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  1. #1
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    Nitto Randonneur bar questions?

    I am looking at the Nitto Randonneur bars. They have the tops that slope upward from the center to where they start bending forward to the hooks, and it has drops that flair way out to the side.

    Why the extreme bends? How does this help when riding? Here is a pic.

    http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?IGPK=2126179925

  2. #2
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    The general idea is that you will have your hands usually on the upper ramps, hoods, or the curves before the ramps. The upsweep and other curves are meant to better fit your hand, reducing fatigue over long distances. And the drops are easier to get to, since the net drop of the bar is reduced compared to a bar with a straight top section.

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Cosmetics may have more to do with it than anything. The bars on my current bike, I think were selected on that basis.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    I am looking at the Nitto Randonneur bars. They have the tops that slope upward from the center to where they start bending forward to the hooks, and it has drops that flair way out to the side.

    Why the extreme bends? How does this help when riding? Here is a pic.

    http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?IGPK=2126179925
    The randonneur bars make my hands go numb. The Velo Orange Grand Cru Course bars work best for my hands. Simple and straightforward.

    Nick

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I really didn't have an opinion on these bars because I haven't used them but while I was out riding today and paying attention to how I ride on the bar tops and I'm pretty sure those "upswept" bar tops would be uncomfortable. I think I can understand how Nicks hands would go numb.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
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    Check out the Noodles. If they came in a 25.4 size, all my olde steel bikes would have them. (Don't want to get into a lot of stem replacements).

    The Noodle (my view) doesn't rise up quite as much from the center, and while the drops spread away, they don't spread as wide. The slight bend-back in topview on the Noodles is very nice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
    Check out the Noodles. If they came in a 25.4 size, all my olde steel bikes would have them. (Don't want to get into a lot of stem replacements).

    The Noodle (my view) doesn't rise up quite as much from the center, and while the drops spread away, they don't spread as wide. The slight bend-back in topview on the Noodles is very nice.
    The Noodles also make my hands go numb, but not as bad as the randonneur bars.

    I don't understand the whole notion of having either upswept or backswept bars. If you want to locate the bars in a given place, adjust stem height and length to do it. The problem with the rando bars is that the upswept portion between the stem and the forward-curve makes your hands tilt inwards instead of being flat. So it's uncomfortable to be on the tops of the bars which makes you have your hands on the curved part or on the hoods more. The curved part tends to make you bear weight on the bones running down the center of the palm of your hand near your wrist, which is where all the nerves run through. So the more time your hands spend there, the more numb they get. Also, the tighter the curve at that point, the more it tends to make you bear your weight on the bones near the nerves. And the rando bars and Noodles seem to have a tighter curve than the Maes-bend style Grand Cru Course. Track bars have an even more gentle curve, which would be an improvement, but the tops of the bars are less flat and the drop is too deep.

    On the tops or on the drops, you can have your palm flat and bear the weight on the muscles on either side of the center of your palm. On the hoods, you can have your weight borne on the muscle between your thumb and first finger, also keeping away from the nerves.

    Nick

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    For the record, you need to rotate your wrists inward to keep the pressure off the ulnar nerve if you are going to ride drop bars. DannoXYZ once made an outstanding post on this - search his posts for it. The diagrams are really good.

    Also, why would noodles give you more trouble than any other bars? I find that interesting. They are aluminum tubing like other drop bars. Just wondering.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Criner View Post
    For the record, you need to rotate your wrists inward to keep the pressure off the ulnar nerve if you are going to ride drop bars. DannoXYZ once made an outstanding post on this - search his posts for it. The diagrams are really good....
    I'm having a hard time picturing how that would be comfortable? I tried searching but couldn't find the post you are talking about. When I do long rides I want my hands in a natural position, not twisted inward for long periods. That just doesn't sound comfy.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  10. #10
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I don't "get" the upsweep either, but I like the extra flare in the hooks and drops. I don't spend much time in the back-corner position of the tops, so it's not much of an issue for me.

    P.S. Here's the DannoXYZ post: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12953035
    Last edited by ThermionicScott; 08-27-12 at 02:18 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  11. #11
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of more bars that you should avoid on long rides (IMHO):

    Cinelli #65: Popularized by pro racer Roger de Vlaeminck back in the 70's. These look like road versions of track sprinter bars. The advantage is that your wrists don't bump into the outside curve on the tops of the bars with your hands in the drops and the bike swinging side to side in a furious sprint! But just try resting your hands on the tops! You can't, they slide off to the side.

    The carbon fiber bars with airfoil-shaped tops: They look like they would be comfortable - you can spread the weight of your hands over the greater flat area at the top of the bars. But I used them once on a 1,000 km brevet, and ended up with some nerve damage to my left hand.It's been nearly two years, and two fingers and thumb of my left hand are still kinda numb. And I like to think that I change hand positions often.

    Anyway, YMMV. And I can't comment on rando bars as I've never used them. I've always thought they were really ugly!

    Luis

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    ...The carbon fiber bars with airfoil-shaped tops: They look like they would be comfortable - you can spread the weight of your hands over the greater flat area at the top of the bars. But I used them once on a 1,000 km brevet, and ended up with some nerve damage to my left hand.It's been nearly two years, and two fingers and thumb of my left hand are still kinda numb....
    I use those flat top bars! Actually you are right that they can cause hand problems. I use them because I ride a lot of the time with my forearms laying on them. Just like if I had aerobars on there. It's much more comfy than round bars and I have no hand problems at all. I also have big hands so I like the bigger diameter bars.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  13. #13
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    If you want to go even more avant garde bars look at the On One Midge.

