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  1. #1
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    Please help - newbie with Giant Cypress DX but without a clue :)

    Hi, just joined, thanks for reading. I just spent 6 months in Europe and fell in love with my rental bike, the Batavus Personal bike, single speed. (http://usa.batavus.com/ and then select it, sorry there is no direct URL). I don't have the means to buy one at around $900 and already have a bike that never felt comfortable for me - it's the Giant Cypress DX. Until I rode the Batavus rental I didn't think I could enjoy biking, but it was extremely comfortable to peddle, and the full upright position and close handlebars really worked for me. So, I went to my LBS and asked how to change the seat/handlebars on my Cypress to mimic the Dutch riding position but the guy said the handlebars were rotated as far forward as possible and new bars plus labor would be around $125. I am "upright" meaning that I am sitting at about a 65 - 70 degree angle but on the Batavus I was fully upright at 90 degrees. Is this possible to do on my existing bike? I am saving my money for the Batavus or maybe the new Torker Cargo T, supposedly an exact replica of the Batavus. I love those handlebars but can't figure out how I could get them on my bike.
    http://www.torkerusa.com/08_bikes/lg/Cargo-T-lg.jpg

    In the meantime, can someone please give me some guidance?

    Thanks a ton,
    jen

  2. #2
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    You can do it!

    It is a pretty easy job to change handlebars on a bike. Charging $125 is ludicrous. You will need a set of metric hex wrenches (also called Allen wrenches). They are only $6 or so if you don't have them. The bar you like is called a cruiser bar. Alfred E Bike has a nice set for around $15. http://aebike.com/page.cfm?pageid=30...ils&sku=HB2042 I have some on one of my bikes and it looks very similar to what you want. The bike you have would be very easy to make into the bike you want.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Cruiser bars 'might' be a bit too wide, but go measure a few cruiser handlebars and see which width is the most comfy for you. Touring or North Road handlebars would be a better choice and closer to the Batavis...about 20"-22" or 560mm/56cm wide. Do a search on Amazon and a bunch of Touring or North Road style handlebars will come up in chromed steel or alloy models with different widths and angles.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sci-Fi View Post
    Cruiser bars 'might' be a bit too wide, but go measure a few cruiser handlebars and see which width is the most comfy for you. Touring or North Road handlebars would be a better choice and closer to the Batavis...about 20"-22" or 560mm/56cm wide. Do a search on Amazon and a bunch of Touring or North Road style handlebars will come up in chromed steel or alloy models with different widths and angles.
    I agree this is an easy swap--I've probably changed (or at least removed and replaced) handlebars on my bikes 50 or 75 times in 35 years of cycling, for tuneups or to change levers or whatever. A mechanic would have to move the brake levers and shifters to the new bar, but that's about five minutes, a straight slide-off slide-on. With a major change it's possible you might have to install longer cables, but from the pictures I can find of the Cypress, it should be OK.
    In those pictures, though (I don't know the Cypress at all; I just googled it), the bars are already WAY high, well above the seat, and close to the saddle. With a new stem and/or different bars, you can put them nearly anywhere you, but I'd be sure exactly what the problem is before I throw money at it.
    If you're at all handy, you can do this yourself. Just loosen the old levers (you may have to cut off the handgrips, but new ones are cheap), loosen the stem clamp where it holds the bars, move the bar over as necessary to get the levers off it, then pull out the old bar and install the new one.
    Don't worry about bar width, by the way. You can cut them with a hacksaw to any width you want, as long as you leave enough room for the controls and grips. Or you could forgo the grips and tape the bars, like on a road bike. There's no right way to do this--just go with what works.

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    Hi again and thanks so much to everyone who replied. My husband and I are both somewhat handy - he more than I - and I think he can do the swap. The bars themselves aren't the concern, it's the gears and how they attach. LBS guy said it's over an hour's labor, hence the $125, but I read a bunch of posts here and you guys all seem to do it in about 6 minutes. So, to make sure I understand, if I get new bars (cruiser, touring, North Road...) then we can remove the brakes and the gear attachments or whatever it's really called, swap the bars, put back the brakes and gears, and not f**k it up too badly?

    Anyone have thoughts on the Torker Cargo T? I can't find one locally to ride, although the LBS guy said he'd be glad to order one for me, but I'd have to commit to it first. Hmmm. Is this standard? If they are a Torker dealer but don't have the particular bike in the shop to try, how can I know if I am going to like it?

    Thanks again, this is a great site!

    jen

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    The short answer is yes. The grips, shifter, and brake levers can all be removed easily. Don't even have to disconnect the cables, just loosen the stem handlebar bolt(s) and tilt the handlebar down so everything can slide off. Then remove and replace the handlebar, slide all the parts back on and adjust to your liking before tightening. Metric hex wrenches, phillips and/or flat blade screwdriver, and a metric socket set are all the tools you need. Pretty common tools and inexpensive to purchase if you need to buy them.

