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  1. #1
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    Handel bar question (first post)

    There I was walking through Dick's one day in June and long story short, walked out pushing a new Diamondback Wildwood Comfort bike. Even though I had been searching my mind for physical activity, the purchase of a bike was quite spontaneous.

    I told the (young kid) salesman that I intended to ride on area bike paths, which is in fact where I do my riding. The idea of the open road still scares me, and Wichita has a couple of decent bike paths that you can make a nice 25-30 mile ride out of.

    Anway, he sold me the DB Wildwood Comfort bike. As I have been working up to more and more miles since June, (25 is my longest to date) my lower back has began hurt big time.

    With my new found biking activity I also found this forum and have been reading and reading. First thing is comfort bikes do not get much good said about them here, and at least at the price point of my first one, I kind of see why.

    So I began watching Craigslist. I am sure a nice road type bike would be fine for me, but since fitness and the MUP (learned that here!) was the object of my riding, I jumped on an 18 year old Rock Hopper Comp Mountain bike.

    The much more agressive riding posture has indeed helped my lower back pain, but now I am looking for more comfortable bars. After reading mostly here, it seems a new higher stem is in order also but I do not want to re-create my comfort bike problems.

    I guess my main question has to do with three types of bars I have seen here. The "Trekking" bar, the "Mustache" bar and the "bullhorns."

    As cool as the bull horns look, I am not sure they would be right for me. I can see where the mustache and trecking bars may be a good move.

    So, who has delt with such issues and has some advise.

    FYI I am a 6'1" Clyde, (learned that here too) and 230.

    I have lost 7 lbs since June and am having a blast.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member jiminos's Avatar
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    welcome, Kansan! from another 6'1 clyde. (with somewhat freddish tendencies.) welcome to riding. few things are better. if you bounce around the different sub-forums and read enough, you will see that virtually every kind of bike gets bad mouthed... this being an equal opportunity kind of place. some people are harsh on "comfort bikes" ... but the response is.... at least you are riding. how many millions are not.... or how many owners of "fine, high quality" bikes are letting their bikes gather dust in the garage. as long as you are riding and enjoying... it is a good bike. (but there is always the opportunity to upgrade.

    i can't really help with the handlebar issue (my cheapo bikes are still the same as when i bought them.) but there are some incredibly cool people here with tons of knowledge and experience. i know they will help. i only popped in to pop off a bit and say, "Welcome!"

    be well,

    jim
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  3. #3
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I can't help you with the technical question, but welcome to the forum. As you have already found out, there is lots of good information here, if you can filter out the extra stuff.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  4. #4
    Yen
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    Welcome! And good for you, for getting out there! One of my very first posts in this forum was early last year when I bought my hybrid; I wrote "I'm having a blast!". There's nothing like the bike bug once it hits you. Congratulations also on your weight loss. That an excellent pace since June.... slow and easy does it for best, long-term, permanent results.

    I have trekking bars on my hybrid. Actually, they were on my hybrid until Hubby moved them to his. We like them a lot. They offer a lot of hand positions and you can stretch out with your hands on the front, or sit more upright if you want with your hands closer, or on the sides, or on the corners.
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  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    There are even more options. Check this thread for ideas.
    Flat Bar Alternative Handlebars
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the welcomes and kind words.

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Do you have the version of the Wildwood that comes with the adjustable stem (adjustable angle allows bars to be moved up/down). If not, you might find it to be of value as a change to your bike. We often say here that your first bike tells you what you need to know to get the second. That's because begining riders change. They become more fit. With more riding, their attitudes about what they want the bike to do change. While you are undergoing these changes, the ability to adjust your bike can be very valuable.

  8. #8
    el padre
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    Anotgher welcome and congrats on the getting exercize...that is my main reason for riding. Also a +1 on does not matter what you ride as long as you like riding it...

  9. #9
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    "Do you have the version of the Wildwood that comes with the adjustable stem (adjustable angle allows bars to be moved up/down). "

    Yes I do, and in the last three months I have had the bars and the seat all over the place. I am gathering the more upright I set, the more my lower back hurts. My back pain is pretty much gone after spending the last 3 weeks on my garage sales mountain bike. It makes me carry a lot more weight on my hands and upper body. Those areas were sore a few days, but are now getting in better shape too.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=knzn;7478626 Yes I do, and in the last three months I have had the bars and the seat all over the place. [/QUOTE]

    The closer you get to you most comfortable position, make changes to one thing at a time, change the seat, but only one adjustment (height, fore aft, nose up/down), or the bars (height, angle). That way you can feel the effect of each change. If you make multiple changes at once, you won't really know the effect of each change. Also, when making changes, avoid making big changes. You'll be surprised at how much a 1 or 2 millimeter change in the seat can effect the overall fit, and comfort, of the ride.