    I have been using these bars for years and love them. Lots of hand positions and most importantly the bars keep wrists in a more neutral position. I get lots of strange looks from people and comments on rides. 'Wow look at those bars, those are different.'
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  14. #14
    aspiring dirtbag commuter max-a-mill's Avatar
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    I have my randoneur bars angled so the tops don't sweep up but rather just angle back and maybe even slope ever so slightly down.

    in that postion the drops are angled up slightly but still comfortable.

    kinda see it in this pic (definitely not sloping up)



    i don't think these are a revelation in comfort but they are ok. i currently ride a couple bikes with the flatter top bars as i think they do seem to dustibute the hnad wieght over a larger surface. that said i exerpienced pretty much the same numbness on the same tour i did this year with flat top bars as i have in previous years on the bike pictured above doing the same ride.
    Last edited by max-a-mill; 08-30-12 at 08:34 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    I don't "get" the upsweep either, but I like the extra flare in the hooks and drops. I don't spend much time in the back-corner position of the tops, so it's not much of an issue for me.

    P.S. Here's the DannoXYZ post: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12953035
    One of the problems with "handles" is ... who knows who the heck DannoXYZ is, what his background is, and whether he has any serious long distance experience. He says "I once rode a hundred miles with bare hands and had no numbness issues." A hundred miles, you don't say.

    I once rode three hundred miles with bare hands and had no numbness issues, but as the ride continued deeper (SIR 1000km, 2008) my hands started to go numb around the 700km point and by the end I concluded that the bare hands experiment was a failure. You learn a lot more about what works and what doesn't work when you get out there into the serious long distance.

    FWIW, my read of what DannoXYZ says is _not_ that you should tilt your hands inward but rather outward so that the weight is borne on the heels of your hands on the side away from your thumb. But that sure doesn't make sense for _my_ hands. I can feel the bones and nerves fairly close to the surface under the heels of my hands. And since the times I've had hand numbness, it's in my pinky and ring finger, it's pretty obvious to me that it's the nerves in that side of my hand that are getting injured on the really long distance rides.

    But the big muscle in the ball of my hand can bear a lot of weight and as long as I stay on it, I don't have hand numbness issues. That's just my experience, your mileage may vary, as they say!

    Again, I don't know what DannoXYZ's background is. Maybe he really knows what he's talking about. But the picture he shows with a big nerve going between your thumb and forefinger sure seems to conflict with the picture at this Dartmouth site:
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~humananato...er_11/11-9.HTM
    which has most of the nerves going up the pinky side of the hand.

    But I'm happy to admit that I have no medical background--I'm an economist--so it's entirely possible I'm missing out on some subtleties :-)

    Nick

  16. #16
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    /shrug -- just relaying the post since my search-fu is stronger than most people's.

    I don't think there is a "perfect" hand position, and that's why too much padding can be a bad thing. It interferes with the sensory feedback loop between your hands and your brain, and encourages you to leave your hands in any position for too long. The trick (in my experience) is to keep your elbows loose and move your hands around frequently.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    /...I don't think there is a "perfect" hand position,...
    Sure there is, get some aerobars! If you don't want to use aerobars learn to ride on your forearms like this:

    You can ride 3000+ miles like this without numb hands at all!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  18. #18
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
    If you want to go even more avant garde bars look at the On One Midge.

    I have been using these bars for years and love them. Lots of hand positions and most importantly the bars keep wrists in a more neutral position. I get lots of strange looks from people and comments on rides. 'Wow look at those bars, those are different.'
    I've got a couple of carbon fiber bars I've been trying to get rid of that are built like this, though not as exaggerated of an outward sweep. I think it was a way to save money on the amount of carbon fiber tubing required to make the bars. The center-to-center measurement was 44cm, as advertised, but I don't usually keep my hands in the drops; I keep them near the top of the brake hoods, and the centerline measurement from the hoods was more like 41cm. So when you're out of the saddle climbing, with your hands pulling on the hoods, you've lost 1.5cm of leverage on each side of the bars. But they have a nice retro look about them.

    Luis

  19. #19
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Sure there is, get some aerobars! You can ride 3000+ miles like this without numb hands at all!
    Haha, touchee.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  20. #20
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Sure there is, get some aerobars! If you don't want to use aerobars learn to ride on your forearms like this:

    You can ride 3000+ miles like this without numb hands at all!
    I have some aerobars I've been planning on trying out for the comfort reason (they wouldn't be set up to give much/any aero benefit, just there to lean on, but I've never gotten around to trying it.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Sure there is, get some aerobars! If you don't want to use aerobars learn to ride on your forearms like this:

    You can ride 3000+ miles like this without numb hands at all!

    You look very comfortable on that bike!

  22. #22
    #5639 robertkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
    If you want to go even more avant garde bars look at the On One Midge.

    I have been using these bars for years and love them. Lots of hand positions and most importantly the bars keep wrists in a more neutral position. I get lots of strange looks from people and comments on rides. 'Wow look at those bars, those are different.'
    I have the Midge bar on my mountain bike. Love it, but because of the width, I'd never even consider it on a road bike, especially for brevets. I've found myself to be much more comfortable on narrow bars. As far as the Nitto Randonneur goes, well, they are ok. But they got it wrong. I highly recommend one of the Grand Bois handlebars (Compass sells them). I have been using the Randonneur model for over a year now and have waved goodbye to any handlebar related discomfort. It's a reproduction of the 1940's AVA bar, made by Nitto to a high spec. My only wish is that they would make a deeper drop version. This is the handlebar that Nitto's basic Rando bar wants to be.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    You look very comfortable on that bike!
    I am! If you want to do long distances getting yourself comfortable on your bike is the single most important thing you can do.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  24. #24
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    I've been trying. Very tough to do. So many factors and adjustments that can be made.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I had a very good fitter. I spent about 6hrs on a fit bike. Well worth it in the long run. If you don't have access to a good fitter it can take a while with a lot of trial and error.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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