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  1. #1
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Bar mod: bullhorns vs. ergon GC3 vs. something else?



    overall, im very pleased with my new Scott Sub 10 foul-weather/back-up commuter,

    but the single hand position flat bar, with its hard-as-steel, "el-cheapo supreme" grips, isn't doing me any favors. even on my short little 15 mile commuting runs, i'm getting hand numbness. for comparison, i just completed a 900 mile LEJOG tour of great britain on my road bike (where even more of my weight is on my hands) and didn't experience a single moment of hand numbness or dismcomfort on the entire trip. putting weight on my hands is clearly not the issue here.

    my old back-up commuter had bullhorns which i absolutely LOVED. i could ride forever on those bars with nary a bit of hand numbness/discomfort. i've thought about putting some horns on the new steed, but the hydraulic disc brakes levers and alfine shifter mean that i need bullhorns with a 22.2mm grip diameter, which are proving quite difficult to find. as an alternative, i've heard good things about Ergon grips alleviating hand numbness issues for many riders. then i saw the Ergon GC3s, which have extra long bar end extensions, and they look like they might come close to giving me a similar feel to being on the horns of my old bike.

    does anyone have experience with Ergon GC3s? can anyone speak to how close they might come to giving me the "on the horns" feel of a bullhorn set-up?

    or should i not bother with them and just keep searching for the rare and elusive 22.2mm grip diameter bulhorns?

    other suggestions are always welcomed as well, of course.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-07-11 at 03:18 PM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I favor trekking bars, have them on 2 bikes. ITM .

    Figure 8 bend .. A near, far, and sides, grip. [2 layers of padded tape]

    I have the brakes on the back of them..+ Rohloff grip-shifter..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-07-11 at 05:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    for comparison, i just completed a 900 mile LEJOG tour of great britain on my road bike

    ... with nary a bit of ...


    Clip on aerobars might be a sin, but they'll give you a new position.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Ergons were like magic for me in relieving hand numbness. They go on every one of my flat bar bikes now. I'm a huge fan & recommend them heartily. That being said, if you really liked the bullhorns, I'd probably spend the time/effort to hunt down a pair of them that fit the scott.

    You'll have to give us a ride report on the Scott once you have some miles on it. Looks like a great bike.

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    Would something like these work for the bullhorns? They list the bars as 25.4 stem diameter & 22.2 handlebar grip diameter:

    http://www.crowcycleco.com/rare-25-4...-straight.html

    (I have no affiliation with this company, they just popped up in a google search.)

  6. #6
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    I have to think that up (some) and out would serve you better than down and in for your bars.
    As someone who rides primarily drop bars, I had a hard time re-acclimating to a mountain bike. Ergon's didn't do it for me as they actually served to lock me even more into one hand position.

    In the end, I was happiest with a bar with some sweep/curve, wrapped in two layers of bar tape. This still doesn't provide multiple hand positions though.

  7. #7
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    You really ought to be ashamed of yourself spoiling that awesome view with bike porn. At least pose her somewhere suitable. That said, I don't think Ergon grips will work for that aggressive a riding posture. I have some Ergon's right now on the summer sport/club ride tandem and my setup is similar to yours but my bars are level with my seat. Actually they are an inch above seat height and may go higher thanks to the Delta Stem Extender I put on over the winter. It just may be that the reason you felt no hand pain with drops was the fact that on the hoods and in the hooks your hands are oriented kind of like shaking hands. On the Ergons they are rolled 90* inward. Bullhorns would put your hands in a similar orientation to drops and you could keep your present brakes. I'm thinking about bullhorns and I suspect I'll stick with the flat bar brakes and do without braking when I am stretched out on the 'drops'.

    H

  8. #8
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post


    even on my short little 15 mile commuting runs, i'm getting hand numbness. for comparison, i just completed a 900 mile LEJOG tour of great britain on my road bike (where even more of my weight is on my hands) and didn't experience a single moment of hand numbness or dismcomfort on the entire trip. putting weight on my hands is clearly not the issue here.
    I'm looking at that picture and all I can see is downward tilted saddle and an adjustable stem slammed downwards. I can't imagine that setup being comfortable with a bar of any type.

