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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've gotten very into bike riding recently and ride to commute to work and elsewhere, and just for general enjoyment.
i find that i almost never ride in the drops and spend most of my time on the break hoods, so i was thinking about switching to bullhorn bars.
any opinions on this ? i cant see i downside but im a fairly new rider
thanks !
 

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Couple of suggestions...

Sounds like your bars may be too low. If you have an old-style quill stem (the kind that's one piece, shaped sort of like the number 7), you may be able to raise it easily. When the tops of the bars are about level with the saddle, you can ride up there most of the time and still reach the drops fairly comfortably when you want to. With a newer threadless stem, you may be able to flip it over to raise the bars, or buy a new one that lifts them a bit. A lot of bikes come with the bars too low for many riders, and people are reluctant to raise them because it doesn't look racy or something.
If you decide to go with bullhorns (which won't really solve your problem, I don't think--the tops will still be where they are now), you don't necessarily need new bars. Take the levers and tape off the existing ones, turn them around and upside down and put them back into the stem, then measure carefully and cut off the drop portion, which now will be curving upward and pointing back at you. You can mount the levers under the new "bullhorn" section (warning: I've never done this with SIS, so be sure you can reach the shift levers before you do anything irreversible).
 

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Downsides

hamilton said:
i've gotten very into bike riding recently and ride to commute to work and elsewhere, and just for general enjoyment. i find that i almost never ride in the drops and spend most of my time on the break hoods, so i was thinking about switching to bullhorn bars. any opinions on this ? i cant see i downside but im a fairly new ride
Downside is fewer hand positions, fewer bar choices, strange brake lever positioning, and poorer aerodynamics when you need it. You say you are a new rider, so you probably haven't experienced the full range of riding conditions and you probably haven't adapted to the riding position. You might consider raising your bars a bit to bring the drops more into your reach range for now, but as you ride more, you will find yourself stretching out on the bike and making more use of the drops.
 

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i'd definately keep the drops. i never used mine the first summer i was riding, they just made me real tired in a hurry and definately took some getting used to. these days when i'm hurtin and riding into the wind i thank god i've got them.
 

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Big is relative
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Maybe you could try a shallow drop bar. I use Salsa Moto Ace Short and Shallow bars on my commuter and the drop from the bar tops to the drops is very short so I have multiple hand positions without much change in position. The best part is that you can get them for around $40.
 

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Commuting and JRA (that's Just Riding Around) really doesn't require a drop bar, and plenty in Portland and Seattle do just fine.

My question is -- why spend EFFORT to REMOVE a hand position? It's not like you get anything from it. If you don't like the drops, don't use the drops...

If you ever get serious about riding and want to do any faster-paced rides, or do any twisty descents, you'll be glad you've got them, though.
 

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An uncomfortable position in the drops is often the result of a stiff lower back, try stretch out a bit. Your saddle position (too far back) could also make using the drops uncomfortable. Riding in the drops becomes more neccasary in windy conditions, high speeds and particularly decending. I have seen riders reluctant to use the drops on steep or winding decents and compromising control. I wouldn't change bars but look at your bike setup as this may sort out the problem, also experiment riding in the drops, there is seldom a need to ride in the drops for any significant time anyway
 
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