Flat Bar Vs Drop Bar Road Bikes | Comfort, Speed & Ease

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Global Cycling Network

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Shared August 12, 2018

As a beginner, it can be difficult to know which is the best bike for you. Should you choose drop or flat handlebars? James and Ollie are on hand to help you find the right bike for you.

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Buying a bike can be confusing when you are unsure of what you need. We put two bikes to the test, a flat bar and a drop bar. After taking a look at the visual differences, we put the bikes to the test. Firstly, we found out which is faster over a 2km section of road and secondly, we tested their agility and stability on two very sophisticated courses.

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Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto / http://www.bettiniphoto.net/

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Leave us a comment below!

Global Cycling Network

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11 months ago | [YT] | 162

Stephen Jones

Can't believe you didn't call it the Eggility Test.

11 months ago | [YT] | 812

Help me reach 600 subscribers with no videos

I prefer flat bar because:
-I go to school with my bike and carrying a backpack is easier
-I don't care much for aerodinamics
-I feel safer and the hand is always ready to brake

3 months ago | [YT] | 283

Beet Oven

You guys are young and fit, so I'll forgive your neglecting to mention that older cyclists naturally suffer more discomfort on the drop-bars. Backs and necks!

8 months ago | [YT] | 120


Flat bar with bullhorns on the side yeah i am a 90's xc rider :-p

11 months ago | [YT] | 359

Gran Darf

I think safety would be another big point to address; flat bars seem safer; 1) you're sitting higher so have better vision. 2) hands always ready to brake. 3) I think even the position is safer for falls, abrupt swerves or having to quickly put a foot down; If you're dropped on drop bars, I think you're in a more vulnerable position!

11 months ago | [YT] | 181

barry barnard

I got my first bike in 1959, with drop bars, I am now 70 and still have drop bars, once a roady always a roady :)

2 months ago | [YT] | 68

Matheus Barbosa

Super fun video! As an xc racer I will add that flat bars have 2 extra positions if you get creative. The easy one is grabbing the bars as narrow as you can (close to the stem) which allows you to tuck a little bit and put your elbows at 90. The more adventurous one is to do the "phantom aero bars" by placing you elbows on the bars. I do these when there are long stretches of road in an xc race (:

11 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 200


I miss Matt...

11 months ago | [YT] | 200

Robin Seibel

FYI, while your tests look a lot like the flat bar vs. drop bar bike comparos we did in the lab at NASA, there is one big difference: we had lasers. We didn't use them in the bike tests, but nevertheless we had lasers.

11 months ago | [YT] | 150

Gordon Moat

I exercise on a slammed road bike, but commute on a flat bar single speed. The main advantage I found with the flat bar is that I can see ahead better, due to sitting more upright.

11 months ago | [YT] | 70

Charles Head

The spirit of Matt "clip-in" Stephens lives on!

11 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 148

Fred Jaminson

Drop the black tight pants bike is what I am getting.

14 hours ago (edited) | [YT] | 0

Steve Burgoine

What I’m taking from this video is that GMBN presenters are better at bike handling.

11 months ago | [YT] | 109


Flat bar easier to maneuver. Rodies die due to bad combos. Weak brakes, aero position and poor bars.

2 days ago | [YT] | 0

Yuan Lu

8:46 "This is how NASA tests bikes."

11 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 39


I ride Schwinn Krates. A ‘68 Lemon Peeler and a ‘70 Grape Krate.

They both have high bars, wide in the Lemon and ape hanger on the Grape.

I don’t care if it’s not aero, just fun cruising.

3 days ago | [YT] | 0

Bryce Dueck

On my fixed gear with an agressive fork and drop I find the bike changes dramatically depending on the bars. Bullhorns can be twitchy but gives me a good posture for sprinting and ideal for long hills. Drops are fast and very stable but terrible in town. Flats are by far the best for everyday commuting and gives you a lot of control when needed but terrible down the highway. And I find flats make the bike feel like a commuter, and given the particular rig I feel that's dissapointing.

11 months ago | [YT] | 1

Andrew Chapman

Oh peter McKinnon. How you have influenced everyone on YouTube

3 days ago | [YT] | 0

Worldwide Ghosts

I love both types of bars but drop bars are pretty dangerous. They seem to make the bike very twitchy regardless of stem length.

3 days ago | [YT] | 0