Talk to me about dirt drops.

I can’t really stand climbing with riser bars on my 29er. They’re great for descents, cool for rolling stuff… but a damn pain with the absence of a brake hood position.

I almost just want to put road drops/hoods on my bike, but the sensible side of me says that probably wouldn’t be the best idea in the long haul.

So what’s good with dirt drops? On One and WTB are the only ones out there? Or are there others? What do you find preferable about them? Do you miss your risers after going to them, or are risers/flats a distant thought?

Really, the main thing that seems weird to me about them is how the hoods flat out at a diagonal angle.

I do a bit of trail riding with nudlz. It’s ok, and if you already have some wide ish drops laying around I’d try that first, maybe with a short stem as i bet your mtb is long in the top tube. Having that low position really rules when you are climbing something steep and tricky. The big problem with my setup is that my weight is pretty far forward when I’m on the hoods or in the drops; it would be nice to have some crosstop levers so I could brake with more weight on the rear wheel.

I have those Midge bars and you really can’t ride on the hoods at all. They’re totally meant for you to be in the drops all the time.
Maybe check out the new offerings from salsa which look like they’d be a little more amenable to hoods riding.

Salsa’s new Woodchipper bar.

Do want.

^That looks much nicer than the midge.

[quote=R.J.]

Salsa’s new Woodchipper bar.

Do want.[/quote]

I have something very similar to that on my Trek, from the top view at least.

They aren’t that bad on the hoods, but I do have them set up kind of funny. They look kind of awkward from the side view.

I hike the stem up a bit when I take it off road, which isn’t often. It isn’t perfect, but it works.

This is a horribly written post. I’ll edit it when I get home from school/work.

I use an origin8 gary bar on my 29er. The only thing I dislike is that the whole setup ended up a little bit lower than I would really want, but that’s mostly a short, low headtube on the frame rather than the bars. I love them, they completely solved wrist issues I was having, made cranking the bike up climbs feel more natural. Riding on the hoods is pretty awkward, but I still do it for the different position periodically. I like that I can maintain control with my hands splayed open and held a half inch above the grips, with the hooks bouncing around between my thumbs and forefingers, keeps my shit from going numb over gnarly rootbeds and stuff.

Salsa’s Woodchipper looks like they made an attempt to keep the hoods more vertical rather than the angled shape of the wtb/origin8 design, but the tops look like they might maybe get in the way of your forearms?

Another thing to consider, if you ride geared- some of the offroad drops don’t fit barcons, some do- I know the origin8 doesn’t.

In regards to risers, I would try them on a full squish bike, but there’s no way I’ll ever run regular old risers on a rigid again. The idea scares me and makes me think I’d be walking around in wrist braces again.

as far as that goes, Jagwire makes a mount thing that clamps around the bar now, called Barcon.
comes in black and gold too.

it’s not cheap, but neither is dinner and a handjob.

the original wtb/nitto/specialized dirt drops or gtfo

Grant Petersen invented them, then decided that he didn’t like them and invented the Noodle. Get Noodles instead.

Too soon for retro 90s Bar ends? /facepalm

I kind of liked bar ends for climbing.

My understanding is that you want the drop to be at the same level where your flat bar grips would be. You really are supposed to be in the drops the majority of the time. The problem is that to obtain that setup most mountain frames will require more spacers than looks good and many forks may not have enough tube left…

Grant Petersen invented dirt drops? You’re joking, right? I was under the impression that Charlie Cunningham invented dirt drops (and a bunch of other stuff).

Well, if I was going to go with road drops I’d probably do FSA Omegas in as wide as possible coz slight flare in the drops + shallow. Also, interrupter levers for descending.

Those Salsas look really sweet though… this is why I come to forum.

I dig mah WTBs.


I find the hoods quite rideable, but they don’t feel nearly as awesome as getting in the drops n’ cranking up teh hills and taking off from stop signs.
My barcons fit without issue, too, so that was nice.

A review I read complained about how deep the drop is (130 mm), but I do not have that complaint. I’m also not really using them off road much, 'cept for the occasional grass patch shortcut.

FUCK i want bike stuff. but cant afford cos main provider

sell bike stuff

then you can buy bike stuff

[quote=barba]
My understanding is that you want the drop to be at the same level where your flat bar grips would be. You really are supposed to be in the drops the majority of the time. The problem is that to obtain that setup most mountain frames will require more spacers than looks good and many forks may not have enough tube left…[/quote]
Very true. Hence the original Dirt Drop stem:

In a piece I read, on 63CX I think, they specifically mentioned that if you’re thinking that cross-top levers would be nice then your bars are too low. It’s drops or nothing with those bars.

I plan to get a pair of the Salsa bars and build a bike around them.

Trying to school myself on MTB components and geometry now. It’s a whole different side of cycling that I ignored before, to my own detriment.

This is the article I remember: http://www.63xc.com/mattc/midge.htm