Do You REALLY Need Drop Handlebars On Road Bike? Road Bars vs Flat Bars. Part 1.

Do You REALLY Need Drop Handlebars On Road Bike? Road Bars vs Flat Bars. Part 1.

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50 Comments

  1. Lisa S on July 26, 2019 at 1:03 am

    As a person who averages about 10 hours per week on her bike, I’m a total convert to drop bars. Why? Drop bars (hood position) encourage a more natural alignment of hand-wrist-shoulder. Switching to a drop bar almost instantly cured my left shoulder of a deep ache/strain that left me unable to fully extend my left arm above my head for over a year. I’ll never go back to road bike bars.



  2. Ryan West on July 26, 2019 at 1:04 am

    I find as a mountian biker that only uses my roadbike in winter on the trainer, that my hands go numb in most positions on the drop bars on my roadbike, you guys have any insight? I never have that problem on my Flat bar mtb at all, only the 42cm compact drop bars



  3. JohnHoranzy on July 26, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I moved to the Adirondack mountains and had to buy a flat bar bike because of the low gearing. I finally found a Shimano Altus M311 7/8s 42x32x22 Crankset that fits directly on a vintage 1980s Biachi 12 speed. Using the original 14 – 28 cog set in the rear. I have numerous 20 percent grades and this handles them easily. But I loose the high gearing so it is important to be aero going downhill so there is momentum to bring me back up the next hill. I did have to modify the front derailleur stops with a file to give it the extra range.

    I do not miss the flat bars one bit. I think everything comes down to having the bicycle sized and fit properly. A few weeks ago I hit a sharp bump on a bike path and the shock was painfully transmitted up through my wrist. Never experienced that before.



  4. Flemming Kisbye on July 26, 2019 at 1:06 am

    personally, I use a 42 cm wide bullhorn handlebar dropping 3 cm  from the middle to the grips. never using the drops on a conventional racing bike I started with cutting them of many years ag and was left with something that looked like a bullhorn. found out that it was perfectly aero for me. when I’m busy going forward i bend more in my elbows and turn them inwards and that’s sufficient. i must say though, it might depend on how slammed your bike is. mine (scott waimea pro) has a pretty aggressive drop of 18 cm – plus the 3 cm i mentioned earlier. so, no need for dropbars here! 🙂



  5. Umut Birey on July 26, 2019 at 1:06 am

    what with this obsession with the aero ?



  6. Names on July 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Why do cyclist dress so clownish?



  7. Jethro Martino Paras on July 26, 2019 at 1:11 am

    i got a hybrid and a road. hybrid feels more stable because of the 680mm wide handle bars and more comfortable because of the upright position. the road bike feels faster because i’m more aero and the the wheels have less rolling resistance.



  8. Leslie Greene on July 26, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Do you really need to ride in the drops? Yes if you want better stability when descending and cornering. Perhaps you could speak to that. Informing cyclist that having a proper bike fit is really important. Even if you are not going to use the drop so often, but there is a safety factor involved in this decision. Even if they do not ride all that often, and even if they never plan to sprint ever. Drop bars offer better bike handling and control. The position of the brakes is important, and that should be addressed when, the bike is fit. Yes I ride both types of bikes, Mountain Bike Flat bar, for trails, and drop bars on the road, where I always use my drops on all downhills and corners. I ride Cyclocross offroad and when doing so, spend 85% of the time in the drops, because there are so many downhills and corners. Both bikes are fit to give me maximum comfort. Check in with your local quality bike store, for a bike fit.



  9. Evan P on July 26, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Riding in the drops is more aero… not because of your arms but because your body gets into a lower position which reduces the overall vertical frontal area.



  10. David Messina on July 26, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I have that exact same color caad 8 tiagra



  11. Elims Sodnum on July 26, 2019 at 1:14 am

    мудак бля



  12. James Reinier Lino on July 26, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Drop bars has the main effect on your body (fatigue) more so than your arms, its main purpose i believe is on professional racing at high speeds. Just my humble opinion though, peace.



  13. Jeff Delman on July 26, 2019 at 1:14 am

    I discovered a riser bar is a great way to go – and not why you think!

