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  1. #1
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Flat Bar Alternative Handlebars

    From time to time we've discussed alternatives to the "straight pipe" flat bars that are found on flat bar road bikes and mountain bikes. The bars that nearly everyone disses for their lack of hand positions on longer rides.

    I wanted to pull together a number of the alternatives into a single thread to serve as sort of a reference thread on this subject. Something we can pull back up out of the archives whenever someone pops on the forum and asks about this subject.

    These are bars that would fit a traditional mountain/hybrid/flat bar bike with a 25.4mm stem, or with one of the larger 31.8mm stems, and would be compatible with the brake levers and shifters on these types of bikes.

    I will begin by providing info and links to some of the alternatives.

    The Nitto Dove bar, with it's classic lines and steep 80'ish degree sweep.
    http://www.rivbike.com/search/run?qu...product=16-123

    The Wald #8095 North Road bar:
    http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=5792

    The Nitto version of a North Road bar, which can be flipped up or down:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Handlebar.aspx

    The On One Mary bar (note there is a near identical knockoff of this named an Origin8 Space Bar):
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/145...-Hanldebar.htm

    The Mary bar first sweeps forward 50mm before bending to a 40 degree backsweep, so it is possible to bar warp at the forward sweep positions for an alternative hand position.

    The Titec H-bar, providing multiple hand positions without having to use bar ends:
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/160...itec-H-Bar.htm

    The Nitto All-rounder:
    http://store.somafab.com/nib3allro.html

    Titec has a number of MTB bars here:
    http://titec.com/pdlist.php?class=1&stype=all

    The Dimension Trekking Bar, with up to 80mm of rise, depending upon how you angle it, and 25 degree sweep:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Handlebar.aspx

    A classic "butterfly" Trekking Bar:
    http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2109

    Some discussion of bar ends will, eventually, follow.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-10-08 at 02:55 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Here's a thread with some good pictures of Mary and North Road bars

    So, are albatross bars the ultimate commuting bar?

    Post #68 shows some good comparative pictures.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 02-09-09 at 09:58 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  3. #3
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    You can add to your data table some of my info. MTB clamp area outside diameter 25.4 or 31.8. Road clamp area outside diameter 26.0 or 31.8. Road bar outside diameters away from the clamp area 24.0. Most clamp on aerobars 22.5 (not Vision). I don't have the OD for MTB bars away from the clamp area but it is not the same as a road bar and thus the controls do not mix and match well.

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The outside diameters (O.D.) of the clamp areas of a "road" bar are 23.8 mm (15/16"). For a mountain bike / hybrid / flat bar road bike, it is 22.2 mm (7/8").

    The focus, at least my intended focus, of this thread is upon the options / alternatives which are compatible with the MTB/Hybrid/Flat Bar bikes.

    Thus I made no mention of various drop bar options or alternatives like Noodle, Albatross, and Moustache bars, which cannot be used on a flat bar bike without signification modifications to the bar components and perhaps even the brakes and derailleurs.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-10-08 at 11:27 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  5. #5
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting picture of a bike that has the On One Mary bar, with bar ends that have been placed inside of the grips/levels.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    On my mountain bike, I have straight perpendicular extensions at the ends of the bars. With my hands on the extensions, my forearm orientation is pretty similar to that on the bends of my drop bars, but I am not bent over quite as far as on my road bikes. An added plus is that I can quickly and securely grab the ends of my 4-finger motorcycle-style brake handles from the bar extensions.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Every other bar style that I have tried seems like a poor excuse for drops when road touring. The trekking bars come the closest for me,

    If I were to set up a bike for touring with a substantial off road component I would probably use trekking bars or maybe even road drops.

  8. #8
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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  9. #9
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I like L-shaped bar ends, like this, as they give you two additional hand positions. Then they can be positioned to either letting you have a very upright alternate position (when the L-portion is above the handlebars) or a more forward, lowered position.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Here's an interesting picture of a bike that has the On One Mary bar, with bar ends that have been placed inside of the grips/levels.
    Worth noting about the Mary bars...because they bend forward first and then sweep back, the resulting grip location is about the same place as with straight or mildly sloping bars, but with a different angle. If they swept back at such a drastic angle without going forward first they would be much closer to the rider. So they are better suited to a situation where the cockpit is not too long. To shorten the cockpit, you would want bars that sweep further back relative to the stem clamp.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    And bar ends set up to give you an aero position


  12. #12
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    They all look like they'd poke your eye out.

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Calm down Mother. There's no need to worry.

  14. #14
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Just came across one that I've neve seen before ... an adjustable butterfly trekking bar. You can alter the angle of the bars to the plane of the stem:
    http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/synergic.html

    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-11-08 at 10:06 AM.

  15. #15
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Wallbike also offers another unusual trekking bar, with with built-in aero bars (that could poke your eye out):

    http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/selego.html


  16. #16
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    I've been thinking of trying these on my Kona Dew Deluxe.

    http://store.somafab.com/sosp490bar.html

    I tend to think about things for a long time before actually doing anything, so it may be a while..and something else may come along.

    After about 20 miles though, the stock riser bar (with added bar ends) is not very comfortable

    There are just so many options......

    Pete

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Thanks Pete, for posting that one. I knew that one was out there, as I had looked at it before, but couldn't remember where I'd seen it or what the name was. It's a very interesting bar, that looks like it could work well either down or flipped up, depending upon one's preferences. It is similar in design to the On One Mary bar, but is narrower with a bit more rise. In fact, the 490mm is so narrow that a larger person could experience shoulder problems on long rides.

    In the interest of getting a few more pics directly into the thread, here's what it looks like:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-11-08 at 10:04 AM.

  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    And speaking of Soma bars, they have a couple other variations on this theme.

    Soma Oxford Handlebar, which will bring the hand positions well back of where a flat bar would place them & has a 2" rise:
    http://store.somafab.com/sooxha.html

    Soma Noah's Arc bar, which is just that, an arc. This one has a lot of sweep, but no rise.
    http://store.somafab.com/noahsarcbar.html
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  19. #19
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hello Tom,

    Thanks for all of the links. I need new bars for my Milano as the straight flat bars bother my wrists. I'm sure one of the bars you posted will do the trick.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  20. #20
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Some pics of the Titec H-bar






  21. #21
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Nitto Dove pics



    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  22. #22
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    OK. I gotta fess up here.

    I am a road bar LOVER. I ride all parts of a road bar equally. Never wanted anything else.

    But I think the flat bars on my Scott are great with those bullhorn-looking things up front. I haven't gone any huge distances on them yet, but they really feel great.

    I am now looking at these other bars with interest.

  23. #23
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    On One Mary bar pics:




  24. #24
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Should note that I have no agenda to influence anyone to move from drop bars. Just wanting to show that there are alternatives to straight pipe bars or standard riser bars, for those who have bikes with those types of bars on them.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 08-18-08 at 08:31 PM.

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