40 votes
Accepted

What are the benefits of drop bars?

The main advantage is more hand positions. With a regular flat bar, you hold your hands at the grips (with possibly about one more hand position available if you have bar ends). With drop bars, you ...
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  • 45.5k
23 votes
Accepted

Aero Bars vs The Drops

Yes, typically you will obtain an improvement in speed by adding clip-on aero bars to your bike. How much extra speed is dependent on many variables though (mostly how it changes your aerodynamics) ...
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  • 2,355
22 votes
Accepted

Bike seems less stable when using handlebar bag

Yes, the bag can cause the instability. The physics is quite simple. Ordinarily, a bike is self-stabilizing. If you turn the handlebars to the left, you steer to the left and the bike leans to the ...
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22 votes

Handle bar rotates on its own. Can’t screw the screw all the way down

That’s a tension bolt for a quill stem I think. Is there a wedge shaped piece floating around inside the fork now? You can fish it out with that bolt or maybe flip the bike upside down. The last few ...
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20 votes

How to bend handlebar to customize it?

No! Don't do it! Certainly not with aluminium / alloy bars. Any bending stresses the internal structure of the metal, weakening it. Even in a metalworking shop, I would be doubtful of the safety of ...
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  • 17k
17 votes

Bike seems less stable when using handlebar bag

That's fairly normal behavior. You point out that you got used to it, but couldn't "trust the bike". It's a very similar scenario to moving to a new bike with much different geometry and not ...
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  • 9,858
16 votes

How to best prevent handlebar tape from unraveling at the inner ends?

I use high quality electrical tape (such as 3M Super 33+) to mechanically hold the bar tape in place. Over top of that, I use the provided finishing tape, which usually matches the bar tape better ...
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  • 10.5k
15 votes
Accepted

Mounting light on handlebar with bag installed

As Chris H notes, the clerk was wrong. And he suggests a good suggestion to raise the light above the bag. However, you can also mount the light below the bag as well. Operating on the same principle ...
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  • 28.4k
15 votes

Handle bar rotates on its own. Can’t screw the screw all the way down

Older bikes have what is known as a quill stem. The stem telescopes inside the fork steerer tube and is held in place with a wedge. The long bolt you removed threads into the wedge. When the bolt is ...
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14 votes
Accepted

What's this part of the bike, and is it safe to alter it?

What he hammered down is the star nut. It's a gription (yes I made that word up) device that serves as an anchor point in the steer tube to allow the top cap to properly compress the headset during a ...
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  • 9,858
14 votes
Accepted

Is it really necessary to loosen/unmount handlebar while packing bike?

Two reasons, one major and one a little more subtle. Majorly, most adult bikes won't come close to fitting in a standard, non-oversize bike shipping box if you just turn the bars and fork as you ...
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14 votes

Apparent pedal force improvement from swept back handlebars; why not use them?

For one thing, the aerodynamics are terrible. For another, most cycling is not dependent on peak power, but on sustainable power, for which leg strength (or body strength) isn’t as important as ...
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  • 23.8k
14 votes

Can you use two different shifters (eg. Left-Tiagra,Right-105) on the same cockpit/handlebar?

The shifters on your left and right side don’t have to match. They can even be from completely different manufacturers. On road bikes it can be problematic because when riding “on the hoods” (the ...
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  • 19.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Spots on bike bar tape after wet ride

It's almost certainly cork that is used in the bar tape for its vibration damping and sweat absorbing properties. It's clearly visible in this promotional image for Cinelli tape:
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  • 12.7k
12 votes

How to bend handlebar to customize it?

Doing it safely with aluminum is not simple or equipment-minimal, either modifying it or making it from scratch. But, if you want to make a hobby of it for a while, you can do it safely in steel in ...
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12 votes

How to bend handlebar to customize it?

I wouldn't recommend bending handlebar -- if the bar breaks (which is more likely due to the stresses you're putting on it), you're probably going to lose some teeth or worse. I don't know your skills ...
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  • 45.5k
11 votes
Accepted

Why are aero bars usually disallowed in gran fondos?

I now realise "gran fondo" is American terminology for "cyclosportive". That sort of event falls loosely between audax and racing. The randonneuring community prize responsible riding, and tend to ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of this small block on the handlebar?

My bikes had one. You would simply put your bike against the wall with just that "thing" and your saddle touching the wall. It would prevent scratches and made sure your bike doesn't fall. That ...
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  • 246
11 votes
Accepted

Are folding handlebars a good idea from an engineering standpoint?

Well, from an engineering standpoint, no. It increases complexity, cost and weight. Those might be a deal breaker for the commuters who would likely use them. From a practical standpoint, maybe. @...
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  • 1,371
11 votes

How to increase speed on my hybrid bike with flat handlebars and 700X35C tyres?

Before looking to improve the bike, I'd look to improve your fitness. I was able to average 13–14mph on my hybrid for 1–1.5hrs; at that time, I was commuting 3–5 miles each way per ...
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10 votes

Aero Bars vs The Drops

This answer elaborates a bit on the answer above, pulling from some YouTube videos done by Specialized Bicycles in their own wind tunnel as well as a few other sources. It goes on a (hopefully ...
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  • 18.5k
10 votes

Bike seems less stable when using handlebar bag

Yes. Don't use a handlebar bag if it affects your bike's handling that badly. Perhaps your frame is just not suitable for a handlebar bag - normally a fork with a lot of trail (ie a stable touring ...
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  • 96.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Can I install a handlebar brake handle without removing the grips?

Many BMX levers are hinged, so they don't require messing with the grip. These can be had for either short pull (canti/caliper/u-brake) or long pull (v-brake/mechanical disc), so make sure to get the ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Fitting a vibration-proof bell for drop bars

If your screw head is actually a nut, like the picture looks like, replace it with a nylock nut. If that is not possible, thread lock fluid like blue Loctite works nicely.
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  • 19.1k
10 votes

PRO LT Handlebar Stem asks to tighten top handlebar screws first before bottom screws? Conflicting manual instructions?

Here are a few diagrams I drew in Autodesk Fusion 360 to explain how these zero-gap stems work. According to the instructions provided with the few zero-gap stems I've encountered, you should tighten ...
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  • 10.5k
10 votes
Accepted

How can I raise my handlebars when there are no spacers above the stem?

One or more of the three options Change the stem to one with an angle, with such a short stem height gain will be limited. Replace the bars with a riser bar, these will give up to 40mm, maybe more of ...
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  • 39.3k
10 votes

How do I install a quill stem extender?

Sorry - you have the wrong part, or need a second part to make it all work. The item on the right is a quill stem to threadless adapter, and if you used it to replace your current stem it would ...
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  • 96.4k
9 votes
Accepted

arm and elbow position -- sticking out or straight, also pushing or pulling on handlebar

Ultimately all road bike positions are a compromise between comfort, power and aerodynamics. The balance between each component depends on your goals, experience, flexibility and any underlying ...
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  • 29.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Would Tri-Bars be advantageous for a 260 mile 2 day event

I would suggest attaching the bars and doing some test rides. Is your bike, with it's aggressive geometry, stable when using them? Are you comfortable using them? Does this new position provide some ...
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  • 1,107
9 votes

The stem connects the handlebars to the...?

That's the fork steerer. The fork has to be replaced if you want it taller. That, or perhaps, you could add another spacer to gain a marginal 10/20mm.... Replace the forks if you're desperate. Once ...
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  • 993

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