really says is that the frame I used wasn't right for dropbars. That said, I've seen a fair amount of uncut steer tubes on Crosschecks too. A few years ago I saw a custom fatty with drop bars and it was awesome. It can be done, the frame just needs the right geometry.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  7. #7
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    Are we talking drop bars on an MTB?!? Why? Unless you're riding on trails that have no features, I cannot see the need or any reason to want them.
    It's all Here. Now.

  8. #8
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    Ride what makes you comfortable.

    When I had a road bike I had to keep repositioning my hands from the drops to the hoods in order to get comfortable... But I spent most of my time in the "up right position". For touring I think the best thing about drop bars is they give you more hand positions. I much prefer mtb.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Mtn bikers are closet roadies.
    Nice try but more like roadies wannabe mountain bikers
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    Nice try but more like roadies wannabe mountain bikers
    Then they would be riding road bikes with flat/riser bars.
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  11. #11
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    Drop bar mtb is not "all the rage." It is a sliver of a fringe among bikepackers, retrogrouches, and gravel racers.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Drop bar mtb is not "all the rage." It is a sliver of a fringe among bikepackers, retrogrouches, and gravel racers.
    Pretty much this.

    For long distance, nontechnical riding, drop bars are great. My commuter/touring bike/gravel bike has them. I've even ridden some easy singletrack on them. Nice thing about riding in the drops on dirt is that the extra bar length flexes quite a bit and provides some cushion, fwiw.

    I do not like them when there's really technical terrain, though. I can't maneuver the bike over roots and rocks nearly as well. Which makes sense. A mtb fit for technical terrain is going to have a different fit than a true long distance bike.

    And no, bar ends do not give the same position as drop bars. They're two totally different setups.

  13. #13
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    I guess I'm getting a tad dated because I remember back in the day drop bars were used in mountain bike, cross, and even downhill by very few Pros. The bars came in 25.4 and we're a bit longer. I raised an eyebrow for about eight seconds one time thinking about giving it a try and then my brow dropped and it was over.

  14. #14
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    Another item that so many look at and put down in our community. What's the big deal? Ride what you want and what makes you happy. Who gives a crap what others think and if it's the cool hip thing to be using. I'm sure [most] of those that use them use them to have more hand positioning options and not to fit into a specific niche group of our community.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Another item that so many look at and put down in our community. What's the big deal? Ride what you want and what makes you happy. Who gives a crap what others think and if it's the cool hip thing to be using. I'm sure [most] of those that use them use them to have more hand positioning options and not to fit into a specific niche group of our community.
    have a cookie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    have a cookie.
    Got milk?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  17. #17
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    Because some people get bored easily.

    It's cool to watch.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Pretty much this.

    For long distance, nontechnical riding, drop bars are great. My commuter/touring bike/gravel bike has them. I've even ridden some easy singletrack on them. Nice thing about riding in the drops on dirt is that the extra bar length flexes quite a bit and provides some cushion, fwiw.

    I do not like them when there's really technical terrain, though. I can't maneuver the bike over roots and rocks nearly as well. Which makes sense. A mtb fit for technical terrain is going to have a different fit than a true long distance bike.

    And no, bar ends do not give the same position as drop bars. They're two totally different setups.
    Exactly. I cannot imagine that you would have anything like enough control to ride safely and effectively in technical terrain. I guess because I have zero desire to ride on featureless terrain, the thought of using these is abhorrent to me I remember as a child a friend lent me his bike that had drops on and I hated them from way back then... Just couldn't get to grips with them... (HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ...sorry)
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  19. #19
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    Mtb dropbars? Never seen that on anything but a cross bike where I am but rock gardens are the norm so there's that.

    I don't understand how drop bars could work well on technical singletrack but all the power to those guys if they make it work.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho View Post
    I raised an eyebrow for about eight seconds one time thinking about giving it a try and then my brow dropped and it was over.
    Nice, an insiders look at the eyebrow action of jimbowho. there's a gem you don't get every day.
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  21. #21
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    I think the use of drop bars has changed as bike design has evolved. Mountain bikers have never been too stuck with a formula approach to design. We tend to try different things (look at the evolution of frame design) to address perceived deficiencies in our current set-up. I think for some less technical racing, bike packing and commuting, drops offer advantages but I found my Fargo to be a handful on several eastern slope trails. Probably why I bought a fatbike.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  22. #22
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    There are a number of obvious answers to the OP, so I will list them in no particular order of importance and in the hope that this becomes a sticky of cosmic truth:

    1. Because bikes are so expensive these days.

    2. Because plus size and fat bikes are better.

    3. Because flats are better than clipped in (or reverse to suit your fancy)

    4. Because a 1X oval ring is all the rage.

    5. Because the best POS entry level bike among 5 other POS entry level bikes cones down to which one you like best--they are all still a POS.

