drop handlebars vs flat

Drop Handlebars Vs Flat Handlebars | Which Is Better For Road Bikes?

Before setting out to the road, you will definitely have to select the most suitable handlebar for the road. There are two main kinds of handlebars in existence today. These are the drop and the flat handlebars respectively. Knowing which of the two is better definitely aids you in arriving at the most suitable one.

Drop Handlebars Vs Flat Handlebars

To aid you in this, we are going to compare and contrast the two of them here below:

Hand Positions

Of the two handlebars, it is the drop that has more hand positions. Most drops have three distinct hand positions. These are the bars, hoods, and in the drops themselves. With the drop handlebars, you have the freedom to alter the positions of your hands as you may so wish.

The flat handlebars, on the other hand, give you only one position to place your hand on. They are subsequently tedious and less comfortable to engage. In light of this, they are strongly inappropriate for those long distances which require the shifting of positions every now and then.

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Design and Stature

The drop handlebars are shaped aerodynamically. That is to mean that the droop down in such a way as to make your back bulge upwards. When riding faster, you encounter less wind resistance and will hence encounter limited resistance due to air friction. You probably have no worthier companion for long distance travels.

As for the flat handlebars, they are generally flat in scope and stature. Subsequently, you encounter too much wind resistance. To obtain those aerodynamics, you will have to crouch downwards. The position is however not sustainable in the long run as you will still have to revert to the upright position later.


Given their differences in design and stature, these two handlebars are suited for different applications. The drop handlebars are mainly great for climbing steep slopes. That is because they yield some great leverage by enabling you to grab onto the hoods and drops better. You also get to pedal better by applying more power.

The flat handlebars, on the other hand, are most suited for cruising flat and even terrains. That is because they are less aerodynamic and will not allow you to power your peals better. You simply have to stay in the right state and posture and that is it.

Size and Fit

There is really no significant difference in the sizes of these two handlebars. However, the drop handlebars are collapsible which allows their sizes to be shrunk to fit the limited spaces available. You will easily navigate traffic jams, congestions, and tighter spots better with them.

Apart from being fixed, the flat handlebars are also fully spread out. They subsequently take up more space and are unsuitable for managing those tight spots. You will only find them that much useful in the open country where space is not so much of an issue. Also, you will have to set aside plenty of storage spaces.


All factors considered, the drop handlebars are the more efficient of the two to engage. The main reason underlying this is the fact that you are capable of dropping down into an aerodynamic position. Further, the shape does not really require that you apply extra power onto your pedals.

The situation is however totally different from the flat handlebars. Its posture requires that you apply too much power onto the pedals. The reason being that you encounter higher wind resistance which in turn slows you down. You hence expend more effort for any given distance traveled.

Speed Limits

Definitely, the drop handlebars let you ride further, faster and for longer. These three feats are brought about by the combination of all the key traits mentioned above. One estimate suggests that you may cover an extra 200 miles a month when cycling a drop handlebar.

It is also noteworthy that you expend limited effort to do so owing to reduced wind resistance. This puts the drop handlebar at a strategic advantage over and above its flat handlebar counterpart. You definitely have to prioritize it in your search for the best one.


Lastly, drop handlebars may also serve aesthetics values. That is because they feature the classic and iconic appearances which their flat handlebars unfortunately lack. You may hence consider using them to pose and take pictures with your friends and peers. Place them at a conspicuous place to be seen by all also.

With the flat handlebar, you may obtain nothing much over and above the mere ability to transport you out and about a given area. They are not so elegantly shaped and are hence less likely to yield that much appearance.

Final Thought About Drop Handlebars Vs. Flat Handlebars

There is no doubt that the drop handlebar is the better of the two options available. That is because it is more comprehensive in design and stature. Other than this, the drop handlebar is also more efficient as it reduces the wind resistance and the associated force needed to counter it.

Considering that it also exudes some aesthetic appearances, you clearly have no option but to prioritize it in your quest for the right one. Having received the right distinction between these two handlebars, what more would you require of us? Go ahead and pick the one that is best suited for your case!

If your choice to buy a bicycle for you or for your kids can check this list of bikes.



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