During the VCC Northern Ireland Ride last weekend I had the opportunity to ride several bicycles that were fitted with upside down North Road handlebars - classic swept-back bars mounted upside down in order to achieve a lower hand position. Personally, I love upside-down North Roads. Unlike many other handlebar set-ups designed to achieve an aggressive posture, I've always found them comfortable and intuitive. So it surprised me to learn from others on the ride that this set-up tends to be a "love it or hate it" sort of thing, with many falling firmly into the latter category.
Apparently, those who do not like the bars report that they make a bike's handling twitchy - almost providing too much leverage for comfort. That intrigues me, because that same feeling of leverage is what makes me feel in control of the bike - able to manipulate it and "place it" as it were exactly as I want.
Interestingly though, I noticed that all the upside-down North Roads on the VCC ride were set up with the gripping areas pointing down, whereas in the US I usually see them set up with the gripping areas more or less parallel to the ground. I cannot tell which I find more comfortable.
Setting a bicycle up with upside-down North Roads is the best method I know of achieving an aggressive yet ergonomic hand position without resorting to drop bars. I am curious what your thoughts on them are.