If you want to get into cycling right now, and you’re probably wondering which one to choose between, a flat bar and a drop-bar roadie. There are some significant differences between the two bars, and each of them has pros and cons.
So let’s find out which one you should choose flat bar vs. drop bar.
The flat bar bike puts you in a more upright position, and this is much more comfortable for beginners because it requires much less flexibility in your back. Also, if you ride with a biking backpack, the flat bar is much more suitable and comfortable.
The drop-bar road bike allows you to stay longer and lower on the front of the bike and be more aerodynamic – meaning that you should go faster on it. Not to mention that you get your center of gravity lower, which in return should help to corner.
Where you are going to ride
Everything comes to the simple question here – where are you going to ride your bike? If you plan to ride your new road bike in the backcountry and want to make some century rides, then the drop bar would be the obvious choice. With the drop bar, you get in a comfortable for speed low-ride position, which is more aerodynamic, and cornering is a breeze.
If you plan to commute to work or just to ride casually in the parks or bike lanes, then the flat bar should be your choice. With the flat-bar road bike, you get a lot of agility, maneuvering, and stability at lower speeds. In general, the flat-bar road bike is better for the city.
Pros and Cons
Flat Bar Pros
- Perfect for city commuting
- Very agile, good for avoiding potholes
- More stable and easier to ride
- More room for accessories
Flat Bar Cons
- Not very quick!
- Only one hand position
Drop Bar Pros
- Comfortable at higher speed
- Three different hand positions
- Great for longer rides
- Better at riding against a headwind
- Narrower than flat bars
- Better for climbing hills
Drop Bar Cons
- Not so agile and good for riding in the city
- More expensive to repair
- Less space for accessories
Both flat bars and drops have advantages and disadvantages, but if you come from a mountain bike, then you should choose the flat bar road bike. It’s more familiar, and you will be much more stable on it.
But my recommendation is to buy a drop bar! You will be surprised how quick and comfortable those bikes could be. You will just need some time to get used to it. Even if you are a heavy guy looking for his first road bike, the drop bar is an excellent option.