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  1. #1
    Arbiter of Awesome dzeccola's Avatar
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    Touring handlebars with Bar End Shifters

    I want to switch from my current mustache bars to a more drop style bar. I use bar and shifters and I really like the way the mustache bars give an easy line for my hands to go to the shifters. But I miss riding on my hoods and I think its time to try something new. Does anybody have any suggestions for bars to switch to? I looked at the Nitto Randoneur bars but I'm dubious about the vary narrow top horizontal area of the bars. What do people think?

  2. #2
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzeccola View Post
    I want to switch from my current mustache bars to a more drop style bar. I use bar and shifters and I really like the way the mustache bars give an easy line for my hands to go to the shifters. But I miss riding on my hoods and I think its time to try something new. Does anybody have any suggestions for bars to switch to? I looked at the Nitto Randoneur bars but I'm dubious about the vary narrow top horizontal area of the bars. What do people think?
    Nitto Noodles are very popular, I ride the 46cm wide version with barends and love them

  3. #3
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    If by "Nitto randonneurs" you mean the flared drop bars with the upswept top section that Rivendell sold years ago, I have them and they are an excellent touring and commuting bar. Riding on the tops, just behind the brake levers, is very comfortable, and getting down on the drops is nice because your wrists don't have to curve around the top part of the bars. I've got bar end shifters on mine and I have no intention of changing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    If you like the flared drops but want more top/flat area, you could try the Midge or an older WTB Dirt Drop, the new WTB Mountain Road Drop says they don't work with bar end shifters, not sure about the older ones. But the Raleigh Sojourn uses the new WTB Mountain Road Drop and bar ends, so I guess they do work in them.

  5. #5
    WATERFORD22
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    I am just in the process of putting something similar together for another touring rig = Nitto Technometer stem 25.4 for heighth then Nitto Classics Road bar - I have to check and make sure that's the offical name. Half way through my cross country trip this summer I had to find a stem extender and a stem with rise. I found that climbing mountain at 4 miles and hour and bending over killed by back. So with the extender almost know bending over and I rode on the top of the bars and the hoods. Next 1500 miles was a joy.

  6. #6
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    From left field and not drop bars... what about cowhorn or bullhorn bars?

    I've been using them on my FG tourer/rando bike for a while now, and like them. I never did use the drops very much on my Fuji Touring bike, and am considering putting a pair on it as well.

    They emulate the hoods position well and give you all the top-of-bar hand positions without the clumsiness of bar extensions on flat bars. Bar-end shifters can be accommodated easily, although you would have to look at cable routing for both brakes and shifters to avoid too large a mass under the bar tape.

    Obviously, for the Fuji Touring, my intention would be to go with Shimano Dura-Ace 9sp and triple bar-end shifters. The basic Shimano aero brake levers work well for me. I have thought, however, of transferring over my Tiagra levers, which would solve some of the cabling issues.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  7. #7
    It's true, man.
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    I'm considering the bullhorn bars option. I have a set laying around I could try with. I'm doing a weeklong tour next month. I think I'll run the drop bars I have and see if I really use the drops very much, or if I could do without that position. If I'm comfy without, I'll put on the horns.

    Rowan, would you say it's easier, harder or not really different using barcons on bullhorns? Do you have a detail pic of your arrangement?

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Go to a couple bike shops and grab bars. When you find one that feels good, buy it.
    I use a Ritchey Biocomp.
    Old Man Maine

  9. #9
    Arbiter of Awesome dzeccola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Nitto Noodles are very popular, I ride the 46cm wide version with barends and love them
    What has been your experience with the noodles in terms of how easy it is to reach for the shifters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by truman View Post
    I'm considering the bullhorn bars option. I have a set laying around I could try with. I'm doing a weeklong tour next month. I think I'll run the drop bars I have and see if I really use the drops very much, or if I could do without that position. If I'm comfy without, I'll put on the horns.

    Rowan, would you say it's easier, harder or not really different using barcons on bullhorns? Do you have a detail pic of your arrangement?
    Bear in mind I am running my bullhorns on a fixed gear -- so no shifters. But the barcons only need to slip on the ends, and I suppose it depends on their orientation as to how your shifting goes (ie, push or pull to change from one end of the cassette to the other). Look at the time triallists -- I know they have aerobars, but that might give you a clue to their appearance and shifting efficiency (which I think would be pretty darned good). I imagine when I am riding that the barcons are there, and they seem to be in good reach. And you definitely don't need to move your hand off the bars to make a gear change. As far as leverage is concerned, I don't know.

    The more I think about it, the more appealing the concept becomes. They have all the advantages of barcons on drop bars, but if you don't use the drops much, then you get rid of some wasted tubing. Plus if you are prone to hitting your knee on the bar end, then the shifters are well out of the way. You don't need to move your hand far to shift. You can shift while standing (I think). And you can use the special aero levers without the need for travel agents if you have V brakes fitted. It's almost as good (better in the last instance) than brifters.

