PSM wrote:Why don't you skip the spacers and move up your levers?
So, strictly for aesthetics then?
Where to start...
I prefer a Classic type bar with a "ramp" down to the hoods, and a longish straight portion in the drops. Why? Because it gives me basically three height positions as I move forward from a) hands next to stem on tops of bars, to b) hands in the hoods and c) hands on the drops. The hands on top of the bars position is the most relaxed and upright, and I often like that position while climbing as well. Not thinking about anything particular. As I place my hands on the hoods, my entire torso pivots forward and shoulders get lower etc. Rather than a mini "superman" stretch out to the hoods at the same height as the bar tops next to the stem, I like to sort of let my shoulder/arm position go with me and fall into the hoods, which are a good 2cm lower than the tops of the bars next to the stem. Finally, in the drops I get even lower for the most aggressive position but still at a position I can hold.
That position on the tops of the bars is very important to me, as it's kind of a default when I'm very fatigued and just feel like I can't, or don't want to, ride anymore. My body is more upright at that point. Taking out the spacers, and using the same stem and angle, would mean that position is a whopping 2cm lower than it is now. Ouch... when I'm super fatigued the last thing I want is for my bars to be "pulling" me down. Let me just relax, or I will cry. Now, I could take the spacers out and flip the stem up, to get approximately the same height, but not only would it look horrifically dumb, it also brings the reach back more as well. It's a tradeoff. 2cm of spacers is not a big deal imo, especially on a larger frame. More than 2cm or so, and I start to wonder if maybe a larger frame might be a better choice, but there's a lot of things to look at, so I still say maybe. if someone has a very short torso and longer legs, a lot of spacers, and even a flipped up stem, may be how they achieve a decent position, for them. It's easy to bend over and get lower when you feel like it... with the drops obviously being the most aggressive of those positions, and through the magic of bending elbows I can get as low as I ever want. Getting low is never a problem of the bike. But getting the bars higher cannot be done with elbows and once you're fatigued and sitting up, your arms can only reach so far... PLEASE let me reach the tops of my bars at least. Ha.
So there you have it... it's a fit and ride style preference thing. What I don't get is the setups I see where the hoods at the levers are actually higher than the tops of the bars by the stem. But... to each his own I guess. I like a saddle to bar drop of between 7-9cm. That's a good range for me, with these types of bars. Setting the bars lower will not allow me to get my body lower... that's easily achievable, and the position of the drops as shown are absolutely the lowest I would want them to be. And no, I don't want super shallow drop bars to compensate as my wrists bang the sides of a short reach shallow bar of say 125mm drop. Also on a large frame short super shallow bars look like a little head on a big cat, disproportionate. But removing the spacers and setting the bar lower will definitely limit how much I can sit up and relax without feeling that "top of bars" position is too far away.
Hope that's a decent enough explanation. Oh, and as for aesthetics... I think classic shaped bars are the shizzle. But that part's subjective.