    6. ...I lost my of thought...


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    There are a number of obvious answers to the OP, so I will list them in no particular order of importance and in the hope that this becomes a sticky of cosmic truth:

    1. Because bikes are so expensive these days.

    2. Because plus size and fat bikes are better.

    3. Because flats are better than clipped in (or reverse to suit your fancy)

    4. Because a 1X oval ring is all the rage.

    5. Because the best POS entry level bike among 5 other POS entry level bikes cones down to which one you like best--they are all still a POS.

    6. ...I lost my of thought...
    you left out because Enduro.
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  24. #24
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    When I live and ride I see lots of roadies, hundreds of them. I can count the number of times you see them using the drops on the fingers of one elbow. They are on the hoods virtually all the time. I'm not saying a particular type of bike set-up is a fashion statement for everyone but it definitely is for some.

    It's about being in the cool club, and there is no club for bar-end riders.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    When I live and ride I see lots of roadies, hundreds of them. I can count the number of times you see them using the drops on the fingers of one elbow. They are on the hoods virtually all the time. I'm not saying a particular type of bike set-up is a fashion statement for everyone but it definitely is for some.

    It's about being in the cool club, and there is no club for bar-end riders.
    I actually started the club for bar ends bikers. But the other guy quit.

  26. #26
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    I like flat bars for technical rising. Not that I ride too much that is technical.
    For gravel and bikepacking though, it is Jones H-Bars.
    Help chart the mountains at www.appalachianbiketrails.org

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    When I live and ride I see lots of roadies, hundreds of them. I can count the number of times you see them using the drops on the fingers of one elbow. They are on the hoods virtually all the time. I'm not saying a particular type of bike set-up is a fashion statement for everyone but it definitely is for some.

    It's about being in the cool club, and there is no club for bar-end riders.
    You must not be seeing them descending. Though it's true most of the time is on the hoods, there are advantages to being in the drops when descending.
    There are two types of people in this world:
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    You must not be seeing them descending. Though it's true most of the time is on the hoods, there are advantages to being in the drops when descending.
    True, but bending your arms also works.

  29. #29
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    Paging Shiggy...

    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    I cannot imagine that you would have anything like enough control to ride safely and effectively in technical terrain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayncedar View Post
    Mtb dropbars?I don't understand how drop bars could work well on technical singletrack but all the power to those guys if they make it work.
    Nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Nice, an insiders look at the eyebrow action of jimbowho. there's a gem you don't get every day.
    I dropped that little tidbit when I was at the bar!

  31. #31
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    If drop bars on a mtb is foreign to you, do a quick google search for "drop bar mountain bike." Or see the trhead titled "I beg of you, more MONSTERCROSS." It's a cool idea and I would love to try one. I would need to ride a frame conducive to such a setup though. I have plans to build a 69er, rigid, SS monstercross out of an old hardtail when I have time.

    I have ridden a cx bike on rocky singletrack. Riding in the drops is fun, except for three things that could be addressed with a bike designed better for that sort of thing: toe overlap when the trail gets slow and twisty, amount of drop from the saddle to the hooks (hurts my back after a while), and lack of tire clearance for bigger tires. A true monstercross bike would be a ton of fun. I would love to ride a bike with reach and stack made to fit with drop bars and a rigid fork. Very few such frames exist.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 02-10-2017 at 06:02 AM.
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    Back when I was kid, probably about 12 or 13, there was a small pile of dirt in back of the Mormon church that we'd jump with our bikes. While the other kids were jumping it with their BMX bikes, I did it with my 10-speed (drop bars). Every time I jumped, I'd end up doing an nose wheelie which would make the other boys laugh their asses off. Of course their laughing just encouraged me to keep at it. I think I rode one nose-wheelie for about 20 feet or so.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    True, but bending your arms also works.
    Not really. Disk brakes pretty much eliminate this problem, but to get real power with calipers, you have to be in the drops, and being able to grip with all your fingers, or three with a finger on the brake lever, is far more confidence inspiring.

