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Old 12-02-07, 08:43 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Handlebar swap

Swapped my Bontrager Crowbar flat bars on my Trek 7.3 FX for Novara Safari bars. The integrated Shimano rapid-fire shifters/brakes fit fine.

Many more comfortable hand positions.

That's all. (I guess it's more interesting riding with them than talking about it. )

Here's a pic, but somebody doesn't know that they are backwards:

http://www.rei.com/product/629508


Now here's what a Novara Safari bike looks like, so you know how the bars are supposed to be mounted (click on another image for a better view: )

http://www.rei.com/product/730480


The ends should be closer to the rider. Backwards, all the advantages of the bar angles are wasted.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:31 PM   #2
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I have the Nashbar trekking bars, which look about identical to the Safari bars. They look wild and I love them. I love all the useful hand positions they afford.

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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
The ends should be closer to the rider. Backwards, all the advantages of the bar angles are wasted.
+1. It is true.

Last edited by Cody Broken; 12-02-07 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:46 PM   #3
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I have mine "backwards" actually I set em up like that as an experiment about 6 months ago and never got around to trying them a different way. I like it this way with the wider parts up front where I ride the most. Someday I will get around to trying them the "right way" though. But you are right, these may be the ugliest bars ever, but they sure are the comfy-est!

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Old 12-02-07, 11:47 PM   #4
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And oh yea, i ordered the bar tape for them about 2 months ago, that is also something I have been planning on doing for quite some time now
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Old 12-03-07, 06:19 AM   #5
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I've been using a Scott handlebar for a few years now - not a cowhorn bar, but an integrated bar-end (like a short cowhorn). This looks like it may be even more comfortable, and I can ditch the aeros!

EDIT: Are they wider than a standard straight bar?
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Old 12-03-07, 08:23 AM   #6
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The nashbar bars are listed as being 55cm o-o. Not sure about the others.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
The ends should be closer to the rider. Backwards, all the advantages of the bar angles are wasted.
I think it might depend how you ride. I'm planning to get a trekking bar eventually, but I don't ever want by hands that close. I want to have the stability of a flat bar plus hand positions that seem a little more like drop, aero, or climbing bars for when I have to fight 30 mph headwinds (like today, for instance). I don't want a position that simulates a cruiser, which it seems would be much of the purpose of having the curved part practically in your ribcage.

I haven't gotten it yet but it seems to me the great thing about this type of bar is that it can be used so many different ways. So the way one person might set it up for one riding style might not be the same way somebody else would use it.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:07 AM   #8
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I think it might depend how you ride. I'm planning to get a trekking bar eventually, but I don't ever want by hands that close. I want to have the stability of a flat bar plus hand positions that seem a little more like drop, aero, or climbing bars for when I have to fight 30 mph headwinds (like today, for instance). I don't want a position that simulates a cruiser, which it seems would be much of the purpose of having the curved part practically in your ribcage.

I haven't gotten it yet but it seems to me the great thing about this type of bar is that it can be used so many different ways. So the way one person might set it up for one riding style might not be the same way somebody else would use it.
Of course, that's personal preference. They are intended to be installed as shown on the bicycle, but when shown separately, the picture has them backwards.

I tried it both ways, and I preferred the intended installation because the sides angle inward, which is more comfortable on my wrists than when they angle outward. The same effect occurs on the closest part of the bars when mounted backwards, they cause your wrists to angle with the heels of your hands pointed forward/outward, not very comfortable for me. But when mounted normally, the curve on that part of the bar (now at the farthest from the rider) angles your wrists with your thumbs slightly forward.

Toddorado: these bars are comfortable, but not comparable to aero bars for speed. As for width, I don't think they are any wider than flat bars, they are about 22.5 inches, according to specs., I think.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:02 AM   #9
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I told my wife I was going to get a trekking bar. She said since my birthday is this week to let her get it for me.
So, to make it a little easier on her, I decided to hunt one up here in town. I went by a bike shop, (I dare say the most popular bike shop in the Dallas area) to look at their large assortment of handlebars. There is a whole wall of flat and riser MTB bars, drop bars, aero bars and comfort bars. When I didn't see any trekking bars, I asked a sales rep, thinking he could order one.
He gave me this weird look, so I told him they are also called butterfly bars.

He still didn't know what I meant. I then said I had seen at least one manufacturer call them ATB/hybrid bars. "Ohhh, come over here." I thought he must have figured it out...
He showed me a hybrid bike and said, "These are hybrid bars."
"No, that's a riser bar." I said. "Do you have a pen. Let me draw one for you."

While a scribbled out a crude rendering of my desire, he began asking the other employees if they knew what I was talking about. They all had question marks flying around over their heads.

When I finished my pen and ink illustration, I offered up that they are quite popular amongst the touring crowd. One of the other sales reps said, "Oh yea, I've seen those before. You can't buy them after-market. Either they come with the bike or you're out of luck."

I sighed, pursed my lips and looked at the counter with my eyes slightly bulging. Then one of them asked, "Where have you seen these?"
"They sell them at nashbar.com, harriscyclery.com, rei.com and several other websites. They sell for anything between $20 & $30. There is even one made by Koga, with aeros built onto it that runs for about $130. I can easily order one online, but I would rather support my local bicycle shop."

That's when my original rep said, "Well let's see here..." As he grabbed one of their supplier's catalogs. He thumbed through to the handlebar section, but no luck. "He said that must be some obscure, specialty item, because we can't even order it."

