Surly Launches Drop Bars Designed for Mountain Bikes

Jul 19, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

Surly has announced its latest product will be drop bars specifically designed for mountain bikes.

The Corner Bar is for anyone interested in trying out drop bars on their MTB; the thinking behind it was removing any difficulties in swapping from your standard setup to drops. Surly achieved this using a 22.2mm diameter on the bars, allowing current MTB brake levers and shifters to transfer over. The design allows you to run a full bar tape or fit MTB grips onto the drops for extra padding.

At the moment, Corner Bars will be offered in three widths, 460, 500 and 540mm. All sizes feature a 41.4° flare with the width at the bar ends between 630-710mm wide. The bars also only come in a 25.4mm clamp, which is great if you want to fit them to a retro bike, otherwise, there is an adapter for larger stems.

bigquotesUsed to be if you wanted to throw drop bars on your off-road rig, you had to fork over your allowance for a new drivetrain and brake levers. We made the Corner Bar so you could conduct all your dirt-drop experiments with your current brake and drivetrain setup. I mean, why spring for the whole buffet when all you want is a salty snack at the bar? Surly
The Corner Bar is set to be available from September and will cost $100. You can find out more here.




123 Comments

  • 82 5
 I feel with this drop bar, 90s era mountain biking has come full circle. I can get these, throw them on my suffering Gary Fisher 26" hard tail from the late 90s and jump on the gravel hype train.
  • 58 6
 Its the opposite to this. Stick them on a light 29er hardtail and some lighter narrowe tyres and youve made effectively a 'gravel' bike that you can convert back to a regular xc mtb for quite small outlay. The only hype with gravel is the marketing. The bikes make a lot of sense. Its only people who havent ridden them hate on them. Not everyone hits a bike park for off road riding all the time - horses for courses
  • 41 3
 @valleytroll: Not the opposite, you both said the same thing: turn XC MTB into gravel.
  • 15 3
 Yup, dont forget the Bio-pace chain rings also!
  • 24 1
 The mountain bike; the original 'gravel bike'
  • 25 1
 @valleytroll: Why not both? I enjoy the crap out of park laps on a dh bike. I also enjoy the crap out of ripping blue-rated singletrack on my gravel bike. All types of bikes and riding are fun.
  • 5 2
 @adrennan: that's obviously the point I was making
  • 13 2
 @justinfoil: fair enough but half these commentators bitching about gravel bikes haven't actually ridden a modern one and if you think a 90's 26" xc bike bears a comparison then its way off
  • 5 0
 @valleytroll: This is exactly what I plan to do with my 10-year-old Niner EMD. This bar from Surly will make it possible and without spending too much money.
  • 11 1
 @valleytroll: gravel 100% bears comparison with 90s XC bikes. My gravel bike (which admittedly does not see much gravel, it's just a commuter for rough roads) is actually really damn close to my 1999 Giant ATX 890. Identical wheelbase, angles within a degree, reach, stem, and top tube all within 10 mm. But there is also a spectrum in gravel, as in everything. Some are endurance road bikes with tire clearance, some are cross bikes with more bottle bosses, some are xc MTBs with drop bars. But in the end they are all closer to what MTBs were a few decades ago than modern MTBs are. My current trail bike has _seven inches_ more wheelbase; now that's a contrast rather than a comparison.
  • 2 0
 Oh, and before you ask, they're all the same "size", as in recommended for someone my height. XC is 19.5 "L", gravel is 56cm, trail is Large (455mm reach).
  • 3 15
flag MonEddy (Jul 19, 2021 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 No! JUST NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go and buy a gravel bike if you want dropped bars.
  • 4 4
 @valleytroll: it’s kinda the same as fat bikes. If you have snowy trails in winter and want to get out, they’re pretty fun. But it’s not mountain biking, and it’s not for everyone.
  • 9 0
 @MonEddy: So the old "hybrid" in my in-laws basement should just go in the landfill, instead of going to my brother-in-law who has been talking about getting a gravel bike?

Just keeping buying new shit and throwing away old but not broken stuff?

