Dropped vs. flat handle bars on a road bike?
Since my last bike-related question
I decided to sell my old bike, save up a bit, and get a low-end aluminum road bike.
My friend has a Fuji Newest 4.0
. It is one of the cheapest aluminum bikes I have been able to find in my online research (2006 version going for $470). Most impressive to me is how fast she can scale hills on it. When we were both on steel frame bikes, I could easily keep up with her, but no more. The other thing I really like is that it has brakes on the top of the handle bars as well as in the usual position -- so if you are stopped at a traffic light, you can stay upright.
But I am a little concerned because I have never owned a bike with dropped bars before. The first time I ever rode a bike with them I was pretty shaky. (Although since trying out my friend's Newest 4.0 I think I have already improved, and the brakes up top definitely helped.) Because of this, I am also considering something like the Fuji Absolute 4.0
, which seems like it is basically the equivalent of the Newest except with a flat bar.
I find the flat bar less intimidating...but at the same time, I feel like if I am going to spend all this money on a road bike, I should be getting dropped bars. I've read that the dropped bars give you more options in terms of hand positions, are more aerodynamic, and don't get in the way when riding in a large group. Are there any disadvantages to dropped bars? (Besides the fact that I don't have a lot of experience with them.) Are there any significant advantages to a flat bar?
I'd be using the bike both around the neighborhood on the road (hilly), and for longer rides on the trail (mostly flat).