i'll chime in on this one, since i have some first-hand experience with both setups.
caveat: i'm a skinny lightweight, 5'7", 130lbs soaking wet, so take salt as needed.
i've got a fixed-gear set up with 36mm deep-drop bars (nitto 123aa if anyone cares) and they're fantastic for going very fast or pretty slow. the drops provide a nice aero postion and enough leverage to get out of the saddle and really spin, at least until my legs give out.
the flats (on top) are great for just tooling along, taking in the views, and generally relaxing.
they're miserable to climb with. the drops are too deep, the flats are too high, the lack of brake-hoods bothers me, and they simply don't offer enough of a lever to climb comfortably out of the saddle.
i've also got a multi-geared roadbike with 44cm bars, brake hoods, and more gears than i know what to do with, and boy is it a pleasure to ride. i don't get the same 'going fast' feeling that i do with the narrower bars, and i suspect i'm a little slower in sprints, but climbing is a pleasure. the extra width and brake hoods keep my chest open, making it easier to breathe, and when i need to get out of the saddle, i've got all the leverage i need.
so, (fianlly) to address don's question, i think that the additional leverage, access to shifting/braking controls, and easier breathing offered by wider bars more than offset the very small weight penalty.
galen pewtherer san francisco, ca usa
On 5/23/06, Don Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Ever since Aldo showed a pic of Bottechia and his
> narrow drops tilted downward, I've been thinking how
> comfortable and sleek he looked in the position he was
> riding in. His hand positioning seemed rather like a
> jockey on a race horse holding reins. And the
> narrowness of the bars seemed a virtue leading to
> comfort, dexterity and less wind resistance; at least
> less of all these than I see today with everyone
> riding with these extremely wide handle bars. I have
> tended to prefer wide drops myself. But I went out and
> adjusted a bike with narrow drops and a long quill to
> this position of Bottechias, slipped the brake levers
> up a bit, and liked it, despite being 6'2" tall and
> average shoulder width for that height. It seems that
> wide bars not only weigh more, but would create a
> bigger frontal surface to push through the air.
> Further, wider bars locate a persons hands and arms
> out wider when staying near today's integrated
> brake/shifter controls and enhance the sail effect of
> the body. Why are wide bars so much more in favor now?
> Or have they always been and I've just been around
> alot of bikes with narrow drops for small riders?
> Don Wilson
> Los Olivos, CA USA
> D.C. Wilson email@example.com
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