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We’re testing a very budget-minded gravel bike right now, the State Bicycle Co. All-Road 4130 (we’ll be reviewing this pleasant surprise in the coming weeks, but for $900, this is a wicked fun bike). It’s, despite the low price, a pretty standard drop bar gravel rig. We already love the Specialized Diverge with drops (though you can get that one with flat bars now) and had no real reason to wonder if flat bars made for better choices on a gravel bike.

But then we got our hands on the excellent Hudski Doggler. Next, we spun a few dozen miles on the Marin DSX2another super fun flat bar bike meant for long days on the dirt.

Now we’re sorta conflicted. The multiple hand positions made possible by drop bars are great, but when the going gets pointed steeply downhill, the body positioning and stability of flat bars are appreciated over being hunched down into the drops.

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Obviously, there’s not a right answer here. But we wanna know:


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