I recently overhauled the handlebars on my commuter with a “drop” type bar, “road” disc brakes and campagnolo ergo “brifters” (on my shimano drivetrain). Below are the series of posts covering this.
- What is Shimergo?
- Luxy Handlebars
- Avid BB7 Road Brakes
- Campagnolo Veloce 10 spd Powershift Ergos
- Final Thoughts – 1000 miles
I’ve recently switched the handlebars on my commuter to a “dirt drop” type bar. I went with Ragley’s Luxy handlebar because of the huge width.
Never having tried a dirt drop, I was more interested in these for all the wrong reasons. I wanted something to get me in a more aggressive riding position, as 95% of the riding on my mountain bike is done on the road. Not to mention, I have a headwind (coming AND going) just about everyday. The second thing I wanted was more hand positions. Admittedly, this could have been achieved with getting bar ends – but those wouldn’t have helped with the more aggressive road riding position and my last criteria, something different.
Traditionally, dirt drops come with a less aggressive stem than you would have with flat bars. The idea, for the off road purists, is to keep your hands in the same position they would be if on a flat bar. Therefore, the stem should have more rise to it and in most cases, be a bit shorter. The idea is you can ride in the drop and have your body in the same position as if you rode the traditional flat bars, but afford your hands a different position. Some would even argue, myself included, that it is a more ergonomic position. I find flat bars to be very uncomfortable as I like to bring my elbows in and have them slightly bent. This causes my thumbs to want to rotate up and forward, causing discomfort when gripped around the flat bar. With the flat bars, I find my elbows coming out and I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders when I ride like this. You can read all about what Shiggy has to say about it.
Since I may ride on the single track a handful of times this summer, I actually went with a more “aggressive” stem (less rise). Mainly because I didn’t order another one and that was all my LBS had. But, I can ride in the drops for miles on the road. It is probably a bit too aggressive for prolonged off road riding, but again, most of my miles are on the road.
So far I am loving the setup. I have about 200 miles with the Luxy’s and even a 100k. The multiple hand positions are great, digging in while in the drops is comfortable and climbing while in the drops is even better.