Touring - Thorn handlebars
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09-09-08, 12:28 AM
Once again asking about developing the perfect nomad s&S for a himalayan adventure, am really struggling with the appropriate handlebars, i enjoy a fairly upright position due to a niggling back injury that has been a friend for more than 20 years. Also want to consider using a handlebar bag.
All comments greatly appreciated.
Use drops, they don't place your bars any lower, they just give you umpteen different positions to rest your back in. I smashed a vertibre about '74, and have lived with it since. I am fine with drops. Flat bars are there for better control bu the pronated position for the arms is not a good thing.
09-09-08, 04:38 AM
My partner has the On-one Mary handlebar with Ergo grips on her T2000. I believe the Mary bar is similar to Thorn handlebar. In the 25 years we have been cycling together, have never seen her more
comfortable. She can ride for hours, day after day- no discomfort.
IMHO, handlebar type or style is not so much it issue; but whole bike fit is the important factor. Along with a careful bike fitting- WE spent a month tweaking the handle bar, stem, seat, etc positions to get the fit just right.
09-09-08, 04:43 AM
I swapped the Thorn "Comfort" bars which are risers, for straight bars as I found that the risers prevented me from moving the furniture further inboard. These straight bars I fitted with bar-ends and I then heavily padded the lot. This worked well and were very comfortable.
A Titec-H ba (http://www.bikeman.com/mambots/content/mosthumb/thumbs/BathroomNews_HB2341B.jpg)r would be a nice option, but it interferes with mounting the handlebar bag. Two ways to work around that are:
1) if there is enough room mount a Thorn Accessory Bar (http://thelazyrandonneur.blogspot.com/2008/02/ortlieb-bar-bag.html) below the stem and attach your bar bag to it
2) put some sort of rack bag on the top of your front rack's platform.
Ortlieb sells and extender to mount a bar bag off the front of some Trekking Bars. I tried and didn't like Trekking Bars (http://bp2.blogger.com/_vUEhS0lU3eU/R5K_1jqYgEI/AAAAAAAAEM4/AIjzR2ejklw/s400/moab%2B2.jpg), but lots of folks love theirs.
I find drop bars most comfortable, but if I was going to be riding a lot off tarmac they don't offer the same kind of control that a wide bar like the Titec-H bar does. I suppose a set of the wider cyclocross drops might be a decent compromise.
I'm running Titec H-bars on my Surly Big Dummy and drops on my LHT. I'd love to hear what you end up using and how it worked for you.
09-09-08, 09:20 AM
Vik, thanks for the info on the Titech H-bar, that has what I'm looking for to swap out the straight bars on my commuter with.
09-09-08, 09:51 AM
Riding a bike creates a hollow chest and a host of postural problems. I like many have experimented with many handlebars and heights and there is no nirvana. Close in is generally a bit better but not too high. A quasi upright position is no picnic for the back because it compresses the spine more.
Below is one the most important links I ever came across for riding a bicycle without pain...including a drop bar set up that one may consider a racing set up. I suffered with pretty debilitating upper back pain until I changed my "muscle balance". Bicycling changes musculature and not for the better when it comes to the spine. Many try to bandaid this by changing handlebar position. The great Eddy Merckx did this expensively.
You have to stretch the body opposite the muscle contraction created by riding.
HTH....drops set properly are tough to beat.
I am of bus pass age and now find a more upright position easier for cycling all day.
I prefer the greater width of straight bars to drops for riding with a full camping load (15kgs rear, 10kgs front). I have tried and given up on bar ends, I now use ergon grips which I find stay comfortable all day.
I ride a Thorn bike with their Carbon Anatomic EXPEDITION / TANDEM Riser Handlebars. I find these the most comfortable having tried their variants. The particular width, rise and backward sweep suit me and relax my back and shoulders more than using conventional 0° or 5° bend straight bars.
I tried a bar bag mounted on a Thorn accessory bar (replaces 27mm of spacers under the stem). It mounts the bag very nicely with it a bit lower than if mounted on the handlebars - this gives you a better view of the road ahead and leaves some more space on the bars for lights/gadgets. It is very convenient having a bag to hand with a map case, but I eventually gave up using the bar bag as I did not like the feel of the steering with the bag loaded.
I hope you find a suitable handlebar/stem combination soon for your Nomad S&S and the Himalayan adventure.
10-20-08, 10:24 PM
I have cantilever brakes on my bike, how would one go about installing this bar?
If you mean installing the accessory bar as pictured above.
You will need to currently have plenty of spacers between your stem and headset.
Loosen and lift off the current stem with handlebars/brakes etc. attached. Cantilever brakes will be ok.
Lift off/replace spacers above the headset to leave a gap of 27mm and replace with the accessory bar. You may need to obtain different depth spacers and combine them to get a good fit.
Refit the current stem and tighten.
Use the accessory bar to fit whatever you have in mind.
I was gifted a set of Thorn Comfort bars recently. I haven't used them yet, but I'll be throwing them on my winter bike and seeing what I think.
10-23-08, 02:17 AM
After trying every type of handlebar in the Thorn warehouse while I worked there, I settled on the Easton EA-50 (http://www.eastonbike.com/PRODUCTS/BARS/bar_rise_ea50.html) MTB riser bars. The Thorn comfort bars are uncomfortable to almost everyone except Andy (the designer) himself, as we had a few returns in the time I worked at Thorn. I disliked them and told him, too.
Here's a pic of my Nomad S+S with the EA-50 risers if you are interested:
10-23-08, 04:15 AM
I don't understand why so many people advocate riser bars, given that they completely restrict where you can put brakes, gripshift etc etc. Seems far more sensible to get a riser stem (http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Thorn-Thorn-Front-Loading-Satin-Black-Alloy-Ahead-stem-(1-1-8inch-or-28.6mm)-110mm-+-40-degree-13878.htm), and put straight bars on it. I have this stem, straight bars and some Cane Creek Ergo Control (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/controls/bar-end/cane-creek/ergo-control/PRD_357557_90crx.aspx) bar ends, and this set-up worked just fine. Oh yeah - I also used Specialized BG Gel (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/bg-gel-mitts-ec011200) gloves, which were brilliant - super-thick shock absorption.
10-23-08, 05:02 PM
The EA-50 risers I use have a slight bend to the bars, making them more ergonomically comfortable, plus I have no problem where I can put the grip and brakes - and I even have to have the Rohloff gripshift on the bar as well which takes up a lot of space.
I also had flat bars on it at one point and they simply weren't as comfortable for long term cycling.
I have found that as I have got older I have needed a bit more sweep on the bars to make them comfortable to hold.
I am now over 60 and find what was comfortable in the past, 0° and 5° bend bars are uncomfortable. I find bars with a sweep nearer 20° better.
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