    I can't imagine what your road bike setup must be like if you have even more pressure on your hands with that.

  9. #9
    idc
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    Agreed - fix the saddle and stem first, and then any old bar ends should make it more comfortable.

  10. #10
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I favor trekking bars, have them on 2 bikes. ITM .
    for whatever reason, i've never been terribly enamored with the aesthetics of trekking bars. that's probably a pretty stupid reason not to use them, but there it is.





    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

    Clip on aerobars might be a sin, but they'll give you a new position.
    my inner-purist alarms are buzzing; i don't think i could bring myself to putting aerobars on a hybrid.





    Quote Originally Posted by MK313 View Post
    Would something like these work for the bullhorns? They list the bars as 25.4 stem diameter & 22.2 handlebar grip diameter:

    http://www.crowcycleco.com/rare-25-4...-straight.html
    those would actually be what i'm looking for, if only they were black. i can't put chrome on an an all black bike, even if 80% of them will be covered with bar tape.




    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    Ergon's didn't do it for me as they actually served to lock me even more into one hand position.
    that's why i'm specifically looking at ergon GC3s, which have a long bar end extension incorporated into the grip. they look long enough to provide 2 more hand positions. i'm thinking that riding out on the ends might be similar to riding on the horns of my old bike.

    Ergon GC3:






    Quote Originally Posted by shouldberiding View Post
    I'm looking at that picture and all I can see is downward tilted saddle and an adjustable stem slammed downwards.
    that's a weird quirk of the camera angle. the sadldle is level and the bars are only a couple of inches below the saddle. it's nothing extreme at all. the bars on my road bike are even lower.


    here's another pic showing the geometry of the current set-up better.






    and here's a pic of my old bike (RIP,) showing a decent saddle to bar drop. this was one of the most comfortable set-ups i've ever ridden in my life. i never had any hand numbness riding it.

    Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-08-11 at 10:14 AM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    you and the low quadruped posture , probably just have to wait to evolve..

  12. #12
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    you and the low quadruped posture , probably just have to wait to evolve..


    perhaps, but i find that i'm more comfortable putting a lot of weight on my hands because it saves that weight from going through my rear end on to the saddle. also, sitting too upright aggravates my back. leaning forward seems to act like a built-in suspension system. i've never had hand numbness issues until riding this new bike of mine, so it's not weight on my hands causing the numbness, it's specific to the bike/bar/grip arrangement on this particular bike.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-08-11 at 12:05 PM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Just have to find where the Ergons are in stock , I'm in an LBS, [weekends]
    and 1st Wholesaler I tried, was O/S.
    so good luck ..

    adding steel tube bar ends may get you a 7/8 tube to slip other grips onto
    to replicate a bull horn .. forward facing tube.

    22.2mm is 7/8"

    It's not rare , just not road bike standard.. and never the center clamp diameter..

    Look for a 1" /25.4mm center clamp, the rest of the bar will be 7/8"
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-08-11 at 12:10 PM.

  14. #14
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MK313 View Post
    Would something like these work for the bullhorns? They list the bars as 25.4 stem diameter & 22.2 handlebar grip diameter:

    http://www.crowcycleco.com/rare-25-4...-straight.html
    those would actually be what i'm looking for, if only they were black. i can't put chrome on an an all black bike, even if 80% of them will be covered with bar tape.
    i poked around a little further on that crowcycle website and saw that they do indeed have that same 22.2mm bullhorn bar with a black finish, but of course it's out of stock.

    why can't things be simple and easy?
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  15. #15
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post

    that's why i'm specifically looking at ergon GC3s, which have a long bar end extension incorporated into the grip. they look long enough to provide 2 more hand positions. i'm thinking that riding out on the ends might be similar to riding on the horns of my old bike.

    Ergon GC3:
    I've never tried those, but they're described as protecting the anatomy you'd want to protect to avoid numbness. I used a similarly shaped piece of plastic on my motorcycles (a throttle rocker) that reduced the numbness/increased my endurance, and would guess the Ergon grips would do the same.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    t
    hey do indeed have that same 22.2mm bullhorn bar with a black finish, but of course it's out of stock.
    Krylon a rattle can, of black, is probably in stock ..

