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Modern Ergonomic dropbar with vintage levers?

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Modern Ergonomic dropbar with vintage levers?

Old 11-14-19, 04:45 PM
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rosefarts
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Modern Ergonomic dropbar with vintage levers?

The Spectrum is up and running now and is truly a beauty. My singular complaint is how uncomfortable the handlebar is.

I hate the interface between the handlebar and levers. They drop too precipitously.

Compare the pics. The blue bike is my gravel, as you can see, it's a nearly straight line from the bar to the hoods.

The Spectrum with a classic Giro de Italia bar causes a deep drop before the hoods. If I were to move the levers more proximal, they'd be pointing up because of the curve of the bar.

My question is, can I use a bar shaped pretty much like the one on the blue bike, on the black/gold one WITH the 7400 non aero levers pictured? My searches haven't turned up much. I'd rather have an idea before unwrapping the old bar and cutting a shim.


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Old 11-14-19, 05:29 PM
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Vintage brake lever bodies are usually pretty much perpendicular to the bar where ever they mount. It's really the design of the brake lever body that gets you what you want where the tops of hoods are angled down relative to the bar clamp part so that the top of the hoods end up approximately tangential to the curve instead of perpendicular. I know some people have added shims under the hood of Shimano 8/9 speed STIs for the same purpose of betting the top of the hoods tangential to the bars.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:47 PM
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While you might get a slightly more comfortable riding position using ergo bars and vintage levers, if a modern fit is what you want, best to get some TRP RRL or equivalent levers to go with it. The fact is that people did not ride on the hoods all the time as the main position before STI came out. The tops and the corners/'ramps' were the usual comfort position. Vintage bars and levers were more optimized for riding in the dropped position. Hoods were just another position. Possibly used most for climbing out of the saddle, but also sometimes for cruising, sometimes for go fast.

Historically, ergo bars came out a couple years before STI, and a few years before STI became dominant. I remember them used with 'vintage' levers. You might like it. I dunno. Don't expect the flat top pseudo bull horn modern thing though.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 11-15-19 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 11-14-19, 10:54 PM
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Rene Herse Randonneur bars do a great job of getting you nice flat ramps and lots of hand positions.



: Mike
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Old 11-14-19, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
The Spectrum is up and running now and is truly a beauty. My singular complaint is how uncomfortable the handlebar is.

I hate the interface between the handlebar and levers. They drop too precipitously.

Compare the pics. The blue bike is my gravel, as you can see, it's a nearly straight line from the bar to the hoods.

The Spectrum with a classic Giro de Italia bar causes a deep drop before the hoods. If I were to move the levers more proximal, they'd be pointing up because of the curve of the bar.

My question is, can I use a bar shaped pretty much like the one on the blue bike, on the black/gold one WITH the 7400 non aero levers pictured? My searches haven't turned up much. I'd rather have an idea before unwrapping the old bar and cutting a shim.
Old-school non-aero levers are better to think of as grip nubs than handrests. No matter how they sit against the bar, they're unlikely to be a good place for long periods of weighting the hands with outstretched arms. But they do offer a confident, lively grip. On bikes with non-aero levers, I mostly use the hoods for aero postures with level or near-level forearms, and for climbing. It's typically better to fit the bike so that the drops and/or ramps fill the handrest roll.
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Old 11-15-19, 05:29 AM
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I gave up on ergo drop handlebars and went back to vintage handlebars on all my bikes with vintage brake levers.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-19, 06:01 AM
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Nitto Noodle has a lovely bend that isn't ergo but more modern or useful on its bends. It's a lovely bar.
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Old 11-15-19, 06:14 AM
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@rosefarts - Aside from the suggestions above, you may want to move the levers further up the bar. The convention for many BITD was to place a straight edge along the flat underside of the drop and place the brake such that the end of the lever is even with the straight edge. This will move the lever much further up than where pictured. The issue remains that the vintage hoods are not very comfortable for on hood riding. I do it be cause I just can't get past the period correct configuration.

The other adjustment to consider is to rotate your bars more. I always set up my bars for a comfortable grip in the drops. This usually gets the straight of the drops pointed more towards the rear axle. It will also reduce the ramp angle to the hoods.

The combination might work out to an acceptable positioning. Here is an example. Don't flame me for the bar tape!

B_Y_DS, on Flickr
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Old 11-15-19, 07:50 AM
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Soma Highway One and Nitto M151 are good examples of compact bend bars that have a clamp area of 26.0mm. I have some and while they don't really look the vintage part, they are (IMO) more comfortable.

Edited to add:

Here are the Soma Highway One bars (130 Drop/75 Reach) with a Nitto Dynamic II 90 degree stem, 120mm. This combination does not require the use of a tool to put the stem on the bars and isn't as unsightly as the quill adapter and threadless stems I've been forced to use in the past. Please ignore the terrible re-tape job, sadly that's my best effort



Last edited by nomadmax; 11-16-19 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 11-15-19, 09:37 AM
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Iím pretty frustrated with my handlebar choices when I try to use a traditional quill stem with ergo bend 26.0 bars. At the first abrupt bend, there is just no way to advance the bars towards the center of the bars. Prying the clamp open is tempting but I fear on an aluminum stem I would crack it.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Iím pretty frustrated with my handlebar choices when I try to use a traditional quill stem with ergo bend 26.0 bars. At the first abrupt bend, there is just no way to advance the bars towards the center of the bars. Prying the clamp open is tempting but I fear on an aluminum stem I would crack it.
I have a tool by Nitto I can lend you anytime you want. It works great.

