Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Butterfly bars and stem length

    I'm thinking of getting some butterfly bars and mounting them with the open portion facing forward. How much of a longer stem is typically necessary to end up with a similar hand position as you had before? Also, if I'm going to go in for a professional bike fitting, I'm assuming I probably want the butterfly bars on the bike before I do the fitting? Also, my bike currently has a Ritchey stem that is adjustable for angle. Is there such a thing as a length-adjustable stem? I haven't seen one on any of my searches yet.
    Last edited by kiltedcelt; 06-19-11 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    817
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    -----------------------------------------
    While others have labelled me antisocial at various times, it's actually not true. I just don't like people.

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,384
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Talk to the fitter first.

    The fitter may want to put you on a trainer setup first, and then tell the mechanics how to set up the new bars.

  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,451
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    I'm thinking of getting some butterfly bars and mounting them with the open portion facing forward. How much of a longer stem is typically necessary to end up with a similar hand position as you had before? Also, if I'm going to go in for a professional bike fitting, I'm assuming I probably want the butterfly bars on the bike before I do the fitting? Also, my bike currently has a Ritchey stem that is adjustable for angle. Is there such a thing as a length-adjusta ble stem? I haven't seen one on any of my searches yet.
    Moved from a flat bar, open at back, so a shorter stem (from a long MTB stem). There is no length adjustable stem, but your Ritchey stem works the same way; i.e. no spacers the adjusted up is shorter, spacers and adjusted down is longer.

    Why would you go for a bike fit and then change the bars reach and height - that doesn't make much sense.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    817
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Length adjustable stems ARE available - and were "relatively popular/available" in the 50s and 60s. You just have to look around - a lot. Best bet is on vintage bikes and/or ebay. But they are out there.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Weird-Extinct
    -----------------------------------------
    While others have labelled me antisocial at various times, it's actually not true. I just don't like people.

  6. #6
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,401
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you probably dont want to reverse butterfly bars since the curves/bends will be opposite and will probably make the positions uncomfortable.

  7. #7
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cary, NC
    My Bikes
    Schwinn 2010 World Street, Handsome Speedy w/ SRAM Apex
    Posts
    1,037
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I ride butterfly bars, and have considered reversing them. I see two problems with it. First, your close-flat position will be angled outward, either forcing your wrists to turn in sharply, or forcing you to ride with your elbows out. Second, mounting your shifters and brakes onto the close-flat position will be difficult with most mountain-style brakes/shifters, which typically have to slide on from the end of the bar (and around every bend).

    After experimentation, I have my bars mostly level front-to-back (front is slightly higher), and have the bars at about seat level. This works pretty well for long-distance riding comfort. For shorter rides, dropping the bars increases my average speed, but causes hand numbness after about 40-50 miles. YMMV.

    Here's a profile to show the angle of my bars:

    DFL > DNF > DNS
    Clydesdales: Bringing the Horse Power
    Cycling Blog

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had mainly been thinking that reversing the bar would allow that slightly canted position to accommodate a more natural grip position for my hands. When I ride with my regular flat bar, I tend to grip it in such a way that my hands get uncomfortable fairly quickly. Oddly enough, when I used to have a traditional road bike with drop bars I would ride with my hands on the flats with no such problem. I already tend to ride with my elbows canted out slightly, but I'm not sure whether a reversed butterfly bar would exaggerate that position. At the very least I can purchase the bar, and very easily clamp it to the stem both ways because my stem has the four-bolt removable clamp versus one where you have to thread the bar through a single bolt type clamp. So, I could put it on both ways to see what seems to work best without having to swap the gear around. Threading the brake lever/shifters around the bends might be a good bit more difficult though, as you had mentioned.

  9. #9
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,401
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    fyi, i would consider richardglover's bars to be upside down.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    fyi, i would consider richardglover's bars to be upside down.
    This is what I see as the beauty of the butterfly bar design though. There doesn't appear to be any hard and fast rule that says you need to mount it facing a certain way or whether it's upside down, or right side up. It does look like Richard's bar is "upside down" based on the orientation that many people chose for this style of bar. However, if it works for him then obviously it's "right side up." As I've mentioned, I'll get my bar and experiment around a bit before I decide exactly how I want to mount it. It may be that my idea of a reverse mounting won't work because of the potential difficulty of getting the brake lever/shifters to go around all the bends on the bar. It may work, it may not. It might work and I might ride with it and just decide that it sucks and I'll have to go back to turning the bar the "right way around."

