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Thread: flatbar touring

  1. #1
    Junior Member dancingrasins's Avatar
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    flatbar touring

    So right now I have a Kona Jake the Snake with a flatbar that I put on it to do some commuting. I've really liked having a flatbar as opposed to a drop bar for commuting. What about touring? Have any of you guys toured with flatbars on touring bikes?

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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Some of the world's greatest bicycle tourists use flat bars.

    Heinz Stucke uses TWO flat bars.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1159928163
    heinz stucke_paris fr_1999_small.jpg

    I wonder where he got that handlebar bag?
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    Yeah, I use an MTB flatbar with simple barends added to get down lower for climbs, swifter descents. coasting, alternate hand positions to prevent faugue; others have added fancy clipon aerobars for the same purposes.

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    Don't we all ride both? I just don't find the flat bars are bio mechanically sound. I mean one does see folks (usually rather fat). Whose natural posture is palms back and elbows out, but for most people the palms are nearly flat to the side of the leg. Extend your hand forward from the palm in position and you are ready to shake hands or ride the hoods. You have to decide for yoursel.

    Heinz still rides a bike he bought in like the 50s. I don't think he is a tachnical cyclist, and there is a lesson in that for sure, but it isn't a lesson for techno perfectionists.

  5. #5
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    Don't we all ride both? I just don't find the flat bars are bio mechanically sound. I mean one does see folks (usually rather fat). Whose natural posture is palms back and elbows out, but for most people the palms are nearly flat to the side of the leg. Extend your hand forward from the palm in position and you are ready to shake hands or ride the hoods. You have to decide for yoursel.

    Heinz still rides a bike he bought in like the 50s. I don't think he is a tachnical cyclist, and there is a lesson in that for sure, but it isn't a lesson for techno perfectionists.
    I think Heinz's bike was stolen a couple of months ago in Great Britain. Someone was going to donate a new bicycle to him though.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of people touring with flat bars. If you're used to riding flat bars you might as well stick with it. All of my bikes have drop bars, so I tour with drop bars.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  7. #7
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    I have riden with drop bars but never toured with them, I just don't see how I would ever be more air-dynamic in the lower possition fully loaded.
    Below is a pic of my wifes new set up, she had butterfly bars before but after some shoulder pain went back to a streight bar with bar ends. Note how the bar ends are slightly twisted upwards and inwards for a much beter hand position.
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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Just about everyone in Europe tours with flat bars. I can only recall seeing one tourer with drops.

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    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    My main reason for using drops is the increased number of possible hand positions. On my last couple of tours I've been spending really long hours in the saddle. Many of my days have stretched from sunrise to sunset, and beyond in some cases. So I like to be able to move around and change my hand positions as often as possible to mitigate numbness and pain. While flat bars with bar ends are better than flats alone, I prefer drops.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    Quote Originally Posted by brotherdan
    I think Heinz's bike was stolen a couple of months ago in Great Britain. Someone was going to donate a new bicycle to him though.
    I heard about that.

    Then a few days later I read that it was recovered in good cond.

    Has it been re-stolen? And why would anyone want it..........

    He had a bike friday for a time, sponsored - had a link on their website. Then a year later riding his old bike again, pre-theft period.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Stucke also rides a 50 lb 3-speed bike, so whatever....

    I've used a flat bar on tours. I riced it out with some Ergon grips and (separate) bar-ends, works very well for me. Plenty of different grips to keep the hands & arms loose.

  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancingrasins
    Have any of you guys toured with flatbars on touring bikes?
    Yup...
    I just slightly modified mine.


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    My flat bar set up works well for me and I like it. This bike has several thousand miles on it.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 08-21-07 at 04:18 PM.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    My first tour was on a mountain bike with flat bars and barends - my hands went numb after about 2 weeks, and stayed numb for a month after I stopped riding. I found that the bar-end position was pretty comfortable, but I spent very little time with my hands there, because I wasn't happy without quick access to the brakes. I switched to a tour bike with drop bars because of this, and I'm very happy I did.

    Lots of folks use flat bars, though, and it seems like lots of people have a pretty strong preference, but there's no consensus. It must be a personal/biomechanical/riding style thing. So if you're body is happy doing long hours day after day with the flats, go for it! You'll find out for yourself soon enough, and if you made the wrong choice initially, it's not that big a deal to switch to the other kind of bar. (it's only money, which is way less important than permanent nerve damage)

    I think the whole issue of aerodynamics is irrelevant when you add a bunch of weight and drag with panniers or a trailer.
    ...

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    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    I'm a big believer in trekking bars. They seem to be the best compromise between drops and flats.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

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    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    I must have missed the second story about him getting his bike back.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha
    I'm a big believer in trekking bars. They seem to be the best compromise between drops and flats.
    What kind of grips and shifters can go on trekking bars, by the way?

  19. #19
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    i have flat bars on both of my touring bikes ...
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    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  20. #20
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    For me it's a question of hand positions. I started touring (just this year) on a Trek 7200FX with flat bars. I thought that I might never regain feeling in my hands! But I did, then switched to trekking bars. They were a big improvement. But now I have a Fuji Touring with drop bars and I'm completely hooked on drops -- I haven't had a bit of numbness or pain, after a while of dialing the bike in to my shape.

    But this is a matter of your body's geometry and what you're used to riding. To the OP, if you're comfortable and don't get any numbness or pain, then stick to what you like. If you've not tried drops on a tour -- try them out and see how you feel after a long day.

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    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    What kind of grips and shifters can go on trekking bars, by the way?

    I have twist shifters on mine, but you can also use triggers or thumbies. As for grips I have a fugly set of rubber grips near my shifters and the rest of the bar is taped.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  22. #22
    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    I used to tour on a flat bar mountain bike but had serious issues with dead fingers. I've switched to a drop bar touring bike, and haven't had anymore problems. I was considering fitting aero bars onto the flat bars at one stage.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Yup...
    I just slightly modified mine.
    Hi Bikepacker67, what kind of bag is that I see? Looks pretty cool.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha
    I'm a big believer in trekking bars. They seem to be the best compromise between drops and flats.
    I've been looking for some, but have had a hard time finding them. I've seen people point to Nashbar, but there aren't listed on their site. Any idea where I might be able to pick them up?

  25. #25
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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    Drop bars for me. I can't imagine not having the ability to change to multiple riding positions which the drop bars offer.
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

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