In the 40 km time trial, riding with the hands on the handlebar drops improved the aerodynamic position and improved performance by 2 to 3 minutes compared to the baseline position. So, it is clear that a drop handlebar makes a lot of difference in the performance of a bike. Therefore, many cyclists want to put drop handlebars on their bikes to get better performance.
Along with the performance, the drop handlebars make the bike attractive. As the rider can place his hand at various positions on these handles, which is a significant advantage. And, Drop handlebars are convenient for hill climbing because of their relative narrowness, the rider can easily navigate crowded roads.
In this article, I will discuss drop handlebars and how to put them on your bike in detail. I believe you can replace your bike handle yourself by following this writing.
What Are Drop Handlebars?
Drop handlebars were first used on racing bikes in the 1980s. The ends of such handlebars are curved downwards, which eventually turn towards the rider. They allow the rider to place his hands in three positions that are convenient for him. That’s why Drop handlebars are popular on road bikes.
These handlebars are of different types and riders can use them for various purposes. For example, we use one type of drop handlebar for racing, while we use a different type of drop handlebar for general riding.
Apart from improving the looks and performance of the bike, these handlebars provide many other benefits.
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What Are Differences Between Drop Handlebar And Other Handlebars?
Just as drop handlebars look different from other handlebars, the features are also quite different. Below, I’ll present some of the notable differences through a chart.
|Parameter||Drop Handlebar||Other Handlebars|
|Versatility||Provides more versatility. This allows you to hold the handlebars with three hand positions. You can feel some relief by changing the position of the hand.||Offer less versatility. It has only one hand position which is convenient for short urban rides and mountain biking.|
|Posture||Gives the rider a more aerodynamic and aggressive posture. This is helpful for fast rides but can be inconvenient for long rides.||Most other handlebars offer a comparable upright posture. This is relatively comfortable but inconvenient to ride at high speed.|
|Speed||Suitable for high-speed riding.||Not suitable for high-speed riding.|
|Stability||Drop handlebars are relatively less stable.||Relatively more stable.|
|Riding On Bumpy Roads||Not recommended, as they have less stability and controllability.||Other handlebars, especially flat handlebars are recommended, as they provide great stability.|
|Riding On The Narrow Or Crowdy Roads||Great, they are relatively narrow and easy to maneuver.||Other handlebars are not as convenient on crowded roads because they are relatively wider.|
|Maneuverability||Excellent, best for cornering at high speeds.||Less maneuverable than drop handlebars.|
Can You Use Drop Handlebars On Your Bike?
Yes, you can use drop handlebars on most bikes.
A drop handlebar will make your bike look attractive and provide an aerodynamic shape that is conducive to fast riding. And using very limited tools, you can change the handlebars of your bike and add drop handlebars.
But there are some things you need to consider.
- If you spend most of your time riding on dirt roads or rocky trails, drop handlebars are not for you.
- Besides, if you want to reach your destination quickly on urban roads or smooth roads, these handlebars are ideal for you.
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How To Put Drop Handlebars On A Bike?
Putting drop handlebars on a bike is not a difficult task, actually, it’s a DIY job.
To replace the handlebars on a modern bike, you will need-
- A Knife or Scissors,
- Torque Wrench,
- And an Assembly Compound.
Below, I’ll describe the entire process within simple 6 steps.
Step 1: Remove Cables
- First, you disconnect the brake cables of your bike from the levers. If they are taped to the handlebars, use a knife or scissors to cut the tape and separate the cables.
- Be careful not to damage the wires with the knife.
Step 2: Remove Brake Lever
- A few mounting bolts usually attach brake levers to the handlebars. Locate these bolts and loosen them using a suitable wrench.
- Then carefully remove the levers from the handlebars.
Step 3: Separate The Old Handlebar
Many bikes have a removable face plate that attaches the handlebar to the bike via stamp bolts.
- For these, remove the faceplate by unscrewing the stamp bolts and separating the handlebar.
Some older bike models use a compression slab system to attach the handlebars.
- For these, loosen the compression slab bolts and separate the handlebar.
Step 4: Add New Drop Handlebar
- Grease the face plate screws to attach the new drop handlebar.
- Now place the bar on the faceplate and tighten the screws, but do not tighten. Note that- the middle part of the handlebar is properly engaged in the faceplate. If not, move the bar slightly and attach it to the middle.
- Bars are usually marked in the middle to facilitate joining. Now tighten the handlebar well.
- After that tighten the face plate top and bottom bolts
- At last, make sure that the top and bottom gaps are equal.
Step 5: Add Levers
- Add the brake levers to the handlebars but do not tighten them fully. When attaching them.
- And, make sure that the lower end of the brake lever is parallel with the lower part of the drop handlebar.
- Also, note whether the height of both the levers is equal.
- Finally, tighten the bolts well and connect the brake cables to the levers.
Step 6: Wrap The Handlebar
We usually use a tape of leather or synthetic material to wrap the handlebars.
- Wrap the handlebar using tape as desired. But be sure to tape the cables to the handlebars before wrapping.
Drop handlebars are a symbol of youth. So putting a drop handlebar on your bike can be an exciting experience. These stylish handlebars are perfect for riders who want to get into aggressive cornering and down steep hills. But if you’re a casual rider, a drop bar with a more gradual bend may be a better option.
Here, I have explained very simply- the differences between Drop & Other Handle Bars, how to add drop handlebars, and related issues. So that following this, you can replace your bike handlebars easily without any nasty hassle.