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Explain shallow vs. deep drop handlebars...(11 posts)

Explain shallow vs. deep drop handlebars...Fez
Oct 24, 2003 8:41 AM
OK, I was shopping for new handlebars and looked many places, including the Salsa website.

They have a standard road bar and they also have a "short and shallow" bar. I have also seen "deep drop" bars elsewhere.

But from the pictures, it is not obvious to me what the difference is, so can someone explain the difference between deep, std, and shallow drop any better?

1) Does a deep drop refer to the angle of the drops? If so, couldn't any bar be rotated to compensate for a deep or shallow position?

2) Or does deep drop refer to the amount of fwd reach the drops give in relation to the tops? i.e. shallow = shorter reach in relation to tops, deep = longer reach, further fwd.

3) Or, does deep drop mean the flat part of the bar is lower in relation to the tops (lower)

1) no 2) & 3) Yes...Spunout
Oct 24, 2003 8:50 AM
Deep intends to mean that there is a longer distance from the clamp to the lowest part of the drop. Usually around 145mm. And, it usually means that the forward reach might be a bit longer. Deep bars are called Belgian style.

Shallow bars are just the opposite, and were called Italian style. Cinelli used to make sprinters bars also, similar to the Easton shape where the top bends got out of the way earlier so you could wail away in a sprint from the drops without bashing your forearms.

Now Salsa is doing someting neat, in that their narrower bars are shallow drop, but the wider bars (42,44,46) are deeper drops. This is for the Estrada bar.

Email from Salsa:
Thanks for your interest in our bars! The Estrada round bar is available,
in widths from 38-46cm. The two smallest sizes have a drop of 121mm and a
reach of 65mm and were designed for small hands. The three larger sizes
(42, 44, 46) have a drop of 144mm and a reach of 88mm.

ITM 'Strada' is one shape perhaps closer to an Italian bend, Deda 215 has two models deep and shallow. I just picked up NOS 3TTT Mex bars in a Belgian bend for $20 on Ebay for my cross bike. Perfect!
144mm doesn't seem like that deep a drop.rufus
Oct 24, 2003 8:59 AM
my 3ttt competizione merckx deep drop is about 165-170mm.
Not sure how everyone is measuring drop...Spunout
Oct 24, 2003 9:03 AM
inside radius, or c-c, or o-o. No biggie.
Cinelli 64 and 3TTT TdF/Merckx herecyclopathic
Oct 24, 2003 9:32 AM
64 is the classic Italian, with drop ~125mm.

the last one is really interesing since it combines shallow ~130mm drop with one of the longest reach (~1' above avg) out there. There's practically no difference in upper body position when you switch from hoods to drops. Round (non-ergo) shape, and it is perfect!
I just picked up NOS 3TTT Mex bars in a Belgian bendrufus
Oct 24, 2003 1:17 PM
damn, i've been looking for those on ebay. were they silver, or the darker gun-metal gray finish?
Dark gun-metal. 42 c-c from EBay. Beauties! On my CXer...Spunout
Oct 24, 2003 6:36 PM
They look fine. So hard to find deep bars nowadays without shelling out $100 Cdn for Deda 215s. Maybe try the Salsa Estrada or Ritchey, they are made in a traditional shape!
but i want silver!! waaaahhh!rufus
Oct 24, 2003 7:41 PM
I actually do have a gray ergopower2 in the deep merckx bend that i may end up using, but i like silver, even if it does only show for an inch on either side of the stem. and i don't know if i want to go with the deda, cause it looks like it's a matte silver instead of polished.

so i'll continue to scan ebay. i just discovered tonight that i can get more hits if i type in "ttt" as well as "3ttt" in the search box.
Oct 24, 2003 8:52 AM
The vertical distance from the top to the drops. I run ritchey "biomax" bars as they have the shallowest drops available (to my knowledge). I've learned something though... when in the drops and I'm out of the saddle or bunny hopping obstacles I'll often hit my wrist on the first bend from the flat bit. A simple slight rotation of the hands eliminates this but I still make contact from time to time.

I went with the shallow ones to reduce back pain. Interestingly my deep drops on my track bike do not cause pain at all. So I might need a primer on bike fit as the other variables are set up correctly: cleats, knee plumb with pedal spindle, elbows create 90 degree bend with forearms horizontal. The track bars are significantly narrower so that might play a role but I have no idea.

My point here is that drop depth may not have a clear correlation to back pain & overall comfort.

have fun
Oct 24, 2003 12:20 PM
Salsa Poco bars have the shallowest drop of any bars to my knowledge. They also have among the shortest reach, which is the distance from the centerline of the bar to the most forward point on the front of the bar. Short and Shallow bars are the next in line, but have both more reach and more drop than the Poco. The Ritchey BioMax is close to the Short and Shallow.
Drop vertical (deep-shallow); Reach horizontal (long-short). nmQubeley
Oct 24, 2003 12:39 PM