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.
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!