I shouldn't "upcycle" the old into something fresh, for cheap, and maybe spend that saved money on important shit like new tires for the trail bike, a balance bike for my kid, lift passes, or just fuel to drive to the trails?
  • 15 0
 @adrennan: bruh you must me new to pinkbike. Here are the rules: pick a side based on nothing and be a dick about it. YW.
  • 1 1
 It has, and I can see people here are in denial about it: trying to justify it to themselves that people just haven't ridden them. Or are too young/too ignorant to know anything about the beginnings of MTB. You can really tell that when they start talking about 26" XC, thinking that is even close to the beginnings.

MTB started as road bikes that people got more adventurous with because they were bored, a gravel bike is the very beginnings of MTB being repeated: it's a road bike being ridden offroad. What's even funnier is seeing them introducing suspension for gravel bikes, because it's too rough for some. Now gravel bikes are just XC with skinny tires at this point.
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: I’m not suggesting bikes should just be chucked in landfill. Far from it. Certainly if a mountain bike or hybrid can be converted into a gravel bike using bars such as the surley ones in this article then cool and I’m all for it
  • 1 0
 @MonEddy: Then why did you say the exact opposite?
  • 2 0
 @valleytroll: I’ve owned a gravel bike, they make less sense to me now.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: they usually have very little suspension travel so they're turning into what we usually call hybrids or commuters... How funny is that?
  • 57 1
 if I put drop bars on my mountain bike and flat bars on my gravel bike, I believe a portal to hell will open and the fucking Benny Hill music will play as I descend into my well deserved fate.
  • 1 0
 Only if you attach the brifters to some Jones bars and ride on the now forward-facing hoods.
  • 24 0
 The real advantage to these is the ability to run mountain bike disk brakes + levers on a gravel/grountain bike. They are cheaper, stronger, and more reliable that road/gravel specific disk brakes AND they can actually be actuated with one finger.
  • 2 0
 And they are available to buy. Was tracking down grx for my new build and I think it would have been easier to find the holy grail.
  • 1 0
 There's no reason you can't already, I'm currently running Level TLM levers on Hope RX4 calipers. A little mc & piston math will tell you what will work functionally. The real problem is fitment, where many cx/adventure/gravel frames will have seatstay interference with post mount calipers adapted to flat mount.
  • 2 0
 Yeah that's definitely what I'm thinking I'm going to do with my gravel bike. My spare set of guides is going to stop me a lot better than my flimsy mechanical disc brakes.
  • 3 0
 It perplexed me to see drop bars becoming flatter and flatter. To run mountain groupsets on? I don’t understand the advantage. I have a 20 lbs hardtail with a SID Ultimate and flat bars and I ride with a bunch of guys on 22 lbs gravel bikes with wide (very flat) drop bars. I’m running 2.0 tires and they’re running 46mm tires so we’re all basically at parity. I can climb road with them all day, but then it’s so easy to drop them on singletrack, and descent (that isn’t tarmac) and loose gravel. I’m yet to be convinced that gravel bikes offer any advantage over a lightweight hardtail.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: I've been using flat bars on my daily driver 1x cx/gravel bike but I've found its too much of an aero (and comfort) compromise where my daily rides have a mix of singletrack, gravel, and super fast dh tarmac in one loop. I'll be moving to a wide drop bar and I just can't imagine going halfway to these sort of flat drops, tough to see it being anything but the worst of both worlds.

For what its worth, a well thought out gravel bike is a niche solution to rides like my daily where an xc bike is comical overkill and slow on tarmac descents while a pure cx or road bike would be pretty unsuitable climbing rough 14+ grade dirt. Gotta bring the tool that fits the job!
  • 1 0
 @HaggeredShins: haha well put. I do find myself settling into a more aero position on long road stretches with both hands right next to the stem. I’ve got pretty easy rolling tires so I’ve only noticed a maybe 10% loss in efficiency between my HT and my road bike. But my commutes probably 50% singletrack so it’s the right tool for the job. I’m just always surprised how versatile a lightweight HT can be. They’re a blast.
  • 1 0
 @HaggeredShins: So, some people moved the bar ends to the center of the bar. And there are specific center extension bars (!) available. Its like some aero TT bar, only for the hands to sit. That might do the job for you.
  • 26 3
 Surly not…
  • 12 1
 They need to get a grip and just drop it.
  • 8 0
 Oh don't get so bent out of shape!
  • 2 0
 Hey, barring anything better coming along, I think they've handled the idea well!
  • 25 5
 We've hit peak hipster gravel.
  • 9 0
 damn kids and their rock 'n roll music. get off my lawn.!

