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  1. #1
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    Handlebar Dilemma???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    I did the STP this year and my only real problem were my wrists hurting after 70-80 miles into the ride. I just sucked it up and kept riding but boy did they hurt.

    I had my bike fitted before the ride and the handlebars were checked for height and comfort etc. but before the STP I never had a wrist issue. So after the ride and speaking with the bike fitter I may have a handlebar or canopy placement issue.
    My current handlebars are some Easton EA30's. The reach is 87mm and the drop is 143mm.
    I'm not a small guy either (6'3" 260lbs yes I have a lunch muscle).

    So I started doing research on handlebars and besides all the different brands there are so many designs in the market. One thing for sure I have decided against carbon bars due to price, price, and not surviving crashes well.

    So my questions are:

    Has anyone had similar wrist issue and were they caused by handlebars?

    What handlebars do you have and what do you like and hate about them?

    When you were looking at handlebars did you pay attention to the reach and drop dimensions?

    Canopy placement issues on your bars?


    Well there you all go. I know with all your help and guidance the fog will be lifted from this handlebar dilemma.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm40 View Post
    Has anyone had similar wrist issue and were they caused by handlebars?
    I have wrist issues with flat mountain bike bars. On the road bike, the only arm/shoulder/wrist issues I've had were fit related.

    What handlebars do you have and what do you like and hate about them?
    I use 3T Ergosum handlebars on my drop bar bikes. Love the bend: it's "ergonomic" but smooth; not one of the "stepped" designs that means you can only put your hands in one place.

    When you were looking at handlebars did you pay attention to the reach and drop dimensions?
    Yes.

    Canopy placement issues on your bars?
    What's a canopy? Do you mean the brake levers or hoods? I had absolutely no problems positioning my SRAM Red levers on my 3T Ergosum bars.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    What bars did your bike fitter suggest? You shouldn't have wrist problems after only 70-80 miles????? You paid for a fitting, you are entitled to it being done right. There are a few things you can do to help yourself out here. I'm a big guy like you and I have big hands. The standard style skinny bars gave me no end of grief. They were just too skinny for me. I went to a set of 31.8mm diameter bars with a flat top, they are Tru Vativ Rouleur Aerobars. Kind of a funny name for a standard type bar. I guess they named it that because they are flat on top. Anyway, I put a layer of padding and two layers of bar tape on the flat part. I now have a wide plateform for my hands and a comfy place to rest my forearms while I ride. If you ride on your forearms you can get the pressure off of your wrists. The usual warnings go when you are riding in that position, not in packs, traffic etc. It does take some practice if you have done that before. It's great because it adds another position to get in when I'm doing long distances. It's very important to never stay in one position very long on rides like STP. Hope this helps some.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    A few things to look at if your wrists are hurting:

    - Is it just your wrists, or your shoulders and neck, too? That's indicative of too much forward lean.
    - Where do you spend most of your time on the bars?
    -- Tops (flat part to either side of the stem, before the bend)
    -- Top bend (but not on the brake hoods)
    -- Hoods
    -- Hooks (the actual bent part of the drop)
    -- Drops (the flat, lower part of the drop)

    There are bars to solve just about any hand position issue you might have with any of those placements.
    - Nitto Noodles have flat angled top to accomodate slack wrist positioning. The long drops make it easy to grip those lower flats for riding into headwinds.
    - Nitto Randonneurs have an upward angled top for an upright touring-style position, and flared hooks/drops to ease pressure on the wrists during long hours of riding. Shallow hooks and long drops for multiple hand positions.
    my favourite is the Salsa Moto-Ace Bell Lap. It's a CX bar, but it's excellent for rando/long distance if you have wide shoulders. Nice wide tops with no angle, flat ramp to the hoods makes for a lot of hand position availability. Limited hood positioning due to ergo-bent hooks, but they're the most comfortable hooks (IMO) for big hands and light padded gloves. Almost no drop flats to speak of; they pretty much go from the hooks to a little nub where you can stick a barcon shifter. The really big deal is the flare: Nitto Randos have a 4 degree flare, the M-A Bell Lap has a 12 degree flare. These things are frackin' monstrous in the hooks, and very comfortable for long hours of riding on the hoods and/or hooks.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  5. #5
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    Is the number of question marks in the title really necessary?

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Consider adding Aero Bars, to your century ride setup, that will transfer upper body weight to your elbows/forearms, for a spell, to the pads of the add on kit. That will let your hands recover from being the only way to hold the handlebars.

    A friend who does that ride, does that.

    Currently, there are Bits of extra hardware to duplicate controls, shift and brake,
    to the aero bar extensions , made for the triathlon set.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-10 at 10:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Lio Fralop Polar Foil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm40 View Post
    Has anyone had similar wrist issue and were they caused by handlebars?
    I haven't had wrist issues, but after trying several stems and bars I still have elbow stiffness issues and occasional hand numbness/tingling issues.

    What handlebars do you have and what do you like and hate about them?
    I currently have FSA Omega Compacts. I love the dimensions and shape of the drops; I hate the heavy weight. I have also tried Bontrager Select, Bontrager Race Lite, and Orbea Zeus. I have also tried FSA Omega Compacts in a different width. I bought almost all my bars on eBay or Craigslist, then sold the ones I didn't use on eBay.

