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Okay, I'm coming from many years of mtb racing along with an almost equal number of years of road bike use (training but no racing). I've used a converted mtb for a few 'cross races over the years but I finally took the plunge and bought a 'cross bike (LeMond Poprad Disc).

I'm wondering if there are good reasons for me to keep the drop bars on the bike. I don't hate them, but I did have 'em move slightly twice. Now, I figure that an mtb flat bar is going to be lighter and it isn't going to move.

I've thought about the "different hand placement" argument for the drop bars, but I've certainly had plenty of long days in the saddle on my mountain bike and I've survived...


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If you like flat bars, then go ahead. I'm guessing with thew purchase of the disc equipped bike, you aren't racing at the UCI elite level. Since you're not, then the ban on flat bars won't affect you either. Aside from the old arguments of different hand positions I can think of a couple of reasons to keep drop bars.
1. Shouldering with flat bars is a pain. With drops, you reach under or around the frame and hang onto the bar with your right hand, leaving your left free to swing back and forth as you run or help keep your balance on a really steep run up. With flat bars, to keep the bar from whacking you in the face, you need to hang onto the bars with your left hand. This also wants to pull the bike forward and down and the seat will smack the back of your helmet.
2. Your brakes are designed to work with road bike STI cable pull. They pull way less than mtb brake levers, unless you get some really old levers that pre-date V-brakes, or switch to the regular BB7's from Avid.
Yeah, um, there's NO chance of any elite level UCI rules affecting me... I do happen to have an old pair of levers which are in primo condition so I'm actually all set in terms of gear... I do agree about the shouldering issue. Maybe I'll wear a full face helmet? Thanks for the info!
hey bearded,

in the few times in mtb races I've run with my bike, I do the typical cross carry, put my arm under the downtube, and grab the left brake lever, so I didn't need my left hand. not sure if that's within reach for you (i've kinda got long arms) but worth a try.

if you need old brake levers designed for cantis, drop me a line. I bet i have several pairs somewhere.

if bar slip is the big problem, I bet a different combo of bar/stem will do it, if just tightening the bolt doesn't solve it.

good luck!
By the way (in case anyone cares), according to SRAM/Avid, linear pull brake levers will work with the BB7 road disc calipers...

>>You can run your XT levers with Avid BB7 road calipers. Ideally, the BB7 road calipers were designed to be used with a shorter pull brake lever (such as a road brake lever). However, you can run a linear pull brake lever with this caliper without much of a problem.
Well, I never assume someone who races flat bars isn't capable of competing at the elite level. Thomas Frishknecht won the silver medal at cross worlds on a flat bar cross bike.


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