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  1. #1
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    Anyone race with drop bars?

    Just wondering if anyone races with drop bars--i.e. midge, woodchipper, etc.

    I have ridden offroad drops on fireroads and rails to trails, but not on singletrack. Trying to decide whether to give it a shot for my next race.

  2. #2
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    why?

  3. #3
    likes to ride bikes
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    Heh, save that shite for the bike blingers.

  4. #4
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    If you like it, or it makes you faster, or you think it makes you faster, or you feel more in control, or or etc give it a shot! If it works, great, if it sucks, well then you learned something.

  5. #5
    g3h6o3
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    I can't imagine riding techinal terrain in drops...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  6. #6
    FasCat Coaching
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    I believe it's only legal if your run the Tioga disc with it and it's 1990

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  7. #7
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    Yeah, only if you want to channel your inner Tomac.

    He only did it because he was racing the road with the 7 Eleven team while also racing mountain that season and wanted to keep his fit the same.

  8. #8
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    I don't race, but I sometimes ride my Salsa Fargo with Woodchipper bars on singletrack. It's a great choice for the relatively smooth, Hanson Hills trail system in Grayling, and also for the Shingle Mill Pathway north of Gaylord. The drops are a bit sketchy in the eroded and rooty sections of our local, Bruno's Run system, but I can still ride that system in the drops.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I take my 'cross bike on singletrack pretty frequently. It has road drop bars, and they're located in an intermediate position between my usual road handlebar position and where I'd put them if I wanted to ride in the drops full-time, as is generally recommended for mainly off-road use. I race 'cross on that bike, but I can't imagine riding it in a remotely technical XC race.

    I feel like I make some real compromises when I ride off-road on drop bars. Some, I think, would be mitigated or eliminated by different setup. Some, I think would probably not.

    I don't feel super-secure on the hoods off-road. So I ride in the drops more. For a while, I had the handlebars higher, to make the drops a more primary position. It didn't work out that well for me - they were still lower than I wanted them, but the hoods and tops of the bars lost their usefulness. The current compromise makes the drops usable for sprinting and descending, and I can spend quite a lot of time just riding in them although they'll eventually brutalize my back, but I can also ride the tops, hoods, corners, etc. So it's more of a modified road position than an off-road position, which is great for how I use that bike.

    The location of the brake levers isn't great for descending off-road in the drops. I end up with a major bend in my wrist, and when I bang the front wheel into something or off a ledge, it can be painful. It also restricts my range of motion some. I could move the brakes down on the handlebar, but then I lose the hoods riding position. So, not so great. I live with it, and descend on the hoods sometimes when it's not technical.

    The hoods position on a dedicated off-road drop bar looks weird to me. I don't know how it rides, but my inclination is that if I wanted to have my primary riding position have the angle that the drops on dirt drops give, I'd be looking at something more like the Titec H-bar, On-One Fleegle or Mary, Soma Clarence or Odin, etc. Basically a flat/riser bar with more sweep, rather than a road bar with more flare, for better compatibility with the rest of a MTB cockpit and the same riding position.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    SSOD
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigV View Post
    Just wondering if anyone races with drop bars--i.e. midge, woodchipper, etc.

    I have ridden offroad drops on fireroads and rails to trails, but not on singletrack. Trying to decide whether to give it a shot for my next race.
    Maybe mustache bars with a rigid fork but if you plan to run suspension, I would think it would really sketch and inefficient. Couple guys I know ran mustache bars on their 29er for cx races last fall, but that's a lot different than singletrack.

  11. #11
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    No I haven't. My initial response would be, why? I'm thinking you better be able to tear it up with those bars if you are rolling up to staging like that. : )
    Reminds me of the the last Rim Noridic Stage race in So. Cal, there was this one kid who did the whole race; uphill, super d, crit, xc all on a CX bike. He tore it up. Respect.

  12. #12
    CB2
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    A National champion races with drops.


