In the last installment, we talked about how to install a bottom bracket into your new VO frame. This time, we'll discuss selecting a drop handlebar for your new ride.
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.
- Stem 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 (although many have gone to 31.8mm).
- Brake Lever 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.
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 style builds as well as for people wanting a shorter reach bar.
What should the next installment of the series be?