Monday, March 14, 2011

Drop Bar Blues

Back to drop bars you go!

I put the drop bars that came with my single speed back on in support of continued fixed-gear operations. I was going to shop around and go find some new ones, but then I spent a couple hours playing with different positions on the ones I already had, since I figured I already had enough crap, and found a setup I liked. The main thing I didn't like about them before was the low position of the hoods, so I mounted them higher and back this time, and then went for a test ride at sunset. My quads are crying right now so I guess the test ride was successful. And if anyone asks, I wrapped the bars asymmetrically on purpose, to make room on the top bar for my new headlight. I found that riding the hoods in this position was quite comfortable and natural for me. That's a more aero position than I could comfortably get with the flat bars, of course, and there's always the drops if I want more I guess. It may appear to some that those levers are too high with respect to the bottom of the bars, to which I reply: while elite racers may all fall within a certain narrow physical size and shape range, the rest of us come in different shapes, sizes, and levels of flexibility, and I feel pretty confident in saying that I may need different stuff, set up differently for my meditative spins than they do for their races. For one thing, I like my stuff to last longer than one race. But I do appreciate all the cool stuff they try out that eventually trickles down.

Some flatter topped bars like Nitto Noodles will eventually be procured

I'm looking at these as my transition bars. I rode the flat bars long enough on this bike to get a feel for what I liked and didn't like about them, and will do the same with these. The drop bars do offer several additional hand positions, and I mentioned I found riding on the hoods very comfortable when they are set up like this. It's a similar configuration to the brifters on my road bike, although those bars are quite different in being a more compact and ergo type. I was spinning to beat the sunset tonight, and while I didn't quite make it, I did pretty well. Oh, and I did leave the rear brake on the bike through this reconfiguration, because the freewheel is still flipped on the non-drive side and could be employed in case of need or desire some day. But man this fixed-gear bicycle is so quiet, I love it. Next up are some slightly quieter tires I think. I bought these slightly knobby tires for canal gravel path running, but I'm getting confident enough that I could go with some durable 28mm tires I think, and run in near silence. After the noise of the week, the hubub of the day, that silence is so very welcome. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Making use of the crap you already have.
    What a novel idea!
    That bike is looking good!
    Though I'll start to get worried if you start wearing your wife's pants.

  2. Just goes to prove that you should NEVER get rid of any crap that you have...You NEVER know when you will need it...!


  3. I like that you are seeking more and more silence as you ride. although I find the zipetty-zipetty sound of the bike kinda soothing.

    I've always wanted to fly, just one time, in a glider, because of the near absolute silence.

  4. Besides, few road racers ride single speeds so you do whatever you durn well please, but you'll have to get one of those "beep beep" things to warn the hoi polloi of your approach...

  5. I like Trevor's advice.

    Your brake levers are right where I plan to install mine, up high to increase comfort and minimize neck and shoulder strain.

  6. limom, in general my wife's clothes are way too small, although there is this one pair of faded stretchy pants that just might...

    Trevor, so true. And if you do get rid of it, you'll need it for a project one week later.

    Clowncar, also a hot air balloon, incredibly quiet, except when the burner fires.

    Steve A could I get an automatic one of those hoi polloi beepers?

    RTP, I think with flatter bars I could use a six degree stem and the hoods would wind up exactly where they are here, but without the downhill feel on the tops, and a little nicer look.

  7. I love drop bars. I prefer my hoods lower, but not because of some racer aesthetic. It's just more comfortable to me. It depends on the bars, too.

    Good call, using something you've already got. But if that doesn't work out ... FWIW, I cast two votes for Noodles. I have nice wide Noodles on two different bicycles, and love them. And that means I get two votes.


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