  13. #13
    lgh
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    I have Midge bars on my CX SS, beater bike, and road bike/commuter. They are set up in the proper fashion - about 2cm above the saddle. I like them and use them a lot. Don't have them on my Mtb and won't be putting them on any time soon.

    Larry

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    I have Midge bars on my CX SS, beater bike, and road bike/commuter. They are set up in the proper fashion - about 2cm above the saddle.
    When you say that, do you mean the tops are 2cm above? Or do you mean that the drops are 2cm above?

  15. #15
    lgh
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    Top of bars 2 cm above saddle. The drop of Midge bars is 11 cm. Therefore when on the drops you are 9 cm below the saddle. Great for some applications. Shiggy (moderator on wheels and tires forum) uses Midge bars on many if not all his mtb bikes.

    Larry

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    Top of bars 2 cm above saddle. The drop of Midge bars is 11 cm. Therefore when on the drops you are 9 cm below the saddle.
    Thanks Larry. I was just curious. I run drops on my Fargo. I've been a bit unclear as to what the accepted height is relative to the saddle. I've often wondered whether I was too low, because my drops are below my saddle. No one else in this area whom I know rides drops in the woods, so I don't have anyone local to compare notes/experience with.

    I like the drops sometimes. They're great for smooth trails, and especially for two-track logging road riding in which I'm just laying down the miles. A couple of my friends look at me like I'm daft when I haul the bike out on singletrack, but that's ok. It's good to be daft every now and again.

  17. #17
    zrm
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    Alice Toeclips raced using drops.

  18. #18
    lgh
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I like the drops sometimes. They're great for smooth trails, and especially for two-track logging road riding in which I'm just laying down the miles. A couple of my friends look at me like I'm daft when I haul the bike out on singletrack, but that's ok. It's good to be daft every now and again.
    Yeah, dirt roads sound about right for me. Trails and single track I prefer 2cm below the saddle and everything at my finger tips. Of course, YMMV.

    Larry

  19. #19
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    interesting.. maybe it's because many of the races I do are xterras, but I thought they weren't allowed in most races. I thought i had seen the race rules for an XC race I did which also specified no drop bars.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    Yeah, dirt roads sound about right for me. Trails and single track I prefer 2cm below the saddle and everything at my finger tips.
    I did 28 miles yesterday on the Tour da Woods race route while riding drops. Most of the time I was fine, but there were several times when I was caught out and unable to shift because I was to busy holding on and not able to slide my hand back towards the bar-end shifters. My fault for being caught out, of course, for failing to anticipate shifts earlier enough. Anyway, I can see your point about wanting everything at your fingertips.

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I hated bar end shifters when I had them! Worst of all worlds. Except stem shifters. Those blow.

    If I were to do an off-road drop bar setup, I'd go with integrated shifters.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    If I were to do an off-road drop bar setup, I'd go with integrated shifters.
    I was on a budget at the time had to keep costs down. Brifters are amazingly expensive.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I was on a budget at the time had to keep costs down. Brifters are amazingly expensive.


    Ultegra's can usually be found pretty reasonable and work really well.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I did 28 miles yesterday on the Tour da Woods race route while riding drops.
    I meant to go on that ride. I just couldnt get out of bed early enough sunday morning. Are you going to pre-ride it any more?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999 View Post
    I meant to go on that ride. I just couldnt get out of bed early enough sunday morning. Are you going to pre-ride it any more?
    I wouldn't mind another pre-ride. I also prefer later in the day. Not sure when I can do it though. I'm on ambulance duty pretty much solid all this coming weekend. I am so not looking forward to that -- two days with no chance to ride.

    The 30 mile course is a long ride for an evening. I'm not fast enough, and can't leave early enough, to be sure of getting done by dark. I can do half the course in an evening though, so that might be something to talk about.

    Larry is not nearly so over-scheduled as I am. You should ping him. He very likely might be willing to ride the course again this coming weekend.

    BTW, if you ever get out this way on Tuesday evenings, we usually ride Bruno's Run starting at 6:00pm.

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