Tandem Cycling - Anyone riding a MTB with bar-ends, on the road?
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11-13-05, 03:46 PM
We are looking at getting an '06 Burley Rock-n-Roll, to help satisfy our need for pavement AND dirt. But, I don't necesarrily want to go with the drop-bar option.
Has (or does) anyone currently ride a MTB (single or tandem) on the road, with bar-ends? I've never ridden with bar-ends, and it seems as though they would serve pretty much the same purpose as riding on the hoods.
On the 3 tandem rides we've done (friends tandem w/drop bar, about 90 miles total), I didn't ride in the drops at all, it was either on the tops or on the hoods. So I'm thinking that we could get away with bar-ends.
Our older tandem is a flat bar Fuji, I have some hand problems and the flat bar just doesn't give all the different grip locations like a drop bar. I added these to the Fuji and they really helped, still not as good as a drop bar, but help me move my hands around. They are around $20.
I have a pair of Cane Creek Ergo bar ends on my MTB and really lihe them, but they are a little more expensive.
I really like a drop bar better, but bar ends help a bunch.
11-13-05, 06:05 PM
Any kind/brand bar extension could help/work with flat bars. R900 has a good pair showing. Possible you could put a pair of Campy Spinacci bars as bar ends? NEWK also used to make a set of barend-type drop bars for upright bars, but could be hard to find.
Barends will not give you near as many hand positions/choices as drops.
Have ridden flat bar tandems but after 50 miles I was looking for other hand positions; both my hands and butt were suffering from lack of position change.
Burley dealers also have the option to order the Burley R&R with drop bars/shifters at a slight extra cost.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
11-13-05, 06:09 PM
I had bar ends on an old MTB that I used as a commuter. They were fine. They gave me a couple of extra hand positions.
11-13-05, 06:21 PM
I put barends and thinner tires on my wife's halfbike cannondale hybrid. she reports it goes faster (the tires) and enjoys having more than one hand postion. this was the cheap option as opposed to a new road bike.I myself can ride it now because before my hands went numb in about 15 min.
11-13-05, 06:50 PM
My daughter and son-in-law have them on their Rock-n-Roll. Even if you get only one position change, they allow you to rotate your wrists 90 degrees. That's a big ergonomic improvement if you're riding for longer than an hour or so.
I ride with flat bars and stubby bar ends on our tandem and on my commuter. There may be fewer options for position than on drops, but I feel comfortable enough.
11-13-05, 07:22 PM
I got something very similar to these:
It's made a big difference.
11-13-05, 07:58 PM
I tried bar-ends on my Nishiki Cascade, but found they felt too wide, so I changed them for a set of butterfly (trekker) bars which are much more comfortable as they provide more riding positions.
Here's a pic -
I put bar ends on our Cannondale MT800 primarily because I cannot get a handlebar mounted mirror to fit in the end of the very thick Ritchey Rizer handlebars. I do use the various hand positions this offers. My wife, the stoker, thought she wanted flat bars and I have a mate for mine on the stokers cockpit. I think we are going back to the cowhorns that came with it to provide a decent mirrror mount. One needs mirrors for sure when riding on the roads and we really had a couple of incidents today on the Huckleberry Trail in Blacksburg, VA where mirrors were useful.
11-13-05, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the replies. We'll have to weigh our options in a few weeks, once we get close to ordering.
Which do you think is the biggest "sacrifice"? Flat bar with bar-ends on the road...or drop bars off-road?
I am really not a fan of drop bars, but our riding partners assure me that I will like them on a tandem. I've never had a bike that was of any quality or decent fit which was equipped with drop bars.
What we may do is trade off and let me pilot their Santana road tandem for a ways and see. Or I can borrow one of their multitude of half bikes; that might be a better thing to do as I would hate to scratch their pretty anodized frame.
I guess it depends on how you want to ride. The thought of mountain biking with a dropped bar, sounds like the pits. You need to have brakes and shifters ready all the time. Rapid fire or Grip shift style shifters are the way to go IMO. Now if you are just doing some light trail work, I think either way would be fine. If you'll be on the road most of the time, I think a drop bar is the way to go. More hand positions, smooth shifting and braking, and better if you like to tuck in for long flats or decents. For me our Trek (drop bar) is alot more fun to ride then our Fuji (flat bar), it's faster, smoother, and fits better, it's also about 3x the cost, but the drop bars do make a difference.
You might try the drop bar first, as it would be a little cheaper to change it over to a flat bar if you decide that is what you really want.
11-13-05, 11:47 PM
We got a 2003 burley Rock and Roll a couple years back as our first tandem. Your bike model, just a few years older. We got a deal we couldn't refuse, though we were looking for a road tandem. Put bar ends on both bars, slick tires, and loved it. I never wished for drop bars on it. We did get another tandem recently, but that was just to get S&S couplers for traveling. It's a roadie, so we have drop bars, and don't use it off road. That's fine too, but I would not be comfortable off-road with this set-up. We will convert the R&R back to full dirt use by putting some mountain bike tires on it. I may get an extra set of whells with slicks, if we have friends or visitors who want to join us on a road ride some time.
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