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Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??(6 posts)

Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??UTE
May 18, 2002 10:49 AM
I was sorting through some old issues of bike mags and came across a review of the Ritchey Mt. Cross. As I am in the midst of building my first cross bike, I am now intrigued by the idea of the 700C 'format' mated to a MTB flat bar and shifters. I will not be racing Cross, but was really just looking to build a trail bike with some road manners. Does anyone run this?? Is this setup too redundant to my MTB?? Never ridden drop bars before and wondering if the benefits of MTB bars off-road will at least equal the drawback of riding such an arrangement on the road?? Assuming there are any drawbacks of running a falt MTB bar on the road. Also if I did this, what brake levers could I use with the Paul Tourig Cantis I was planning on running??? Thanx Folks !!!!!
re: Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??The Walrus
May 19, 2002 12:37 PM
There were earlier threads on this topic (3/28 and 4/18), but my experience was that it yields a too-short riding position.
re: Flat Bar CX .Allroads
May 19, 2002 2:09 PM
I am. Like Walrus said you have to be careful of the reach to the bars and the riding position. I tried to get a reach similar to my old mtb and it worked out well. Depends on the frame you are starting with...effective toptube and available stem lengths.

One advantage to drops is that they do provide more hand positions. If you like flats, though, it's worth looking into. As for brake levers...I am sure you can find some canti levers around. I have a pair too (new) if you are interested (

Best of luck.

re: Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??Jakob
May 20, 2002 3:45 PM
I recently converted my 2-year-old Surly to a flat bar when I used my STI and drop bars on my new Redline. I had some old shifter and levers, so I thought I'd try it.

Like the others said, one problem is that now I need a longer stem. I think I need a stem about 2cm longer.

I am running a narrower bar than on my mountain bike (ritchey wcs on surly, titec hell bent enduro xc on mtb), but it doesn't feel too different because I have bar ends on my mountain bike and none on the Surly. I have mostly used the Surly for commuting since I got the Redline and the flat bar is fine for that. I still would prefer a drop bar, but the flat set up is just fine.

Shimano XT and LV V-levers have adjustable pull, right?

Overall, I would urge you to go with the drop bar. While I don't think that running a flat bar would be a set up redundant to your MTB, I do feel that I have improved greatly as a rider because of riding offroad on cross bikes with drop bars. A stong drop bar and rigid fork-equipped cross bike force you to choose lines well and use lots of body english when riding trails. It's sooooo much fun. The flat bar on a cross bike just makes the bike feel like my first, rigid mountain bike, albeit a little faster do to the skinny tires.

The only real advantage to riding a flat bar (aside from straight up personal preference) is that the STI levers are expensive and not bomb-proof. I suppose you could go with barcons.

Good luck!
re: Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??atpjunkie
May 21, 2002 7:54 PM
big up on the bar cons!!! yes sti's die horrible deaths if you ride in the muck and gunk. This last guy is right on though. Go with the drops, it will improve your technique tons. If you put flats on all you'll have is a short TT'd 29er with skinnier tires, you're gonna want more cowbell...oops I mean more reach provided by the drops and you get funny looks that way from the MTBers you pass as only us old timers remember mountain bikes with drops. It's also just fun and it makes trails you have wired on your MTB challenging again. If you want a more upright position get wide bars 46 c to c and mount froglegg levers up top and you'll have the feeling of flats as well.
re: Flat Bar CX - Anyone Running This??peter in NVA
May 24, 2002 12:36 PM
I agree. Its like retro mountain biking. I remember John Tomac and Jackie Phelan used drop bars racing mountain bikes (all rigid at the time). People don't remember that now so they think you're doing something unusual.