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  1. #1
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    Grips for Dirt Drops?

    Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my dirt dropped Mutinyman, I'm looking for ideas on what other drop bar users have for grips. Normal bar tape? I saw Matt's bike in the Fixed Gear Gallery using Strong G grips. Anybody else?

    Thanks for your help,
    B
    Fort Collins, CO

  2. #2
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    not dirt drops, but moustache

    On my dirt drops I just used some cork tape. On my moustache I used some salsa grips (yellow), some worn out wtb grips (black ones on the inside), and I cut an old grip in half for the bottom. It works.


  3. #3
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    here's the hot setup

    Scot Nicol showed me how to do it back around '85 and I've been doing them this way ever since.
    Split some soft foam grips lengthwise and use them to just pad the top half of the lower drops. don't bother padding the underside of the bar. then wrap over them with good tape, cork tape is what I've always used. I don't bother wrapping above the brake levers since I never ride the hoods because my stem is sufficiently tall for total comfort in the drops. If your stem is a tad shorter than you'd like, use two layers of foam grip under the tape to raise your hands up a little. if your hands aren't as high as they'd be with a comfy XC flat bar setup, I would say your stem is too short. if you can ride 4-5 hours in the drops 100 percent of the time and your back isn't talking to you about it, then your bar is high enough. otherwise, a higher stem would be better. that's my rule anyway and I'm sticking to it. For reference: Find a picture of Tomac the year he raced with a drop bar, then add about 3 inches of rise to your setup and you will be just right. His bar was stupid-low because he wanted to mimic his road bike setup. That he did okay is testiment to Tomac, definitely not to his stem height, which was way way low.
    the reason for only padding the top half of the lower drops is so you can still get a good grip around the bar with your hands.
    feel free to use any padding that feels right to you. for a firmer feel but less cush, harder rubber grips would work. for a whole lot of cush, spenco would probably work great if that stuff is even still around, I dunno, it was all the rage in the 80s. I've always used oldschool foam grips which seems to work great and doesn't compress much under the tape so it stays cushy without being squishy..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    Scot Nicol showed me how to do it back around '85 and I've been doing them this way ever since.
    Split some soft foam grips lengthwise and use them to just pad the top half of the lower drops. don't bother padding the underside of the bar. then wrap over them with good tape, cork tape is what I've always used. I don't bother wrapping above the brake levers since I never ride the hoods because my stem is sufficiently tall for total comfort in the drops.
    That's the exact method I've used since the late '80s as well. However, I use old school cloth tape as it is much more resistant to tearing than cork. I also only use split foam grips on the top half of the lower drop, but I do also tape my bars all the way to the center section.

  5. #5
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    well there ya go

    I guess great minds think alike. Yeah the original method used cloth tape, which is harder and harder to find. I'm starting my 4th season on my last wrap of cork tape on the WTBs and it's still good to go, though I've never crashed on it. The key is the split grips only on the top haves of the drops so you can still get your hands around them. Whether to wrap above the levers is strictly a personal thing; since I never hold the bar up there I stopped at the levers -- Modolo levers BTW, another Nicol tip, as they have the most comfy spoon shape at the lever ends for 1-finger braking. Surprising how much less comfy Campy NR levers are, compared to the Modolos. Exposed cables of course, with motorcycle inline cable adjusters spliced into the housing, tre old school, just like Jacquie Phelan's old Indian.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    I guess great minds think alike. Yeah the original method used cloth tape, which is harder and harder to find. I'm starting my 4th season on my last wrap of cork tape on the WTBs and it's still good to go, though I've never crashed on it. The key is the split grips only on the top haves of the drops so you can still get your hands around them. Whether to wrap above the levers is strictly a personal thing; since I never hold the bar up there I stopped at the levers -- Modolo levers BTW, another Nicol tip, as they have the most comfy spoon shape at the lever ends for 1-finger braking. Surprising how much less comfy Campy NR levers are, compared to the Modolos. Exposed cables of course, with motorcycle inline cable adjusters spliced into the housing, tre old school, just like Jacquie Phelan's old Indian.
    My first drop bar bike (which I still have btw) was an 86ish Salsa with WTB drops and Modolo levers! Once Scot started making his own version of the drop bar, that became my favorite which replaced the WTB. I also moved to aero style levers favoring the Dia Compe - which had a very comfortable 'spoon' position for 1-finger braking etc... The Campy levers were too skinny in the hood area. The Modolo lever had what they called an anatomic hood that was nice and fat and also asymmetrically shaped for right and left hands. Here's my set up on my Ibis SS that has been unchanged since I put the bike together in '91 - complete with the old in-line adjusters and WTB cable hanger. My old Salsa has the same configuration except the stem is a Salsa for drops.

