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  1. #1
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    The Handlebar Dilemma

    I just got an All-City Space Horse. I love almost everything about the bike except the handlebars. It came stock with Salsa Pro Road Medium 3. I feel like the ONLY comfortable position they're offering me is on the hoods. The tops are a bit narrow and the drops are just downright uncomfortable and/or painful. The two main problems I have with the drops are:

    1. I have small hands. Or rather, short fingers. I cant reach the break levers without jamming my hand into the curve of the drops.

    2. The curve of the drops is too narrow. It feels like it's scrunching my hands and I don't really have a good grip on the bars from here.

    I don't feel like I want a larger drop, per se, but something more comfortable. Perhaps something ergonomically shaped? Maybe a flare? The choice of bars is overwhelming. I definitely want to stay with a drop bar, but have no idea where to start looking. What brands. What shapes.

    I guess I don't even know the right questions to ask to start me in the right direction.

    Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I like Trekking Bars , but the figure 8 bend is not as popular in the US as It is in Europe

    The curve of the drops is too narrow.
    which curve ? radius of the bend *, or the width overall ?

    there are ergonomic bends where rather than a curved bend there is a straight section
    with short tighter bends at either end..

    Modolo introduced that design 20+ years ago,

    *there is also a Deep Drop single curve , that also is a larger radius .

    Re: short fingers the brake levers have rubber wedges that you insert in them so they dont come open all the way.
    check the LBS they may have some leftover from assemblies that were not needed ..

    there are shorter reach road levers , but they wont have the shifter in them too.

    so you need a different way to change the gears (bar end shifters my favorite)
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-01-14 at 10:39 AM.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Look in the validation thread right below yours. Then go to a LBS and put your hands on some bars.

  4. #4
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    It's more likely a problem with your general setup or riding position. If the hoods are the only comfortable spot it suggests your reach (stem length) is inadequate, especially if you notice a lot of back-pressure against your hands riding in the drops. As you ride in the drops try to imagine what it would feel like if they were an inch or two further away, higher or lower. Without so much back-pressure and weight on your hands your wrists will be more adjustable and the lever reach easier. It's also possible your saddle is a centimeter or two too far forward and this is contributing to your handlebar problems.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 04-05-14 at 06:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    The drops are the least comfortable position for most people and some people, in fact, never use the drops. Ever. The picture the o.p. supplied is pretty useless for really making any definitive assumptions (there might be an irony in that) but... I've seen worse setups. Bars look like a nice 'compact' bend. I can't see improving that really. Bar height relative to seat looks alright. The o.p. says they have small hands... maybe and maybe they just think they do. Find out. Its easy enough. Then get brake levers (even brifters) that are made for smaller hands. But I don't think that's the issue. If the o.p. can put their elbow on the nose of the saddle and have their middle finger reach the bars they are at least in the ball-park of being properly fitted. Really, how much braking does one do in the drops? Most of my braking is done from the cross-levers I have installed on the flats. Almost as much is done from the hoods. I can count on one hand and one foot the number of times I have applied the brakes from the drops. And I don't find riding the drops nearly so hard these days since I have lost about 5lbs from being seriously strict about sugar intake. FWIW.

    H

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
    It's also possible your saddle is a centimeter or two too far forward and this is contributing to your handlebar problems.
    Actually, those saddles are designed to be used by riders sitting nearly bolt upright. You sit at the very rear of them with the seat tilted nose up by as much as four degrees or however much tilt it takes to get the rear part of the saddle dead level. It is not the best kind of saddle to use on a drop bar but it can work. If it is going to, it would be just about how it is set up in the picture provided. More forward, if anything, but not less so.

    H

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    You could give woodchipper bars a try.
    Woodchipper Bar | Parts & Accessories | Salsa Cycles

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I've been happy with the Nitto Randonneur handlebars, they have a nice hump in the flats. The drops also flare out slightly and are easy to get in and out of.

  9. #9
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    Problem solved. The LBS where I bought the bike swapped them out for a Salsa Bell Lap they had taken off a Cross-Check. Better yet, they did it as an even swap and didn't even charge me for the labor! It's much more comfortable now. There's plenty of room on the tops so my hands are not narrower than my shoulders, the drops are much more ergonomic, more comfortable and I can reach the levers, and there's just enough flare to the drops to make me feel quite stable at high speeds on the downhill section of the narrow bike lanes on the local bridges!

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