/s
  • 1 0
 Don't forget mullet, Ray Bans, jeans, & tee.
Take the jump, go whole hog wild!
Big Grin
  • 17 1
 YES! I have a Salsa Timberjack frame that I love to morph: 140mm Fox 34 or rigid carbon fork or slick tires or 29x2.8 grip monsters. This is a fantastic piece to my next bike puzzle. I've been daydreaming how to get XT brakes w mtn levers onto drop bars and this is it. Not sure this design would work in carbon....?
  • 3 0
 Yes !
  • 2 0
 Yes, yes, and yes.
A set of these would be perfect for my battle machine... It's surprising how well 27.5 2.8's roll, once you get up to speed. And in this way, no need to keep the gravel bike; 1 less machine to worry about.
Me likie!
Big Grin
  • 4 0
 @wcr: wait, wait, wait... "1 less machine"? Less mountain bikes?! Do you know what you're saying? I'm not one to throw the word "heresy" around lightly, but...
  • 1 0
 @viccuus: Yesirie mate, Heritic all the way to the bank.
Big Grin
  • 14 0
 Or you get SQlab inner "barends" for riding the hoods position while still having a full wide mtb bar for when things get tech. Ofcouse you trade tech mtb for full drop so I guess prioreties...

No, really, get the inner barends, they are great and would not ride a mount barnacle riddeld adventure ht without them! If it wasn't for respect for the sport I would put them on my SC Hightower for the flat transports between worthy terrain.
  • 8 0
 I love those things! Too bad they are barnacles of the absolute worst kind. I ended up taking mine off and swapping to a Jones bar because even the Jones bar was less of an affront to my eyes. I can’t explain it. I’ve ridden a lot of ugly bikes but for some reason the inner bar ends went over the line for me.
  • 1 0
 Will AVS hand guards do the same job? Wouldn't look so "geeky" on a trail bike and save your knuckles. As they look a bit skinny, bit of road bar tape might be needed. Or perhaps TOGs mini inside bar ends?
  • 1 0
 Thank you! I had no idea that these existed. I’ve just ordered some for my daily grind bike. In the 90’s, bar ends gave me alternative hand position for longer rides. Dorky as hell but actually really comfy. These look just as dorky but I like not having them take up bar space at the edges.
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: TOGS are much better at passing the glance test but for me they don't let you externally rotate enough to really rest the wrists/shoulders. Good to try to see if they work for you and cheap so no biggie if they don't work out.
  • 5 0
 It actually looks like braking, and maybe even shifting, from the "hoods" might be actually decent. Will be a great choice for getting more hand and body positions on a off-road endurance or touring bike that currently has flat-bar controls.
  • 5 0
 Velo Orange Crazy bars are better... the surly bars are made of 4130 CrMo and are heavy, Velo Orange is aluminum and much lighter. Also the updated Crazy Bars due to arrive sometime in August have gone to a low 20mm riser bar center section, come in 25.4 or 31.8 bar clamp, and silver or black in color. Also the sweep angle has been reduced (honestly 41 degrees really isn't that comfortable for the long haul for many riders and it will not surprise me if Surly changes it in the future to a more reasonable 30 degrees).
  • 8 0
 All they need now is John Tomac to promote them.
  • 3 0
 Essentially MvDP and Tom Pidcock are doing exactly what Tomac was doing, and why he was racing drops on the mtb.
  • 6 0
 On tomorrow's front page: "2021 Tioga Tension Disk Drive. Full review and ride report. Did it last longer then an Enve M735 rim in Finale Ligure? Read on to find out.."
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Don't see Mathieu and Tom riding drop bars... Cause they prefer control and speed.