    It seems you found about the n+1 rule on you own, start making space in the garage now, bikes multiply.

    Enjoy the ride.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jiminos's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=leob1;7478724]
    It seems you found about the n+1 rule on you own, start making space in the garage now, bikes multiply.
    QUOTE]

    +1 ... warning: do NOT leave your bikes alone in the dark.... with soft music.... or candlelight...

    be well,

    jim
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    Do not seek the truth. Accept it.

  12. #12
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    I'd swap those Handel bars out and install some Beethoven bars, instead. Much better music for the road.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The thing that you haven't told us is what specifically you don't like about each of your two bikes.

    I'm thinking that making your Stumpjumper more like your Wildwood might not be the right thing to do.

  14. #14
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
    Anotgher welcome and congrats on the getting exercize...that is my main reason for riding. Also a +1 on does not matter what you ride as long as you like riding it...
    +1,000,000

    Can't emphasize that enough! Whatever keeps you riding and keeps it fun for you, that's the bike for you. Or, I should say...... those are the bikes for you.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    "The thing that you haven't told us is what specifically you don't like about each of your two bikes."

    With the Comfort bike, and it's more upright position, my butt carrying a bigger % of of my weight, my butt and lower back are toast after an hour, sometimes two.

    With my mountain bike, my lower back and butt do not get sore, but my hands are toast in 30-40 minutes, and with the (LOW) flat bars, I have no alternative positions for them.

    So, I know I do not want to get as upright as my Comfort bike is, but I do want more hand positions available. I know in time my upper body will continue to improve and not become an issue.

    I really like the ridged frame and forks of the rock hopper.

    All else aside, I am having a blast, YEN's tag line saying it all----"I'm a kid again!"

    AND---I look at Craigslist everyday!

  16. #16
    should know better
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone Wrench View Post
    I'd swap those Handel bars out and install some Beethoven bars, instead. Much better music for the road.
    Sure, but in the Handel bar you get Scotch and Water Music. In the Beethoven bar you just get the fifth...

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long deKlein View Post
    Sure, but in the Handel bar you get Scotch and Water Music. In the Beethoven bar you just get the fifth...
    Very funny. Ha, ha, ha, haaa.

  18. #18
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    Bikes have lots of adjustability built in. You can move your saddle up and down AND forward and back. You can move the bars up and down and you may even have an adjustable stem that allows you to move the somewhat forward and back. What you can't adjust is the length of the bike from the seatpost to the stem.

    The first thing you need to discover is if you can make the bike(s) you have fit you. You can do this by trying various adjustments, writing down what you've done, and riding it like that for a while. Leob1 is correct, make very small changes. Moving the saddle back an inch can be a HUGE change. Moving the saddle up also moves it back a little. Moving it down also moves it forward. You'll slowly narrow it down to what you feel good riding. You could also find some experienced person from a local bicycle shop (LBS) that can get you pretty close right off the bat.

    You might find out that the part of the bike you can't adjust (stem to seatpost) is the part you need to adjust -- then it's a matter of finding a new bike.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knzn View Post
    "The thing that you haven't told us is what specifically you don't like about each of your two bikes."With my mountain bike, my lower back and butt do not get sore, but my hands are toast in 30-40 minutes, and with the (LOW) flat bars, I have no alternative positions for them.
    I'd try a pair of bar ends. They can make a world of difference because let you rotate your wrists 90 degrees. If your bars dodn't have any rise to them you might think about shortening them by about 3/4" on each side too.

  20. #20
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    "I'd swap those Handel bars out and install some Beethoven bars, instead. Much better music for the road."

    Oh----Duh! Now I get it!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Kind of a drag that the first word of the first post has a typo. Fits right in, I'd say.

  22. #22
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    Kind of a drag that the first word of the first post has a typo. Fits right in, I'd say.
    +1
    I've been biting my tongue.
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  23. #23
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    For the MTB, a higher stem, riser bars and bar ends will probably make it much more comfortable.
    Something like this (but with bar ends):



    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #24
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    +1 on the riser bars. And not just for the rise they provide. What I've seen with most riser bars is that they have a lot more angle back and up than the flat bars. That angle can be tuned by how you pivot the bars in the stem to help give your wrists a more natural flow so your forearm and hands are more inline with each other. At the same time the rise WILL lift up your front so you even out the pain thresholds.

    It's not a bad idea when you're coasting to take a lot of your weight on your leg(s) depending on how the pedals are when you coast. Just lifting the load off for a few seconds here and there during the riding can really make a huge difference in how long you can stay out riding.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  25. #25
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    Kind of a drag that the first word of the first post has a typo. Fits right in, I'd say.
    How's that?
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