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  1. #1
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Handlebar for converted MTB with rapidfires, high rise, city use?

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    So, I picked up a new bike that I'm just getting started on converting to take over commuting duties to replace my 1993 GT Outpost. I say "new", but this is a 1994 GT Corrado MTB. Main benefit is that it is significantly lighter and will probably ride nicer, as I suspect the rear triangle on the Outpost is hi-tensile steel while the Corrado is made out of nice double-butted True Temper. It'll also be my first real foray into the threadless system. And, you know, N + 1 !

    On to the question in title of the post: the steer tube has been cut short, I'm probably going to have to use a stem extender as a partial solution to bring the handlebars a little closer to me (higher), but I'd also like to try out something different from the XLC handlebar with maybe an inch and a half of rise and not a whole lot of sweep that I currently have on the Outpost. What I'd like is a handlebar with quite a bit of rise, somewhere between maybe as much as 85mm and maybe as high as 5 inches or so, but I need room for ergonomic grips as well as rapid-fire shifters AND I filter forward through traffic sometimes, so I'd really like for the bend in the bars to happen pretty early so there is room for everything without the bars being superwide. I've already got the steepest stem possible on there and it doesn't even touch the issue!

    I'd like something with some sweep in addition to the rise, not as much as a Soma Sparrow, but perhaps a little more than on the bars I'm currently running. In case it isn't obvious, I like riding pretty upright. Aesthetically, I'd like to try a handlebar with a pretty serious rise and a shortish stem extender rather than a handlebar with less rise and a really extreme stem extender (I've seen at least 4" ones), but I'd prefer not to have the bike looking like one that someone jankily mounted a kids BMX bar onto! I'm pretty sure there is a sweet spot that meets my needs, but I'm having a hard time sifting through all the options and thought I'd pick the brains of the collective wisdom of the forum, especially since I need enough room for rapid fire shifters and full size grips.

    I'd welcome suggestions!

    FWIW, I think this is the XLC handlebar I'm currently running, unfortunately no specs listed, nor do I remember any from the ebay seller I got mine from, so I have no idea as to the sweep or total length.
    http://www.amazon.com/XLC-Mountain-H...0160351&sr=1-2


    For reference, here's a couple of photos:



    This is my 1993 GT Outpost, set up as I ride it every day. I commute 100 miles a week, and ride seven days a week on this. Often I can ride for long periods of time comfortably, but sometimes my wrists still bother me and sometimes my hands still go numb. I suspect with the handlebars just a little bit higher and with just a little bit more sweep I probably wouldn't have those problems anymore.

    Obviously I'm not really happy with the amount of stem I've got going on there, but I really like old steel MTB's and a 22 inch frame is as large as I can ride due to standover height.


    This is the bike I recently picked up from a Craigslist seller:



    That's after I went to a park near where I met him and spent about an hour swapping over parts from my spares boxes that I brought with me. I replaced the stem with one with the most rise I could find, replaced the handlebars with a set that came on the '96 Pantera I converted to city duties for my girlfriend with Soma Sparrows. The Sparrow bars have a little too much sweep for my taste, but she's liking them and I benefitted from her nice surplus Ritchey riser bars to ride the bike the 50 miles home from where I met the seller. Turns out there wasn't room for the shifters to work with the bar ends crammed back on there, so they came off shortly after I rolled away!

    As you can see, the handlebars are lower than the saddle, even with probably the most rise I'm going to get out of a regular stem, and level with the saddle is about the minimum I'm going for. I think I'd benefit from the bars being slightly higher than the saddle actually.


    Thanks for any advice!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-25-13 at 11:07 PM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    FSA Metropolis bars w/ thread less riser stem and ergons ?

  3. #3
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    I have to ask - how tall are you? 6'7"? The Corrado makes the 26" wheels look tiny.

    You could also consider replacing the fork. I know it would kinda stink since it wouldn't in color anymore, but the benefit of a longer steer tube might outweigh that.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team
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  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Figure 8 bend Trekking bars .

