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  1. #1
    Not smart enough to shift
    Reputation: onlyontwo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars


    So I am having an odd realization lately. I built up an mtb cruiser to ride with the kids and do beer runs on and it turns out I have been riding it almost exclusively on anything besides mountain bike rides. I am a dirt rider first, but we live in the MidWest and rain shuts our trails down.

    I have had two really nice "cross" bikes that I built to be able to leave from the house and ride whatever I want. The Waltworks I sold and I built the 44 up right afterwards. I have just over 2000 miles on the 44 and I am pretty happy with it, but I just don't reach for it much anymore. I find I have more fun on the cruiser and I am not any slower on it - even on 40+ mile rides.

    So, the question is, do I throw risers on the 44 and try to see if that brings the fun meter up which will make me reach for it?

    Are any of you riding road/dirt/gravel/cross bikes with flat bars and diggin' it?

    Pictures for fun.
    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-screen-shot-2015-12-15-1.45.56-pm.jpg
    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-img_7171.jpg
    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-img_9794.jpg
    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-img_5030.jpg

    Disclaimer: I'm a fan-boi for Jenson USA.

  2. #2
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    "Dad" Bike Territory

    my commuter, bar, gym, mixed terrain beater is a well seasoned swobo crosby with a assortment of MTB and road components, 32c tires and a 6pack rack/wald basket for cargo. Ive had a jones bar, and flat bar on it but a .50" riser seems to be the go-too bar for what i use the bike for. Im using a 110mm by zero stem which gets my hands close to where theyd be if i was riding the hoods on a drop bar using a shorter stem. This week its getting a 40T and 10 spd 11-42 upgrade for added versatility....

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I've been using flat bars on my road and commuter bikes for years, since A), I'm a cheap bastard, and being a mtb rider, had hand me down mtb parts to build bikes up with, and B), I always ended up riding my road bikes in the dirt from day one, and I prefer flat bars for that. I'm looking at adding Jones bars into the mix fwiw, they look like a great solution.

    Just take into account the different reach and adjust accordingly.

    Like you, I get way more riding time on my mutant, do everything bike than my mtb.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-20140820_145439-cropped.jpg  

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    both my "a" sscx and "b" sscx/mtb rig have flat bars. Primary bike uses drops.

    I really like flat bars and (rightly or wrongly) believe it helps my transition from mtb to cx (and 2.2+" tires to ~35mm).

  5. #5
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I'm seriously considering using one of my old cross frames, and a lot of parts bin parts, to put together a flat bar cross bike. I have pretty much everything I need except a headset and some cables.

    This thread may just be the push I needed.

    That's a sweet lookin 44 OP. I dig it
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  6. #6
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I added disc tabs on the rear, a 29'er Surly Ogre fork, disc brakes, and some CX wheels with 700 x 32 Kenda Small Block 8 tires to convert my old ti 26'er to a gravel / all around bike. I like the slight riser bars on it. It is super fast for riding around town, but is great for cranking out 50-80 miles of gravel, and the soft tail makes it comfortable on those long rides.

    Cross/gravel bikes and mtb bars-1111171048.jpg

  7. #7
    Not smart enough to shift
    Reputation: onlyontwo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Thank you for the replies.

    I went back and looked at some data from longer rides and it appears I misspoke - I am about 1.5-2mph faster on the 44 than my cruiser. I still think I might give the mtb bars a try and see how I get along with them.

    Disclaimer: I'm a fan-boi for Jenson USA.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Back a couple years when gravel bikes (#gravelbike) were just starting to be a thing, I used to ride gravel a gravel loop with one of my friends that steadfastly refused to buy a gravel bike. He had a cross bike but he found that for the most part, he was faster on his old Ti hardtail, so he rode that and sold the cross bike. We joked that his 29er hardtail was a #flatbargravelbike. He bought a full suspension mountain bike, so then the hardtail could then become even more optimized towards gravel, with a rigid fork and some 1.8" Renegades. His last modification was...drop bars. Everything comes full circle!

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