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Thread: Trekking bars

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Trekking bars

    I think I may finally have the riding position right on the Frankenbike - I fitted a longer neck yesterday and it instantly felt 'right'. Here's a piccy of the beast before the longer neck went on



    As you can see, the bars are at saddle level and the reach is fairly short. The new neck is about the same angle but 2cm longer - the result being a bit more reach (a cm and a half) and not a lot of extra height, BUT a much more natural feeling riding position ... over 2km around the neighbourhood. Not a real test I know.

    The current bars are mtb bars - a bit of rise, a bit of pull back and a bit of drop at the end of the bars ie, they aren't pure flat bars. Only one alternative hand position is available via the bar ends, which do get used quite a bit though I spend most time on the bars.

    She was built out of a bits and pieces box and I'm now thinking about giving her some new bits to try to sort out all the frustrations of trying to get old bits to work.

    Soooo, the first step is to get the ride position sorted ... which I think I might have, then look at the bars. Hence this thread.

    Trekking bars. I'm interested because they offer a lot more hand positions and I suffer numb hands like you wouldn't believe. The mtb bars currently fitted are comparable in shape and comfort to 'flats' on the 46cm Nitto Noodles on my sports bike but even wider. Trekking bars would offer more positions again but ...

    How far apart are the flat grips on Trekking bars? I don't want to go back to having my hands close together - the Noodles work nicely but don't offer me the leverage I like for hauling loads and my daughter's tag-along.

    Are the flat grips on Trekking bars flat (ie, like straight bars) or are they angled slightly like you get with the Noodles or the mtb bars I've described above?

    I'm guessing that Trekking bars would place those flat bits behind and below where the bars bolt to the neck. Considering I'm already using a 120mm neck and can't afford to move those grips back or down, I'm thinking this makes Trekking bars useless on this frame. Any thoughts?

    Apart from the specific issues raised above, any general thoughts on Trekking bars? Are they worth it (assuming the bike fit is right)?

    I asked about Bullhorns in another thread - they're for a different bike but would they work on this bike?

    Richard
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  2. #2
    surfrider
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    Are you talking about bars shaped like these?:

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...B%20Handlebars

    Giant just discontinued a bike called the Transport that had these on them. While waiting for the mechanic to finish soem repairs at the LBS I tried a brief test ride and I definately liked the bars. They can be attached both with the flat end parts in toward you, or extended out toward the front, and MTB-style brake levers would easily transfer from my current commuter hybrid to these. And yes, they have lots of hand positions, they allow you to stretch out a little more, and they do seem to give you more control. Probably be more comfortable with the bar ends inward toward you, giving you better hand placement on the curvey parts, which would also be ideal placement areas for brake levers. Only negative I can see in them is they are wider than either standard road or flat MTB bars (55cm vs. 42-45 cm), but that also might be why they seem to give you a little more control over your bike. I'll probably get a pair next time I order stuff from Nashbar to put on my commuter (don't know where you'd get them from in Oz.).

    OT: Since the Giant Transport has been discontinued, I went back to the shop the next weekend to possibly buy the bike by offering them 2/3 of the retail price to "take it off their hands." Unfortunately someone already bought it during the week. Thought it would make a good replacement for my old commuter bike that's going to need a lot of work, and I can convert the old boy into a singlespeed bike.

  3. #3
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the style of bar - the photo is taken from your link. Looking at that, your reach would be dramatically shortened on the flats, thus making them impossible on this frame - I need the main bar position about where the neck ends (I've got a 120mm neck now, ain't no way I can fit a longer neck)

    Richard
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    I putting trekking bars on the Stumpjumper that I'm working on. Here is a picture mid-way through the project.

    Here's a photo that gives you a view of how mine are mounted.


  5. #5
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    BengeBoy, your trekking bars look like they have a slightly different shape than the ones in europa's photo. Are yours from Nashbar? If not, then from where?
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    Yes, mine are from Nashbar. Pic might be a little misleading because I have big rubber grips on the ends (the grips came from the mtb handlebar that I got w/the bike).

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    Thanks. Actually, the outer curves on yours look like they have a sharper angle than the ones in the photo, but the bars are at a different angle so it's hard to tell. I may end up with these on my LHT if I can't get the moustache bars sorted out for my troublesome hands. It's what I had planned for the hybrid replacement anyway.
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    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Yes, mine are from Nashbar. Pic might be a little misleading because I have big rubber grips on the ends (the grips came from the mtb handlebar that I got w/the bike).
    How much is your reach shortened when you fit them compared to a flat bar?

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  9. #9
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    How much is your reach shortened when you fit them compared to a flat bar?

    Richard
    Why would the reach be shortened? The way he has them mounted (backwards from typical) the reach should be longer than with a flat bar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Why would the reach be shortened? The way he has them mounted (backwards from typical) the reach should be longer than with a flat bar.
    Are mine really mounted backwards from typical? I looked around at a lot of photos (esp. of European touring bikes) and while I saw them mounted both ways I think more people were mounted like mine? Maybe it's tough to see because of the photos - I'll take another shot when I have a chance if it's helpful.

    Mine are mounted just like the trekking bars in this (very helpful) article:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html

    Though I mounted the brakes and shifter back on the part that is closest to the rider.


    In any case, you can see by studying the bars that the reach is both longer and shorter. If you grab onto the part that is closest to you it's a couple of inches closer than the top of a drop bar. But if you lean down and grab onto the part farthest away from you it feels like riding on drops. And, you can also put your hands over on the sides, just to stretch, or to get some leverage when popping up a hill.

    My fit on this bike was not ideal because when I bought it the previous owner had a super-long stem on it. I've now put a shorter stem on it but I haven't finished putting the bike back together yet so I don't know how it will feel -- early indications are it will be great.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Are mine really mounted backwards from typical?
    Not compared to the bikes I have seen. The "open" end is in the back right? The tilt is different than most I have seen, but I can see some logic behind it.

    Personally I like drop bars better, but especially for an MTB conversion or other setup without road levers I can see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Not compared to the bikes I have seen. The "open" end is in the back right? The tilt is different than most I have seen, but I can see some logic behind it.

    Personally I like drop bars better, but especially for an MTB conversion or other setup without road levers I can see it.
    The tilt on mine is a little odd just because the bike wasn't dialed in yet...I had to tilt the bars up so I could reach properly. It will be better with new stem.

    I like drop bars better, too, but thought I would try trekking bars with this MTB conversion because it was so cheap:

    - $17.95 for the bars
    - $10 for new bar tape

    If you convert a MTB to drops, you need:
    - New handlebars
    - New brake levers
    - New shifters (I would do bar end shifters)
    - New handlebar tapes
    - More than likely, new cables and housing all 'round

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post

    If you convert a MTB to drops, you need:
    - New handlebars
    - New brake levers
    - New shifters (I would do bar end shifters)
    - New handlebar tapes
    - More than likely, new cables and housing all 'round
    And most likely a new stem if your road bars are 26mm as most are.
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  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Are mine really mounted backwards from typical? I looked around at a lot of photos (esp. of European touring bikes) and while I saw them mounted both ways I think more people were mounted like mine? Maybe it's tough to see because of the photos - I'll take another shot when I have a chance if it's helpful.

    Mine are mounted just like the trekking bars in this (very helpful) article:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html

    Though I mounted the brakes and shifter back on the part that is closest to the rider.
    My bad. My impression from the photo was that you had them mounted with the open end forward. After further review , I can see that is not the case.
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    I took another shot that shows how these are mounted a little more clearly:


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