Commuting - North Road bars
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01-28-06, 08:08 AM
I bought some Nitto North Road handlebars on a whim. I don't know why. It was sort of irrational. I just liked the way they looked and the fact that they were cromo steel. I think I'll move my Surly Torsion bar to my 1x8 MTB and put the new bars on my SS MTB conversion.
So, I'm looking for some advice on mounting the North Road bars. Things I've tried in the shop:
1. Lower stem and mount bars with handles facing rearward and using the rise of the bars.
2. Raise stem and mount bars with handles facing rearward and flip the bars to get some drop.
3. Start with position (1) and rotate the handles facing forward.
What do you think? Any of these positions just plain stupid?
What are the guidelines for handle height relative to the seat? This SS is geared low and I have several medium difficulty hills on my commute.
Should I be worried about interference with my knees while turning? If I get the bars low, my knees are fine while going strait, but can get interference with the bars while turning sharp.
01-28-06, 08:22 AM
When I was using that type of handlebar, I had them facing 180 degrees from where they're normally aimed. Standard position is to have the handles facing you and angled slightly upward. On mine, the handles faced outwards, as if the bike had antennae. There was more pressure on my hands/wrists from this than I would have liked, but it was good for climbing (which there is a lot of here) and it looked relatively cool.
I believe that good ideas always have a way of coming around again. There must be many tens of millions of bikes out there in the rest of the world with North Road bars. They have hills there, too, I assume. I wonder what percentage of riders actually require drops in order to commute or excercise or even tour.
I think North Road bars are a time tested and perfected type of design that fits the largest range of riders. That is, the Non-Racer. The rest of us. I admit that I am biased because of a liking for vintage Euro 3-speeds, but, there is a reason. They are supremely comfortable rides - largely as a result of handlebar design.
You go for it!
My Trek 830 MB (1988) sports 23" steel North Roads. The original Brits were in the range of 19" to 21" (avoid that type as you want a little more control and balance - wider is better)
The stem is a new adjustable type that puts them about 3" to 4" above the seat. No, you won't hit your knees. You might not even need the adjustable stem. I just want it for options while riding distances. So far I haven't sensed the need to move anything even when in the saddle for 4 straight hours at a time.
The seat is a ladies Specialized comfort type - springs galore ( I'm going to a Brooks B-67). You might need something like that because your weight will be transferred to your ischials alot more. Sit back and relax. Or, stand and attack when you want to.
I rotate the bars so the grips are about level with the ground. This gives good support, keeping my wrists straight while attacking hills, which are in abundance here. I am an aggressive rider on hills, btw. I get everything I can out of my old 18 ringer with the Ovaltec chainrings (another great idea that will probably come back as we boomers begin to take over the world).
Wind resistance? I don't care. I find more wind resistance in trying to fully inflate my lungs while using drops. :D
Incidently: I just bought a perfect 1998 Trek 520 yesterday. Guess what'll be the first change. Yep. It's getting a set of those obsolete coat hangers! :eek:
don't mean to thread jack. i was just wondering whether anyone had any experience in chopping north road bars. i feel like they are too swept back for me and wanted to chop them, but wasn't sure whether they'd stop accepting bar cons. thanks for any help.
How do you thread jack a '3-year old thread'? lol...j/k
In any case, you can cut just about any North Road bars to the length you want. Most come with longer grip sections than the classic originals to be more compatible with modern brake levers and grips. Just measure carefully and make sure that's the length you want and all your goodies fit...there's no going back if it's too short. Most barcons come with shims to fit in a 22.2mm or 7/8" handlebar.
02-06-10, 08:57 PM
any chopped/flipped pics by any chance?
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