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Thread: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
    D

    What is the point of a flat bar gravel bike?

    Isn't it (almost) the same as a rigid MTB with flat bars?


    Specialized Diverge Expert E5 EVO

    You are looking at that bike from the other end of the telescope! It is a bike!

    I went and looked up the geometry/spec.

    They have reissued the pre-suspension NORBA mountain bike. Now with disk brakes and 1x drivetrain! The 1.9" slicks or "gravel-specific" light knobbly tires are a nice and welcome touch.

    I bet it is a versatile and fine beastie for what most USA folks do with bikes. You know, social virtue signalling, ride slowly on the path to lunch for light exercise, perhaps peek out onto the bike lanes for a tootle with the fam on the weekends, ride gentle trails from time to time, and (not to be dismissed) dump something on the pre-teens for low cost independent transportation.

    If someone catches fire and gets enthusiastic about riding, then "the bike" becomes the spare/commuter and more specialized widgets show up. That thing is a blank slate for dreams.

    We are on the other side of that journey.

    Best Regards,

    Will
     

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    I have been riding my flat bar cross bike everywhere for 5-6 years- I call it the “grandma” bike.


    Bike industry is finally catching up my trend setting ways78335396-D50C-4911-A588-6C68060DE602.jpg
    What I am making now:7 sugars.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    I never understood why "hybrid" was a kind of cursed word among the cycling enthusiasts community. It makes much more sense than "gravel" and hybrid bikes have always been a great choice for people who wanted to do a bit of everything but wouldn't dare trying anything remotely gnarly or technical.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    I think that many of the hybrids sold just weren't that nice. Whenever I saw them in shops they were always mid tier at best and they were never a lust worthy bike. The bike in the OP looks pretty cool. I think in general the market is more ready now for the hybrid/gravel/road bike with flat bars/mountain bike with drop bars/whatever they are calling it than ever. To me the categories now are Full Suspension Mountain bikes, and Bikes. I know that marketing would never go to two categories but full suspension bikes are way different but everything else is converging and I think it is great.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    This is another example of segmentation within the “gravel” space similar to what has happened in MTB. There’s gravel bikes for the shorter, casual ride, there’s gravel bikes for racing, there’s gravel bikes for touring, etc. I can’t imagine riding a flat bar gravel bike over 2 hours but on a run up to a bar or to go see friends, sure! Long rides I want the multiple hand positions drop bars offer.
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    I'm thinking very hard about getting myself something like All-City's flatbar gravel bike, maybe with some nicer wheels. Not expensive, pretty well spec'd.
     

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    I think that many of the hybrids sold just weren't that nice.
    Yes because hardtails used to not be that much different anyway, with similar head tube angle. So most enthusiasts riding XC bikes would mount 700c road rims on their 26" MTB when riding on the road and hybrid/fitness bikes acted as beginners level things with low end groupsets. But there werer still some of them equipped with XT levels groupset and decent wheels. Notwithstanding the small geometry difference they were only a quick parts swap of being close to that bike in the OP. I think Giant had an extensive catalog of these kind of bikes

    Now that everything converged to a road like diameter for everything things converge more easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamu8104 View Post
    I can’t imagine riding a flat bar gravel bike over 2 hours but on a run up to a bar or to go see friends, sure! Long rides I want the multiple hand positions drop bars offer.
    Even for a city bike I find narrower drop bars more adapted. You can split lane more easily at traffic lights, bike is easier to lean against a wall. Flat bar really only makes sense on the really tactical stuff or if you equip the bike with a stand or if you have a front rack.

    One thing we stupidly miss in these days and age of hydraulic disc brakes are CX levers. They weren't that useful for racing CX but as gravel/city/touring devices they would be great. Hope had built some prototypes a few years ago but never sold them. The only other solutions I saw were cable to hydro hybrid systems, either on the caliper or at the stem level...
    Hope unveils new inline Hydraulic Crosstop brake levers with Paul Oldham winning the Three Peaks Cyclocross race | road.cc
    Last edited by sk_tle; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    These will be perfect commuters picked uplightly used for half price in a couple years. Swap on some swept city bars and a rack and it's good to go. I currently have a cargo bike in this slot and look forward to something lighter when my son is too big to ride on the back.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott G. View Post
    I had forgotten about those. Thanks for the reminder !
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
    And let's not forget John Tomac was doing it a long time ago...
    Hmmm, and I'm still doing it!

    I still have a blast on my Bonty when the mood hits.

    bontydrop-corso.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    FWIW John Tomac by his own admission didn't really use drop bar because he felt it was any better off the road, but because he was riding at the time for 7-11 and the motorola pro road teams and wanted a position as close as possible between the two types of bikes. I think the only thing that made it less a stupid idea was the even more stupidly narrow size of the mountain bikes of that era.
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    For a while this year I only had one bike, hardtail, steel Kona honzo. I used it for (dirt) road rides before the trails dried up.

    - For steep climbing it was great, although I think you need easier gear ratios for a flat bar bike on hills. I think its the body position and the weight over the back (maybe these flat bar gravell bikes fix that?), but where 42x42t works on my seven, 32x36 felt similar on the MTB. could have been the tires, but we are talking 30 minute 1000' plus climbs, and I'm more of a sprinter build at 200lbs, so im not flying up these.

    - At the beginning, doing a 30 mile plus ride on flat bars felt like shit, by the end I had adapted. Riding flat road is just not fun on this thing, so I rarely did that.

