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New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby antarcticbeech » 13 Feb 2012, 16:48

Wookiee wrote:However, I can tell you that it was a great relief to my hands when I went to a road bike with drop bars, especially on long rides.

I completely agree. Thinking about buying another bike for this exact reason.
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby circleback » 13 Feb 2012, 16:56

Having a variety of hand positions is really important if you are going to be on it for longer rides. If you get a flat bar, you can get bar ends to vary your position. But it's not enough really.

There are also touring handlebars, which have quite a variety of hand positions too. I think they call them butterfly handlebars here.
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby Hobbes » 14 Feb 2012, 09:18

Great -- this is very helpful. One of my many flaws is a tendency to over-think things like this, and the point about "just getting out there" is well taken. But I also know that I would be likely to give myself a hard time later if I didn't at least do a little research and make the best decision I could. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby PaddyB » 14 Feb 2012, 14:01

Havent got a bike yet, but I'll share my research with you -

A lot of dealers (about half of them) I've talked to have tried to steer me away from a drop-bar bike when I tell them I want to put a child seat on it. They say it's too unstable. Others say it will work fine, you just need to practice a bit.

I've exchanged emails with some bloggers in the US who have done it and say it's no problem at all (particularly with the iBert Safe-T front seat and the Co-Pilot Taxi/Limo rear seats) although everyone seems to agree that it's more comfortable and convenient with a flat bar bike.

Given some of the countless pathetic and avoidable low speed crashes I frequently witnessed when I lived near the Danshui bike path, I think a lot of people here try to take up biking in adulthood and have no idea what they are doing, thus the dealers' general trepidation when recommending family bikes here (get a small frame, dont get a racing bike, get an ATB etc.)

Anyway, if you do go with a road bike, I'd recommend a seat that sits as low in the back as possible. And most front seats dont work at all - that iBert one is the only one I've seen that works on (some) road bikes. I'm probably going to get the child seat I want first and then pick a bike based on that (although I'm feeling pretty confident that I can use a cyclocross bike for whatever I want).

Hope that helps! I'll let you know what I end up going with (if I get my bike before you do)
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby the bear » 14 Feb 2012, 14:13

PaddyB wrote:
Given some of the countless pathetic and avoidable low speed crashes I frequently witnessed when I lived near the Danshui bike path, I think a lot of people here try to take up biking in adulthood and have no idea what they are doing


This is a good point. You can see from the way a lot of adults ride here that they didn't ride bikes as kids. Any kid who rides a bike on a daily basis picks up bike handling skills that last a lifetime (things like anticipating slight rises in elevation by increasing cadence and then standing on the pedals). On the other hand you constantly see people here who have no real idea of how to control a bike and so are a liability once they hit a bike path.
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby Hobbes » 14 Feb 2012, 16:02

That's a very interesting point about people taking up riding as adults. I'd never really thought about that before. :ponder: I've ridden very rarely since I became an adult, and only on borrowed bikes, but I still feel very comfortable riding. I think you're right, the hundreds (thousands?) of hours my friends and I spent on bicycles when we were kids (no cram schools or the like for us!) probably instilled a lot of habits that I don't think about consciously when I get on a bike -- and a lot of adults here probably don't have that. I'll be interested to hear what you end up settling on, PaddyB!
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby irishstu » 15 Feb 2012, 17:59

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, Hobbes, but just note that one of the reasons dropbars are harder to control is because they are significantly narrower, not just because of their shape, or your lower body position. Incidentally, that's not an arguement for straight bars. The more comments I read the more I think you'd be best getting a CX bike if possible.

Also, I have a set of butterfly bars that I tried once and didn't really like. If anyone here wants then super-cheap, let me know.
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Re: New bike: Are drop bars more dangerous (especially in TW)?

Postby Fox » 15 Feb 2012, 19:43

Since being back in Australia, I bought a new Italian bike. It is much better than the crap Merida bikes I had in Taiwan. Number one: Don't buy a Merida. I broke two frames. I think it was because of my weight and a lot of mountain riding, but all the same. One issue with ram's horn handle bars is that you have to lean forward and drop your head so if you have a bung neck they are a pain in the neck. If you don't have a bung neck then you soon might -- ask Urodacus.

I also got a bike with a spring loaded seat. That is a much better option than rear suspension. It provides plenty of cushioning without losing power. Of course any of these guy will tell you I was the slowest man on the mountain, but from my reckoning at least I was on the mountain. Forget pottering around with the family. That is too dull. Take your camera, a doobie for later and just go for it.
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