    With a riser bar, you can fine tune the reach.

    Feel a set stem length is not optimal, and don’t want compromise by shifting your saddle for or aft into a less than ideal position? Just rotate your riser bar forward or backward, and you’ll gain or shorten your reach length to what’s ideal.

    It will shift your bar’s sweep angles a little, but not much. If you have ergonomic grips, you may wish to rotate them a little for comfort.

    Taller rise bars will give more range of adjustment, shorter ones less. I like using a 1” rise, as it gives good adjustability without too much sweep angle shift. You can offset the height gain by altering your spacers, or changing your stem rise angle if you can’t set the height you need with spacers.



  14. Booty Hole Man on July 26, 2019 at 1:14 am

    I cant do drop bars, never could. Too uncomfortable, and unstable. I enjoy riding much more with flat, or rise bars.



  15. Steve Warris on July 26, 2019 at 1:15 am

    i had the same speed with my flatbar-comuter, you can see on my channel, compared to my road bike.



  16. Michael Greene on July 26, 2019 at 1:16 am

    I ride 80% of the time in the drops because my bike FIT is set up CORRECTLY! This crazy fad of aggressive race geometry with a lower steerer tube meshed with a slammed stem and compact handlebars are actually positioning the rider in a LOWER position on the HOODS than traditional race bike geometry in the DROPS from 20-30 yrs. ago. And to boot the drop position BARELY drops your position much making it the DEFAULT power braking position only. You’re MUCH better off riding a SPORTIF geometry road bike with spacers on the fork steerer tube under your stem and ditching the compact bars for a set if old school moderate to deep drop handlebars. That will set you about as upright as flat bars on the tops/hoods and plenty aero in the deep drop position. It’ll save your back and neck too. Let’s STOP copycatting pros. We’re not even CLOSE to as fit and flexible as they are.



  17. Max Maxed on July 26, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Dropbars are the least comfortable out there. Reaching out for breaks/shifters from different positions is pain in the ass. I tried riding road and was so happy to sell it and get back to my flatbar hybrid. So much more comfortable and relaxed.



  18. Sebastian Jost on July 26, 2019 at 1:17 am

    I never thought I’d like the drop-bars very much but now that I bought a new road bike (actually a gravel bike) last week and road allready 150km I really like the drop-bars.

    They are quite comfortable, especially at higher speeds and allow you to use the breaks a little bit better.
    Also I really like the hand-position on the drop bars.

    If you already have problems with your back though I don’t recommend drop-bars.
    Flat bars seem to be much better for the back as you have a more upright position with them.

    (Especially the difference between MTB and road bike is huge)



  19. Dániel Horváth on July 26, 2019 at 1:19 am

    When you go to a bike trip where speed is not a factor but you still spending 8-10 hours on the bike, a comfy dropbar what let you use different handle positions to rest your arms it could be really good thing.



  20. Pablothe on July 26, 2019 at 1:19 am

    what do you think about pursuit / bullhorn handlebars?



  21. Tim Smith on July 26, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Actually flat bars with Bar ends are excellent on a road bike to make a fast commute bike to work. I did and I love it



  22. Tomoko Narasada on July 26, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Bullhorns do it for me..sprint climb, rest..and upright can see and are seen.. sometimes in a head wind i wish..



  23. JEMVisser on July 26, 2019 at 1:23 am

    I will never ride flat bars on roadbikes, i just like drop bars too much; they look cool and feel faster/more aero. Sprinting is so much more comfortable and climbing out of the sadle as well because my arms and hands are in a more comfortable position.



  24. Raymond Schmidt on July 26, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Changed my Shimano 105 equipped ‘cross bike to flat-bar and never looked back. Shifts, brakes, and handles better; especially when out of the saddle. For me it created the perfect "do-all" bike!I had to go with a bit longer stem to accommodate proper reach, so consider that if you may be thinking of switching!Love the channel, keep up the good work!



  25. Aladin Fox on July 26, 2019 at 1:26 am

    I cut my drops into cow horns, look a bit like straight handlebars with curved bar ends but narrower , ideal for blasting through congested traffic but also good for trails too.