    I like to demo CX bikes at Bootleg during Interbike, like riding them up and down Girl Scout, once you get over committing to being in the drops, it's not bad and actually kind of fun.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    It's about being in the cool club, and there is no club for bar-end riders.

    Riding on the hoods is totally different from riding bar ends.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Not really. Disk brakes pretty much eliminate this problem, but to get real power with calipers, you have to be in the drops, and being able to grip with all your fingers, or three with a finger on the brake lever, is far more confidence inspiring.

    I like to demo CX bikes at Bootleg during Interbike, like riding them up and down Girl Scout, once you get over committing to being in the drops, it's not bad and actually kind of fun.
    I generally find the drops too low for steep technical descents, but the braking and hand security sketchy on the hoods. If the hoods hooked more on top and the brakes accounted for my hand-strength (pressing sideways with my fingers), It would be better.
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  36. #36
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    okay
    Last edited by tealy; 03-12-2017 at 08:03 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    I've ridden both for years. It's practically the same hand position.

    MAKE BAR ENDS GREAT AGAIN.
    I'm still not clear whether you're talking about drop bars for road or off road. Drops for off road are a bad idea IMO, Tomac figured that out over 20 years ago.

    Practically the same hand position? It's not even close for me. For one thing my mtb. bars are quite a bit wider than 430mm, but more importantly hoods place your hands forward several inches compared to riding on the flats.

    I do miss bar ends on the mtb every now and then but they just don't feel right on 740mm bars.
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  38. #38
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    okay
    Last edited by tealy; 03-12-2017 at 08:03 AM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    I'm talking about people running super-high drop bars on mtb touring and monster cross bikes.

    Why not just use bar ends to get a similar hand position.

    Well that clears a lot of things up. Drop bars offer more hand positions than flat bars with bar ends. Also personal preference.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Not really. Disk brakes pretty much eliminate this problem, but to get real power with calipers, you have to be in the drops, and being able to grip with all your fingers, or three with a finger on the brake lever, is far more confidence inspiring.
    What I meant was that I can tuck down perfectly well on descents with flat bars. And before you say 'but you're more airo on drops', you're not. I overtook a group of roadies, probably about ten of them, a few years ago. On my 26'' MTB! Great fun :0) Sure, it's not the same. You can't pedal like that for ages like you can on a road bike but it works for whizzing down hills.

    Yeah, road bike brakes suck! so if that can be agreed on, why can't we agree that the bandy bars suck as well? ;0)

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Drop bars offer more hand positions than flat bars with bar ends.
    Realistically, there isn't much in it. You don't have he drop position with ends but you don't have the hight with drops either. With bar-ends you can choose from many shapes and put them in a lot of different positions. I have mine very upright but some people point them forward for a more 'airo' position.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Realistically, there isn't much in it.
    Apparently not for you but for me and 1000's of other cyclists there is. Flat bars with drops offer 2 positions whereas drops have at least 4 distinct positions. They are different beasts, one is very good for off road and one is very good for performance road riding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I overtook a group of roadies, probably about ten of them, a few years ago. On my 26'' MTB! Great fun :0)
    okay
    Last edited by tealy; 03-12-2017 at 08:02 AM.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    What I meant was that I can tuck down perfectly well on descents with flat bars. And before you say 'but you're more airo on drops', you're not. I overtook a group of roadies, probably about ten of them, a few years ago. On my 26'' MTB! Great fun :0)

    Well that proves without a doubt that mountain bikes with bar ends are faster than road bikes.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  44. #44
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    okay
    Last edited by tealy; 03-12-2017 at 08:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    I've ridden both for years. It's practically the same hand position.

    MAKE BAR ENDS GREAT AGAIN.
    Except you can't touch the brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tealy View Post
    Not to get off-topic ... but would it be faux-pas to run drop bars and a dropper post?

    Surely one would need goggles for that much speed.

