The Flat Bar Road Bike: Smooth + Comfort
The flat bar road bike is the most popular style of bicycle and for good reason. This bike is perfect for many cyclists because it combines a comfortable and efficient ride. These bikes don’t put the cyclist in an overly aero position that many find uncomfortable. But at the same time, these bikes can go! Chances are a flat bar road bike could be the perfect option for you.
Flat bar road bikes are sometimes called commuter bikes, fitness bikes, event bikes, or road hybrid bikes. These bikes share similar features and frame geometries with drop bar road bikes. They a made for riding primarily on pavement, but they can easily handle a range of terrain. Most flat bar road bikes have tires that are relatively skinny so that they roll smoothly and easily on the pavement.
Despite their similarities, flat bar road bikes differ from drop bar road bikes in a few ways. The biggest difference is the handlebars. A drop bar road bike has a handlebar that drops down. It gives the rider a number of hand positions. This also allows the cyclists to get into a lower, more aerodynamic and powerful position. On the other hand, a flat bar allows the rider to have a wider, more stable grip leading to more confidence and control over the bicycle. If the rider of a flat bar road bike wants more hand positions, bar ends can be added (and many flat bar road bikes come with these included).
Many riders find the flat handlebars more comfortable than drop bars because they keep your body position more upright. But don’t think these bikes are slow. There are some high-performance, carbon fiber, flat bar road bikes that rival the performance of a drop bar road bike! For example, see the 2017 Specialized Vita Expert.
Another great thing about flat bar road bikes is the price range. On one hand, you can get a bike that is light and fast but also won’t break the bank. (Click here to check out ERIK’S inventory of flat bar road bikes including many under $500.) On the other hand, you can get a high performance, full-carbon flat bar road bike. The Specialized Sirrus Pro is a full carbon flat bar road bike with Shimano Ultegra parts that is ridiculously light and fast. As you move your way up from entry level to high performance, you are going to get a bike with better components, lighter and has a better ride quality overall.
Flat bar road bike is a great option for many cyclists! From the beginner who is just starting to ride to the cyclist who is doing weekend-long charity rides, a flat bar road bike will meet your needs! It can be your commuter bike or your fitness bike. It rolls smooth on the street and has no problem with gravel trails. It gives you a more relaxed riding position without sacrificing speed. With all of these options, it isn’t surprising how popular this bike style is… so check out ERIK’S selection of flat bar road bikes. We are sure there’s one that’s perfect for you!
Special thanks to the man, the myth, the beard – Rob Stepaniak, ERIK’S sales trainer extraordinaire – for writing this blog.