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Old 11-15-19, 10:59 AM
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rosefarts
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Iím pretty frustrated with my handlebar choices when I try to use a traditional quill stem with ergo bend 26.0 bars. At the first abrupt bend, there is just no way to advance the bars towards the center of the bars. Prying the clamp open is tempting but I fear on an aluminum stem I would crack it.
So that is my other concern. It's a DA stem with the hidden bolts. Nothing to spread out.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:25 AM
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Maybe another way to get from A - B...raise/change the stem, along with slight rotation of bars and moving the levers up? Salamadrine's post is right on...it was a different approach at that point.
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Old 11-15-19, 12:16 PM
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Old advice that bears repeating

Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Have someone take a picture of you on the bike in the position you're in most of the time. Especially the hands. Whatever you do, DO NOT hook your thumbs over the brake-hoods with straight forearms and rest your weight on web between thumb and forefinger. That's a very sensitive area with lots of nerves:


Contrary to popular belief, the longer your reach to bars, the less weight you have on your hands. Imagine if you had your hands fully forward and horizontal like Superman flying, there'd be hardly any weight on them at all. However, your seat should be positioned for optimum leg-angle and extension, NOT for reach to bars. If you need longer reach to the bars, get a longer stem, do not slide your seat back (that can introduce all sorts of knee problems). Notice plenty of space and reach to bars:



Now the main issue with your hand-pain is how you position your hands on the bars. Imagine drawing a line extending your forearm bones past your hands. That line should land on bars or hoods to carry your upper-body weight. You want to bend your wrist and rotate your palms inward so that the weight is on heel of your palms instead of on thumb. There can be multiple causes of numbness, but I think in your case, it's primarily with how you position your hands:

1. HANDLEBAR HEIGHT - the lower the bars, the more weight you'll have on your arms and hands. Also too short of a reach will also tend to have your arms be vertical with the bars too low, your elbows will be locked and all road shock will pound your hands, arms and shoulders with every road irregularity. I prefer to ride with no lower than a 2" handlebar drop and recreational riders might want to have their bars even with the seat or even higher.

2. HAND-POSITION & GRIP probably makes a significant contribution as well. Don't grip the bars so tight! Gripping the hoods/bars tight is compensation for unbalanced positioning. The weight-bearing spot on your hand should be on the heel of the palm:



To really find this spot, do some push-ups and hold yourself up. Notice where weight is... note that you do not have to grip the carpet to prevent yourself from falling over. Note that you can wiggle all your fingers. The weight-bearing spot is on an imaginary point directly where the forearm bones would extend through your palm.

Now on bike, place your palm on the bars/hoods so that this spot is directly centered inline with the forearm bones. This spot is not directly over bars, but rather 45-degrees behind it so that from perspective of your shoulders looking through your arm-bones, bars are inline with the bones.

Good way to test is this to release all your fingers, all your weight should be passively supported by the heel of palm. If you slide off back of the bars, move your hands up and forward a bit. If you slide off front of bars, move your hands back bit. Finding this perfectly balanced spot will allow you to ride with all fingers loose, try wiggling them all at once. Like this:


Another variation on this is to curl in the fingers and resting the nails on top of the bar.

Couple different ways to rest on the hoods:

<missing HandPositionHoods2.jpg>
You can lightly wrap the fingers over the tops of the hoods or around the side, but no gripping necessary if all your weight is on the heel of the palm. You should be able to freely wiggle ALL your fingers, including the thumb.

With no muscles clamping with a death-grip on the bars or hoods, your hands will get more circulation and they'll feel more comfortable. With your hands on the drops, you want them splayed out about 45-degrees like that last photo so that all of the weight is on the outside heel of the palm.

One thing you want to be careful about is positioning your weight in the valley in the middle of the heel. The median nerve and flexor tendons runs through there and putting weight on it will pinch and cause numbness and pain. I can ride a hundred miles with bare handlebars and no gloves without any problems. It's just a matter of balancing your weight on parts of your hands that's tough and avoid the tender spots. Here's some other riders with their hands positioned for no-pain riding (notice the bent wrist and forearm bones aimed at the hoods or bar):


So yeah.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:15 PM
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Contrary to popular belief, the longer your reach to bars, the less weight you have on your hands. Imagine if you had your hands fully forward and horizontal like Superman flying, there'd be hardly any weight on them at all. However, your seat should be positioned for optimum leg-angle and extension, NOT for reach to bars. If you need longer reach to the bars, get a longer stem, do not slide your seat back (that can introduce all sorts of knee problems). Notice plenty of space and reach to bars:
Frankly, I don't get the logic of this, and empirically (tested on a trainer bike) it doesn't seem to be true in all cases. I really don't know what superman has to do with no putting weight on the hands, except to have my arms outstretched forward, my torso would have to be pretty vertical, and therefore not reaching very far, in order to keep my center of gravity between the BB and the seat (my personal method for fitting is getting center of gravity approximately over the bottom bracket and getting leg extension right).

For a given seat position, if my center of gravity is behind the bottom bracket (or front pedal when putting out high torque, which is one reason weight is shifted forward by riding on the rivet), I can hover my hands over the bars wherever. There will be a tendency to support more weight with my hands the lower my torso is so it doesn't have to be held up by core muscles, although I suppose some people with very long reach might fight trying to support weight with outstretched arms, they might naturally try to compensate with torso muscles. This changes with excessive reach to the point where I am reaching with both torso and arms and center of gravity shifts forward of the bottom bracket. At that point, it is not possible to unweight my hands unless I push against the front crank in a high gear.

Now if what was being said was reducing reach doesn't necessarily reduce weight on hands, that much might be true, but I don't find it to be true that more reach means less weight on the hands. The argument the author of that post seems to be making is that they prefer to get lower by increasing reach instead of increasing drop.
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