  5. #5
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Figure 8 bend Trekking bars .
    Great option.
    Lots of choices for hands, positions, devices.

  6. #6
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Figure 8 bend Trekking bars .
    Very little rise though, so they wouldn't help Medic. Unless you rotate them so they're upright, but that's just weird.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team
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  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    He just needs another tall stem, 2nd bike, . If threadless type, as it appears,
    its a 'Stem raiser'. it goes under the existing stem.

    then re-cable to reach the new height .

    the short steerer is cut that way . Stem raisers cure that. they come in Black , too..


    >>there are still steel 'Ape Hangers' , sold. that are really high rise.


    My LBS can get them , ask yours.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-27-13 at 10:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    On One Mary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Origin8 X-Tra Lift Stem Riser - 75mm, Black, 1-1/8"



    Price: $29.75 & FREE Shipping. Details



    • Forged 6061 alloy
    • Stem height extension
    • Polished anodized finish
    • 200g
    FSA Metropolis Handlebar 31.8 x 620mm
    Black
    fsametropolisbars.jpg

    Cruiser/Multi-Position Handlebars


    FSA (Full Speed Ahead) Cruiser/Multi-Position Handlebars


    • Ergonomically designed city bike handlebar
    • Flip-flop design: "high flyer" or "low rider" positions
    • Wing shape

    Item Specifications
    Color: Black
    Weight: 300g
    Bar Rise: 32mm
    Bar Width: 620mm
    Bar Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
    Material: Aluminum
    Bend: 46deg
    Defined Color: Black

  10. #10
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
    I have to ask - how tall are you? 6'7"? The Corrado makes the 26" wheels look tiny.

    You could also consider replacing the fork. I know it would kinda stink since it wouldn't in color anymore, but the benefit of a longer steer tube might outweigh that.
    I'm only about 6'2", but I like riding pretty upright. The tires on the Corrado in the picture are only about 1.25's, I think that is contributing to the wheels looking small.

    I'd prefere not to replace the fork, it's a pretty lightweight fork, and I'm going to end up with either a giant stack of spacers or a stem extender anyway. Might as well save a hundred bucks and go with the stem extender and keep the lightweight fork that matches the bike. Also wouldn't have to track down something that had the exact same specs as well.

    The bigger issue is still needing handlebars with quite a bit of rise.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Figure 8 bend Trekking bars .
    I hate those, and they wouldn't solve the amount of rise I need or place the brake levers and shifters where I need them for riding in traffic.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    He just needs another tall stem, 2nd bike, . If threadless type, as it appears,
    its a 'Stem raiser'. it goes under the existing stem.

    then re-cable to reach the new height .

    the short steerer is cut that way . Stem raisers cure that. they come in Black , too..


    there are still steel Ape hangers that are really high rise.
    Re-read my detailed post and look at the picture of the bike I ride now. A stem riser alone isn't going to cut it. I specified what I was looking for.
    Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AusTexMurf View Post



    Origin8 X-Tra Lift Stem Riser - 75mm, Black, 1-1/8"



    Price: $29.75 & FREE Shipping. Details



    • Forged 6061 alloy
    • Stem height extension
    • Polished anodized finish
    • 200g
    FSA Metropolis Handlebar 31.8 x 620mm
    Black
    fsametropolisbars.jpg

    Cruiser/Multi-Position Handlebars
    FSA (Full Speed Ahead) Cruiser/Multi-Position Handlebars


    • Ergonomically designed city bike handlebar
    • Flip-flop design: "high flyer" or "low rider" positions
    • Wing shape

    Item Specifications
    Color: Black
    Weight: 300g
    Bar Rise: 32mm
    Bar Width: 620mm
    Bar Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
    Material: Aluminum
    Bend: 46deg
    Defined Color: Black
    No/not enough rise to the bars. I'm looking for 85mm to 4+ inches of rise in the bars in addition to a stem extender.
    Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    On One Mary.
    Not enough rise. Very similar to the Soma Sparrows I said had too much sweep and not enough rise.
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  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    nothing satisfies ?, sell it its too small .