With flared bars, you're effectively ruling out the outside of the turn elbow up, inside of the turn arm stretch cornering technique. Try doing that with bars that have extreme sweep. I met a lot of riders that loved flared bars. Some had no clue about advanced handling skills and some simply favorerd the hipster vibe.
  • 1 0
 @jeroenk: I'm going out on a limb here, but I am guessing John Tomac's handling skills could be considered "advanced".
I could be wrong, but the drop bars were a concession to Motorola, his road team, because he wanted to continue to do mountain bike races, and they weren't sold on the idea.
  • 3 0
 I have a 10-year old Niner EMD that is not receiving too much love lately. For a while now, I've been thinking about converting it into a drop bar bike that I could take for longer rides on forest service roads, easy singletrack and bike trails. But given the cost of replacing an entire drivetrain or switching to cable brakes to work with drop bar shifters, made this a very uneconomical prospect.

This bar from Surly means I can keep my XT drivetrain and hydraulic brakes and make a monster cross-style ride for under $200 CAD. Should be an easy and fun winter project!
  • 11 6
 Available from September for $100, is that also going to be the same for Pinkbike then ?
  • 2 0
 not really for gravel hipsters, people have been putting wide drops on bikes for off-road touring and bike packing for years these just make it easier as they have mounting for normal brakes where as most people use to ride cable disk brakes with road leavers on their bike packing rigs ( mostly for reliability and fixability , i found out the hard way that hydraulic lines are a pain when in remote mountains in Nepal once, so it does make sense) , it just make since to have lots of hand positions for big days and weeks in the saddle... though I have flat bars on the bike i use for backpacking and big days out as use it for trail riding as well , but these have their place.
  • 1 0
 Been seeing these being reviewed by actual bikepakers, gravel riders, MTB/gravel drop hybrids...

The consensus is clear. Thes bars actually work really well for what their intent is. I'm getting a pair to play with. For a old mtb drop conversion. Kinda stoked to try. The biggest draw is aggressive design I like. The ability to switch bars without doing a whack of leaver and cable work.
  • 7 3
 What the point of drop bar on mtb?
  • 19 0
 28.99% more Aero
  • 1 0
 speed tuck.
  • 24 1
 Its pretty fun to ride a drop bar off road bike. Call it cross bike , gravel bike whatever. There's no point its just something different and fun. If you think Surly are selling this for your 'enduro' bike , you are missing the point. I like it that brands like Surly do stuff like this for people who just like riding bikes.
  • 4 1
 What the point of slam negative rise stem on mtb?
  • 5 0
 @valleytroll: yeah, you got to give credit to QBP for encouraging their bike and parts brands to do stuff that’s funky and not mainstream. This may only serve less than 1% of the bike population, but I’m considering grabbing one for my old XC bike that I mainly ride as a gravel bike anyway.
  • 9 0
 Long rides its nice to have different places to put your hands.
  • 2 0
 To make old shorter reach mtb's into gravel bikes without spending much money.
  • 1 9
flag Linc (Jul 19, 2021 at 19:43) (Below Threshold)
 It appeals to a segment of the market that wants to ride 'trails' without actually putting time in to develop bike skills.
  • 1 1
 @Linc: it is like ride sport car on summer tires up to the ski resort during the winter storm?
  • 1 0
 @Aptlynamed: Just turn your risers upside down! much cheaper and cooler till you face plant off a kerb!
  • 1 0
 @valleytroll: I truly appreciate a trek supercaliber with drop bars. It might be the ultimate gravel build, better than the cannondale topstone lefty.

Here, an image of the heresy!
external-preview.redd.it/wMd8V7iFjEsC8OLrEm1p9hRXUyB06Kc_QP60xnLjV_0.jpg?auto=webp&s=075d743730cb751e58098a3f9ed2bf92fed68ebe
  • 2 0
 This is totally reasonable as an another alternative to a Jones bar or Surly’s own Moloko bar for rides where you ride to the dirt.
  • 5 0
 Drop bars, not bombs!
  • 2 2
 Unless it’s on gravel bikes
  • 5 2
 The gravel segment is quite literally re-inventing the mountain bike.
  • 3 0
 Nice, now I can put a bar bag on the front to hold my Skittles!
  • 1 2
 Can someone explain the advantage of this over either a gravel bike or an XC bike? or is it just so I can make my XC bike terrifying to ride down a hill into a corner?