    - I dont know where the opinion of flat bars being more comfortable comes from. They kill my back. I tried some standard sweep 68cm bars, and some 72cm SQ llabs with 15ish degrees sweep. The SQ labs are better, but I dont know how people ride with their thumbs under the bars for more than a few hours. I'm going to try SQ labs inner barends soon. But my end decision was that if I did tour divide, it would be on a drop bar bike. I was previosly under the opinion I would do it on this Honzo (its the older less aggressive geo), with some different bars.

    In short, for me, Flat bars are a necessity for technical trail riding, and would never be the choice for me if I didn't need them. These will make great short distance hybrids for people who dont spend tons of time on bikes though. I have a feeling these will sell like hot cakes in certain markets.

    I know bullhorns are ugly, but I still feel like they would be the right choice for a lot of people if they could integrate shifting and braking in better.
    --------------------
    another jaunt
    REBAR

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by s_curran View Post
    For a while this year I only had one bike, hardtail, steel Kona honzo. I used it for (dirt) road rides before the trails dried up.

    - For steep climbing it was great, although I think you need easier gear ratios for a flat bar bike on hills. I think its the body position and the weight over the back (maybe these flat bar gravell bikes fix that?), but where 42x42t works on my seven, 32x36 felt similar on the MTB. could have been the tires, but we are talking 30 minute 1000' plus climbs, and I'm more of a sprinter build at 200lbs, so im not flying up these.

    - At the beginning, doing a 30 mile plus ride on flat bars felt like shit, by the end I had adapted. Riding flat road is just not fun on this thing, so I rarely did that.

    - I dont know where the opinion of flat bars being more comfortable comes from. They kill my back. I tried some standard sweep 68cm bars, and some 72cm SQ llabs with 15ish degrees sweep. The SQ labs are better, but I dont know how people ride with their thumbs under the bars for more than a few hours. I'm going to try SQ labs inner barends soon. But my end decision was that if I did tour divide, it would be on a drop bar bike. I was previosly under the opinion I would do it on this Honzo (its the older less aggressive geo), with some different bars.

    In short, for me, Flat bars are a necessity for technical trail riding, and would never be the choice for me if I didn't need them. These will make great short distance hybrids for people who dont spend tons of time on bikes though. I have a feeling these will sell like hot cakes in certain markets.

    I know bullhorns are ugly, but I still feel like they would be the right choice for a lot of people if they could integrate shifting and braking in better.
    The last 2 years I was still doing MTB marathon races I was using togs clones thumbs extensions:
    TOGS are bar ends for your thumbs - MBR

    Also bar-ends aren't fashionable but for long distance I believe they are a valid option. I would probably use them next to the levers mounting point instead of the end of the handlebar on modern widish mtb bars though. But I am with you regarding comfort and back pain. When doing long mtb climbs I would like to be able to stretch my back a bit more.
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    The last 2 years I was still doing MTB marathon races I was using togs clones thumbs extensions:
    TOGS are bar ends for your thumbs - MBR

    Also bar-ends aren't fashionable but for long distance I believe they are a valid option. I would probably use them next to the levers mounting point instead of the end of the handlebar on modern widish mtb bars though. But I am with you regarding comfort and back pain. When doing long mtb climbs I would like to be able to stretch my back a bit more.
    agreed, and I think i'll have to try the Togs for normal rides. This is what Im thinking for long rides. You dont put your whole hand on these ones, so it will feel more like the woodchipper bars or something.

    --------------------
    another jaunt
    REBAR

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamu8104 View Post
    .... I can’t imagine riding a flat bar gravel bike over 2 hours but on a run up to a bar or to go see friends, sure! Long rides I want the multiple hand positions drop bars offer.
    So how do people do Bikepacking on Mtb's?
    Surely, some of the ultra-long distance riders are using TT extensions to get a complete rest, but mere mortals end up fine with flat bars. If you're going offroad you're unlikely to spend more than a few minutes with the body in the same position anyway.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    So how do people do Bikepacking on Mtb's?
    Surely, some of the ultra-long distance riders are using TT extensions to get a complete rest, but mere mortals end up fine with flat bars. If you're going offroad you're unlikely to spend more than a few minutes with the body in the same position anyway.
    There are some guys around me who have full length aerobars on their fat bikes. Kid you not.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    A quick look at the tour divide rigs. You can see drop bars, aero extensions and I bet some of the handlebar bags are sometimes used as rests.

    Rigs of The 219 Tour Divide - BIKEPACKING.com
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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamu8104 View Post
    I can’t imagine riding a flat bar gravel bike over 2 hours
    When TransIowa was first getting going fifteen or more years ago now, most people rode mountain bikes. Ira Ryan showed up and won it on a drop bar bike with Paselas, and that changed how people thought about gravel. The Rapha Continental idea was mostly an extension to the extreme of riding road bikes on gravel (with 25c Gatorskins).
     

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    Default Re: Flat Bar Gravel Bike

    I still think a varient of this would be better for most people. I imagine using those shifters and levers with a shorter stem on something like a kona Libre, with a GRX double. would actually be pretty sweet, but super ugly. I guess using 45 degree sweep flat bars is probably more marketable though, as well as being more recognizable by the general public.

    I still want one of these groupsets to mess around with, if anyone knows of one collecting dust in the back of a shop somewhere.

    https://www.singlebe.com/wp-content/...o-metrea-6.jpg

    --------------------
    another jaunt
    REBAR

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