Drop Handlebar Selection

by Igor Shteynbuk

Drop Handlebar - the most common type of handlebar for road riding, touring, and randonneuring, typically allowing a more aerodynamic riding position than upright city-style bars. Lots of hand positions.

    Brake Lever Clamp Diameter - The measurement outside to outside of the area that clamps to the stem.

    26.0mm - standard road handlebars
    25.4mm - standard city, upright, and MTB bars
    31.8mm - "oversized" for modern drop bars and MTB bars

    Grip Clamp Diameter - The measurement outside to outside of the bar to which your brake levers and shifters clamp.

    23.8mm - standard road components: think bar-end shifters, integrated brake/shift levers sometimes referred to as "brifters," road brake levers (aero and non-aero), interruptor or "cross" brake levers, and Guidonnet levers.
    22.2mm - standard city and mountain components: trigger shifters, grip shifters, and some inverse brake levers.

        Width - Traditionally measured center to center of the end of the handlebar. Today, width is most often measured from center of hood to center of hood.

        Reach - The measurement from the center of the stem clamp to the center to the farthest portion of the forward extension.
        Drop - Measurement from the center of the stem clamp to center of the lowest portion of the handlebar.
        Tops - Portion of the handlebar to the left and right of the stem clamp. 
          Ramps - Forward extension of a drop bar from the stem clamp.
            Hoods - Position on the hoods.
              Hooks - Portion of the handlebar that transitions into the drops.

                Drops - Portion of the drop handlebar that gets you lower and more aerodynamic.


                  Flare - Difference between width of drops and center to center width of ramps. Taking half the difference gives you the flare for each side of a drop handlebar.

                  Our Randonneur Handlebar has upward sweep by the stem clamp. This is a very traditional randonneur-style bar that can be seen on loads of French bikes of yesteryear. The sweep means a slightly more upright position in the hoods as well as the drops! Flare measures 60mm. Remember, traditional drop bars are measured from center to center of the drop. If you want 42cm (center-to-center) hood-to-hood, get the 48cm model (480mm - 60mm flare = 420mm).


                  With comfortable fit characteristics such as shorter reach, shallow drop, and a mellow backsweep, the Nouveau Randonneur Handlebar is optimally designed for integrated shifters and aero brake levers. The tops are ovalized and swept back ever so slightly from the stem clamp. This makes for a bigger area upon which your hands can rest. Reach is 85mm, drop is 128mm, and flare is 12 degrees. This makes an elegant and ergonomic bar for modern and retro-mod builds.


                  The Dajia Cycleworks Far Bar is an offroad dirt drop-style bar with immense flare and an MTB rating. Unlike dirt drops of years past, these allow you to have a normal hood position in addition to an easy reach to the brake levers from the drops. They can be mounted as the hood or drops are the primary position. These bars are compatible with bar-end shifters as well as integrated shifters. 31.8mm clamp diameter and 21 degrees of flare.

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