I am quite serious as I really don't see a benefit of this on an XC bike unless you just wish you had bought a gravel bike...
  • 3 0
 I don't think think that there is an advantage over either if you have both of them. What this does do is allow the gravel curious to convert an existing XC bike to drops, for limited financial investment.

Drops give you a couple of big advantages over flat bars. The ability to switch up hand and body position on long rides and the ability to get more aero. On singletrack these benefits are negligible or personal preference but on more open terrain (where you can pedal at say 20km/h plus) they can be huge in time, effort and ultimately enjoyment.
  • 2 0
 I have an old classic hard tail that I now use for commuting and occasional gravel touring. I've been wanting for ages to put a drop bar on it, but with the mixed drivetrain and braking on it, it just hasn't been cost effective. This lets me do it for just the price of the bar.
  • 1 0
 These would be sick upside down with a small radio and an array of led flashlights zip-tied from hood to hood forcing me to grab life by the horns.
  • 1 0
 I was going to sell my Niner EMD for a new gravel grinder to replace the old RadPop. This will save me a lot of coin to spend at the local pub.
  • 8 5
 stop it.
  • 3 1
 Looking forward to seeing some riders rocking these at Rampage!
  • 1 0
 I'm old enough to remember what happened not long after the last time this happened.............
  • 1 0
 Surly's raising the bar pretty high! I'll grab this when it drops in September.
  • 2 1
 This will appeal to the millennial hipster crowd. 1990s bar ends all over again!
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know if these or any flared drop bars would be UCI legal to use in a CX race?
  • 1 0
 Can someone explain the advantage of drop bars? Haven't really spent time riding road so unsure.
  • 5 0
 After losing one’s driving privileges they can be turned upside down for a more ergonomic ride, at least here in the US.
  • 1 0
 Aerodynamics and not much else
  • 2 0
 buuuuuuuuuuutttttttt..... why?
  • 1 0
 I have 50mm rise vibrocore bars on my kona Dr dew. Idk what to think of this.
  • 8 10
 This is getting a little ridiculous. Take narrow curly road bars, bend the drops out. Great, now bend them out a little more. A little more. Widen them. Bend them out a little more. And now we have "almost flat bars".
  • 7 0
 Not even close. There are at least 3 distinct hand positions on these, and 2 put your hands in a very different angle to flat bars. It's just about the drops being dropped, it's a lot about the hand positions for them and the "hoods".
  • 1 0
 Even so, I'm sure Surly will sell a lot of them. Besides, these bars feature "not as many hassles", and a lot more weight!
  • 5 4
 April 1st was a few months back.
  • 2 1
 * Mustache-wax not included.
  • 1 0
 Personally, I would go with flared curly bars and Advent brifters.
  • 1 0
 Just registering my interest to keep updated on the giggles...carry on.
  • 1 0
 Clamp Diameter: 25.4mm,. why not 31.8mm like every modern road/xc stem.
  • 1 0
 Comes in both sizes.
  • 1 0
 Ahhh, na mate I am good, you can keep it
  • 1 0
 WHAT IN THE FIGGITY FUCK IS THIS ABOMANATION
  • 1 0
 I'm fixin' to put these on my Transition Spur...
  • 1 0
 Also known as "The Nut Gasher"
  • 1 0
 Ordering a pair for my Kona Private Jake.
  • 2 1
 ew, not for me
  • 1 1
 Call a taxi home Surley, your drunk!
  • 1 0
 I´m in!
  • 7 9
 Eeeuuch, cast it into the fire!
  • 6 0
 ISILDUR!!!
  • 3 0
 @dscottycole: it's mine!
  • 4 7
 Why exactly?
  • 8 0
 Well, I mean, why spring for the whole buffet when all you want is a salty snack at the bar?
  • 5 0
 @nope1: Why not, exactly?
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