    When you were looking at handlebars did you pay attention to the reach and drop dimensions?
    Yes! As well as the shape of the drop bend, and the overall width.

    Canopy placement issues on your bars?
    It's a matter of personal preference. Some people like the hoods higher, some like them lower. It also depends on how you angle the bars in the stem clamp. I use a Skil Angle Finder to help get the bars angled the way I want and get the two brifters in the same place if there are no markings on the bars.

  8. #8
    Clyde - Grinder Kamala's Avatar
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    Some non-equipment thoughts:
    Are you moving your hands around during the ride?
    Are you taking your hands completely off the bars and stretching hands, arms, shoulder, chest?

    Doing this every few miles has helped me an awful lot on long rides. I defer to the great Clyde collective on equipment issues.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Consider adding Aero Bars, to your century ride setup, that will transfer upper body weight to your elbows/forearms, for a spell, to the pads of the add on kit. That will let your hands recover from being the only way to hold the handlebars.
    Turning up the radio doesn't actually fix the squeaky fan belt.

    Instead of solutions which ignore the problem, the OP needs to determine the root cause of his wrist pain.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  10. #10
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    One other thing to check is if the bars got tilted down a bit somehow, which would cause 2 issues - more weight on your hands when on the hoods (shouldn't matter when on the flat part of the bar) and it will change the angle of your wrists when on the hoods. This is easy to check, but it does happen.

    Another potentially cheap fix is to change where the brifters are on the bar, thus changing your wrist angle.

    I've used several different bars, some traditional and some ergo. The only ones I found horribly uncomfortable were short reach, shallow drop Bontragers - my hands didn't fit well in the drops. The bars I prefer are FSA aluminum ones with flat tops - lots of climbs around here, and some go on for 10 - 20 miles. The flat tops make it more comfortable to stay on the top of the bars for long climbs. They have an ergo shape in the drops, but it's comfortable for me.

    JB
    "Poor Reverend Hamilton! He worked so hard, got a mountain named after him and now all anyone wants to do is complain about his backside!" Overheard while climbing Mt. Hamilton

    Check out my cycling blog.

  11. #11
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Are your handle bars wide enough? I found it immensely more comfortable when I upgraded to a set of Salsa Short and Shallows. I think they are 46s.

  12. #12
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    Thank you for all your responses.

    When I said canopy I meant hoods.

    Yes I ride mostly on the hoods but I'm moving my hands around quite a bit on longer rides.

    My bike fitter suggested Salsa's but I can't remember which ones. My wife was fitted with Salsa Poco's because of her small hands and she loves them.

    I did try rolling the handle bars up so the hoods would be closer but it really never changed my hand position on the flats.

    The bars are a 31.8 wrapped with gel inserts and gel tape so I don't think the diameter is an issue. In fact after awhile they seemed big to grasp.

    My neck seems to get a burning suggestion after a long ride. I attributed to that to me just lifting my head up and down to see where I was going.

    I though about aero bars and tried riding on my forearms. I just didn't feel very comfortable riding like that.

    I have looked at the 3T Ergosum, Salsa Moto, and Salsa Short/Shallow and they both seemed very interesting. I read reviews on the 3T and some mentioned some of the problems I was having. I like the idea about not being stuck with one hand position on the drops.

    I am pretty broad on top so maybe a 46 would be a better fit and the Salsa with the flare??

    Thank you so much for all the info opinions.

    Keep them coming I'm learning quite a bit.
    Last edited by malcolm40; 08-04-10 at 04:04 PM. Reason: oops

  13. #13
    Senior Member spthealien's Avatar
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    I am using the aluminum Control Tech Formidable bars. They are pretty wide on top and are ergonomic in the drops. I have also double-taped the bars for extra cushioning, but don't have any further gel inserts.


  14. #14
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spthealien View Post
    I am using the aluminum Control Tech Formidable bars. They are pretty wide on top and are ergonomic in the drops. I have also double-taped the bars for extra cushioning, but don't have any further gel inserts.
    These bars look very interesting.
    How do your wrists feel during and after a long ride?

  15. #15
    Senior Member spthealien's Avatar
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    After around 60 miles, my shoulders tend to ache a little bit--but that likely because of the ride itself. My wrists are just fine.

    The only issue is if you want to install a light or computer (that won't go on the stem), you have to get a little doohicky that allows them to wrap around.



    This also shows how I currently have the bar tape wrapped. I had two computers installed at the time of this photo because I wanted to see how accurate the Garmin computer was.

  16. #16
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    No one has mentioned core strength. I spent a lot of time doing planks over the winter and it made a difference in wrist pain this summer.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spthealien View Post
    I am using the aluminum Control Tech Formidable bars. They are pretty wide on top and are ergonomic in the drops. I have also double-taped the bars for extra cushioning, but don't have any further gel inserts.

    Cool looking bars, the double wrapping probably looks better on smaller bars though like the old chrome ones on my road bike though, that looks pretty thick.

