Oct 2, 2002 5:41 AM
|Will someone tell me what the advantages and disadvantages of drop bars are over straight bars and if straight bars are beneficial.|
|re: Cyclocross bars||flyweight|
Oct 2, 2002 7:59 AM
|The biggest advantage is ergonomics. A drop is simply more ergonomic than a flat bar. If you doubt this do the following: let your arms hang at your side. Now look at where your hands are facing. They're facing with the palms inward, toward your thighs. This is the same position your hands are in on a drop bar. A flat bar requires the wrist to make an unnatural 90 degree rotation which isn't good for you (one of the reasons people get carpal tunnel)
Drops also offer far more hand positions. Ever notice how MTB riders always put barends on their bikes? It's because a flat bar lacks multiple hand positions.
The only place a flat bar has an advantage over a drop bar is in very technical riding. This isn't because of the shape of the bar but rather the width. Most MTB bars are 22+ inches wide. That's 56 centimeters. Road bars by comparison top out at 46cm. A wider bar provides more leverage and control.
Finally, there's evolution. In the early days all bikes had flat bars. Over time bars began to develop drops and curves leading up to today's drop bar. We have several old handlebars from the 1910's, 20's, 30's, etc, etc. and when you line them up you can really see the gradual evolution.