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Old 11-15-08, 04:38 PM   #1
Yen
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Bar-end grips for old hands

Gotta qualify it to keep it here somehow.

I'm still trying to work out the numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers of my right hand, which began after the 2nd ride with the moustache bars. No numbness like this in my troublesome left hand. (My right wrist does have issues but never required surgery.) I lined up the bars and saddle of the LHT and the Roubaix and measured the differences:
  • The difference from the nose of the saddles to the sides of each bar is very small.
  • The moustache bars are 5 inches wider than the bullhorns, but....
  • The moustache bars are 2 inches higher.
  • The diameter of the bullhorns is smaller than the moustache bars.

The narrower bullhorns on the Roubaix pretty much make up the difference in the lower height.

So, I'm left with either (a) the differences being VERY subtle, or the bar ends on the moustache bars being harder (and larger) than the bullhorns.

So I'm considering foam (or cork or cork+foam or rubber) grips for the moustache bar ends. Ergon or similar ergonomic grips would be sideways and not suitable (I believe).

Has anyone tried grips on moustache bars and liked them? Can anyone recommend grips that are durable and don't fall apart over time?

Dang this wrist -- it never gave me any problems until I took up cycling again. But, things could be worse.... a LOT worse.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:10 PM   #2
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Hey there!

Nope, not Moustache Bars, but I've got Ergons on my straight bars and they've helped my mild carpal tunnel synd. nicely. I got them at REI with a 20% off coupon.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:41 PM   #3
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Given where the bar ends would be on your moustache bars, I can't imagine how I would try to set them up. They are generally designed to be used with handlebars that have no to mild angle sweeps.

That is, unless you slide them up to the curved portion of your bar.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:46 PM   #4
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Leave it to me to trail blaze yet another uncharted territory, like bullhorns on the Roubaix.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:40 PM   #5
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Yen, I'm beginning to think that your bars are the problem. Like you, I have a lot of numbness in fingers and struggle to control it. Flat bars used to be hell for me but my current bars with slight pull back and slight downwards angle have helped a lot, especially when combined with ergon grips, though I'm still looking at numbness after 10km (which is a big improvement). Thinking about your moustache bars, I think you're going to find it hard to shift the pressure away from the centre of your hand.

How's this for an obscure suggestion - fit a stem extender to push the bars up really high. Then angle the bars down even more and see if you can find a comfortable place. This will probably look bad enough to discourage you from using it indefinitely but it might teach you about the bar angles you need.

I'm currently seduced by trekking bars due to the number of hand positions available, the theory being that wide variety and constant movement might just help. The problem I have is that they all seem to shorten your reach on the flat bits and I can't afford that on my bike. Might be worth a trial for you.

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Old 11-15-08, 08:43 PM   #6
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FWIW, I gave up on the stache bars for long rides. I bought them for my Atlantis, and liked them at first, but there was no hand position where i was comfortable for more than about half an hour (mostly I ride on the tops of drop bars). I finally swapped the Mustache to my singlespeed, which mostly does short rides around town, and put some wide drop bars on the Atlantis. Solved all my problems.
Often, cushioning isn't the answer for problems like this, BTW. Have you checked your position to see if it's forcing you to put too much weight on your hands and arms? Raising your bars so they're level with the saddle or slightly higher may help, too.
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Old 11-16-08, 12:34 AM   #7
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The ergonomic grips work for me because I can set them so that the flat bit supports the base of my hand, thus moving pressure from the bit where the bars go, but I can't see that working with a bar that's fore and aft like the moustachebars, though they might be worth a try. Hell, anything is worth a try if it eases hand numbness.

For the record, I don't have a lot of pressure on my hands now either (thanks to enlightened bike set up), but it's still a problem for me.

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Old 11-16-08, 06:41 AM   #8
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Five inches wider is a lot.

I suspect that it's changing the angle of your arm and wrist and putting more pressure on the ulner nerve. That's the one that can cause numbness in your ring and pinky fingers. I'd be looking for a handlebar that's closer to the width of your bull horns.
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Old 11-16-08, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
Gotta qualify it to keep it here somehow.

I'm still trying to work out the numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers of my right hand, which began after the 2nd ride with the moustache bars. No numbness like this in my troublesome left hand. (My right wrist does have issues but never required surgery.) I lined up the bars and saddle of the LHT and the Roubaix and measured the differences:
  • The difference from the nose of the saddles to the sides of each bar is very small.
  • The moustache bars are 5 inches wider than the bullhorns, but....
  • The moustache bars are 2 inches higher.
  • The diameter of the bullhorns is smaller than the moustache bars.

The narrower bullhorns on the Roubaix pretty much make up the difference in the lower height.

So, I'm left with either (a) the differences being VERY subtle, or the bar ends on the moustache bars being harder (and larger) than the bullhorns.

So I'm considering foam (or cork or cork+foam or rubber) grips for the moustache bar ends. Ergon or similar ergonomic grips would be sideways and not suitable (I believe).

Has anyone tried grips on moustache bars and liked them? Can anyone recommend grips that are durable and don't fall apart over time?

Dang this wrist -- it never gave me any problems until I took up cycling again. But, things could be worse.... a LOT worse.
I would look at a few things. First I think there is a better way to compare the two bikes. Measure the distance from where you typically grip each bar to the point to where your sit bones actually are on the saddle. Finding this saddle contact point will be a matter of judgement, aided by friendly assitance. These two measurements should tell you to the centimeter whether the reach as you ride is the same for the two bars.

Second, the moustache bars are a LOT wider than bullhorns or road bars. My measured shoulder width is 40 cm, and road bars with 38 to 42 cm widths work well for me. I know a 46 cm bar is not comfortable.

Try different bar tilt angles. See if you can get the area where you grip the 'staches tilted so your wrist is straight like in a handshake, or like reaching for a steering wheel.

try different bar height positions. You probably would benefit from reducing the weight on your 'bars, and hence the hand pressure. This IS NOT intended to imply a need for weight loss, BTW!

Moving your center of gravity back a little bit relative to the pedals, i.e. pushing your saddle back 5 mm at a time, could help reduce hand pressure, because it would tend to restore your CG to being between your feet. If my seat is too far forward, my whole body is off-balance forward, and weight (in my case a lardy ton of it) is transferred to my hands. If my grips are not positioned right, I can get excess ulnar nerve pressure.

Jen, this has been going on for a few weeks at least, right? Just from reading your posts you're not a newcomer to hand discomfort, but have you seen a doctor about it?

Good luck,

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