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Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?(24 posts)

Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?phil the wheel
Jan 31, 2003 1:24 AM
It seems that lots of shops are setting up road bikes with flatbars and lots of manufacturers are offering 'stock' road bikes with flat bars.
TREK has a flat bar 'option' on several models
MOTOBECANE has two models that are stock 'flat-bar' type
SPECIALIZED has the whole SIRRUS catagory that is kinda flat bar road
And FUJI has the FORZA group - same type as specialized

does a bike have to have drops to be a road bike?
will having flat-bike models put more riders on road bikes?
will flat-bar type pass drop-bar type; the way Comfort bikes overtook mountain bikes?

very investing trend
No. nmSpunout
Jan 31, 2003 4:11 AM
Maybe Flat Bar road will soon outsell drop bar typecarlos x
Jan 31, 2003 4:30 AM
many changes have happened; people like flat bars and they like the idea of comfort. my local dealer pushed me to consider a Caffe Noir flatbar bike. It seemed nice

maybe 20 years ago no one saw mountain bikes coming - people also like new things = especially amercians

if they get more people riding on the road then I say the bar type is not bad - and maybe better
But where's the comfort?Crankist
Jan 31, 2003 6:04 AM
I've got a drop bar bike and a Sirrus. Drop from saddle to flat bar & bartop is the same on both bikes. But that single hand position on the Sirrus becomes annoying after just a short while. I rarely ride it for that reason -and it rides like a paintmixer. It did get me started toward a road bike though, much like Maryjane led me down the path to Timothy Leary.
VERY likely these bikes will outsell traditional road bikesinsidebirds
Jan 31, 2003 5:21 AM
Drop bar style bikes are only about 1% of the total market in the USA - about 14 million bikes sold - about 125,000 are drop bar style

these new more user friendly road bikes could easily pass 125,000 in just a year or two of being pushed by companies like Trek, Motobecane< Specialized, and Fuji

the Treks and Motobecanes are actual ROAD BIKES with flat bars

But the Specialized and Fuji are 'super charged' Hybrids

what is interesting is - that last year Shimano introduced MORE new stuff for flat bar road than they did for any other type bike - so the king pin Shimano must think this is the future
the future may look like thisinsidebirds
Jan 31, 2003 5:24 AM
might take some getting used to; but at least Trek, Motobecane, and Shimano are thinking 'outside the box' to get more riders on the road

by the way - the new shifter for these bikes at Ultegra level - called the 6600 - is smoother than any shifters I have ever felt - Shimano put some work into that one
you mean like this:collinsc
Jan 31, 2003 9:56 AM
not for me
or thisctisevn
Jan 31, 2003 10:13 AM
lots of brakeless fixies...imagine the chaos
Maybe I'm not such a dork?...asphalt assault
Jan 31, 2003 5:28 AM
I'm currently gathering parts for a road bike build. Being primarily an MTB guy, I have a nice carbon flat bar and some very nice MTB levers and shifters laying around that I plan to use, at least initially, to get this show on the road. I'l probably toss on some MTB bar-ends as well to give me another hand position to work with.

I say go with whatever feels comfortable to you.
Maybe I'm not such a dork?...al0
Jan 31, 2003 6:24 AM
IMHO MTB-style bar-ends are prohibited in road mass-start races, so if you plan to race you shouldn't use them.
I don't plan on racing....asphalt assault
Jan 31, 2003 7:05 AM
...I can imigine why MTB bar-ends are not allowed. I'm sure you could cause som serious pain to another rider if you get sqirrily and gore him with one.

