Dropped handlebars - why?

Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
901
Location
Wakefield, UK
Collecting some decorating materials today I passed a number of cyclists almost all riding racing bikes with dropped handlebars. Without exception they all had their hands on the top part of the bars with the subsequent poor leverage on the brake levers. Given the majority also had rim brakes exacerbating the poor leverage my question is why use such bars? I can fully understand that when in a race you want the lowest profile to the wind possible but none of these people were racing. Some may have been training for a race but I strongly suspect the majority were out to enjoy themselves and/or keep fit and I simply don't understand the reason for choosing bars that limit your ability to brake when using regular roads. Is the possibility to get that bit further out of the wind on a downhill section worth it?
 

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
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Joined
Mar 13, 1999
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5,962
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Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
Sometimes fashion rules design it seems, the need to be part of the "click".

In this district the trend is for all guys to require a dodge ram with accessories. They almost never have anything in the back, and always do 110km/hr on the roads here, which are posted at 80km/hr. Sometimes the need to "belong" outweighs intelligence.... perhaps the same thig is going on in the cycle world?

Brad
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
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Netherlands
I never had them, but when I was young, i had a class mate that had it also on his bike. Most of the time he kept his hands on top, but as he wanted to go fast or as there was much wind from the front, he went to the lower part.
But he had also a racing bike next to it, so he was used to it.
He had brakes also on top. They where double on that bike. On his race bike not.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
901
Location
Wakefield, UK
I also had the type of levers that worked on the top part as a lad. Kind of two levers operating the same brake with the top lever hooked under the main one. These days you can get interrupter brake levers for the top that cut into the cables that then carry on to the main lever. I didn't see any such levers on the mob I passed that day and rarely see them at all leaving the riders with just the poor pull on the std lever pulling on mainly rim brakes. There were a few cyclists using flat bars with much better braking leverage but they were in a minority. Given that cars will make a much bigger dent in a cyclist than vice versa I don't understand the reason to forgo good brakes. Maybe I'm just old or maybe I'm old because I like good brakes!
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
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Netherlands
My brakes weren't always good. But I was used to it and I wasn't the only one. But when I started to ride faster bikes, I made that my brakes where good.
I drove different when my brakes weren't that good. Not always slower, but different on intersections.
 
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