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A couple of time recently I've seen a bike being ridden near work with drop bars, but upside down and with the brake levers facing towards the rider. By upside down, I mean as if the stem bolts were loosened and the bars rotated 180°, not set up like bullhorns. I'm inclined to assume that this is a misguided attempt to make the bike more comfortable, but it looked the right size for the rider, who was riding on the bar tops when I saw him this morning. It would seem like the brakes are almost impossible to reach quickly or to cover.

What benefit could this have for the rider?

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  • I may try to ask the owner, if I get the chance (e.g. stopped together at lights), but he passed me while I was on foot this morning and I mainly see him going the opposite way. I doubt I'll be able to get a picture but could fake something if the description isn't clear – Chris H May 30 '18 at 8:37
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    I've seen that as well once and it looked very dangerous to me. Even if you can reach the brakes in time, inertia will kill any attempt of modulating them, because the hands press directly onto the levers while the fingers grab the bar. – StefanS May 30 '18 at 8:41
  • I think without asking the rider one can only speculate. When I was a teenager, there were phases when it was cool to do that. It didn't have any practical purpose - in fact it was hard to brake! - but it was a fad and we just thought we looked stupid with normal dropped handlebars. If you can't ask the rider, perhaps a few more details about the context (do they look like local youths who may be more interested in show, or do they look like serious riders with lycra and everything?) – Stephan Matthiesen May 30 '18 at 12:03
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    @Criggie good spot. That didn't show up on my search or on the automatic sidebar "related" box (that I find better than search). VTC as dupe on my own Q – Chris H May 30 '18 at 13:55
  • @StephanMatthiesen a casually-dressed old-ish guy going slowly (but conditions made slowly a good idea when I saw him today). Sitting quite upright too – Chris H May 30 '18 at 13:58

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