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Old 02-11-05, 03:13 PM   #1
DogBoy
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flat bar = hand pain!

If I ride my flat-bar bike over an hour I start to get pain in my hands & wrists. I think it is because it forces me to cock my wrists to hold the bar. This has me thinking...are there any bars out there that are shaped like this: /-------\? I guess I'm looking for an angle of about 155 degrees, a flat length of 35 cm and 11 cm after the bend for a total bar length of 57, but a width of 55. How do I go about finding such a creature, and do you think that is my problem or something else? I have my setup the same as my road set-up, except the flatbar gives me a different grip than the road-grip, which is why I suspect that's the problem. Any insight?
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Old 02-11-05, 03:25 PM   #2
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moustasche bar

edit: look at this:

mucking about with a set of north road handlebars
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Old 02-11-05, 03:28 PM   #3
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I've thought of that, but then I have to switch to barcons and brake shifters, and probably have to re-run the cables...I'd prefer a solution that lets me keep the rapid-fire shifter/brake combos already on the bar. I'd also not be able to use a handlebar bag, which is where I'm keeping my light batteries warm so I get better burn-time. Not ready to go that route yet.

Edit: Those might work...Pic 3 looks like what I'm going for, but I'd need a new stem with a higher angle. Still better than hand pain I guess... Thanks for the link.
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Old 02-11-05, 03:37 PM   #4
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I'd start with a higher rise stem to begin with. It helped me when I had a similar pain
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Old 02-11-05, 03:51 PM   #5
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Before swapping bars, follow Raiyn's advice and adjust (or swap) your stem.
You want your body weight distributed mainly over the the pedals, and the saddle - then the bars.

But don't just take my word for it:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Your butt and your feet are made to support weight, but your hands and wrists are not. Hand discomfort is a very common complaint among cyclists, and it is most often the result of positioning/adjustment problems.

Hand/wrist/shoulder/neck pain often result from inappropriate handlebar adjustment.
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Old 02-11-05, 04:09 PM   #6
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I know I've got an aggressive position for a hybrid bike, but it matches my road positioning and I have zero issues with my road position. I don't really want to ride more upright, as I prefer to keep the same position on all my bikes if possible. That's why I'm thinking its grip. Is there something about a flat bar that means I need to ride more upright?
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Old 02-11-05, 04:23 PM   #7
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I am not sure about diametres, but any 1960 cruiser or 3-speed bike should have what you want. I think British bikes should have the proper handlebar diametre.
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Old 02-11-05, 05:02 PM   #8
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Gel padded gloves.
Wrists straight and elbows bent.
The road bars offer lots of positions to move around on, you could be taking advantage of them on the road bike. Adding bar ends will give you a couple of places to move your hands too.
Follow Raiyn's suggestion and get a higher stem.
You may have the saddle tipped too far forward, putting too much pressure on you hands, try tipping the saddle back a small amount and going for test rides.
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Old 02-11-05, 05:04 PM   #9
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What about some simple bar ends? That will at least give you the option to ride in a different position when you don't need to brake or shift.

I see it's already been mentioned, but here's a link anyway.
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Old 02-11-05, 05:23 PM   #10
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By all means begin with a set of bar-ends. They're cheap and it might be just what the doctor ordered.

I found a pair of mustache bars (for my single speed) that are MTB diameter, so I am able to run MTB levers and shifters if need be. Sorry, but I got them out of the used pile at the LBS, so I don't know the manufacturer.

Finally, go to Jonesbikes.com. He's a custom bicycle builder who deals in titanium MTB's. He makes what looks like the most comfortable MTB - or any other style for that matter - bars I've seen. He calls them H bars. They're expensive: I think $180 for stock, more for custom measurements and such. But hey, if straight bars are absolutely ruining your biking, it's a quality of life issue. Just think about how much people shell out for foot or back products in order to rid themselves of unecessary pain. Depending on how much it matters to you, $200 bucks is actually a cheap prescription these days.

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Old 02-11-05, 05:38 PM   #11
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Easiet way around it, lessen then tension and weight you put on your wrists/hands. Examine just exactly what you are doing throughout your entire body, where the tension is, and where the weight is and see what you reelly need where and shift some of those around.

Past that I have had a time when my wrists did get a bit sore after biking 4 hours of hills(I was riding a junker mountain bike that was too small). I just turned my hands around to a more comfortable position and rested them on top of the grips as I biked on. Everything was all good.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:29 AM   #12
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I use bar-ends on my flat bars, but I mount them "in-board" so they're shoulder width apart, simulating road-bar width. I don't have them mounted in the conventional position on the ends of the bar. My regular commute takes me about 75 minutes each way and I did a nine day solo tour last summer with this setup. I have the bars and the bar-ends taped for comfort. If you try it, play around with the vertical angle of the bar-ends until they're comfortable for you.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
I know I've got an aggressive position for a hybrid bike, but it matches my road positioning and I have zero issues with my road position. I don't really want to ride more upright, as I prefer to keep the same position on all my bikes if possible. That's why I'm thinking its grip. Is there something about a flat bar that means I need to ride more upright?
Your wrists shouldn't be bent when gripping the flat bar...that simple. Your brake levers should be positioned such that you don't have to bend your wrists to actuate them. I've read that having your wrists bent up (hands bent up that is kind of like poor posture at a computer keyboard) while bike riding can cause carpal tunnel problems too.

