Why Front Sweep is important on Drop bars

Components -

Why Front Sweep is important on Drop bars

Possibly the most comfortable gravel bike handlebar out there. Not because of a paid review, but because SQlab has put the time in to look at all the factors in what makes a gravel bar comfortable.

Right amount  of front sweep

Going against other bars on the market, the SQlab has a front sweep of 10º - backsweep is common and it's definitely needed on a mountain bike. We also see a lot of drop bars with backsweep.  The reason being is that when your hands are narrower than your shoulders you need front sweep, as your hands get wider than your shoulders you need back sweep. You can demonstrate this yourself by just resting your arms out in front and opening them up past your shoulder line.

Why front sweep is important on a drop handlebar

A flattened top that offers a wide spot to place your hands (or forearms) gives a nice hook to latch your grip onto. A 25mm rise and the 14º flare is not mega aggressive but just enough to give that feel of extra leverage when you are using the drops. The outside edge on the drop is angular and has a definitive edge that fits your hands just right and gives a nice grip point.

What is a comfortable bar or position on the bike? When the skeletal structure supports the load our muscles work less, reducing fatigue. Optimising larger muscle groups in the body also aids in comfort and reduces overall injuries through overuse.

We are seeing riders with excessively wide bars on gravel bikes, at first it might feel comfortable but in our opinion it is putting more wear and tear on the joints and ligaments. Comfort comes from have a strong mechanically efficient position and going to the extreme is usually not the best solution.

Bar rise is will reduce the stack height and gives you a more upright position. Some gravel bikes are essentially just road bikes with big tyre clearance and this can offer an too much of an aggressive position on the bike. There should be a balance of aero, comfort and bike control.

Flare can come down to preference but it does tend to act like extra bar width for more leverage when descending. Drop will be a preference and how you have the bike setup - a deeper drop will ask for more hip mobility and overall flexibility, you should have an idea of how stiff your body is.

Choosing the correct width

Get your shoulder width by measuring between the do bony points on the shoulder (acromian) and then add 2cm to that measurement. That will give you an very good starting point and you will know that your bar is not too wide.

How to measure SQlab drop bars