If I ever plan on getting into a race all it takes is a 5mm allen to make things legal. But then I might decide to conform and go with drop bars in time.
this is the picture I meant to post - sorryinsidebirds
Jan 31, 2003 5:38 AM
the more I look at it
the more I think dropbar road bikes may easily be passed by these type (not in races - but in sales)
re: Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?tarwheel
Jan 31, 2003 6:09 AM
For typical recreational riders who just cycle now and then -- and who probably buy 90% of the bikes on the market -- flat bars are probably just fine and more comfortable. Most serious cyclists prefer drop bars for the ability to change positions. Ironically, most serious cyclists mount their bars so low that they never use the drops. My handlebars are only 1" below the saddle height and I use the drops all the time. The guys I see riding bikes with handlebars 3-6" below their saddles seem to never ride in the drops.
I use the same position on my barsbigrider
Jan 31, 2003 8:24 AM
I am with you tarwheel. I keep my bars a little higher but with a long reach. When I am on the hoods I am comfy and fairly aero and when I get in the drops I am not killing myself.

That is one reason I strongly dislike the industry's pursuit of threadless headsets. There are a bunch of riders that buy a bike and the fork is cut and set and they ride in a bad position and it ruins their attitude in one of two ways.

They have pain when they ride
They have to fork out more money to fix the problem.
This is one of the main reasons....asphalt assault
Jan 31, 2003 8:52 AM
...I like to custom build my own set my ride position where I like it.

A good Idea for bike manufacturers would be to leave the steer tubes on threadless forks longer and stack spacers above and below the stem so you can play around with bar height. After you figure out where you're comfortable you can cut the steer tube accordingly.

Bars (hoods) level with the seat works for me.
Moustache bars or priest bars wouldOldEdScott
Jan 31, 2003 6:18 AM
be better. All the advantages of flat bars with more hand positions.
They're marketed to commutersKristin
Jan 31, 2003 7:22 AM
Those are good setups for commuting--especially for the urbanite who only rides to commute. They usually come stock with positive rise stems and flat bars that gets the rider up and gives them better visibility in traffic. The flat bars are fine for going short distances, since you don't need the extra positions. Also, they usually accomidate wider wheels that give more stability (for the unexperienced commuter) in city traffic. Its just a small niche market. There are tons of bikes like this for sale around Chicago.

Personally, I had my Trek 720 setup like this. Zero rise stem and flat bars, and it would have made a perfect commuter. I wish I still had it to supliment my road bike.
Sorry, I made an erroneous statementKristin
Jan 31, 2003 7:39 AM
I said that these bikes are is a small niche market. LOL. I have no idea what the bike market is like; but I'd hazzard a guess that the opposite is true. Everytime I go into an LBS I must traverse rows and rows of cheezy hybrid and comfort bikes before I locate that corner or back room where the real bikes are hidden. (Am I right?) I guess I prefer it this way. What a terrible place the world would become if everyone wanted to ride beautifully crafted road bikes.
re: Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?52-16SS
Jan 31, 2003 8:16 AM
In northern Europe, where a significant amount of people commutes - this is the thing. Road bike sales are minuscule compared to MTBs and hybrids. The common name for these bikes there is city bikes.

Jan 31, 2003 9:59 AM
didnt cannondale start all of this in 2000 with the bad boy? a year later specialized made the crossroads pro and the next year most everybody had one in their line.
actually Peugeot & Mercier had bikes like this 30 years agoinsidebirds
Jan 31, 2003 11:41 AM
this type of sport / club riding / light touring
bike was all over europe decades ago
re: Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?snapdragen
Jan 31, 2003 6:56 PM
My Terry Classic has flat bars, I bought it in 1999. It also has a mix of mountain and road components.
1 picture of Lance on one and they'll be the new trend! -nmTig
Jan 31, 2003 7:19 PM
re: Are Road bikes with Flat bars the new trend?Nug
Feb 1, 2003 1:43 PM
A hybrid got me back into riding after 20 years, and 1 1/2 years later I own 3 bikes. The hybrid is now a flat bar road bike, with 8 speed SRAM shifters and a Shimano triple. I put on Singletrack solutions barends ($16) for the position problem, and I have a versatile, comfortable ride. In fact that's the bike I'm using in June for a 4 day trip, rather than my road bike (no rack, eyelets, etc, but certainly fun for its proper job). I suspect this trend will take off over the next few years (Shimano uses the term "fitness bikes" - which ones aren't?!)