    You might need to spend a bit of time fiddling with the angle of the bars. I found I still haven't got mine just quite right yet to avoid a little tingling in my left hand (which has given me on-going problems for 10 years anyway). But the angle does influence how comfortable you are sitting and when standing for uphills.

    Be aware that I am now on the lookout on Australian eBay for a good pair of 9sp Dura-Ace barcons to fit to the Fuji Touring bike -- just so I *do* know what I am talking about!
    Last edited by Rowan; 02-08-08 at 01:14 AM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  11. #11
    Acetone Man
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    I use 46cm flared salsa cyclocross bars with bar ends and they are awesome! Only drops I've ever used that I can control from the drops while standing, and the hood position is very nice too. While I imagine shifting isn't quite as convenient as with moustaches, which I only use with my fixed gear, with the bars up 1/2" above the saddle I can shift the bar ends from the hoods without changing my balance. Also, the combination of being both super wide at the bottom, and having an ergonomic step just ahead of the flat stretch (something you won't get with the nittos) means that I have great control down there and can hang out as long as I need to while shifting my knuckle dragger power ratchets, or just cheating the wind.

  12. #12
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzeccola View Post
    What has been your experience with the noodles in terms of how easy it is to reach for the shifters?
    I have the Nitto Noudles in 46 wide to make room for a handlebar bag and love them. They really do feel a lot different than the ergo bars that I have used or other drops. I think this is partly due to the gentle bends, slight set back from the stem.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  13. #13
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    I was quite excited at the idea the Midge and WTB bars are so wide. I'm broad in the shoulders, and I like a bar with lots of width for better dirt control. I don't know why they do it, but generally I find the photo those bars super agressively to make it look like they aren't moustache bars, when they are. Mine are pretty close to flat, and yet all the pictures I saw, and I really tried to find out before I bought then, showed a bar like the noodle that has some flair above the grips but not to the extent that your levers are way off the vertical plane. If you look carefully at the near side of the bars on the Sojourn you can see they are moustache like. I think you will be unhappy with the dirt style ones if you don't like Moustache bars, they are about 30 degrees from the horizontal, when what I was looking for was at most 30 degrees from the vertical.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    I think the WTB Road Mountain bars are more like halfway between moustache and drop bars. I rode to the LBS today to look at the Sojourn, well actually to look at the bars. I wasn't able to ride one today, since they didn't have one built in my size, but I think I will like them.

    I am building a new tourer out of an old Bianchi mountain bike frame I got yesterday. I am trying to determine which bars I want besides drop bars. I don't care for the angle of the brake lever on moustache bars, but the WTB seemed pretty good to me, without riding it.

  15. #15
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    I have the Nitto noodle bars with bar end shifters. I got them for nostalgic reasons so I wont defend them on any rational basis. Anyway, I sure do like shifting with them: the shifters are nearby and more convenient than down tube shifters. Unfortunately, mine seem to need to be a little stiff and I cannot shift with my little finger like I used to on my "Tiger" bicycle all those years ago.

  16. #16
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    I really like the bontrager bars that came on my 520 - they're just normal drop bars with the ergo-flat-spot in the bend.
    ...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Nitto Noodles are very popular, I ride the 46cm wide version with barends and love them
    +1. I ride the same setup and love them. I had a pair of the randos, but didn't care for them. They might be ok if I got wider one's. The tops were very narrow.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Trek Al's Avatar
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    had a pair of the randos, but didn't care for them. They might be ok if I got wider one's. The tops were very narrow

    +10
    Used the randos for a few miles. Took them off and threw them in the shed. Way too narrow at the drops and the bar end shifter still out at an odd angle. They suck.

    Al

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    Go to a couple bike shops and grab bars. When you find one that feels good, buy it.
    I'll give this a theoretical +1, but I'm not sure how this would work in practice for 2 reasons:
    1. It may be hard to find a shop with a good selection of handlebars (at least, it is in my neck of the woods).
    2. It can be hard to tell how a handlebar is going to feel wrapped and set up on your bike just by holding it bare in the shop.


    That said, handlebars, like saddles, are very personal. After all, it's one of only 3 places you actually contact the bike while riding (the 3rd being the pedals, of course). In my case, I have the Nitto Classic (45 cm) on one bike and the Nitto Noodle (46 cm) on another, and for my hands the Classic feels much more comfortable in the "hoods" position. The curvature of the Classic bar just seems to fit my hands better, whereas the flat ramps on the Noodle I seem to notice pressing into my palms on longer rides. I should add that on both bikes I run gel pads under the bar tape for a little extra padding.

    Mike

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    I have used Scott AT-2 handle bars for years. Very much like bullhorns. They're not made anymore, but you can find them on Ebay and some places selling NOS parts.

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