I have trouble with my hands and sometimes my neck, and find I can't tour on straight or dropped bars. I've toured with no problem in the past on Northroad style bars, but now I'm putting together a more rugged MTB style tourer, and I have a handlebar quandary. I have some bigish swept back bars off a Kona Ute, and I really like them on my new bike, but they're too narrow a diameter to fit bar end shifters (my favourites). I also have some cruiser style bars which are pretty close to old Porteur bars. They look like this:
These accept the bar end shifters, and are a pleasure to ride on, short term, at lease.
As I said, I'm used to the upright position, and never really speed on tour, so am not really concerned with wind resistance (though in very heavy wind, I have been known to grab the centre of my present Northroads and get a bit more streamlined).
Just wondered really if anyone had toured on anything like this, and how they found it in the long term.
I've been trying different ("alt") handlebars on weekend tours in an attempt to decide which to use on an upcoming 12-day tour. I've spent lots of time and done lots of miles on the Ragley Carnegie's, Surly Open Bar, Surly Torsion, and Titec Jones H-Bar.
I've decided to use the Surly Open Bar for my trip, which is my favorite of those handlebars, and incidentally, the one with the most sweep (53deg, I believe). The sweep is not quite as extreme as your handlebar, but the bar sweeps forward and then back so a shorter stem can be used. Available flat or with 40mm of rise for a more upright position. Might be worth considering for your application.
I find the Open Bar position very comfortable myself, although I do wish I could had an alternate hand position, especially after about 25 miles. I do move my hands to the bends sometimes as if riding on drop bar hoods, and I'm considering making an accessory to mount at the bends to grab onto. I've also found I can move my hands up to rest on my controls to get a second, more upright position.
I'm not 100% sure the Open Bar works with bar-end shifters, but I don't see why it wouldn't. Are you familiar with Paul's Thumbies? If not, look into them, for YFI.
I tried the H-Bar to experiment with different hand positions, but I found the horn and flat positions with that bar to be unusable with controls mounted, so it was basically just a 45deg sweep bar that my controls felt out-of-place on. It's well-loved, though, so YMMV.
My only concern with your Porteur bar is you might be too upright. For long rides it can be very nice to stretch out.
I must be one of the few people that can't stand butterfly bars.
Take a look at Velo Orange, the have three different models that I know of that you might like. They come in different diameters so that you can fit bar ends. The three models that I know of are the Left Bank, The Montmatre and the Porteur.
Thanks guys. I did actually manage to fit the bar end shifters to my original bars, which are much like Nitto Albatross bars (not so high as porteurs and with a bit less sweep), so it's back to my favourite Kona bars.
Fierts, I was out recently with the Kona bars in a strong headwind with a friend who was really pushing it. We were alternately drafting, me then him, then me, then him, and at that speed, I needed to use the centre of the bar to get my position down, there was no problem, though. It was just like using the top of drop bars (unfortunately, I get such back problems riding bent over, I can never get lower than the top of drop bars - if that makes any sense).
If anyone is interested in how I got the shifters to fit, here's a description I posted in another thread:
First I widened the top of the bar by getting the biggest drill bit I had (about half the size of the hole), and kind of ran it round the inside edge, knurling out enough to get the shifter end in, then I found that an old solid read axle had the same screw thread, so I cut about a three inch length from either end, left the rounded ball race/nut on about halfway along (this fits down the bar with a bit of a gap and pads it out nicely and stops any potential movement), then I packed some metal putty around the axle and pushed it in. I let it harden until still malliable, then, making sure the end of the bar was clean, screwed the shifter on until it was tight to the bar and a mm or two shy of it's final position. I then let it dry overnight. I tightened the last couple of mm until it was firm and in the right position, cabled everything up, and off I went on a test spin.
Perfect, if somewhat of a bodge.