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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Drop or straight bars...

Its been an upgrade fever on the EG and building new bikes, friends and mine. Tucked away in a little corner of the mind, I was turning my thoughts back on those forlorn road bikes in the storeroom. Or at least the pride and joy of my singlespeed SOMA Stanyan.

Are dropbars really necessary? Reckon that's a redundant question. My decision was  made earlier when a pair of flattop levers were ordered from CRC.

With the spate of rising accidents involving cyclists in Singapore, it led me to dwell on the various factors involved. I was shunning from road riding for a while now. What's the underlying factors apart from the superficial "blame" pinning on rude funky colored clad lycra riders plus all their right of way demands. Been thinking of the dangers associated with the traditional road bike geometry and choice of componentry.

Back in the past when roads were emptier, it probably mattered less. Now, having to jostle with an increase of vehicles, people and whatever our beloved government care to stuff onto this little island is making it less and less desirable for cyclists on the road.

Shunned but on occasions I do miss the feeling of road riding. All the close calls my own and witnessing a few others in recent years led me to think... what is the sense of having drop bars when riding under such conditions. Drop bars are meant to pitch a rider's weight forward. The CG is low, hand position on the drops or the hood just aren't natural or conducive to sudden evasive action...everything is decidedly geared for one thing. Speed.

Short straight bars don't cut it either... maybe its my bias but Im definitely not into the fixie culture. All those weaving between vehicles with tiny bars and school girlish cheering when pals made a 2 cm side kerb hop just isnt my idea of riding.

So?   Leftover from my singlespeed mtb days that saw duty on the ss commuter...looks like the Nitto Torsion 666 will be dusted soon... never thought it would see action on a "roadie" one day. Err..sort of roadie.


  1. You raised an interesting point about whether drop bars usage are responsible for the cycling accident statistics in Singapore.

    Using the tri-bars would be measurably worse in city traffic, so I would say drop-bars would not be an issue if:-
    (1) Roadies have better handling skills. I've seen 'fast' roadies try offroad and crash like crazy even on sections that are not really technical. Maybe local roadies are just too focused on speed and never developed a more complete set of bike handling skills.
    (2) Roadies also tend to have a mindset that each time out has to be a serious training session. Which means they are often a bit fatigued and slower to react when they are back riding in traffic. Hence higher chances for an accident.

  2. Certainly agree that better handling skills lessen probabilities of accidents and if every ride has to hit at least an average of +40km/hr then it would be hard to do without drop or aero bars.

    My decision has been based on the road accident statistics and riding behavour in general over the last 2 years. Kinda correlated with a couple of other blogs I read with people that are living in increasingly crowded cities like ours.