    Take a look at Breezer Town bikes. Might cost a bit more than the Torker, but you get almost everything...lights, etc etc plus comes in different frame sizes for a better fit. Some models have a built-in lock and come with more gears (up to 8-speed).
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes.cfm

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    With 2 people it is easy to change out the handlebars. Just follow the above instructions, but one person straddles the front wheel, while the other straddles the frame. The person over the frame loosens & removes brake levers, shifters, & hands these to the person over the wheel, who holds them in his hands at handlebar level, while the other replaces everything. That way, cables, housings, etc,., etc., won't get twisted or damaged & goes right back on easily.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jencarroll01 View Post
    The bars themselves aren't the concern, it's the gears and how they attach. LBS guy said it's over an hour's labor, hence the $125, but I read a bunch of posts here and you guys all seem to do it in about 6 minutes.
    An hour's time is a reasonable estimate. I suppose if one swaps bars a lot that one could get their speed up, but it's not unreasonable to estimate 30 minutes to an hour when all is said and done.

    Conceptually the task is simple, but there's a lot of fiddly bits to worry about. You'll have an hour into this easily, even before you start, just from doing the research that you're doing now. And as for the actual work, don't forget about easy-to-overlook details like removing the old grips and taking the time to dial-in the exact position of bar and shifters and brake levers when you're done.

    I'm not trying to defend the shop's original estimate (which probably included the cost of the bars). I'm just pointing out that, while conceptually simple, the job does, in fact, take a bit of time.
    Last edited by JonathanGennick; 08-24-09 at 05:45 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thank you again for all of your helpful and thoughtful replies. I am going to go forward and order new handlebars, and we will try to tackle the job ourselves based on the great instructions you've all provided. I really appreciate your help, everyone!

  10. #10
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    In case no one told you, all the hardware on the handlebar and attaching the handlebar to the stem is metric.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  11. #11
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    Thanks, Ron.

  12. #12
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    22"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sci-Fi View Post
    Cruiser bars 'might' be a bit too wide, but go measure a few cruiser handlebars and see which width is the most comfy for you. Touring or North Road handlebars would be a better choice and closer to the Batavis...about 20"-22" or 560mm/56cm wide. Do a search on Amazon and a bunch of Touring or North Road style handlebars will come up in chromed steel or alloy models with different widths and angles.
    The bars I listed above are 22" wide. They are on my Rans Dynamik. They are very light, well finished and extremely cheap!

  13. #13
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    Well, bad news. The north road style handlebars fit great except that the cables are too short! Now I'm thinking we're really stuck. And advice for DIYing it, or do you really think we should head over to the LBS?
    Thanks so mcuh!
    jen

  14. #14
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    Disconnect the bottom ends of the cables and so you can get all the controls in the right position on the bars. Then take go to the shop to install new cables and adjust brakes and gearshift - this is not too difficult but requires proper cable cutter which costs about $35.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jencarroll01 View Post
    H The bars themselves aren't the concern, it's the gears and how they attach. LBS guy said it's over an hour's labor, hence the $125, but I read a bunch of posts here and you guys all seem to do it in about 6 minutes. So, to make sure I understand, if I get new bars (cruiser, touring, North Road...) then we can remove the brakes and the gear attachments or whatever it's really called, swap the bars, put back the brakes and gears, and not f**k it up too badly?

    jen
    If by "gears" you mean the shifters, they just slide on and slide off on every bike I've ever owned. There will be some kind of fastening clamp with a bolt, and you loosen the bolt and slide them off (warning: My newest bike is five years old, so it's possible there's some new overcomplicated Shimano thing I'm not aware of).
    Just so we're all talking about the same things: The GEARS are the flat, toothed things the chain runs on. Front ones are called CHAINRINGS, rear ones usually COGS individually, the COGSET or CASSETTE when they're all together on the bike. The lever or twist grip on the bars is a SHIFTER, which moves the shift cable, which moves the DERAILLEURS over the gears. Derailleur is spelled the French way but pronounced the American way: dee railer, not day-ray-YER.

  16. #16
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    Sorry Velo Dog, I meant "Shifters" - everything worked out great but the brake cables are too short with the new bars. I think I'm SOL at this point...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    If the brake cables are the only ones that are short, you can buy a new/complete set at Wal*Mart for $5.00. Includes new housing too. Your Giant will need longer housing from the levers to the frame and front brake...so you don't have to replace all the cable housing to the rear brake. Just make sure the housing long enough before cutting so the handlebar can go 'lock-to-lock' steering w/o pulling the housing tight/binding and some go a bit longer to allow future adjustments (if they want to adjust the handlebar to a higher position or whatever). Threading/routing the new cable is easy. The kit does include a cable for the dérailleur, but check to see if there enough extra cable on your current setup to compensate and/or check the new cable end for compatibility with your shifter. It's easy to tell the difference between the brake and dérailleur cables by the attachment head and cable thickness.

  18. #18
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    Wow, cool, thanks! My husband just said the shifters need new cables too - same deal at Walmart?

    Thanks again to everyone who has helped me - you guys rock!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    The Wal*Mart cable/housing set includes all 3 cables (f/r brake cables, dérailleur cable, and a roll of housing). For the price it's hard to beat, unless you want colored housing or a more HD housing/cables or own a road/drop handlebar bike.

  20. #20
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    Sounds like a plan. Thanks again.

  21. #21
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    My LBS did the job pronto and only charged $20 for handlebars and labor. He used the handlebars from a Schwinn Breeze that he had for sale, (north road style that are swept back with some rise.) Good Luck with a different LBS?

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