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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-22-06, 03:40 PM   #1
iamtim
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Handlebar Question...

What's with the mini-handlebars that appear to be a straight pipe sticking out no further than a BMX grip on either side of the stem? Doesn't such narrow bars make the bike harder to control?
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Old 05-22-06, 03:43 PM   #2
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You need a very short handlebar for passing through cars
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Old 05-22-06, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldone
You need a very short handlebar for passing through cars
Ah, I see. For like... NYC messengers, yes? Who have to do all that crazy sh1t that Lucas Brunelle catches on video?

Damn, that sh1t takes balls.
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Old 05-22-06, 03:51 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, most peoples' ***es are considerably wider than those chopped handlebars, so they are of questionable benefit when you factor in the loss of leverage they give you. Trendy, but not so practical. Flame on...
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Old 05-22-06, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
Unfortunately, most peoples' ***es are considerably wider than those chopped handlebars, so they are of questionable benefit when you factor in the loss of leverage they give you. Trendy, but not so practical. Flame on...
No flame at all; that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 05-22-06, 03:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldone
You need a very short handlebar for passing through cars
Not really. Drop bars can be plenty skinny enough. A little snaking through, moving your shoulders is usually fine.
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Old 05-22-06, 04:01 PM   #7
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I've seen 9" wide handelbars
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Old 05-22-06, 04:17 PM   #8
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for riding through tight traffic I just make sure the bars are a little bit less wide than my shoulders
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Old 05-22-06, 04:20 PM   #9
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most of those are set up just for photos shoots....
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Old 05-22-06, 04:26 PM   #10
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I ran 10" bars for a while. They never filled any practical need... they were just kinda fun and ridiculous. Because you couldn't get any leverage on them, you just had to sit and grind out any hills or accelerations. Likewise, I couldn't get leverage for skidding, so I killed the fashion aspect and ran a 'cross lever right next to the stem. Stability was never a problem.

Oh, and there were essentially three hand positions on such skinny bars:

1) Hands on grips (option of thumbs on top or underneath)
2) Hands palming ends of bars (with the end plugs pressing into your palms)
3) Forearms resting on grips, hands dangling out in space (good for aero tuck)
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Old 05-22-06, 06:14 PM   #11
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An aero tuck in that position? Isn't that a potential danger of losing control? Also I'd imagine your elbows would hurt after a while
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Old 05-22-06, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka12na
An aero tuck in that position? Isn't that a potential danger of losing control? Also I'd imagine your elbows would hurt after a while
It's not that different from any other handlebar. Besides, aching elbows was a change from the aching wrists those bars gave me

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Old 05-22-06, 06:22 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure short bars slow down the handling on the ever popular steep track frames...

Last edited by BostonFixed; 05-22-06 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 05-22-06, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
I'm pretty sure short bars slow down the handling on the ever popular steep track frames...
Actually, they'd tend to quicken it up an awful lot. Move short bars an inch - wheel moves a lot. Move super-wide bars an inch - wheel barely moves.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:32 PM   #15
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true...

still, i don't see why you'd run bars any shorter than your shoulder width, except maybe for looks or to shake things up a bit.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:43 PM   #16
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hey kevin, hows that thesis coming?
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Old 05-22-06, 08:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keevohn
It's not that different from any other handlebar. Besides, aching elbows was a change from the aching wrists those bars gave me

I'm all about that on my road bike ... trying it on the fixed w/ RB-021s and a much steeper head tube angle seems a bit sketch though.
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Old 05-22-06, 09:44 PM   #18
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hey kevin, hows that thesis coming?
Hahaha... pretty good.

When I'm not distracting myself, that is
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Old 05-22-06, 10:10 PM   #19
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Does anyone know that messenger in Chicago with the mountain bike bar ends mounted on nubs, and so close together his knukles probably touch when he holds them?
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Old 05-23-06, 01:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
i don't see why you'd run bars any shorter than your shoulder width, except maybe for looks or to shake things up a bit.
Bars are at the height of rear view mirrors, your shoulders are above them. Don't you lane split?
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Old 05-23-06, 01:07 AM   #21
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I knocked a taxi's rear view mirror off once with the tip of my flip 'n chops.

BTW it was his fault.
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Old 05-23-06, 01:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popluhv
Does anyone know that messenger in Chicago with the mountain bike bar ends mounted on nubs, and so close together his knukles probably touch when he holds them?
it's that supposed to be like a formula one steering wheel or something.

****...anyone have a formula one steering wheel laying around? i'll put that **** on my bike.
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Old 05-23-06, 01:26 AM   #23
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A lot of them are or styled on bike polo bars. A narrow bar is a good thing for bike polo; less chance of getting 'em whacked by mallets, less chance of them getting bumped by another rider when your rucking.

As normal messengers would rock them on the street as they were quite ridiculous, folks liked the look and copied them. V. short bars definitely keep things interesting.
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Old 05-23-06, 01:59 AM   #24
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I think all my bars are narrower than my shoulders, but narrower than your hips seems a little pointless. Like LoFarkas said your bars are at mirror height and cars tend to slope in above there...
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Old 05-23-06, 02:20 AM   #25
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I started running narrow flat bars, admittedly for aesthetics, but got used to them right quick. Since then, I have messed with track drop bars and risers. Neither feel as comfortable. Track drops on an urban commuter make little sense to me. For me, bullhorns have always felt best for riding in the streets.

Just to understand, the measure on track bars applies to the drops, no?
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