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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-06-11, 06:06 PM   #1
JParr
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Which handlebars?

Thinking about building up a dedicated commuter, and am not sure what bars to go with. I currently commute on either a flat bar mountain bike and a drop bar road bike. The flat bar is nicer in town, feels more stable and maneuverable, while the drop bars are nice way to get down out of the wind on long stretches.

Would mountain bike shifters and brakes mounted on a wide drop bar be an option? Trekking bars look interesting, but not sure how practical they'd be.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:09 PM   #2
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bullhorns/time trial bars will give you the feel of a flat bar with some (SOME, NOT ALL) aerodynamic options in case you feel like opening the can of whoopass.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:24 PM   #3
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You could just clip some aero bars on to your flat bar...
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Old 03-06-11, 06:29 PM   #4
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Another vote for bullhorns / TT bars

Used to be the only two choices were drop bars of flat bars but today I`d go for a TT bar myself and if aerodynamics is an issue then a time trials bar with an aero bar incorporated or added.

You can use road brakes and shifters on that OK but if you want to keep your mtb/hybrid flat bar brakes and shifter set up then barends will give about the same layout as a bullhorn/TT style bar. I`m using Ergon GC3`s on a flatbar myself and the only comment is that they tend to push the controls in towards the stem more than I`d like. An integrated brake/shifter module would probably be more ideal.

Last edited by Burton; 03-06-11 at 08:09 PM. Reason: you know - spelling and stuff
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Old 03-07-11, 12:04 AM   #5
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I like my trekking bars. http://www.wallbike.com/kalloy/handl...fly-handlebars I don't know why you think they might not be practical. You can keep your hands near the brakes while in traffic and move them to a variety of other positions when you aren't.
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Old 03-07-11, 01:35 AM   #6
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If you would ever consider using mountain shifters on a drop bar, I conclude that you're not using them right and should use something else.
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Old 03-07-11, 04:08 AM   #7
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+1. ^^ There's no advantage at all to using mtn shifters vs. just a pair of bar end shifters on a drop bar.

I've commuted on flat bars and drop bars, and both work fine but I much prefer a wide drop bar.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:55 AM   #8
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here's a little project i worked on over the winter to give you an idea for what's possible. it's an old 90s MTB that i modified with some bullhorn bars. i put reverse pull levers on the ends and some shimano rapid fire shifters close in. some would argue that i should have just lived with the flat bar and bar ends i originally had, but i found that i was riding out on the bar ends the vast majority of the time, and because i ride in heavy traffic a lot, i wanted to be close to the brake levers out there. it would be absolutely ideal if the reverse pull levers were also brifters, but i can live with the rapid fires because i'm not the type of rider who shifts gears every 10 seconds. drop bars were another consideration, but i just couldn't bring myself to putting drop bars on a MTB (even though i really love the drop bars i have on my road bike).






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Old 03-07-11, 10:18 AM   #9
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Have you considered something like the Salsa Woodchipper?
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Old 03-07-11, 10:23 AM   #10
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+1 on the trekking bars
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Old 03-07-11, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudston View Post
I like my trekking bars. http://www.wallbike.com/kalloy/handl...fly-handlebars I don't know why you think they might not be practical. You can keep your hands near the brakes while in traffic and move them to a variety of other positions when you aren't.
Seconded. I switched to the Nashbar trekking bars a few months ago, and I love 'em. They're great for leverage when I'm out of the saddle, and it's easy to get forward on them in the wind. For longer rides, it's also nice to simply have different hand positions. The added bonus is that you wouldn't need to switch out your shifters and brakes, just re-mount them on the new bar.
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Old 03-07-11, 10:56 AM   #12
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Another vote for trekking bars.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:00 AM   #13
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Titec h-bars would be another option, if you wanted to retain your mtb shifters/brakes and gain more hand positions.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:12 AM   #14
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I have a drop bar set up (for summer) and a flat bar set up (for winter only), and the latest is a Nitto Albatross bar set up (which works all year) on my town bike/commuter cross check. The Albatross wins. I'm in love with it, and at this point It's doubtful the others will ever see any use on this bike.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:15 AM   #15
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Sit up and use NorthRoad/albatross bars is another option
7/8" tube , for MTB parts

