Flat Bar Vs Drop Bar Road Bikes | Comfort, Speed & Ease
Flat Bar Vs Drop Bar Road Bikes | Comfort, Speed & Ease
As a beginner, it can be difficult to know which is the best bike for you. Should you choose drop or flat handlebars? James and Ollie are on hand to help you find the right bike for you.
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Buying a bike can be confusing when you are unsure of what you need. We put two bikes to the test, a flat bar and a drop bar. After taking a look at the visual differences, we put the bikes to the test. Firstly, we found out which is faster over a 2km section of road and secondly, we tested their agility and stability on two very sophisticated courses.
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Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/
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Leave us a comment below!
Flat bar all the way. But that’s just because I’m a mountain biker and find it much more natural for me to ride.
I appreciate your cardio.
can you sprint at all with flat bars?
Awesome video. Gotta subscribe.
I have both…2011 Spesh Roubaix (road) and 2013 Jamis Coda Comp (hybrid). I use both in traffic, both for commutes. I’ve also done a Gran Fondo on each. The Roubaix is definitely much better for the longer rides. After 80 kms on the road bike, I still felt fresh. The hybrid drained me. For commuting, while the hybrid is more upright, I find no difference in agility, the road bike just much faster.
Greetings from Germany.🇩🇪
I use glasses and using drop bars will be challenging looking ahead
I’m a commuter. I choose flatbar
Only problem for developing ideal bars for a bike is that you’d need two brake handles controlling the same brakes.
Guy sounds just like Jeremy Clarkson lol
The average at best speed in Southern Ontario will be 35 km hr at best since this region is very windy and you have heavy cross winds. There is no major cycling race in Ontario on open road long courses as the wind is brutal down here with 25-40 km winds and 15-25 km hr cross winds. Never seen these winds in any European mountain even at 2000 meters.
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get at least -25 steam and with no spacers on flat bars if you want to be more aero
I personally hate flat bars on anything but technical singletrack and MTB stuff. They are less aerodynamic, are limited to one hand position, and while holding the bars your wrist isn’t in its natural position which causes strain over time. Drop bars 4 da win, and I say that even as someone who started out as a mountain biker.
That said, flat bars are for sure more beginner friendly since they make it easier to control the bike.
I ride off road and I think there is only flat bars
2:40 you can still get pretty low on flat bars guys, bend your back!!!
Should have shown children party. Make some noise
Flats for MTB, drops for road and for gravel you can go either way
I have three drop bar bikes for road biking, but use a flat bar for commuting. If I take a drop bar to work it is 40 minutes instead of 45, but the flat bar feels a lot safer, with better visibility and the brakes always under my fingers. The flat bar commuter is also indestructible. I do not want to throw my all carbon BMC through the dark and rain into all the potholes that I can’t see. And I have a rack and panniers on the commuter, handy for work and shopping. Put those on a drop bar and you pretty much remove the drop bar speed advantage.
The difference boils down to just one factor that you guys are missing totally. European riders have been riding with drop bars for a long time. The main difference is about what parts of your body the weight is on. The more upright position puts more of your body weight on your sit bones. With the drop bars your upper body shares more of the weight when your arms are supporting the weight of your upper body. The longer you are on the bike the more you need to take some of the weight off of your sit bones which we all know can get tired of carrying most of your weight.
Thanks this helped a lot to understand in which situation which bike is more suitable,
I’m an old giffer getting back into cycling and testing new bikes at the moment. With a bit of a gut these days and a history of lower back injury, drop bar positions are deeply uncomfortable and impractical. So it’s great that you can now buy a fantastic range of road bikes and road focussed hybrids with flat bars. Even at £400 there’s a massive choice of decent bikes.
Thanks to you I bought the correct sort of bike for my personal needs, flat bar handles in my case as I just the bike for coming and going to work and dribble through traffic.
I am definitely a flat bar kind of girl.
There’s no comparison its whatever suites your needs
if you want to see balance on a road bike with traditional handlebars, see Brumotti. He is a Tour de France racer to trains using balance and flips, etc.
