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Old 03-10-06, 03:08 AM   #1
zzxxyy
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Last call - anyone stopping me from running a flatbar and barends?

I am in the middle of building an all-rounder with front and rear racks, and which I can use for commuting, city, touring (not expedition level but more than credit card as well), and even occasional slower club rides. A real all-rounder. It will be based on a 700c cross-frame with all the mounts.

I have been reading up on the pros and cons of running a flatbar as opposed to a dropbar and am 99% certain I will go the flatbar and bar-ends route.

Reasons:
1. I am pretty comfy with a flatbar and bar-ends (Cane Creek Ergo) on my mtb and the number of handpositions seem to be enough for me.
2. I have the option of going internal hub (Rohloff or Nexus)
3. I have most of the parts (mtb) already as opposed to spending more money on STI brifters and a dropbar.

To be honest, between drops and flats, I favour the drops (with a Midge bar) slightly more but the part about spending more makes it negative.

Before I go the flatbar route, I just want to do a last-minute check with you folks. Am I doing the right thing? Will I regret not going drops?

Thanks!
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Old 03-10-06, 03:29 AM   #2
Lolly Pop
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Have you considered ergonomic / butterfly / trekking bars? It will provide more variety of hand positions (particularly fore and aft) than a flat bar.

A fancy one from Wall Bike

They also sell non-hinged ones made by Acor and ITM for around $15 or 15 depending on where you live.

I recently converted to these bars (ITM model) from drop bars and I quite like them. Here's a picture of mine:



As you can see I kept my bar-end shifters, and mounted them using thumb adaptors. I find the upright posture is more comfortable. Good luck with your bars!
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Old 03-10-06, 03:40 AM   #3
AnthonyG
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Yeah check out butterfly/trekking bars. No point in starting another thread on them. There's a thread here in the touring forum and one in the general forum.

If you start with flat bars its a staight forward and simple swap to fit butterfly bars.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 03-10-06, 02:07 PM   #4
mtnroads
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Hey LP - that is a really nice setup. How easy is it to shift with the shifters mounted that way, and are the bars comfortable for longer rides?
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Old 03-10-06, 02:40 PM   #5
bccycleguy
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I have flatbars with bar ends on my Trek 7500FX along with LX-XT drive train and have used it for both touring and riding centuries. It's a perfectly fine setup that works well and is comfortable. It's only in headwinds that I miss having drops, but you can hunker-down a bit with barends. Speed is not an issue when touring, at least when I tour.

When I want to ride fast I ride my Lemond.
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Old 03-10-06, 03:28 PM   #6
AndrewP
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Also consider aerobars on the flat bars for headwinds and an alternative body position.
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Old 03-10-06, 04:04 PM   #7
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Butterfly bars give you more hand positions and a little more stretch, or a lot less stretch, depending on how you deploy them. A shorter more upright posture is not more comfortable, certainly a huge disadvantage if the wind ever blows. The main disadvantage of butterflies and flats is the same: not as natural a position for the hands, and your medium position isn't on the brakes. On drops you have 2-3 basics positions that are more ergo, more aero, and on the brakes. Wandering around on the road with triathlon type extensions as though you were on a closed course does not give you the safety of drops with fingertip brakes. And in the example shown above you would be trading the brakeless stretch for a position still about the same as granny on you shopping bike.

The only really bad part about drops is getting a working brake combo, and the STI situation. But you can use bar ends which is at least one position on the brakes and the gears, and your average position is no further off the gears than the butterfly bar. STI has a pupose but it isn't necesarry for everyday use. It's certainly fun.

Flat bars are comfortable for a short ride, but for long rides, I don't enjoy them, if you feel otherwise that's a big factor in their favour.
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Old 03-11-06, 12:43 AM   #8
Thor29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzxxyy
Reasons:
1. I am pretty comfy with a flatbar and bar-ends (Cane Creek Ergo) on my mtb and the number of handpositions seem to be enough for me.
2. I have the option of going internal hub (Rohloff or Nexus)
3. I have most of the parts (mtb) already as opposed to spending more money on STI brifters and a dropbar.
1. The number of hand positions on a mountain bike are irrelevant to touring. They are totally different riding conditions.
2 and 3 are contradictory - if you already have most of the parts then what does an internal hub have to do with it, especially a Rohloff if you are trying to save money? (Nexus sucks - I'd rather tour on a single speed).
3. Bar end shifters!!!!! They will let you use your mountain bike parts and aren't very expensive.
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Old 03-11-06, 03:09 AM   #9
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Thor, what is wrong with nexus? I looked at the ratios and they are basically any two of my chainrings on my touring bike, which would be fine for most touring. Not really sure why one would bother since it isn't probably any more relialbe in summer conditions than regular gears, but certainly good enough for most stuff.
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Old 03-12-06, 01:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpan1
Thor, what is wrong with nexus? I looked at the ratios and they are basically any two of my chainrings on my touring bike, which would be fine for most touring. Not really sure why one would bother since it isn't probably any more relialbe in summer conditions than regular gears, but certainly good enough for most stuff.
The 8 speed Nexus is a nice and sturdy hub, light years ahead of the early Nexus kit. The only trouble is the gaps between the gears. It gives you approx the same spread of ratios as a dual chainring setup but you only have 8 rather than 15-18+ steps (how far do you cross up!?) that your average touring triple setup has.
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Old 03-12-06, 01:55 AM   #11
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Back on topic: Use the flat bars for now and pick up the drop bars and STI when you see deals on the parts.
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Old 03-12-06, 02:15 AM   #12
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The Jones H-bar is an alternative to a flat with ends or the butterfly style. Too expensive but pretty cool--3-4 different positions. Titec is supposed to be coming out with a cheaper, aluminum version sometime soon. North Road bars or Albatross bars are also a nice alternative--I've heard good things about both. I'm happy so far with my Jones (got it used.)

www.jonesbikes.com the H-bar

http://www.bessasandackerman.com/p/0081.php Albatross bar fan club
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