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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Need suggestions on bars for older Burley

    Recently picked up a clean older Burley.

    I am a) new to tandems and b) new to working on my own bike.

    I have a basic Park tool kit that I bought, and hand tools from working on my car. Little to no experience working on bikes, though I'm fairly handy with cars.

    Anyway, my Burley came with some bars that aren't my favorite. I'd like to swap them out with something a little less cruiser-ish.

    Mainly, I'll be putting around town with my wife and towing a child trailer. Not much long distance stuff, at least for now. Mainly urban stuff.

    Looking around, it seems like there is a bewildering array of bars out there. So I'd like some recommendations. I'm intriqued a little by what are apparently called On One Mary bars. Also, I thought about going to something like a basic flat bar similiar to my mountain bike. Ideas appreciated. I just don't know what would fit, transfer shifters, all that stuff.

    Here's what is on there now for reference:



    Last edited by syncro87; 03-10-11 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    For flat bars, as you suggest, you should be able to transfer everything. You may want/need to change the grips. Good chance the cables will even be long enough that you don't need to replace them (and the housings). Were you thinking of going to drop bars, the complexity would be substantially higher. What you need to know for compatibility is the diameter of the bars where they pass through the stem. There are only two choices, so you don't need to measure to the micron.

    Flat bars, of a specific diameter will narrow your choices to a selection of lengths, and possibly materials. For your intended use, on that bike, you should be able to let low price be your guide beyond that.

    Changing out the bars requires taking everything off the current bars, loosening up the bolt on the front/bottom of the stem, and sliding/twisting the bars out, and then sliding the new bars in and transferring everything back on.

  3. #3
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    @ Webster: Thank you. No, I don't think I'm going drop bars on this bike. Either a straight flat bar or something with a little bit of a curve in it like some of the town bikes I see.

    I'm guessing that with a tandem, I'm going to want something a little wider for more control? Maybe this is a misconception on my part.

    Thanks, good info that there are two sizes where they pass through the stem. I'll check it out. I was wondering how precise I would have to be on that measurement.

    I was thinking it might be a decent idea to get an adjustable stem as well, assuming they make an adjustable threaded style for an older bike. Time to Google.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrickell View Post
    @ Webster: Thank you. No, I don't think I'm going drop bars on this bike. Either a straight flat bar or something with a little bit of a curve in it like some of the town bikes I see.

    I'm guessing that with a tandem, I'm going to want something a little wider for more control? Maybe this is a misconception on my part.

    Thanks, good info that there are two sizes where they pass through the stem. I'll check it out. I was wondering how precise I would have to be on that measurement.

    I was thinking it might be a decent idea to get an adjustable stem as well, assuming they make an adjustable threaded style for an older bike. Time to Google.
    Well, you really do have to measure the bar clamping surface pretty precisely. Most flat bars are 25.6mm. That's what I suspect your current bars are but they could be 26.0mm. That's just enough difference that a 25.6mm bar will be difficult to clamp in your existing stem. A good way to measure is to wrap a piece of paper around the bar, mark where it overlaps, measure and divide by pi.

    Borrow your wife's hairspray and shoot a little under your handgrips. They'll slide right off. Spray on a little when you go to reinstall them and they'll slide on easily and stay put after you let them set up overnight.

    If you're thinking of buying an adjustible stem, measure it's diameter too. I suspect yours is 1" but it could be 1 1/8".

  5. #5
    What's a bike? adclark's Avatar
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    I would go with standard flat bars, but as others have said, make sure you get the right diameter. If you want more choices, get a threaded to threadless adapter and you can use whatever threadless stem/bar combo you want.
    The cake is a lie...

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