    Drop it like it's hot.
    If the frame had the room for one, it would do a lot to make drop bars and CX bikes or things like the Salsa Fargo a lot more off road friendly. If you're going to be standing the vast majority of the time, might as well get the saddle out of the way, but someone would have to figure out a way to integrate the remote.

    Course, the type of people who would typically ride those bikes aren't necessarily the most open to new technology.

    If I had more money than I knew what to do with I'd totally rock a CX bike for tame XC trails. It's a way to make boring trails interesting again...somewhat similar to the argument for singlespeeds.

    But blindly putting drop bars on bikes that weren't designed for them is kinda dumb.

  47. #47
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    When you're done with your drop bars #DIYToronto


    Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?-16508620_10154166681136087_6418247233211714991_n.jpg


    A few more DIY improvements and they won't need to lock it up.
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    If you want to "get aero" while riding trails, you're doing it wrong.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If you want to "get aero" while riding trails, you're doing it wrong.


    Yep, you use these Name:  Scott-AT-4-Vintage-Handlebars-MTB-Mountain-Bike-Tri-_1.jpg
Views: 1513
Size:  18.7 KB for that.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    When you're done with your drop bars #DIYToronto


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	16508620_10154166681136087_6418247233211714991_n.jpg 
Views:	957 
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ID:	1120763


    A few more DIY improvements and they won't need to lock it up.
    I like the rubber band holding one side of the handlebars on. that's innovation. Plus as a bonus, your hands are nowhere near the brakes for emergency stopping. I guess that's what your face is for.
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If you want to "get aero" while riding trails, you're doing it wrong.
    I dunno about that. Once you're airborne aero can be useful.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

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    Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?-potts.jpg

    If you think you can't ride a trail with "features" you are sorely mistaken. All about the positioning

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    Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?-img_0207.jpg

    This is a set-up I made to address multi-positional hand locations and varied ride positions that I encounter in my riding. I have 3 contact points with the middle position (a junction where the aero and 'flat' positions meet) that is the same as the hoods on a road bike. It can be done.

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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
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    Just as well it didn't end up looking ridiculous! ;0)

  55. #55
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    Dilemma solved:
    Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?-dropbar.jpg
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  56. #56
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    Like putting low profile street tires on a Jeep.^



    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
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    ^Cool bike!
    I brake for stinkbugs

  57. #57
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    So I really don't see bar ends OR drop bars among serious mtbrs with newer bikes where I am - mostly short stem / wide bars setups with rise looking like it's on the increase lately too. Is this actually a thing elsewhere and, if so, where exactly?

    I don't doubt a good rider coming out of a hardcore road background would feel comfortable with drop bars in rock gardens just fine. Respect for that.

    But I'll take a pass on the concept.

  58. #58
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    Drop Bar Love

    I am a huge fan of drop bars on mountain bikes. My ice cream truck and karate monkey have spent substantial parts of their lives in drop bar status. I find that to make a ride truly proper, I require three components: long miles, trail, and gravel. Enter the drop bar mountain bike, however with the caveat that the frame has to lend itself to a favorable position for success, I.e short top tube and tall head tube. I am currently building up a pivot les SS, rigid with drops. The flare is of huge importance imo as this facet of the bar offers a wider grip and an ideal comfort position that feels very stable and lively with a variety of wrist relieving positions. It can be challenging getting to the brakes in technical terrain, but the drop bar mountain bike has become my favorite platform for cycling as I can sling a semi fat tire, or 40c while still maintaining a sustainable and comfy position for some healthy mileage and trail shredding. Fwitw these conversions have been single. Only way.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why are drop bars all the rage over bar ends?-bde4392a-1b41-4209-8dd3-b13901d92be4.jpg  

    Last edited by SurlySingleSpeeder; 1 Week Ago at 09:23 PM.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If you want to "get aero" while riding trails, you're doing it wrong.
    Quick, someone tell the DH racers who tuck to gain speed.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  60. #60
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    I have a Salsa Fargo, which is basically a cross bike with 3" tires. I've had it out on some semi-technical trails and find that it has two significant drawbacks: the hand positions and the narrowness of the bars don't lend themselves to fighting trail obstacles; and playing the brakes while descending is quite difficult. The hand/brake lever relationship just isn't suited to repeated and strong braking. For gravel it's fantastic. That's what I bought it for and I love it.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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