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Handlebars 101(10 posts)

Handlebars 101Fez
Sep 24, 2003 5:23 AM
Can someone explain all about handlebars?

What is deep drop vs shallow drop?

Also, I notice some have drops closer to 45 degrees and some closer to 90 degrees. Don't the 45 degree ones have a greater reach to the brake lever when your hands are in the drops?

What is the significance of the length of the ends of the bars? Some brands are real short and some are real long.

I use 3T and notice the bar ends are fairly short and the drop is angled towards the 45 degree end and the reach to the lever is long in this position. What brand of bar will give me longer ends and a less angled drop?

Thanks for the tips... I can't always tell what is what from the pictures so I was hoping some folks who have tried the different bars will chime in.
some info hereDougSloan
Sep 24, 2003 7:06 AM

Doesn't answer all your questions, but answers to just about every bike question are at the Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery website.

All in the setup...Spunout
Sep 24, 2003 9:57 AM
Set the angle for the drops by moving the bars in the stem. You might like it flatter than 45* you've eluded to.

Now, move the shifters up or down to provide a most comfortable position on the tops.

Check to make sure you can reach the brake levers from the drops. If you cannot, you'll have to compromise. If resultant position is very goofy or impractical, you've got the wrong bars.

FWIW, try some deep (Belgian style, non-anatomic) bars where you can run flatter, longer in the drops and still have a high position on the hoods. If your hands are a bit smaller, or the deep position hurts your back, go to a shallow drop. Most common available are Deda 215 or ITM Millenium(Strada).

Why do I know this? I've done the research, have a love/hate relationship with anatomic bars and am ready to switch. Currently using Cinelli Nerve, close in shape to Deda 215 anatomic.
All in the setup...charlieboy
Sep 25, 2003 12:13 AM
Hi there, I would be interested in hearing about your bar research. I put up a question on this board recently about reaching the brakes from the drops as I have relatively small hands; it's time for me to get a new bar and was looking for recommendations for a bar that allows a reasonable grip on the brake levers. Any views? Thanks.
Short reach bars anyone??Spunout
Sep 25, 2003 4:14 AM
I think Salsa makes something especially with this in mind. It is all about your position in the drops, ie, how far forward can you go compared to your lever position?

Try tilting the bar down slightly, and moving the lever down the drop a bit. This will bring the brake lever inward, but then again it all depends on your bar shape. Try them all!
Reach is affected by several factors...Fez
Sep 25, 2003 5:00 AM
I have large hands and long fingers, but reach can still be a problem. I have a 3T bar which has a drop section that angles away from the vertical plane.

Because of this angle in the drops, the brake lever becomes very hard to reach, especially if you mount the hoods up high. Mounting the hoods lower should improve reach, but too low and the hood position is compromised.

Also, tilting the bar can improve reach to the drops, but too much and the hood position is again compromised.

Thick gel gloves also compromises brake lever reach when in the drops.

I'm still looking for a bar that doesn't have a sharply angled drop section that makes brake lever reach difficult.
Short reach bars anyone??charlieboy
Sep 25, 2003 5:10 AM
'Try them all' - easier said than done when your local LBS couldn't care less about roadies, and the nearest place that stocks a reasonable selection is *** miles away!

I like a flat run off the top of the bar to my campy ergo. I guess I'll just have to keep looking - I'll check out the Salsa

Flatter the better...Spunout
Sep 25, 2003 9:35 AM
Yes, ergos here too. I'm basically horizontal all across the top from the bars across the ergos.

Look at Deda 215 Shallow(like Lance). ITM Strada and Deep drop bars like most Belgian setups (Hence the old Cinelli Belgian style) are deeper. These bars are longer on the end, so that you have enough room for your hands when tilting them upwards a bit.

Both shapes in Deda 215 are available from
Short reach bars anyone??PMC
Sep 26, 2003 6:40 AM
I run Ergos on Ritchey WCS Classic bars and the tops are flat. I like my bar tops fairly low so the shallow profile is perfect for my situation. Another bar with the same classic profile that's just a bit heavier is the Titec Malone.
Here are five you don't have to try...TFerguson
Sep 26, 2003 8:00 AM
I know I've said it before, but...

Terry T-Bar - "A clever indentation on the inside of the curve of the handlebar brings your hands closer to the brake lever when you're in the drops."

Salsa Short & Shallow – "Smaller drop and reach."

Salsa Poco – "Super short drop and reach."

3T Forma – Standard anatomic.

OEM on Bianchi Volpe – Standard non-anatomic.

I've mounted Ultegra levers on all of the above and moved them up and down within practical limits. All measured 83-85mm from the back of the bar to the front of the levers. I would consider the above to be a pretty good sampling and look elsewhere for a solution.

FWIW, I've also tried Campy Record Carbon on one of the Salsas and, though I did not measure them, I could not apply the brakes without letting go of the bar first.