Drop Bars Vs Flat Bars: 7 Major Differences You Must Know

Drop and flat bars are some of the most common bars used on bicycles. Selection of bars type will decide about your comfort and riding experience if give considerable time to cycling which can range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. In this article, we will compare drop bars vs flat bars along with the pros and cons of both of these types.

Flat bars are more famous to be featured on commuting bikes and drop bars are more likely to be a standard of road bikes.

What is a drop bar?

These are bike handlebars with flat middle areas and then featuring a curved bend on any side of the bike. The curve of the drop-bar can be towards the rider too. These bars are one of the most complex bars available for bikes. The average size of drop bars is 16 to 18 inches which is less than flat bars. The aesthetic looks of drop bars make them more appealing among bikers.

What is a flat bar?

Flat bars remain straight in front of the rider and the brakes of flat bars are also parallel to the bar, unlike drop bars where brakes are not parallel to the bar and have a very unlikely position. These are one of the most common bars featured on different types of bikes. The average width of a flat bar is 22 to 24 inches.

Advantages of flat bars

Enough space to mount devices

As we know that the width and space of flat bars are more than drop bars so the bikes get enough space to mount different devices and components of gear on the handlebar. Bikers can easily fit bells, mobile phone holders, and GPS devices on this bar.

Maintenance of flat bars is easy

As flat bars are the most common bars available in the market so they are easy to main too. The replacement parts for flat bars are cheap and easily available on bike stations. In addition, the changing of these bars along with the repair is easy than dropped bars.

Provides better control

On hard and sophisticated turn dropped bars tends to perform below par but these bars performs very well as it gives more stability and control. The shift of balance and power is amazing in these bars.

Provides better visibility and comfort

Flat bars are more comfortable in case of positioning for the rider. The posture is upright and the biker doesn’t have to bend to ride. The position of sitting on the saddle in case of flat bars makes everything more visible for the rider.

flat bar bike

Disadvantages of flat bars

Same hand position for longer rides

In the case of flat bars, the rider can’t rotate the hand positions, and the tendency to get tired is more. On drop bars, the rider can relax even by placing an arm on the bar but it is very hard in flat bars. Your hand can get numbness and your bum can be bruised after cycling if the handle of your bicycle is the flat bar.

It affects speed

Aerodynamically flat bars are not suitable for free coasting. You will have to face more wind resistance because of sitting upright. This is one of the reasons that Mountain bikers use dropped bars because it provides with aerodynamic advantage.

Speed of pedaling

Due to the same hand position and upright posture, the speed and power can be decreased with flat bars in case of longer rides.

Advantages of Drop bars

Different hand positions

Drop bars are more versatile in sense of hand position as you don’t get tired and can change your hand position during the ride. This also prevents numbness in hands and bruised bum is rare in the case of dropped bar bicycles.

You can rest your hands on the tops, hoods, and drops of Drop bars. On extended trips, this can offer you much more comfort.

Aerodynamics of dropped bars

We discussed above in disadvantages of flat bars too that how dropped bars are more aerodynamics and can give bikers a huge advantage with less resistance from the wind.

When you have a bike equipped with drop bars then you will be in a better aerodynamic position.

It makes you faster which is not the situation while being on the flat bars.

Aerodynamics of dropped bars

Advantage on hilly tracks and easy free coasting

You can easily shift your weight forward on dropped bars and this is very helpful when you are riding on a hilly track similarly positioning yourself aerodynamically like a peregrine greatly helps to achieve speed and momentum.

●     Improving the Worth

Road bikes having drop bars have more value than the conventional hybrids

After they are converted.

Disadvantages of Dropped Bars

Replacement parts

Parts of dropped bars are expensive and hard to find at every bike station. The ratio of breakdown in these bars is more than flat bars.

Less space on the handle

The space to mount devices on the handle is less in these bars so you will have to choose the most important devices like GPS device and media holder to mount on these bars.

Advantages of Drop bars

Frequently asked questions

Who should opt for drop bars?

If you are a long-distance rider then you should opt for dropped bars as it’s more comfortable for long-distance riding whether it is mountain biking or normal biking.

Who should opt for flat bars?

If you like upright posture and use your bike for short rides then these bars are the perfect option for you.

Can You Put Drop Handlebars On A Hybrid Bike?

The Hybrid bikes have a lot of things in common with the MTBs and they come in flat and sometimes raised bars.

Moreover, these handlebars offer so many advantages which include higher precision and compatibility along with the components that are not heavy on your pockets too.

One thing it lacks is the number of hand placements. Because of this reason, people are inclined towards handlebars as no one wants an inconvenient ride!

That gives rise to the main question of the topic regarding conversions.

The transition of Hybrid Bars to Road Bars

The quick answer is yes, but there are certain challenges involved when you do, and it also affects how the bike operates and handles. To begin with, you’ll need to replace a number of parts to make sure it functions properly.

Is it possible to put drop bars on a hybrid bike?

Yes, it’s quite simple to install drop bars on a hybrid or a mountain bike. Converting it might cause you some extra pennies.

As you might need to get some additional components.

It depends on which bicycle you are working on.

Is it a Smart Idea to go for Conversion?

We frequently see that many customers who undergo this switch discover it is simpler to sell their hybrid and use the proceeds to purchase a road bike in its place.

Converting can be expensive, finding the parts might take some time, and labor costs can add up quickly if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

Conclusion on Drop Bars Vs Flat Bars

I hope we were able to answer your query. Please head over to the blog section of bikedestiny.com and explore the world of cycling


Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

Leave a Comment