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Old 06-09-05, 03:51 PM   #1
staple
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Need more hand positions on a hybrid/comfort bike

I'm just starting to get into cycling, so I bought a relatively cheap hybrid bike to start out with since I wasn't sure if I'd ride enough to justify any extra expense. I have a Specialized Crossroads Sport, which thanks to advice from this forum has already received a saddle upgrade and narrower tires (went to 28c from the stock 38 tires). Both of these things have helped make riding more comfortable and enjoyable (and longer distances more feasible).

As it turns out, I really like cycling and want to do more. If I'd known when I bought the bike what I know now, I probably would have opted for an entry-level road or touring bike rather than the hybrid, but what's done is done -- a new bike isn't in the budget anytime soon. The problem I'm having now is that the hybrid doesn't offer more than one hand position, and with mild carpal tunnel syndrome, I really need more positions on rides of more than about 10 miles. What are my options?

I could add bar ends to the bike, but with the hybrid handlebars that are built for maximum upright riding position, I'm not sure that will really work well. Would it be reasonable to consider putting a flat bar with bar ends on this bike? If so, could I use the existing shifters and brake levers? Anything that requires replacing shifters and brake levers is going to run into more money than I want to sink into this $325 bike (especially since I'm sure I'm not skilled enough to do that kind of thing myself).

Finally, how tough would this job be for a newbie? I'm not afraid to tinker, but I want to make sure I don't compromise safety.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 06-09-05, 05:13 PM   #2
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I have a hybrid I use for commuting 17 miles RT. It came with flat bars, I added cheap bar ends for $10. I also added foam grips to them. It gives you an additional 2 positions if you get the curved ones, plus it gets you nice and forward leaning so you can go faster.

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Old 06-09-05, 05:28 PM   #3
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Look at Nitto "Moustache" bars.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:31 PM   #4
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I added bar ends to my riser bars (a fashion no-no) ... and they add one or two or more positions depending on the bar ends you choose. I also highly recommend trimming your original bars so you get closer to shoulder width. A 3cm hack off each end made my ride MUCH more comfy. I'm a woman so I may have narrower shoulders.

Bar ends are very easy to put on. You just need to loosen up your other stuff, slide it toward mid-bar leaving just enough room to bolt the ends on the ends. You can also cut old grips to fit them or wrap them with bar tape.
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Old 06-10-05, 03:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I'm not worried about installing bar ends -- I'm pretty sure I can handle that. What about installing new handlebars? How tough is that (assuming I can keep the current shifters and brake levers)?

The Nitto mustache bars look cool, but will my current brakes/shifters (grip shifts) work with them? Or do they require switching to road brakes/shifters?
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Old 06-10-05, 03:29 PM   #6
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ooh, patc, I really like the looks of those. They would certainly solve my hand position problem. Maybe I'll order some and see what happens...they're cheap enough!
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Old 06-10-05, 04:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by staple
ooh, patc, I really like the looks of those. They would certainly solve my hand position problem. Maybe I'll order some and see what happens...they're cheap enough!
While you're shopping Nashbar check out these bars...........

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

They are just enough different than Nitto's that they offer twice the hand positions as they can
be "turned upside down" for more choices. I bought a set and "TUSD" finding them to just perfect
for my riding style.
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Old 06-15-05, 10:31 PM   #8
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Just an update: installed the Nashbar "trekking" bars tonight with no problems. They look and feel great so far. I think these are the perfect solution for my wrists! Plus, with the cool bar tape I got, my bike finally looks a bit more distinctive!

Thanks for the advice, everyone.
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Old 06-16-05, 05:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staple
I'm just starting to get into cycling, so I bought a relatively cheap hybrid bike to start out with since I wasn't sure if I'd ride enough to justify any extra expense. ................

As it turns out, I really like cycling and want to do more. If I'd known when I bought the bike what I know now, I probably would have opted for an entry-level road or touring bike rather than the hybrid, but what's done is done -- a new bike isn't in the budget anytime soon. .............
I feel your pain. A couple of months ago I bought a very nice Giant Cypress hybrid. When I took it in for my 30 day check up, I ended up bringing it back home...along with a Giant OCR2 road bike.

Now that I have them both, I'm very glad that it worked out that way. I do serious rides on my road bike, and use the hybrid for quick trips to the store and rides with my family. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to pay for that road bike before the 12 months, same as cash, period runs out!
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Old 06-16-05, 06:50 AM   #10
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Staple, so you like the trekking bars? I have just plain curved bar ends on mine, but still want more options. This bar looks cool. I may try it myself.
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Old 06-16-05, 07:10 AM   #11
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Can one of you guys with the Nashbar Trekking bars post a photo of your bike with them on it? I would like to see how you set them up.

Thanks
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Old 06-16-05, 07:22 AM   #12
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I'll try to post a photo later tonight.
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Old 06-16-05, 03:27 PM   #13
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Can one of you guys with the Nashbar Trekking bars post a photo of your bike with them on it? I would like to see how you set them up.
Here is my setup. Don't laugh about the cheap mirror... it didn't occur to me that my bar-end mirror would be useless, so I put on that toy mirror for now. The bar-ends aren't doing much for me, I was going for a more aero position but its not working for me. I may move them. This is a work in progress.



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Old 06-17-05, 01:03 PM   #14
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Hmmm... interesting... very interesting. Would Grip Shifters still work on these?
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Old 06-17-05, 02:04 PM   #15
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I have grip shifters on mine -- they work just fine:



You can't see the brake levers in the picture, but brakes & shifters are set up pretty much like they were on the bike's stock riser bar.

One thing to be aware of: my grip area where the brakes and shifters are located is definitely narrower than it was on the riser bar. This isn't a problem for me (I have large hands, but I'm female) -- but if you're a man with very large hands, this may not work as well for you.

Last edited by staple; 06-17-05 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 06-17-05, 02:17 PM   #16
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Hmmm... interesting... very interesting. Would Grip Shifters still work on these?
I think they would work better, actually, and plan to change to them soon.
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Old 06-17-05, 02:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staple
I have grip shifters on mine -- they work just fine:



You can't see the brake levers in the picture, but brakes & shifters are set up pretty much like they were on the bike's stock riser bar.

One thing to be aware of: my grip area where the brakes and shifters are located is definitely narrower than it was on the riser bar. This isn't a problem for me (I have large hands, but I'm female) -- but if you're a man with very large hands, this may not work as well for you.
That looks awesome. As for the narrow bar issue - if it really was a problem, couldn't you just wrap a second layer of bar tape around the bars?
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