Mustache bars ,15/16" tube for road bar controls.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:33 AM   #16
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If you went the bullhorn option you could even mount the trigger shifters closer to the ends of the bar if you wanted to have everything together. Hmm...maybe this is what I will do with my Trek commuter mountain bike since I want to make it a dedicated winter commuter in the future since I have everything laying around to do this. There are so many options and I might as well do something funky since I need to get new cable housings at least because mine are pretty much shot on that bike.
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Old 03-07-11, 01:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Have you considered something like the Salsa Woodchipper?
Salsa Woodchippers are awesome for some things, but I wouldn't want them on my primary commuter bike. In my mind, there is nothing better than a set of flared drop bars on a mountain bike, they don't offer the hand positions of a normal drop bar, but they offer great control for technical terrain.

However, my touring bike is (currently) set up with them, left over from a dirt tour, and I don't like them on the road. Because the drops are meant to be the primary position, when the bars are set up at the proper height, the hoods are really ridiculously tall. If you try to set them up like normal drop bars, the hoods get an awkward tilt to them that makes them less comfortable for long periods, the tops aren't nearly as nice as normal drop bars (they are kinda short and slopped) and the drops just end up at the wrong angle.

Off-Road Drops are great when set up for off-road riding, but they offer too many compromises for me to really endorse them as an all around good bar.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:01 PM   #18
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Trekking bars FTW!

HPIM3373.jpgSNC00567.jpg

Flat bars and Ergon GC3s are also a nice combination.

SNC00459.jpg
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Old 03-08-11, 05:05 AM   #19
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I am thinking about getting bar-ends, but reading this, I am now wondering whether I should get trekking bars instead! What are the advantages over just bar-ends?
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Old 03-08-11, 10:08 AM   #20
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I am thinking about getting bar-ends, but reading this, I am now wondering whether I should get trekking bars instead! What are the advantages over just bar-ends?
Someone please correct me if this is wrong, but my understanding is that the bends on trekking bars preclude certain things (grips, twist shifters) from being used.
I am using flat bars with bar ends and quite like the setup, as I can use ergonomic grips and a twist shifter (which I far prefer to trigger shifters) for my IGH.
My bike originally came with a drop bar, and after trying 3 different drop bars (including shallow drop cx bars) I simply found that I prefer the stability, control and position of a medium-cut flat bar for urban riding. For context, I'm an ex-racer and no stranger to drop-bar bikes.

I think the trekking bars would be on my shortlist if not for the grips/twist shifter issues.
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Old 03-08-11, 11:27 AM   #21
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Open end of trekking bars goes towards the back,
grip shifters and brakes go on the end of the bar in that order.

you can leave the bar wrap On and remove the above controls.

I have a Rohloff Grip Shifter On My Bike, Magura HS33 brakes.

ITM trekking bars.. I wrapped with 2 layers of 'cork' tape.
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Old 03-08-11, 12:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Off-Road Drops are great when set up for off-road riding, but they offer too many compromises for me to really endorse them as an all around good bar.
Good feedback. I've never tried full-on MTB drop bars. I have Salsa Bell Laps, and I love the flare for commuting but it's a relatively small flare.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:21 PM   #23
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From top to bottom: 46cm Woodchippers, WTB Mountain Road Dirt Drops, Salsa Bell Lap


Now left to right: Bell Lap, WTB, Woodchipper


I took these pics a couple days ago, glad I found a chance to post them! FWIW, the bell laps and wtb's are going on ebay

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Old 03-08-11, 01:28 PM   #24
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I put a WTB Dirtdrop bar on a Schwinn Traveler for a friend and I realy liked that bar alot. It had some flare, but nothing too crazy. As I was doing the test ride I was wishing I hadn't sold to him it from my parts box. Now that I think about it now it was too wide for me anyway. He loves it and rode the bike alot last summer.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:30 PM   #25
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How much for the WTB dirtdrop and what width is it?
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