I thanked them for their time and scooted out the door.

Two days until my birthday and I am crossing my fingers that my wife has ordered one for me.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:48 AM   #10
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MMach 5, the funny thing is, I also thought they'd be hard to come by. When I saw them in the REI online store, I quickly put in an order to have them shipped free to the local REI shop. When I picked them up, I said, "Dang, I need bar tape, too," and I went back inside.

I found the bar tape next to all the handlebars. There was my Safari bar, stacked on the shelf. I never had to order it in the first place.



I wish all you guys who already have these bars had told me about them earlier!

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Old 12-04-07, 03:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Toddorado: these bars are comfortable, but not comparable to aero bars for speed. As for width, I don't think they are any wider than flat bars, they are about 22.5 inches, according to specs., I think.
Thanks! I only use the aeros for different hand positions on longer rides. They're great in headwinds as well. I'm not good enough to go fast, or even pretend to
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Old 12-04-07, 07:12 PM   #12
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Well, after some minor adjustments and a couple of hour-long rides, I'm satisfied. I wanted more comfortable hand positions than a flat bar offers, and I got it. I can even duck pretty low on the forward bar, and I can do it more comfortably than on drop bars. Plus, I have other hand positions/angles I can use. I can move my hands around it all the time, even if I tend to use certain hand positions the most.

Heck, I can even rest my forearms on it, not that I need to...

In the bike shop, a customer kept telling me, "spend the extra $300 and get a road bike." I spent an extra $25 for the bars and less than $10 for the bar tape.

It does everything I need it to do, and I didn't have to get new brakes or shifters.

Your experience might differ, but the cash outlay was so small, there was virtually no risk, just a little time spent. Very easy modification, and I could put it back the way it was with no problem.

Toddorado: then you might like them as much as I do!
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Old 12-07-07, 11:00 AM   #13
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BTW, my wife did order the Safari handlebar from REI for me. She checked the Dallas store, but they didn't have any in stock.
It's supposed to arrive next week!
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Old 12-07-07, 11:10 AM   #14
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Let me know how you like them after using them a while.

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Old 12-07-07, 11:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen View Post
The nashbar bars are listed as being 55cm o-o. Not sure about the others.
I went ahead and compared my original flat bars with the trekking bars, and lo-and-behold, they are exactly the same length.

How about that...
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Old 12-07-07, 12:31 PM   #16
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The one thing I don't get about this bar is whether or not you're supposed to run a longer stem (as compared to a flat bar) with it or not. Do you change stems when you switch to this bar?
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Old 12-07-07, 12:51 PM   #17
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I'm actually installing this onto my road bike. I'll first mount it onto the existing stem. If I can't get it to where I want it, then I'll change out the stem.
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Old 12-07-07, 05:27 PM   #18
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I used my old stem and ride on the fronts of the bars which gets me a little more stretched out and not so sail-like. When I use the back section it definately feels to close to ride like that all the time, but its really comfy for just sitting up and cruising and taking a little breather during my ride.
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Old 12-07-07, 05:52 PM   #19
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I used my old stem and ride on the fronts of the bars which gets me a little more stretched out and not so sail-like. When I use the back section it definately feels to close to ride like that all the time, but its really comfy for just sitting up and cruising and taking a little breather during my ride.
Ya, I thought I'd feel cramped on the inside, but the variety is good. I spend more time there than I thought I would.

Bigbenaugust: I didn't change the stem, but that's always an option. If you want to try this handlebar (it's about the same price as many bar ends, and some pizzas,) try it without changing the stem, first.
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Old 12-07-07, 07:25 PM   #20
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I switched stems when I installed my trek bar. My old stem did not fit though.
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Old 12-07-07, 11:50 PM   #21
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If you run these bars in the intended direction, are you stuck having the brake levers in the close position? I think I'd like riding with my hands out on the front portions, but I'd want my brakes right there.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:56 AM   #22
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I'm pretty sure you can put your breaks anywhere it feels right. I'm going to be putting the break levers from my drop bars onto mine. They will be on the "corners", at the far side of the bar, the same way you would put levers on a mustache bar.
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Old 12-08-07, 09:12 AM   #23
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If you run these bars in the intended direction, are you stuck having the brake levers in the close position? I think I'd like riding with my hands out on the front portions, but I'd want my brakes right there.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel weird/unsafe riding with my hands away from the brake levers... kind of like riding a car with no seatbelt. I always set up my bars to have the brake levers easily available in my favorite hand position.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:04 PM   #24
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I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel weird/unsafe riding with my hands away from the brake levers... kind of like riding a car with no seatbelt. I always set up my bars to have the brake levers easily available in my favorite hand position.
My old Trek 1200 had integrated brakes/shifters on drop bars. To shift or brake, I had to move my hands, unless they were on the hoods.

If you want multiple hand positions, you have to have multiple brake positions, if you don't want to move your hands. If a single brake position is unsafe, then only flat bars are safe, or bars with two sets of brake levers (and that still doesn't cover all hand positions.)
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Old 12-10-07, 09:30 PM   #25
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Got my Nashbar Trekking handlebars today, and oh MAN, what a difference! Slipped 'em right on the bike. I like the slope, or difference in handlebar height. I thought it would all be level (on the same plane). Just gotta get some bar tap, grips and hope the snow stops!
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