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  1. #1
    Senior Member etherhuffer's Avatar
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    Handlebar Question/Small Hands

    I am rather befuddled after hours of handlebar googling. My spouse has small hands, and we will get the Shimano brifters for small hands, no problem.

    My question is reach and flare. For touring, it seems most bars have some flare. No problem, I get that.

    My question is reach. There are all sorts of bars with various reach measures. If you are riding the ramps with small hands, I assume its just a little longer to get to the hoods. And, I would have to take that into account a little when setting up stem length.

    On the other hand, that longer ramp would essentially give her a higher upright position on the tops, no?

    And, any opinion on the ergo bends? Seems to me that would help keep the hand up a little to reach the levers.

    I have a Nitto Noodle and love it. I am afraid the reach and drop would be adverse for small hands.

  2. #2
    weirdo
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    I don`t quite understand what you`re asking, but I like short reach bars too. It seems to me that most of the short reach bars are "ergo" style, which I find to be a bit on the ugly side, but they feel fine after getting used to them for a while. Two problems with that shape come to mind and I can live with both of them. One is that it makes cable routing for bar end shifters a little bit trickier- the shape of the drops makes it almost impossible to run the cable out of the tape without being in the way of one hand position or another, so you pretty much have to keep it wrapped all the way around to the brake cables. With the tight bends in that style bar, that does affect shifting a little bit. The other issue is that the funny kinks make it a bit uncomfortable to grab in between one position and the next, as opposed to rounder drops where you can slide your hands wherever you want.

    I have Ritchey Biomax on one bike and Slasa Short and Shallow on another- both ergo bend and pretty much the same thing except that the Salsas are about half the price of the Ritcheys. Neither of those bars have any flare to speak of, but some of the other Salsas (Bell Laps, I think) are pretty flared. Both bars are set up pretty high (about seat level) and my primary hand position for both is on the ramps- I don`t feel right on the hoods. I also spend a lot of time at the very ends of the bars, with my palms cupping the shifter bodies. When I need food brake control or riding in unstable conditions, I get all the way into the drops, which is easy and fairly comfortable do to the short reach.

    I hope I touched on some of what you were wondering. I`m not sure what you were getting at with your comments about longer ramps and more reach on short reach bars. Yes, you do have to take the bar reach into account when you decide on stem length.

  3. #3
    Senior Member etherhuffer's Avatar
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    I guess that my question is whether or not ramps are rideable if larger, instead of smaller, with a small handed person.

    I had not thought of the cable routing, which now gives me pause.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Well, like I say- in my mind there are a few issues, but I choose to live with them. You might find some short reach bars that don`t have that ergo bend, but I found a style that I liked well enough and stopped looking. As far as the ramps go, I don`t think there`s a problem. Again, it`s my primary hand position. If you or your wife is considering that kind of bar but still uncertain, I`d suggest test riding a bike that has them mounted and then she`ll know whether they suit her. That`s how I ended up with mine- took a Jamis Aurora for a test ride and didn`t like the drive train, but loved the bars, so I ordered a pair. Another kind of funny lookin bar that might work is that one from VO with the extra elbows in the flat part. Hard to describe it better, but if you take a peek at their bar selection you`ll see it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member etherhuffer's Avatar
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    I think that is their randonneur or Nitto 177, both very nice bars.

    I think riding a few bikes at the shop is what we will have to do.

  6. #6
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    FSA compact shallow drop are designed for smaller hands. I think you can get both the ergo and swooping style I'm a big fan of these... they are pretty reasonable also..
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

    2010 Giant TCR SL 3
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  7. #7
    Gouge Away kaliayev's Avatar
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    FSA Omega Compact. Great cheap bar. I think you can still get them from Tree Fort Bikes for around $30.

    I have put a set on my Trek 520, but no pics. Here they are on my road bike though.
    Last edited by kaliayev; 01-24-10 at 10:42 PM.

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