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Old 11-12-07, 07:57 PM   #1
Geddy
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Handlebar diameter Surly LHT...

Hi, all

I just bought a Surly LHT and have found that the handlebar diameter is small enough to cause pain in my hands (on every bar position). I'm convinced that it's the diameter because my other bike (Cannondale) has thicker bars and I have no issues with it. I just measured both bars: the LHT's bars are around 4" (10.16cm) and the other bike is 5" (12.7cm) Both bars are wrapped and on the bikes.

The obvious suggestion would be to get the same handlebars that are on the Cannondale and put them on the LHT, but the length of those bars are a little shorter than I'd like.

I'm absolutely non versed in this sort of thing...I've never really thought about handlebars before. What bars should I consider (obviously, ones that will fit the bike)...or is there something (pads, more tape) I could put on the LHT to make it thicker?

I guess what I'm asking is - if you had this same problem, what would you do to fix it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-12-07, 09:36 PM   #2
Old Hammer Boy
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You could double wrap handlebar tape or add some of those gel cushion thingies. This is not a bit unusual. I wouldn't change the bars if, except for diameter, the bars are okay.
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Old 11-12-07, 09:51 PM   #3
Geddy
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Thanks

for the response!

My only concern with adding more tape is, would one additional wrapping add an inch to the diameter? But I can see the gel things would help, though I don't know if they would add the thickness uniformly or not.
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Old 11-13-07, 04:31 AM   #4
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I wrapped another layer of padded tape over the original vinyl tape and found it to be very comfortable
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Old 11-13-07, 05:50 AM   #5
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Grab-ons, anyone? Though I'm sure I don't know what you mean when you say a 5-inch diameter bar.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:04 AM   #6
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I looked on the Performance website and found a gel/wrap set up I'm going to give a shot. I'm going to try putting it over the existing tape and see if it will work.

By 5 inch diameter I meant that when I measured the thickness (diameter) of my Cannondale handlebars, they were around 5inches.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 11-13-07, 09:14 AM   #7
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I use the gel inserts. They come with foam tape. I use that, then do a second wrap with cloth tape. It comes out pretty fat, and nicely cushioned. Try it. Tape is relatively cheap. The gel is not, but it's not that bad. The Aztek is about $24, and the Specialized I tried on my other bike is similar.
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Old 11-13-07, 10:22 AM   #8
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I've had three different bar tapes on my bike in the last month. At first I had cork tape that was on the bike when I got it. Very durable- i think it had been on there for many years. I wanted something a little more comfortable on long rides. I bought some Stella Azzurra foam tape. I liked it for about two days. It definitely adds some thickness to the bars, and increased comfort, but was not durable at all. It ripped on me after about 2 weeks. I just wrapped with Specialized Bar Phat last night. It feels much more durable, and came with gel inserts. I was looking just for something for comfort factor- not really to increase the thickness of the bars, but the bar phat definitely did. The gel inserts add quite a bit. So far they feel better than anything else I've ridden with, but i've only gone about 10 miles on them. Time will tell.

But I recommend gel inserts (Bar Phat by Specialized) over Stella Azzurra foam bar tape. It adds more thickness to the bars, is more comfortable, and appears as if it will be more durable.

And I suppose it doesn't matter, but I'm confused on this 5" bar thing, too. Are you talking about the diameter of the curve in the drop part of the bars? Thats the only thing I can figure, but it doesn't seem like new bar tape is what you need. 5" diameter tubing for the handlebars seems wierd, unless it's some new design I haven't seen where you slip your arms inside....
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Old 11-13-07, 11:07 AM   #9
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You're confusing diameter with perimeter

distance across vs distance around.

yes, another layer of tape would be significant. Also, it sounds like you're putting too much pressure on your hands?
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Old 11-13-07, 02:04 PM   #10
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Road bar diameters (not stem clamp area) are essentially the same. It's the thickness of the bar tape that makes the difference. Double wrapping also helps.
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Old 11-14-07, 09:09 AM   #11
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Wrapped...

I got the Aztec gel and tape and put it over the existing tape. It seems to be helping somewhat, but not enough to be considered comfortable. The pain is mainly in the fleshy part of where the thumb joins my wrist. The really strange part is that the Surly has less of a reach to it than my C'dale, but the C'dale doesn't give me the same pain.

I guess I'll try moving the seat forward before getting another stem...which I really hope I don't have to do...

I'm sorry about the confusion regarding the 5" diameter thing...I took a measuring tape and ran it around the handlebars to see how thick the bar tape was on each handlebar.
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Old 11-14-07, 10:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Geddy View Post
I guess I'll try moving the seat forward before getting another stem...which I really hope I don't have to do...
wrong wrong wrong... the saddle should be set for what's best for your knees. I'm not saying moving it won't help your hands and there is certainly some play that can be made and your knees will still be fine, but saddle position is for you knees. If you want to mess with saddle, try tilting it back slightly, but NOT at the expense of causing numbness to the groin.
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Old 11-14-07, 12:08 PM   #13
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For me, if my legs are doing more than my butt, my wrists are fine. If my butt is doing more than my legs (if I'm just sitting on the bike more than riding it), my wrists are going to be doing more than they want and will hurt.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:57 PM   #14
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Are you sure its the handlebar diameter that is the issue? It could be another factor, like bar height, stem length, seat position etc. It usually takes me a long time to get a new bike dialed in to where I am comfortable. If my bars are in the wrong spot my hands will go numb, regardless of how much bar tape I have. Check your old bike and see how these various factors compare to your new one.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:25 PM   #15
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I am looking at getting an adjustable stem. The extra bar tape/gel pads have helped quite abit, but not enough. Went to Performance, but they didn't have the right size. I'll probably have to order it online.
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