Drop and reach
Drop and reach
The next crucial set of dimensions to consider are the reach and drop. These two are pretty much just how they sound. The reach is how far forward the bar extends from the stem, and the drop relates to the distance between the upper and lower sections of the handlebar.
When it comes to the importance of these two measurements a lot of it depends upon your flexibility. As part of its Spine Concept, Fizik has three options for the correct fit based on a rider’s flexibility and preference for performance or comfort; from all out racing ‘Snake’ through ‘Chameleon’ to the more leisurely ‘Bull’. The reach and drop of the 420mm Cyrano 00 bar for a snake after maximum performance is 85mm and 140mm, and that contrasts with the Cyrano R1’s 80mm and 130mm for a Bull steering more towards comfort.
The reach should be taken into account along with the length of the stem you have, or are planning on using. Once you’ve sorted the fore/aft positioning of your saddle in relation to knee position and pedal stroke, you should be aiming to draw a line from the seat up to your shoulders and then down to your hands on the bars when viewed from the side that gives an approximate 90-degree angle at the top by your shoulders.
On the subject of handlebar drop, you can go too deep but not too shallow. The deeper the drop the higher you’ll have to raise your head to look up and constantly doing so can get very tiring, very quickly. There’s also the issue of how comfortable you’ll feel bent over too far due to too much drop on the bars. The drop and reach of a particular handlebar are often linked to the shape of the bend. Which is what we’ll be looking at next…