    Always think the Shimano gear cables that come out the side of the lever look like they only did a half a**ed job of the design, the cable-less Campy Ergo design looks a lot cleaner. Still better then the MTB designs that have cables coming out everywhere.

  18. #18
    Senior Member spthealien's Avatar
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    I agree with the Shimano gear cables. They look better now this year now that the entire top three DA, Ultegra, 105 has all taken to a slicker routing. SRAM and Campy have already done that.

    As for the double-wrapping, it looks thick--YES--but it's because of the actual shape of the bar. If you look at my post that has the tape cut off before the bar tops, it's the shape.


  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spthealien View Post
    I agree with the Shimano gear cables. They look better now this year now that the entire top three DA, Ultegra, 105 has all taken to a slicker routing. SRAM and Campy have already done that.

    As for the double-wrapping, it looks thick--YES--but it's because of the actual shape of the bar. If you look at my post that has the tape cut off before the bar tops, it's the shape.
    They are an odd shape, I looked up the model, kinda makes you wonder though if the bigger dimension bars are an ideal, I would think that a smaller diameter bar would work better with the extra padding layers, then again I'm old school.... As for cable routing, Ergo has been around for a while now, IIRC there are references to it from the 1990's....
    Last edited by Wogster; 08-06-10 at 03:52 PM.

  20. #20
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    So I've narrowed the handlebars down to the following in order of preference:

    3T Erogonova
    3T Erogosum Pro
    FSA Wing Pro
    Salsa Moto Ace Belllap
    Salsa Short and Shallow

    It seems like as big as these bars come are 44cm. My current bars are 45cm c to c according to the bike fit. So am I going backwards with a 44cm? (maybe I should double check that)
    I'm a big guy (6'3" with average size hands for a guy my size) so would I benefit with a compact design?

    The more I read the more confused I get.
    I may just have to bite the bullet and get a set try it and if I don't like it try another. That's how it worked for bike seats (5 to be exact) before I found the one I liked.

    Anymore thoughts would be greatly appreciative.



    So any thoughts on my choices would be greatly appreciated.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm40 View Post
    So I've narrowed the handlebars down to the following in order of preference:

    3T Erogonova
    3T Erogosum Pro
    FSA Wing Pro
    Salsa Moto Ace Belllap
    Salsa Short and Shallow

    It seems like as big as these bars come are 44cm. My current bars are 45cm c to c according to the bike fit. So am I going backwards with a 44cm? (maybe I should double check that)
    I'm a big guy (6'3" with average size hands for a guy my size) so would I benefit with a compact design?

    The more I read the more confused I get.
    I may just have to bite the bullet and get a set try it and if I don't like it try another. That's how it worked for bike seats (5 to be exact) before I found the one I liked.

    Anymore thoughts would be greatly appreciative.



    So any thoughts on my choices would be greatly appreciated.
    No idea on the width - it depends on how wide your shoulders are, and even then some folks like really narrow bars and some like really wide.

    The short and shallow - are you having trouble riding in the drops now? That's what those bars are intended for - people with limited flexibility who otherwise wouldn't use the drops.

    I have an old aluminum Wing Pro and I like it a lot. As others have noted the flat tops are really nice, particularly on long climbs. I can just rest my hands on mine without gripping the bars at all. The drops are an ergo bend that works for some but not others. You'll just have to try it and find out. My mechanic swears he can get them to flex on his test rides, but I haven't noticed. YMMV.

    Haven't used any of the others. If you have a good relationship with your bike shop he might be willing to put the bars on your bike and let you try them (mine had several old demos lying around that he used for that purpose).

    JB
    "Poor Reverend Hamilton! He worked so hard, got a mountain named after him and now all anyone wants to do is complain about his backside!" Overheard while climbing Mt. Hamilton

    Check out my cycling blog.

  22. #22
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    Decided on the 3T Erogonova. Ordered the from Slane Cycles out of Ireland got the in about a week.
    Put them on last night and I hope to get out today or tomorrow to try them out.
    I can already tell the reach and tops are much more comfortable.
    Thank you for all your comments they all helped in the decision making process.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by spthealien View Post
    I am using the aluminum Control Tech Formidable bars. They are pretty wide on top and are ergonomic in the drops. I have also double-taped the bars for extra cushioning, but don't have any further gel inserts.

    Yep, those are my favorite bars. They came on my cannondale synapse road bike. They were so comfortable that I bought an extra one and put it on my touring bike. Very comfortable with gel pads on the top and Specialized BG Super Phat Bar Gel Tape. A very noticeable reduction in fatigue from a standard drop bar.

  24. #24
    Member malcolm40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm40 View Post
    Put them on last night and I hope to get out today or tomorrow to try them out.
    Did a quick ride this morning and I was able to ride in the drops more than ever. Hills were very comfortable too. I wasn't grasping so hard, more of a resting position.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm40 View Post
    Did a quick ride this morning and I was able to ride in the drops more than ever. Hills were very comfortable too. I wasn't grasping so hard, more of a resting position.
    I just converted to the 3T Ergosum bars. Love them! Nice reach, good flat transition, and the drops are very comfy - I like them better than the heavy FSA Omegas they replaced.

    Go 3T!
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