Bicycle Mechanics - Effective handlebar reach, Soma Sparrow
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12-04-11, 04:07 AM
Anyone here used the Soma Sparrow handlebar?
currently trying the medium width 520mm version, and feel like i'd prefer a wider spread hand position
thinking of getting the 560mm but was worried about the effective reach.
This would depend on how the different bars are constructed:
-if the different widths all use identical bends, and simply have the straight swept end sections cut differently, then in order to use the wide hand position I'd also need to push the bars farther forward with a longer stem
; this is problematic since I'm already using a 130mm stem and longer ones are a pain to find in modern faceplate style (needed to mount the curvy bars)
-if the different widths are due to the bends actually being spaced wider then no worries
So, anyone here happen to have tried both variants who might know how they are different? Thanks
12-04-11, 11:01 AM
I have not tried both variants, but I saw a photo once of all three sizes lined up together. I can't say with any certainty, but it appears that the bends were 100% identical and the only difference was the length of the straight ends. This unfortunately confirms your concern that reach is affected.
Edit: Here's the photo
For what it's worth, I have the mediums too. I think the narrowness is spot on for me in terms of comfort, but the widest ones would probably match the townie look better. You can see how much room I have left after the grips and before the bends with the mediums. There's just enough room for levers but fitting a bell up there could get tight. I have a large bell (mounted sideways to the stem in the photo) and it was too large to mount to the bars in between the grip and the bend. Not physically too large, but I felt like my hands would have been cramped. Largest bars probably would have allowed that better.
12-04-11, 03:09 PM
If the bars are as pictured above the reach difference will be minimal
12-04-11, 07:20 PM
I'm not too familiar with using bars with this style. For example, does the greater arm spread compensate for the closer reach? I wanted to visualize this. This image overlays the three bars from that photo relative to the clamp. I measured the gaps between the ends, in pixels. For reference the 25.4 clamp area is showing ~38 pixels. That should give you some scale to work with.
I wish manufacturers would just give us better measurements to work with. I was not able to find anything myself.
I'm not sure I'd say this is minimal, but again I don't know if the wider bars somehow compensate. I'm clueless :)
12-04-11, 09:10 PM
Beautiful photo comparison work!
Thank you very much, this is what I needed to know.
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