    .. flip it again and buy something that fits better ..

    the buy was a mistake.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-26-13 at 11:45 PM.

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    IMG_20130901_173149.jpg

    (I know the front tire is on wrong, I fixed it)

    I'm not a bike pro by any means, but I got this bike and the handlebars were low and flat. I didn't like it. So I took to amazon and found these for $13. It took a little tweaking with the cables, I had to borrow some cable housing from another bike to get the brakes to reach.

    I don't know if this is what you're looking for or not, but has worked well for me.
    Last edited by Yip812; 09-27-13 at 02:18 AM. Reason: add somethin'

  17. #17
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    nothing satisfies ?, sell it its too small .

    .. flip it again and buy something that fits better ..

    the buy was a mistake.
    Read again! Standover height is max, bike's not too small. I've set up several other bikes this way, including the one I ride every day, I'm merely seeking a refinement of how I accomplished this in the past, so no the buy wasn't a mistake. I have two other bikes with nearly this exact geometry, they work great for me, I'm just looking for a different approach to how I've solved this fit issue in the past.

    "Nothing satisfies" Wrong. The post after yours has an example of the sort of solution I'm looking for and I know others have accomplished.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-28-13 at 12:09 AM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    IMG_20130901_173149.jpg

    (I know the front tire is on wrong, I fixed it)

    I'm not a bike pro by any means, but I got this bike and the handlebars were low and flat. I didn't like it. So I took to amazon and found these for $13. It took a little tweaking with the cables, I had to borrow some cable housing from another bike to get the brakes to reach.

    I don't know if this is what you're looking for or not, but has worked well for me.
    That's totally in the ballpark! That's exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for! And for that price definitely worth trying. Do you happen to know what those bars are called or have a link to that seller?

    MANY THANKS!




    Oh, and is far as the front tire is concerned, IIRC if you were doing a lot of off-road hill climbing, I think that is how you'd want it set up! That looks like a comfortable and useful bike!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-28-13 at 12:16 AM.
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  19. #19
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    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    They're cheaper now!

    When I posted the pic originally, everyone was all "flip the tire, flip the tire", so I did, and it rides....exactly the same. I do a lot of off road, but no hill climbing. Whatever, the bike works.

  20. #20
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    I'm only about 6'2", but I like riding pretty upright. The tires on the Corrado in the picture are only about 1.25's, I think that is contributing to the wheels looking small.
    I'm 6' 1" tall and ride a 23" fully rigid Hardrock. I love the fit and feel of it, and it's set up with the saddle even with the handlebars much like the picture of your new bike. The riding position is a lot like the ones that worked well for me on my motorcycles, and I know just how how you feel here.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    They're cheaper now!

    When I posted the pic originally, everyone was all "flip the tire, flip the tire", so I did, and it rides....exactly the same. I do a lot of off road, but no hill climbing. Whatever, the bike works.
    That's great, thanks! And they're steel, I don't worry too much about weight, and this way I won't have to worry about them snapping some day!

    THANKS!

    Edit; you know, for six bucks more, I'm going to get it in black!
    http://www.amazon.com/Wald-Steel-Han...ef=pd_sim_sg_3