  11. #11
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,401
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    trekking bars are mtb diameter. if you have road levers, they will make the bends and you will need to shim them. if you have mtb levers, they are 99% not going to make the bends.

    you'll see when you get them that there are ergonomically "correct" ways to run the bars. you can flip them upside down to raise them higher, but they will not be ergo. its obvious when you try them.

    you can also hack them to be like mustache bars (and still more comfortable imo).

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My bike is essentially a road bike frame with mtb/cyclocross type components like mtb style shifters and v-brakes. So, I'm guessing I won't be able to get those lever/shifters around like you're saying. So, I've asked this before but have yet to get a hard and fast answer, but I'm assuming if they're installed with the open end facing towards the rider, a longer stem would need to be installed to get the levers/shifters back into the plane they would have been with the previous flat bar? Do many people do this or do you just deal with the side effect of that hand position changing you to a more upright position? Currently I have a Ritchey adjustable stem that will allow me to change the angle. Since I also have a threadless steerer I also have several shims as well, so presumably I can tinker with position of the stem maybe with the shims on top versus on the bottom, combined with adjusting the angle of the stem to get a "resting on the flats" position similar to where I am right now with a flat bar?

  13. #13
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cary, NC
    My Bikes
    Schwinn 2010 World Street, Handsome Speedy w/ SRAM Apex
    Posts
    1,037
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    fyi, i would consider richardglover's bars to be upside down.
    Mine have a label on the front of them that is right side up when I have them mounted like I do, which is why I put 'em on that way (thinking it was 'right').

    I may flip them to see if I like them more the other way. I've noticed that the local REI has a very different setup on the bike they have with trekker bars.
    DFL > DNF > DNS
    Clydesdales: Bringing the Horse Power
    Cycling Blog

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, and update of sorts. I got my trekking bars and looked at them, hemmed and hawed over them, tried them in the "writing faces right side up" orientation as well as the "writing faces down" orientation. I already have a 150mm stem and even with that length and it being an adjustable stem, I just don't like where my position is when I ride on the "flats" by the brake/shifters. The sides seem more comfortable but no more so than the bar ends of my flat bar. The front-most hand position leaves me feeling far too stretched out. If I was stretching out that much I'd prefer the support of an aero bar. Long story short, I wanted to take the cheaper option for more hand positions and it won't work for me. So, I'm chucking the flat bar/bar ends/trekking bar and going with a drop bar with the bar end shifters and special break levers that will work with my V-brakes. Plus side is even though it's three times as expensive as the trekking bar solution, I'll now be set up for cyclocross this winter.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,629
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I too tried a stint with the trekking butterfly bars. I found them reasonably comfortable for short rides. I was experimenting with them on an old mountain bike that was set up as a trekking hybrid bike. I tried every orientation that I could and rode with them in all positions. In the end, I prefer ergo drop bars on my road bike with thick foam and bar tape on the tops to the brake hoods. Standard tape on the lowers. And I prefer medium length curved bars ends with thick padding on my mountain bikes. I use Ergon grips on the mountain bikes which are the best things ever invented for the bike. Between the Ergon grips and the thickly padded bar ends I never want for significant hand comfort. The nice thing about bar ends is that you can adjust the angle without throwing off the regular flat bar. I use polyurethane foam garage door weather stripping to wrap the bar ends. I have large hands and standard handlebar methods don't work for me. One thing that works well with drop bars if you don't want to pay for the expensive ergo flat top kind is to use cheap thick rubber mountain bike grips on the tops to the brake hoods. I split mine to make them easier to put on then wrap electricians tape around them and finish off with a thick wrap of bar tape.

    I also found that adjusting my seat back a little more helped reduce some weight on my hands. I use a medium size frame which is pretty right on for me in height but a little short in length. I use to worry about having many hand positions because none were really comfortable for very long. Now, two hand positions are all that I need on my mountain bikes. Because both are comfortable for long periods of time. Same with the road bars. If you get the bars comfortable enough the need to constantly move into many positions is not as great.

    This is the stuff that I used to wrap bar ends:

    http://www.amazon.com/M-D-Building-P.../dp/B000052035

    It's not vinyl but some kind of soft medium density foam with a slick finish. About 1/4 inch thick. Cheap to compared to regular bar tape.
    Last edited by Hezz; 07-18-11 at 12:35 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •