[CR]Wide or narrow drops

Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2004

From: "cmontgomery" <cmontgomery15@cox.net>
To: "ClassicRendezvous" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Wide or narrow drops
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 21:29:43 -0700
cc: tsan7759142@sbcglobal.net

Tom Sanders:

There has been much "scientific" discussion of things like lung capacity etc. of late, but I'll bet most folks who like wide drops like I use have a more simple reason for using them. Comfort. I get a crick between my shoulder blades on long rides when using a too narrow bar. I also like the feeling of increased control I get when riding out of the saddle with wider bars. Seems like the additional leverage gives me a steadier ride while standing and pedaling. All a matter of individual preference ultimately and one would, of course, do well to try a bit of size variation and make up one's mind from their actual experiences...in the end words are mere approximations in matters like these.

My sentiments also (not that anybody cares), and the reason none of my bikes will ever be "restored" (he says with rebellious glee). I've found 46cm to be the perfect width for me. Tried 48's, too wide, pinched shoulder muscles at base of the neck. 44's make me feel like I can't control my balance. Pretty subjective overall. Ebay once had a set of 46 or 48 wide Phillippe's from the late 40's, apparently for a tandem. Other than that I have never seen vintage wide bars except in some North Road variation. Brian Walker, in an article written for "Bicycling" in 1971 (Reprinted in an RR a few years ago), mentioned his bike being equipped with 18" wide (46cm) Marsh bars with a very shallow drop. Wish more could be found. I'm kinda surprised with the few responses I've read on this thread though. Why? Nobody's mentioned touring. Am I the only full-dressed-hog, front/rear-panniers-with-camping-kit-on-a-vintage-machine cyclotoureest on this list? If so, then I've discovered this is where the wide bars come into their own, especially after a long day of climbing with a load up front on dirt roads. This is where unpinched airways and leverage keep you upright. This is where Jan Heine chimes in and says he's perfectly happy riding his fully-loaded '48 Rene Herse Camptour with the 38cm wide Randonneur bars with the low trail front end. So this is where I bow out.

Craig Montgomery in Tucson Camptouring this 100 degree weekend on a 65" fixed '79 Holdsworth Mistral with 46cm wide bars