    I do notice that one commenter says there isn't a lot of room for rapidfire shifters with these bars, and that they are 27 inches wide, which is about 2 inches wider than I'm currently running. If anyone else has any other options with the bend happening a little sooner for room for shifters, bell, and horn, I'd love to hear about them!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-28-13 at 03:49 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    This is my 1993 GT Outpost, set up as I ride it every day. I commute 100 miles a week, and ride seven days a week on this. Often I can ride for long periods of time comfortably, but sometimes my wrists still bother me and sometimes my hands still go numb. I suspect with the handlebars just a little bit higher and with just a little bit more sweep I probably wouldn't have those problems anymore.
    That's what I thought too, and I have bars with 4" of rise on one of my bikes. 3+" of rise on the main commuter. I sit about as upright as anyone can and my wrists still bother me. This summer I bought a drop-bar road bike because I could. It was a lot of fun. Even though the bars are just a smidge lower than seat height, my wrists did not get sore and my hands did not go numb after 5 miles! Well the rains are here in the Pacific Northwest and I've put the road-racer away, but I've ordered the brake levers and bars I'll need to convert my main commuter to drop bars. Its fine to have druthers, but don't let that completely blind you to possibly a better way of doing something. Not saying my solution is that better way by any means, its just that I've been away for several days and just catching up here. I see where posters trying to be helpful, have been shot down because they weren't offering solutions that supported your planned agenda. We didn't get to be at the top of the food chain by completely ignoring what other cavemen had to say.

    H

  23. #23
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    That's what I thought too, and I have bars with 4" of rise on one of my bikes. 3+" of rise on the main commuter. I sit about as upright as anyone can and my wrists still bother me. This summer I bought a drop-bar road bike because I could. It was a lot of fun. Even though the bars are just a smidge lower than seat height, my wrists did not get sore and my hands did not go numb after 5 miles! Well the rains are here in the Pacific Northwest and I've put the road-racer away, but I've ordered the brake levers and bars I'll need to convert my main commuter to drop bars. Its fine to have druthers, but don't let that completely blind you to possibly a better way of doing something. Not saying my solution is that better way by any means, its just that I've been away for several days and just catching up here. I see where posters trying to be helpful, have been shot down because they weren't offering solutions that supported your planned agenda. We didn't get to be at the top of the food chain by completely ignoring what other cavemen had to say.

    H
    Yeah, I hear you, I just have little patience for people who exhibit a total lack of reading comprehension. I was particularly rude to Fietsbob, because I am tired of him chiming in on virtually every thread and rarely offering anything useful, if one can even manage to parse his dialect and syntax that is.
    Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    .


    Update: I found three options that look like they might work for me and went ahead and purchased them to try them out. I found handlebars for scooters (like 50cc) on ebay. There is at least one seller who has salvaged ones and ones pulled in the showroom (likely the customer wanted different bars). I'm not super keen on the way these look, but they do have a LOT of rise and the rise happens early, so it looks like there might be enough room for shifters and everything. I asked the seller to take some measurements, and assuming he accurately measured from where the bend ends, these will work, but I think I might need a shim for the clamp area, but I found shims for 22mm to 25.4mm online if that is the case.

    Thanks to the heads up from Yip812's post above I was made aware that Wald makes a bar with 5.25" of rise and I got a black set of these first, and aesthetically they look pretty good, but both they and the scooter bars are a little wide (IIRC they are both 27"), and it looks like it is going to be real tight fitting everything on the Walds when I held them up to my current set-up. Come to think of it, IIRC both the Rans and the scooter bars are black too! Score!

    Last I spotted a Rans semi-recumbent (crank forward) bike on the street on my way home from school the other day and the bars on it looked like exactly what I needed! I flipped a quick u-ie and hopped the curb where he was locked up and eyeballed the bars. They're branded Rans and so I went to their website and found their "Deep V Handlebar" for only $30 and ordered that. Their ordering was a little weird, but I think I'm not paying any shipping for that. The scooter bars are new ones pulled off a bike on the showroom floor and were $14 plus another dozen bucks shipping from Georgia (IIRC). The Walds I got free shipping through Amazon and they were about $18 after tax for the black version of them, IIRC the silver ones are six bucks cheaper.


    If more than one of them fit, I've still got my tourer to build back up (I wasn't happy with its set-up and it needs some repairs) and I'd be able to drop the ridiculous amount of stem I've got going on, on the bike that is about to take over snow/ice duties if it actually snows this year!


    Thanks for the replies folks, hopefully the above info will help someone in a similar position to me.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 10-12-13 at 02:32 AM.
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