Usually even flat bars do have some sweep back angle. Can you rotate the bars somewhat in the stem to have this angle help? I also agree with the suggestions for bar ends. Gives you another position to grip.
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Old 02-12-05, 11:25 AM   #14
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okay, lots of good advice has been given here. I've flipped my stem (to give rise, not drop) and checked the seat angle and the seat is flat. This hasn't really helped much. I try bending my elbows to help keep my wrists straight, but I can't do it for very long and seems quite unnatural. The angle of sweep on my current bars is very small, and it is angled back. Perhaps I was just meant to ride a road bike and not a mtn or hybrid

I'm not sure how to put bar-ends on my bike with my mirror, and that thing is a life saver, so I don't want to give up on it. I tried some of those bar-ends with mirrors built in but the mirror is so small it doesn't help. Oh well, I guess at this point I just need to go to my LBS and see if they have some direct suggestions. O/W, I might just strip off the flat bar, get some randonnering bars, brake levers and bar-end shifters.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-12-05, 11:30 AM   #15
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I want bar ends on my bike also but the grips that are on it cover the end of the bar. It seems like you would have to cut the end off to fit on a bar end. Also you would have to move them in like an inch or so on each side to fit bar ends right? Seems like id have to get a longer handle bar.
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Old 02-12-05, 01:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dee-vee
I want bar ends on my bike also but the grips that are on it cover the end of the bar. It seems like you would have to cut the end off to fit on a bar end. Also you would have to move them in like an inch or so on each side to fit bar ends right? Seems like id have to get a longer handle bar.
you can use a mallet to beat the end of the bar which cuts a hole in the grip so you can slide through the bar. Losen the brake, sifters and slide them inboard, then use hairspray or something like that (not oil based) to help losen up the grip and slide it in enough that you can mount the bar end. You only need a little bit of room to do it, so you probably don't need longer bars. My problem is the interference between the mirror and the bar-end, not the grips/handlebar length.
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Old 02-12-05, 01:28 PM   #17
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I had the same kind of pain. Went to a moustache bar. Works for me.
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Old 02-12-05, 05:33 PM   #18
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maybe look at the cane creek bar ends, your hands stay further back with them, so you get more of the shape I think you were looking for. THeir also light and very ergonomic. If you really like your road bike, look at a cross bike.
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Old 02-12-05, 07:42 PM   #19
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I get wrist problems too and avoid single-position situations for very long. These have probably been mentioned around here before, but you might consider something like this:
http://www.endless-innovations.com/m....asp?ProdID=90
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Old 02-12-05, 07:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg
I get wrist problems too and avoid single-position situations for very long. These have probably been mentioned around here before, but you might consider something like this:
http://www.endless-innovations.com/m....asp?ProdID=90
Forgot to mention they are easy to strip when mounting. You should rough up both surfaces significantly before mounting so they will hold steady without requiring tightening to the point of fracture.
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Old 02-13-05, 11:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
okay, lots of good advice has been given here. I've flipped my stem (to give rise, not drop) and checked the seat angle and the seat is flat. This hasn't really helped much. I try bending my elbows to help keep my wrists straight, but I can't do it for very long and seems quite unnatural. The angle of sweep on my current bars is very small, and it is angled back. Perhaps I was just meant to ride a road bike and not a mtn or hybrid

I'm not sure how to put bar-ends on my bike with my mirror, and that thing is a life saver, so I don't want to give up on it. I tried some of those bar-ends with mirrors built in but the mirror is so small it doesn't help. Oh well, I guess at this point I just need to go to my LBS and see if they have some direct suggestions. O/W, I might just strip off the flat bar, get some randonnering bars, brake levers and bar-end shifters.

Thanks for the advice.
How about some MTB riser bars? The sweep back angle is greater on those. Might be worth a try.
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Old 02-14-05, 09:51 AM   #22
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my wrist pains sure got way better on the mtb's when i switched to riser bars with more sweep, but i am not sure if i'd want that position out on the open road.

i actually have seen a couple messengers around the city riding riser bars flipped over so you get a slight drop as opposed to a rise.
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Old 02-14-05, 10:05 AM   #23
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I'll check them out when I go to the LBS. At this point I think I need to hold the things in my hands to see what kind of angle I get.
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Old 02-15-05, 08:17 AM   #24
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Cane Creek do a T-shaped ergonomic bar end that sounds exactly what you're after: http://www.canecreek.com/site/produc...t/01_ergo.html
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