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Stretching to reach handlebars - new bars or...?

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Stretching to reach handlebars - new bars or...?

Old 10-01-12, 08:11 PM
  #1  
Dan515
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Stretching to reach handlebars - new bars or...?

My girlfriend bought a Devinci Lifestyle Classic off of Craigslist the other day, and after a few rides she feels she has to stretch a bit to reach the handlebars.

If you click the link, you can see that the design of the bike is such that the seat post angles sharply away from the handlebars... it's supposed to be more "ergonomic" according to the Devinci site, but it just makes it harder to reach the riser bars that are on it right now (maybe 1.5" rise and 10* backsweep?). It's got an adjustable stem that's already at 45* (that's how it came from the previous owner) in an attempt, I assume, to make the reach shorter.

The seat is already pretty far forward on the post, so I feel like the only solution is to get some replacement handlebars that sweep backwards more in order to make it more comfortable for my girlfriend. However, the bike has older SRAM 3.0 gripshifters which makes things even more confusing, as I know that some types of handlebars can't accept grip shifters or mountain bike v-brake levers.

So I'd greatly appreciate any advice as to which handlebars can accept gripshifters and v-brake levers! I was thinking something similar to North Road bars, but preferably inexpensive (under $30).

Or, if there are other solutions to the problem that I've overlooked, I'd like to hear those too!


Thanks!
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Old 10-01-12, 08:27 PM
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This is a bit extreme but can you rotate the stem 180? That would certainly reduce the reach to the bars and might even let you angle the bars a bit more "normally".
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Old 10-01-12, 09:11 PM
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Since the bars have a decent amount of rise. You can rotate them back and get the reach more to your liking.

If that isn't enough, see if there's any way to move the saddle forward more, possibly reversing the seatpost.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:14 PM
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Solution is to get a different bike. Why a crank forward cruiser? All your weight is on your ass, you can't post (lift off the saddle), so the seat gets rammed into your crotch with every bump and ripple. Your torso is bolt upright, for the most aerodynamic drag possible. The high bar and sit-up-and-beg position puts your legs at the weakest position for pedaling. I think they are made for old people to ride at 12 mph on the bike path, and that's it.

Rant over. Sorry. Yeah, turn the stem around and/or get North Road type bars. I think most North Road bars are standard mountain bike diameter, so GripShifts should fit. Anyway it will be obvious if the bars are the same diameter as her existing one. Just wheel the bike into the shop and compare.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:24 PM
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Great - lower your center of gravity and take pressure off your hands by tilting the seat tube back so far that all the weight is on your butt, and to top it off your legs are trying to push you back further.
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Old 10-02-12, 12:42 AM
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Think of it as a Half recumbent.. recumbents already accept flipping the stem.

FWIW , customers like the stop, flat footed, that the crank forward
low saddle position offers.

some are just not comfortable with Tippy -Toe
or higher-ground to saddle distances readers of this forum
defend as their preferences..

To the OP : consider cruiser pull back bars..

.. consider also as an extreme example, long wheel base over the seat steered recumbents ,,the handle bar turning the front wheel to balance,
at low speeds , sometimes makes it necessary
to let go of the handle bar end, that must swing away from you
quite a ways. as the handle bars become more like a
2 handed tiller lever..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-02-12 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 10-02-12, 09:18 AM
  #7  
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Good luck on this... that is the weirdest looking seat tube on a "normal" bike that I have ever seen.

My only thought is a seat post that naturally puts her more forward than her current uncomfortable one.
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Old 10-02-12, 09:28 AM
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Wow. I've looked at the product description, and it appears that they wanted to offer a foot-down ability for the casual rider. Okay.

Why not flip the stem backwards? The steering will feel different, but anyone can learn to handle a bike with that reversed setup. It would gain you (it appears) a minimum of 7 centimeters of reach reduction. You'll have to remove one side of the levers/grip so that you can slide the bar out. Flip stem and re-install everything as before.

I'd give it a shot. PG

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 10-02-12 at 09:34 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-02-12, 10:02 AM
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On a totally unrelated and unhelpful note, I just want to say that I would be highly entertained by someone attempting to put drop bars on the OP's bike and riding it. Not for any practical reason, just because.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:03 AM
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Seems like the "tippy-toe" problem (which I acknowledge can be frightening to newer cyclists) could have been better solved by using a lower bottom bracket and shorter cranks -- the target users aren't going to be banking over 45 degrees in turns anyway. But they didn't ask me.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Solution is to get a different bike. Why a crank forward cruiser? All your weight is on your ass, you can't post (lift off the saddle), so the seat gets rammed into your crotch with every bump and ripple. Your torso is bolt upright, for the most aerodynamic drag possible. The high bar and sit-up-and-beg position puts your legs at the weakest position for pedaling. I think they are made for old people to ride at 12 mph on the bike path, and that's it.

