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Old 08-20-14, 06:05 AM   #1
Winfried
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Narrower, touring-friendly, alternative handlebar?

Hello

My new bike has a flat handlebar that I find 1) too wide especially when riding in the city, 2) too far for extended rides on week-ends (neck hurts after a while), and 3) the handles hurt after just 20-30 kms:



Here are the specs:
HANDLEBAR
Type: Tac13 31,8/660 mm
Design: Riser Bar
Material: Aluminum

STEM
Type: ST78A 31,8/28,6 mm
Design: A-Head
Material: Aluminum

HANDLES
Profiler 445

Are there handlebars that would be shorter and provide either two positions (leaning forward, standing more upright) or a fast way to switch… without having to change the rest of the gear?

Thank you.
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Old 08-20-14, 06:27 AM   #2
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Flat bars can be trimmed if they are too wide, and bar ends can be added to give additional hand positions. You may also want to try better grips- Ergon seems to be the oft-mentioned solution to sore and numb hands.
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Old 08-20-14, 06:28 AM   #3
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I recently put on one of these on a mountain bike which had a flat bar like yours. It added many hand positions and everything (brake levers and shifters) will work. Here it is called a trekking bar. You can adjust the angle to get your most comfortable positions.

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Old 08-20-14, 06:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
I recently put on one of these on a mountain bike which had a flat bar like yours. It added many hand positions and everything (brake levers and shifters) will work. Here it is called a trekking bar. You can adjust the angle to get your most comfortable positions.

+ 1 on the trekking bars; they rock.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
Flat bars can be trimmed if they are too wide.
To a point. I HATE too wide handlebars and typically trim mine down.

Your specs indicate a riser bar. Best practice is to first slide your shifters, brake levers and grips inward as far as possible. That'll clue you in to most you can trim off each end.

Don't ask how I know.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:39 AM   #6
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+1 on shortening your bars and adding Ergon grips. I would suggest trimming off an inch at most from each end and riding the bike to check before trimming more; it is much easier to take metal away than to put it back. I use a fine-toothed hacksaw with a worm drive hose clamp as a guide; debur with a file or scraper.

If your bars are too far forward you can fit a shorter stem than the stem pictured. Just be sure that the stack height is still correct for proper headset adjustment after installing the new stem. You may need to add/remove/change spacers to achieve this.

If you shorten the bars and/or move them back significantly you may need to shorten the brake cable housings (and shifter housings if present) if they are now too long, and readjust. Don't forget to pull back the inner wires before you cut the housings; don't ask how I know this.
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Old 08-20-14, 08:27 AM   #7
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Thanks much for the feedback.

On second thought, the trekking bar is probably too wide for use in the city, so I'll slide the controls inward to check how far they go, try riding that way, saw the ends, and add some Ergon ends.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:46 AM   #8
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For city riding I like to keep the bars and grips a little wider than my shoulders; like a cat's whiskers, if the bars fit through an opening so will the rest of me.

Last edited by dsbrantjr; 08-20-14 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 08-20-14, 10:08 AM   #9
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Wide handlebars are nice if you use panniers on the front.

I like trekking bars also but they are wide.

Hack on your bars and try some bar ends,that should make you happier.
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Old 08-20-14, 11:02 AM   #10
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Based on shopping (I haven't bought yet), it appears that if you switch to a flat bar, you are likely to be able to go narrower than with a riser, because the bends to accomplish the rise interfere with being able to move the grips/brakes/shifters more inward. So, it might be a possibility if you still feel too wide after implementing the suggestions above. Remember to not cut your bars so short that you don't leave room fpor bar ends with your grips of choice.

I use Ergon grips, and have used other oblong grips as well, and they are a great help for me.

Moving your hands in has the effect of allowing you to be slightly more upright, but if you still feel too stretched out I would agree that a shorter stem may be in order, although height of bar has an impact on the feel as well..
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Old 08-20-14, 12:32 PM   #11
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Are you splitting the lanes when the traffic is backed up?

Admittedly most trekking Bars Are a bit wide.. my 2 ITM bars measure ... the Freetime is 51` to the tube center (about), the adjustable one is 56.

FWIW, Ergon GR3 on my Brompton are about 52 using a similar center of the bar end measurement.

if you can score a set of Modolo's 'Dumbo' trekking bars, they are even more adjustable including width..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-20-14 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-20-14, 12:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Based on shopping (I haven't bought yet), it appears that if you switch to a flat bar, you are likely to be able to go narrower than with a riser, because the bends to accomplish the rise interfere with being able to move the grips/brakes/shifters more inward. So, it might be a possibility if you still feel too wide after implementing the suggestions above. Remember to not cut your bars so short that you don't leave room fpor bar ends with your grips of choice.
Riser bars tend to sweep back more too. That makes most bar ends stick out at a goofy angle.
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Old 08-20-14, 12:50 PM   #13
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& the riser bend stops the inward shifting of the controls, because of the bend..


FWIW, Ergon's Bar-end-less GC1 is made for more angled bars ..
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Old 08-21-14, 05:03 PM   #14
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I think I'll just move the controls inwards, saw the ends a bit so the handlebar is more narrow, and add some Ergon ends for a bit more confort for day-long rides.

Alternatively, what about switching to a cowhorn handlebar and add those vertical handles I've seen on some bikes that'd let me sit more upright on outings when my neck hurts?


An alternative: "Bike Stem Raiser"

(source)

BTW, what's a "backwards-swept handlebar"?
Quote:
The GC1 is a grip developed for the ergonomic demands of users of bicycles with backwards-swept handlebars, such as those found on city bikes. Using tradition grips on these bikes causes a kink in the wrist. The GC1 corrects this wrist position through its anatomic and ergonomically correct form.
ERGON BIKE ERGONOMICS
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Old 08-21-14, 05:36 PM   #15
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I'm riding my 29er with Wald 896 bars. A budget copy of the Nitto Bosco cruiser bars. Very comfortable.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:35 PM   #16
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Thanks for the feedback.

Universal Cycles -- Wald 896 Cruiser Bar

Nitto Bosco Bar, Cromo dullbrite 55cm x 25.4 - 16240

Since this bike will be used both in the city and multi-day touring, I'd like a way to switch from an upright position to a more forward position when going up-hill.
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