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Drop Handlebar Selection

First, we need to get some terminology straight.

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 - Measured center to center of the end of the handlebar.
          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.
                    The Grand Cru Course Handlebar is our traditional road drop handlebar. The biggest thing that has me using this bar on so many builds is the long ramps leading up to the hoods. You spend the vast majority of your time here, so why not make it as comfortable as possible? If you're coming from a short reach drop handlebar, you'll want to get at least a 10mm shorter stem to have a similar position on the hoods.
                    Having a long ramp section means your hands can roam freely forwards and backwards, which is invaluable during a long ride or tour. This handlebar has a medium length drop for improved aerodynamics and handling through corners. Flare is a modest 30mm (15mm on each side).
                    Our Randonneur Handlebar has similar features to the Course, but it has a slight 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! Ramps are the same measurement as the Course handlebar. Flare measures 60mm. Remember, 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).

                    The last offering in our drop bar selection is the Dajia Shallow Drop (Adrian's favorite, which she used on her C&O trip). The ramp section is shorter for a lower reach to the hoods and the drops are shallower so you don't need to lean over quite as much to find an aerodynamic position. The bar has 0 flare, which allows you snake through the peloton or around parked cars without worry of snagging. This bar is very popular for modern builds as well as for people wanting a shorter reach bar.

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