Rant over. Sorry. Yeah, turn the stem around and/or get North Road type bars. I think most North Road bars are standard mountain bike diameter, so GripShifts should fit. Anyway it will be obvious if the bars are the same diameter as her existing one. Just wheel the bike into the shop and compare.
Well it's my gf's bike and she likes a relaxed, cruiser-style ride with more than 3 gears. She doesn't ride very fast either, so I wouldn't be too concerned about performance.

That's good to know about North Road-style bars. Thanks for the tip!

Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Great - lower your center of gravity and take pressure off your hands by tilting the seat tube back so far that all the weight is on your butt, and to top it off your legs are trying to push you back further.
I actually gave it a quick spin for about 5km and it was pretty comfy. Not sure how it would fare for a longer ride though...

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Wow. I've looked at the product description, and it appears that they wanted to offer a foot-down ability for the casual rider. Okay.

Why not flip the stem backwards? The steering will feel different, but anyone can learn to handle a bike with that reversed setup. It would gain you (it appears) a minimum of 7 centimeters of reach reduction. You'll have to remove one side of the levers/grip so that you can slide the bar out. Flip stem and re-install everything as before.

I'd give it a shot. PG
Thanks i never thought about that! I thought it would be really weird, but a lot of people are suggesting it so it musn't be that strange.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Think of it as a Half recumbent.. recumbents already accept flipping the stem.

FWIW , customers like the stop, flat footed, that the crank forward
low saddle position offers.

some are just not comfortable with Tippy -Toe
or higher-ground to saddle distances readers of this forum
defend as their preferences..

To the OP : consider cruiser pull back bars..

.
Exactly. My gf prefers the relaxed feel of the bike, even if it's not the closest thing to aero.

What do you mean by "cruiser pull back bars?"
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Old 10-02-12, 12:11 PM
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I put cruiser bars on a mountain bike along with cruiser tires to make a fun bike to ride around on. I don’t see why cruiser bars wouldn’t work for you.

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Old 10-02-12, 12:33 PM
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What do you mean by "cruiser pull back bars?"
U shaped, not straight across.. so bar bends back to meet you.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:49 PM
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I reccomend something like Wald's longhorn style cruiser bars see here : https://cdn103.iofferphoto.com/img/it.../longhorn4.jpg
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Old 10-02-12, 07:18 PM
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Why do they have to make those bars so wide?
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Old 10-03-12, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Why do they have to make those bars so wide?

To clear your knees.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
To clear your knees.
Hardly.

I'd go with some North Road bars.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Hardly.

I'd go with some North Road bars.
North Road bars are great and I have them on a few road bikes I have converted to townies. With the Op’s bike and that severe seat tube angle North Road bars would help a lot as long as the way the shifters mount was still in a position that was easy to operate.
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Old 10-03-12, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
On a totally unrelated and unhelpful note, I just want to say that I would be highly entertained by someone attempting to put drop bars on the OP's bike and riding it. Not for any practical reason, just because.
Quoting JFK: "...and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..."

Racing on the semi-recumbent Cheltenham-Pedersen:



Note that there is an enormous range of possible fore/aft rider positions, relative to the bottom bracket.

In general, the intensity of pedaling effort dictates the optimal "tilt" of the rider, since vigorous pedaling force counters the balance forces that normally cause a rider to fall foreward in the absence of the rider's arms pushing foreward.
At the opposite (recumbent) extreme, and/or as the rider exerts maximal pedaling torque (during sprinting or steep climbing), the rider must pull on the handlebars or rely on a sissy-bar pad or chair-type seat back.
(Shown below is the very rare time-trialing saddle on my Colian funnybike. Used for relatively short, all-out racing events, and as shown not properly adjusted for fore-aft or tilt)

Last edited by dddd; 10-03-12 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:36 PM
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So I flipped the stem on her bike... it definitely looks odd, but I took it for a test spin and it seems to work pretty well! I'll have to see what she thinks after a few rides though.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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