Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel


Noun, Adjective

Drop bars are a type of handlebar found on road and touring bikes.

Example usage: 'I swapped out my flat bars for some drop bars to increase my comfort on long rides.'

Most used in: Road and touring cycling, particularly in the Bikepacking community.

Most used by: Avid cyclists who want increased comfort and control on long rides.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Drop Handlebars, Road Bike Handlebars, Racing Handlebars, Aero Bars,

Understanding Drop Bars: The Cycling Term Explained

Drop bars are a type of handlebar found on a road bike. They are the most common form of handlebar used by cyclists and are typically curved downwards and towards the rider. Drop bars provide a variety of hand positions for the rider, which is beneficial for both aerodynamics and comfort.

The shape of drop bars gives cyclists the ability to ride in multiple positions. The most common of these is the “hoods” position, where the hands rest on the tops of the bars. This position is often used by riders during long rides and allows them to rest their hands while still maintaining control of the bike. The “drops” position is also popular, where the hands are placed on the curved ends of the bars. This position is often used while descending hills or while sprinting, as it allows the rider to get into a more aerodynamic position.

Drop bars are a popular choice among cyclists due to their versatility and comfort. According to a survey from the National Bicycle Dealers Association, drop bars accounted for 57% of handlebar sales in the US in 2018. This is higher than all other handlebar types, such as flat bars and riser bars.

In conclusion, drop bars are the most popular type of handlebar for cyclists. Their curved shape allows riders to adjust their position to suit the terrain and their needs. They are also comfortable and provide a variety of hand positions. Drop bars accounted for 57% of handlebar sales in 2018, making them the most popular choice among cyclists.


From Racing to Recreational Cycling: The Origin of “Drop Bars”

The term “drop bars” refers to the handlebars commonly used on racing and road bikes. The design of the handlebars is characterized by a curved shape that “drops” downward, making them a distinguishing feature of the sport. Although this type of handlebar has been around since the early 1900s, its use in cycling didn’t become popular until the 1970s.

The earliest versions of drop bars were first used by professional cyclists in the 1920s in the United States and Europe. The design was inspired by the popular racing bikes of the time, which featured a more upright handlebar shape. As racing bikes became more aerodynamic and lighter, the “drop” shape became more popular among professional cyclists.

By the 1970s, drop bars had become a common feature of racing bikes. However, they were not widely used in recreational cycling until the 1980s. This is when mountain biking was becoming popular, and drop bars were adopted by mountain bike riders as an efficient way to control the bike. Today, drop bars are still the preferred handlebar shape for racing bikes, but they are also used by recreational cyclists for their comfort and aerodynamic advantage.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3