  26. andy the gardener on July 26, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Drop handle bars give a variety of uncomfortable hand positions 🙂



  27. Phillip Donaldson on July 26, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Thanks for your information… I’m doing my first triathlon in 3 weeks time and this has really helped👍



  28. Branko Dodig on July 26, 2019 at 1:31 am

    For me, short (about 560mm after sawing the ends off) flat bars with small bar ends (Ergon grips come with them) are nice and comfortable even on longer rides, I setup my bar ends and brake levers so I can also brake with my thumbs while holding the bar ends, but it’s not a strong position for braking. I can see on long rides how it would be more "flexible" to have more positions, but I haven’t had hand pain even after hours on end.

    The only time I think "a drop bar might be nice" is when I try to descend quickly.



  29. AllcopsRcunts on July 26, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Why you on drops??



  30. JohnHoranzy on July 26, 2019 at 1:35 am

    I moved to the Adirondack mountains and had to buy a flat bar bike because of the low gearing. I finally found a Shimano Altus M311 7/8s 42x32x22 Crankset that fits directly on a vintage 1980s Biachi 12 speed. Using the original 14 – 28 cog set in the rear. I have numerous 20 percent grades and this handles them easily. But I loose the high gearing so it is important to be aero going downhill so there is momentum to bring me back up the next hill. I did have to modify the front derailleur stops with a file to give it the extra range.

    I do not miss the flat bars one bit. I think everything comes down to having the bicycle sized and fit properly. A few weeks ago I hit a sharp bump on a bike path and the shock was painfully transmitted up through my wrist. Never experienced that before.



  31. Paul Scheele on July 26, 2019 at 1:38 am

    I can’t see doing a crit with a flat bar bike – to corner at high speed you need to be fairly deep in the drops to lower your center of gravity. I sure as hell don’t want to be on the wheel of the guy on the flat bar going into a hairpin. Suggesting that someone could race a crit on a flat bar is dangerous.

    Flat bars will descend slower because you need to be close to the brakes and to get low on a flat bar you need to be on clip on bar ends – i.e. not near the brakes. This is only a big deal if (like me) you live in a hilly area and like going downhill really fast. If you are good descending on the hoods, then there is no big difference.

    Otherwise, I’m good with what you are saying – you can get as aero on a flat bar with clip on bar ends as drop bars (or with a bull horn, for that matter). If someone feels more comfortable on a flat bar, go for it. I would point out that you don’t really gain anything with a flat bar: if someone wants a set of brakes on the tops, these are pretty easy to add on (cyclocross guys do it all the time). And going flat gives up a third hand position (sometimes needed for variety, resting the hands, etc), and also gives up the best sprinting, cornering, and descending position.



  32. eiendiaies your_ufo on July 26, 2019 at 1:43 am

    I think drop bars are more for sport not for travel to work or commuting. On flat bar is easier to break and look around. And speed difference between drop and flat bar is not that huge.



  33. Paul Olsen on July 26, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Yes. Stupid question.



  34. Prem Dhiren on July 26, 2019 at 1:46 am

    i can tell that he his new to road biking because he said that cycling on the hoods and cycling on the drops has no difference ,ur suppose to bend down on the drops as well as on the hoods ,but bending down on the hoods give u even more aero



  35. Road Yeti on July 26, 2019 at 1:47 am

    If you do any riding in the mountains, anyone that can appreciate a long fast descent knows ‘in the drops’ is the only way to go in terms of control. For going long, drop bars offer multiple positions to change up hand position to avoid any long term pressure points. Maybe I need a different bend but I find the pinky and ring finger and corresponding palm going numb at about 15km on my flat bar commuter bike(hardtail mtn bike with cyclocross wheels and 700×35 tires). I’m planning on using it for dirt roads so will be putting a set of drops on it for the reasons mentioned above. If you never get going faster than 30km/hr and ride mainly flats and bike paths the flat bars are probably just fine. Or cyclocross(road bike on mtn bike terrain) Jk, don’t get upset



  36. zeus dreadbeard on July 26, 2019 at 1:50 am

    i put mtb riser bars on all my road bikes. im not trying to win races and get super aero. and im comfortable riding a mtb for 6 hours on them so why not.



