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  1. #1
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Experience of bars required

    Sorry no here

    It's possibly a largely unnecessary upgrade but as my wife won't let me but a second bike (actually that's an idea if I replace the bike part by part I'll eventually have two anyway )...

    My bike's got a reasonably light aluminium frame (1700gr) but I'm fairly sure the bar is plain steel. Would replacing it with a lighter aluminium bar make much difference to the handling?

    It's currently a 1" riser which feels okay, but I was wondering what effect swapping it for a 2" riser would have, perhaps with a slightly longer stem.

    Any thoughts appreciated, any recommendations welcomed.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  2. #2
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll notice THAT much difference in the handling, except that the alu bar may be marginally stiffer. It has been my experience that the stem has a greater impact on handling than handlebar material. I rode with a Ti stem for about a week this summe, and I felt a distinct springiness on climbs and in sprints.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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  3. #3
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Springiness in climbs would be wonderful, but a Ti stem is probably out of my price range

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  4. #4
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Come on their must be more of you who've swapped bars

    Widening the question what about different lengths/heights of stem in combination with different bars?

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Good strategy on the upgrade

    I gather that this is a MTB? First, you can verify if the bar is indeed steel using a magnet. Presumably the aluminum bar will be stiffer and lighter and possibly 'harsher' as a result of the stiffness. You may notice this while riding or you may not.

    Are you finding your riding position uncomfortable? If so, then do you desire a more tucked or upright position? If not, then are you prepared to risk being less comfortable?

    Switching to a bar with a 2" rise rather than 1" with the same stem will not change the distance to the bars but will force a more upright riding position. However changing the stem angle or length (or both) will have an effect on both.

    Imaging you were to try steering by gripping the handlebars near the stem. The steering would be very 'quick' and 'lively' as a result of the shorter distance to the pivot point (the centre of the fork/stem).

    Contrarily, a longer stem and/or wider handlebar will 'slow' the steering somewhat. Of course a wider handlebar can make heavy traffice more difficult to navigate, especially since they are at the same height as car mirrors.

  6. #6
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice.

    First impressions are good, but I'll need a few more miles in before I really know.

    The stem is a little longer and lower, but the bars have about half inch more rise and sweep back, as well as being wider.

    Reach hasn't been lengthened that much (I can just about sit vertically with my fingers wrapped round the grips, but I need to lean forward a little to get a comfortable postion with fingers over the brakes). It feels a little more 'relaxed', probably largely due the extra width.

    The weight of the bars and stem is greatly reduced which seems to add a little 'spring' to the front end.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  7. #7
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Okay - I confess my stem experiment didn't turn out as well as I hoped - I'm happy with the new bars, but the stem was too low for my back - fine for a mile or two, but after that the position was too uncomfortable. Still, it was an interesting experiment, and I haven't given up, playing, in fact i've just ordered a shorter stem but with a 17 deg rise... we'll see....


    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  8. #8
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    You can get adjustable stems. Look make a very expensive fancy one and Giant make a cheaper one.
    They are a bit heavy and not as secure, but really useful for playing around with position, so when you order a fixed stem, you know its right.

  9. #9
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    You can get adjustable stems. Look make a very expensive fancy one and Giant make a cheaper one.
    They are a bit heavy and not as secure, but really useful for playing around with position, so when you order a fixed stem, you know its right.
    I've seen threaded adjustable stems, but not 1 1/8 aheadset. I probably didn't look hard enough. Hopefully as the one I've ordered is closer to the original (which apart from being rather weighty isn't too bad) I'll be luckier. There seems to be a shortage of stems with a steep rise.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

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