(*) this video is funny and shows crazy bike balance skills.
In short, I don’t think it’s the kind of bike but how much training in balance not the bike type that matters.
The frame in 5:13, when Ollie is on flat bars. For me it looks like totally wrongly fitted bike. The forearm and knee can collide, the angle of wrists makes mine hurt…
I prefer flat bar coz I am very fearful of the braking system of dropbars.
please, is this road bike best for $600 ?
I am gonna cut my flat bar to about 46cm. Fine tune my hybride fitness bike.
I appreciate, Joseph.
The people cheering up is amazing.
Flat bars are dumb, you can use drop bars as flat bars and even more hand positions, and if you are going for anything resembling a long ride you are going to feel your hands go numb if kept in the same position.
Just got back into cycling after a few decades off. I went for a flat bar and I’m glad I did. That being said, I think I’ll be swapping them out for drop bars next season. I wish that all I had to change was the bar – but controls, possibly derailleurs – not going to be a cheap change.
When did they invent drop bar bikes?, does the UK have an agency equivalent to NASA?, are you guys Scottish?
Drop bar pro’s: aerodynamic, more efficient, overall better
Drop bar con’s: makes you look like a huge fucking nerd.
I’m using a MTB as a road bike and i have a flat bar
1:16 position of wrists tho…
It was really fun watching these guys, especially when they crushed pre 🐣 lol.
Nice high tech experiments.
I feel that the drop bar not only need flexibility but can be limited to the body shape of the perso. I can almost touch my toes, maybe a inch away of actually touching them, but I have somewhat of a beer gut and the drop down bar is just not confortable for me. Also, I feel for me that the braking is not as reflexive with the drop bar compared the flat bar.
I have to admit that having mutiple hand positions is a must when you ride for more than a hours or two. You solve this problem with the flat bar adding some – I don’t know how to call it in english (i.e. I’m french) – but it’s horns I think that give a extra hand position wich helps a lot
On the flat bars the position is simply not natural, i tried to do a multi day bike tour on one and i felt the problems in. the first day, i had to move my hands to the center to get a releaf.
Flat or Drop….mmmm….cyclists
I’ll take the flat bars, guys who ride drop bars are fucking dickheads when they ride, they never say hello, or good morning, they take up the whole street, fucking dropdicks
there is a reason both exist. if you have to maneuver and brake a lot, like on a MTB, you use flatbars. if speed is key dropbar, like on a roadbike. simple as that. as for the braking power from the hoods on dropbars: now with hydraulic brakes that need much less force to bite, that got much better. even with small hands i can brake safely from the hoods. isnt possible with rim brakes.
Pah, instead of comparing a granny shopping bike with a riser bar and high angled stem you should have used a proper flat bar road bike!
My first was the Ridgeback Genesis Day 02, rack & guard mounts but in every way a road bike geo, the Day 03 had carbon forks and seatpost plus Dura Ace triple set up as standard, this was 2001!
Move forward a few years and bikes like the Specialized Sirrus Pro with its carbon seat stays, carbon bars, carbon fork and carbon seatpost are a world away from your silly little shopping bike in terms of quality, ride and speed.
Move forward a little bit further and the Sirrus Pro Ltd is a full carbon frameset, mine has Avid 7s plus carbon contact points, with pedals it’s sub 8kg in a 58.
Clearly the rider on the ‘flat bar’ hasn’t even got the correct bike, it’s too short in the top tube and/or too short a stem, they also don’t know how to get low down, but then if they hadn’t have left that high angled stem on then that wouldn’t have been as much of an issue!
Not very good test/comparison frankly and isn’t informative to those new to cycling when the testers don’t even understand what bike they should be using/comparing never mind not being able to get the right bike size/make minor adjustments so that you can fit the bike to use correctly for intended use.
Do u have back pain?
It would be cool if you summarize everything at the end. This way people who don’t have much time also watch your video and you get more views.
Flat bars are great for urban bikes like gt nomads or specialized crossroad sports where you are riding with your back straight up so you need your handlebars almost at elbow level