    I can see how you could forego the tape past the levers on WTB drops and yes, split foam grips are key!
    Last edited by ssmike; 08-19-2006 at 08:08 AM.

  7. #7
    blame me for missed rides
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    Scot Nicol showed me how to do it back around '85 and I've been doing them this way ever since.
    Split some soft foam grips lengthwise and use them to just pad the top half of the lower drops.
    do you mean below the lever, on the inside of the curve?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by weather
    do you mean below the lever, on the inside of the curve?
    I think I can answer for bulC. Yes, below the lever on the inside of the curve - shown in red below. Applies to both WTB or any drop bar used off road - can be helpful on the road as well if you have problems with hand pain/numbness.
    Last edited by ssmike; 08-19-2006 at 08:08 AM.

  9. #9
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    kewl. i'll try it on my next cross bike.

  10. #10
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    I never ride the hoods

    my LD stem is tall enough that I don't ever ride on the hoods, only in the drops, so hood comfort is meaningless to me, through I used to use the Modolo hoods on my Campy brakes for the road. I prefer exposed cables with dirtdrops for ease of maintenance and because I think they restrict the steering less as the cables are looser and longer vs wrapping them under the tape.
    I hope you've pulled the steerer a few times since '91 to check for cracking.

  11. #11
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    Scot Nicol showed me how to do it back around '85 and I've been doing them this way ever since.
    Split some soft foam grips lengthwise and use them to just pad the top half of the lower drops. don't bother padding the underside of the bar. then wrap over them with good tape, cork tape is what I've always used. I don't bother wrapping above the brake levers since I never ride the hoods because my stem is sufficiently tall for total comfort in the drops...
    SWEET! I ordered up some Grab-on foamies and will try the setup this way.
    Thanks fellas,

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    I hope you've pulled the steerer a few times since '91 to check for cracking.
    Probably not since '93. I haven't ridden it much since the mid '90's. When Ibis made the bike/fork/stem, they brazed a stub into the steerer tube. The stem clamps onto that. I've checked the pinch bolts regularly, with no tell-tale spider webs in the brazing. But maybe it's time to give some TLC (and some Weigle Frame Saver!) to the old lady. My bar position is pretty low. The top of the bar is just under the top of the seat so i'm all over the bars when I ride it. Post some pics of your ride sometime.

  13. #13
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    wow that is low

    My bar position is pretty low. The top of the bar is just under the top of the seat so i'm all over the bars when I ride it. Post some pics of your ride sometime.[/QUOTE]

    In my case my hands on the padded drops are just a inch or two below the seat top, just where they'd be when I set up a bike with a flat or riser bar. The hoods are way higher than the seat, and since the position at the hoods are also way narrower than at the drops, it's a position I have no use for.

    sounds like your bike is set up like Tomac's was. More power to you if your back can handle it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03bart
    Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my dirt dropped Mutinyman, I'm looking for ideas on what other drop bar users have for grips. Normal bar tape? I saw Matt's bike in the Fixed Gear Gallery using Strong G grips. Anybody else?

    Thanks for your help,
    B
    Fort Collins, CO
    I use cork ribbon. Best cushion and grip, wet or dry. The foam padding is too thick for me. I like my grips thin. If I want extra cush I will run a piece of cork ribbon along the top of the bar (lengthwise) before I wrap it.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    sounds like your bike is set up like Tomac's was. More power to you if your back can handle it.
    Not quite that low. His position duplicated his road position. But at 6'3" and a semi-albatross-like arm span, it just feels right having the bars where they are. Too high and I feel like I'm pedaling a bar stool!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    My bar position is pretty low. The top of the bar is just under the top of the seat so i'm all over the bars when I ride it. Post some pics of your ride sometime.
    In my case my hands on the padded drops are just a inch or two below the seat top, just where they'd be when I set up a bike with a flat or riser bar. The hoods are way higher than the seat, and since the position at the hoods are also way narrower than at the drops, it's a position I have no use for.

    sounds like your bike is set up like Tomac's was. More power to you if your back can handle it.
    I run my drops about the same as Mike's. My tops are just below the saddle. The drops are were I would run straight bars, if I could stand to use straight bars.

    Tomac should have setup his mtb so the drops were at the same height as the tops of his road bike. Ends up functionally the same.
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