  17. #17
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    t
    Krylon a rattle can, of black, is probably in stock ..
    i never would have thought of that. would a can of flat black Krylon bond well to a clear anodized aluminum finish? i've never attempted to paint bikes or bikes parts before (or metal of any kind for that matter), so i don't know how all that stuff works.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  18. #18
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    so in an inspired move, I remembered that my currently out of commission Dahon folder has Ergon-like grips and bar ends wrapped with tape. So I yanked them off and slapped them on my new Scott. I also raised the bars 5 degrees with the adjustable stem, then I cut 2 inches off each side of the flatbar because it was WAY too wide. What an amazing difference good grips and a second hand position make! I just rode 12 milesto my friend's place with no hand numbness.

    The set-up is kinda wonky because one of the grips from my folder is shortened for a grip shifter, which I don't have on my Scott, and it doesn't look to hot with the duct tape on the bar ends, but it's a great zero-cost solution that will allow me to comfortably ride my new bike until I can find the right bullhorns to do it up exactly the way I want it.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-09-11 at 08:02 PM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  19. #19
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    so i snapped some quick pics of my new chopped-down bar set-up with the grips and bar ends from my dahon. not exactly pretty, but it will work for now. i chopped 2 inches off each side of the flat bar because it was stupidly wide. even then it's still 21", which is wider than i would want it, but the fact that the bar has a 31.8mm clamp size means that i can't move the alfine shifter any closer to the center.

    i suppose i should also probably go out and get some proper electrical tape so i can take the duct tape off of the bar ends.





    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  20. #20
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    I installed Ergon GC3`s on my Dahon a couple years ago. Transformed the bike really. It suddenly became a very comfortable ride, even over longer distances.

    I highly recommend them.


  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Working in the industry has given me the opportunity to test ride lots of different bikes with different bars so I`ve driven flatbars, risers, BMX style, dropbars, aerobars, bullhorns etc. as well as a long list of different grips.

    But what you`re probably interested in is that I have about a thousand km on a set of Ergon GC3`s with taped over barends. To make a long story short - I`ve ordered another two sets for two other bikes. Yeah - I like them that much. But the grips are only part of the equation. The bars have been cut down as mush as possible to barely accomodate the brake and shifter controls - total width less than 22in with the GC3 barends installed. I used flatbars - risers wouldn`t let me slide the controls in far enough.

    The result is a compact position when on the barends thats perfect for climbing or agressive speed. The barends are almost horizontal which gives a position similar to bullhorns. Probably close to what you`ve done as an interum fix - just more comfortable.

    Still backordered but IMO worth waiting for.

  22. #22
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    so i went ahead and got some Ergon GC3's and chopped my steerer tube down so i could slam the stem all the way down on the headset. the GC3's are amazing, they make the bike ride so much better, and my hands are so much happier. and now that i've got several inches of saddle to bar drop, my posture on the bike is also much more comfortable for me. the flat bar is still a bit too wide for me (21"), but the stupid 31.8mm clamp diameter won't let me slide slide the shifter inbound any further because it takes a lot of distance for the bar to transition from 22.2 to 31.8.

    what idiot thought that 31.8mm clamps was a good idea for flat bars?
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenfinn View Post
    I installed Ergon GC3`s on my Dahon a couple years ago. Transformed the bike really. It suddenly became a very comfortable ride, even over longer distances.

    I highly recommend them.

    If you're still reading this, how did these grips with the bar-ends affect the fold?

    Thanks,
    Warr

  24. #24
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    Not much I imagine. My folder has bar ends, not GC3's but it really doesn't matter. The bar folds out and down and the tips of the bar-ends point outward after the fold. No biggie really and those GC3's won't easily catch on anything because the ends hook in.

    H

  25. #25
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    ^ yeah, i've got bar ends on my dahon folder, and they didn't affect the fold. the only thing i had to do was make sure that the bar ends and brake levers weren't too far out of plane with each other. 30 degrees worked, 60 degrees didn't.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

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