  37. Ville Metsola on July 26, 2019 at 1:51 am

    I love flat bars. I wish there were more flat bar bikes available with more of a road bike geometry and wheels.



  38. javon player on July 26, 2019 at 1:53 am

    I use bar ends on my flat bar road bike I find that they are far more efficient than just the flat bar. I can still go very fast with bar ends. Not sure if I would faster with road bars, but I do see myself getting pretty fatigue on long rides. I trying to see the something if road bars help with the fatigue and getting more power out of sprints



  39. Tonting Kaloy on July 26, 2019 at 1:54 am

    I use bullhorn



  40. JohnHoranzy on July 26, 2019 at 1:54 am

    I am tired of the flat bars but those are the only bikes I could get with the gearing I need since I moved to the mountains. This video reminded me of how well aero bars worked for me and how comfortable they are. I recently broke out my unused CroMolly vintage 12 speed and was overjoyed to cut through the wind and air so easily on the flats. The gearing is not suited for the mountains though.
    I was just getting ready to buy a road bike but will put some aeros on one of my flat bars and see how it goes. Thanks for posting the video.



  41. Ran Ko on July 26, 2019 at 1:54 am

    Talking BS! Crap video. Nothing about the ergonomics, transfer of body weight, dispersion of road shocks and vibrations… Plus, flat bars SHOULD ALWAYS include quality bull horns.



  42. Peter Skurczak on July 26, 2019 at 1:56 am

    One needs to change hands position which drops offer. On flats you can’t do anything really. All depends how often and far you ride.



  43. crabtrap on July 26, 2019 at 1:57 am

    ONLY TWO people should be using DROPBARS
    1.Stoners with the drops turned up "texas steer style"
    2.Gay Frenchmen outrunning the Nazi stormtroopers.



  44. Joe Slater on July 26, 2019 at 1:57 am

    The "aero" grip is not just for being aero. When in the drops you have the most control of the bike and the most leverage in the brakes. It is used for fast cornering and descending as well as emergency braking.



  45. Ginger Lange on July 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    I ran for over 40 years, but after tearing a meniscus while hiking, I gave it up and bought a bike, which I’m still adjusting to. I’m doing 20 to 45 mile rides on a Trek FX S 5 and love it. I’d rather have all the hand positions of drop bars, but have a cervical spine fusion that prevents me from being comfortable for long periods with my head tilted back (on drops). I’ve also got arthritis in my thumbs and that makes breaking while bracing my thumb around the hoods too painful. So my still very fit but 66 year old body needs flat bars. The FX S is light and fast, so keeps up well with friends on road bikes, and my former runner’s body can climb like nobody’s business 🙂

    Just get out there and ride, people! Stay strong and fit and ride whatever works for your body and keeps you happy!



  46. Tim Smith on July 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Try putting narrow tyres or high pressure slicks on a hardtail mountain bike…. Great for commuter fun.. even better if you have a 29 er xc bike



  47. Wolarski on July 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    I use the drops whenever I feel the air resistance, may it be my speed, front wind, ot both



  48. Hun J on July 26, 2019 at 2:00 am

    How about bull horn bar in road bike?



  49. The Travel Vlogger on July 26, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Like it!



  50. Mike M on July 26, 2019 at 2:01 am

    The flat bar is ok for MTB, hybrids and cruisers. In other words, for any bike used for short distance. For road bikes, which are usually used for longer runs (20km and over) the drop bar is mandatory. The problem with a flatbar is the distance between your two hands is too wide, on the long run you develop stress and tension in the neck, shoulders, arms and back. I’ve always been a MTB guy for decades, so I’ve always run flatbars. I even used to put my full suspension on road slicks to do my training sessions. Until the day I sat on a Specialized Rötul fitting bike (with a dropbar). Two weeks later I was buying my first real road bike with dropbar. The ergonomic is night and day for long run. I can cycle longer distance now mostly because of the better ergonomic position a dropbar is providing.

    Note : You can shorten the width of a flatbar to narrow the distance between your hands, but to be really ergonomics you would need to cut is so short to a point that the handling of the bike would be hazardous.