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Handlebar Recommendations 1981 Trek

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Handlebar Recommendations 1981 Trek

Old 03-17-22, 04:46 PM
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Bruce27
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Handlebar Recommendations 1981 Trek

Hi All,
After many years of riding this bike basically original, I'm at the point of "considering" a change in handlebar to add more comfort to my riding. Maybe a little more upright? Age unfortunately is starting to get in the way...
The new handlebars need to use the original brake levers.
I'm pretty sure the stem is a 25.4mm.
Anyone have a suggestion or suggestions for a quality replacement that might be more comfortable?
Thanks in advance
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Old 03-17-22, 05:27 PM
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I have been wanting to try bullhorn bars myself. They can use the same brake levers as your drop bars if you want to try them out. You can switch to reverse levers later if you think those might work better for you. They won't be as upright as handlebars that require you to replace the brake levers though.
@zandoval, I believe, commented that he went that direction and like it.
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Old 03-17-22, 05:47 PM
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Velo Orange has some nice upright bars that have a 25.4mm clamp area, like the Porteur, Milan, Left Bank, or Tourist. Nitto Albattoss is another good upright bar with 25.4, or its nearly identical but cheaper twin, the Soma Oxford. Some of these have the option of a 23.8mm grip area, which would allow you to use the original drop bar brake levers, but you may run into clearance issues depending on the mounting angle (i.e., the lever may hit the bar before you reach full braking power). If so, Tektro has good inexpensive upright brake levers for the standard upright 22.2mm grip diameter, and Velo Orange has good inexpensive upright levers for 23.8mm grip area.
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Old 03-17-22, 06:26 PM
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Thanks Velo Mule & noobinsf I appreciate your response. Thank you for the suggestions. My initial look was at risers thinking they would put me more upright. I currently have my dropbars tilted up slightly but I'd like to reduce the hunched over feeling and the "reaching" for the bars. The bullhorns look slightly elevated compared to drops but I'm not sure if it's significant enough to make the change I'm looking for. Looks like I still might be hunched a bit.
I measured my drop handlebar diameter (25.4mm) at the stem. Maybe I need to check the diameter at the brake lever area. I was thinking (right or wrong) that my brake levers would automatically fit a 25.4mm bar and all I might need is a new cable if the existing wasn't long enough.
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Old 03-17-22, 06:51 PM
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just stuck VO Postinos on my TREK 420 with drop brake levers. No good pic yet.
i'm also using Albatross bars with drop bar levers.



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Old 03-17-22, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
Thanks Velo Mule & noobinsf I appreciate your response. Thank you for the suggestions. My initial look was at risers thinking they would put me more upright. I currently have my dropbars tilted up slightly but I'd like to reduce the hunched over feeling and the "reaching" for the bars. The bullhorns look slightly elevated compared to drops but I'm not sure if it's significant enough to make the change I'm looking for. Looks like I still might be hunched a bit.
I measured my drop handlebar diameter (25.4mm) at the stem. Maybe I need to check the diameter at the brake lever area. I was thinking (right or wrong) that my brake levers would automatically fit a 25.4mm bar and all I might need is a new cable if the existing wasn't long enough.
Clamp diameter at the stem will differ from the brake/grip area. Generally what you're working with will be a clamp diameter of 25.4mm, 26.0mm, or 31.8mm, but the bars you want will likely be 25.4mm like your vintage drop bars. The brake/grip diameter for drop bar brake levers is usually 23.8mm, but drop levers usually have a steel clamp that has some give, so you have a little bit of range to fit slightly diverging diameters. Modern upright brake levers usually have a hefty aluminum clamp set at 22.2mm, so there is very, very little give, if any, so they must go on a handlebar with 22.2mm brake/grip area (which is, again, independent of the clamp area, which will be 25.4, 26.0, or 31.8).

Take a look at Rivendell's handlebars page and click through to the individual product listings. The proprietor is famously opinionated, and you'll learn a lot about the hows and whys by reading those catalog descriptions. https://www.rivbike.com/collections/handlebars

Upright bars will make it feel like a new bike, so you're on the right track looking into this.
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Old 03-17-22, 07:17 PM
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Nice mrv . Take it you swapped your original dropbars out. Which is your comfort bike? The Schwinn looks really comfortable. Looking at your pictures makes me hope that my current cable length works. Just put new cables and housings on my bike about 2 years ago.
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Old 03-17-22, 07:36 PM
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Why not keep your bars & brake levers and replace the stem for a taller one, Nitto Technomic or Nitto Dirtdrop, for example? That could make a big difference & you'd have more hand positions to choose from. You could get one with a shorter reach as well. I think the chances of your existing stem being optimal for whatever style of upright bar you might use may not be that great.

If you look through this thread Show Your Miyata 1000! you'll see several examples of what I'm talking about in just the first three pages.

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Old 03-17-22, 07:45 PM
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I know you want to keep your current levers but tektro fl750s use your current cables and they're only 40 bucks. You have a nice Trek and I think some Nitto North Roads with the tektro levers are what you will enjoy. I've never ridden with the road levers at the curve of albatross like bars but I think it would bug me.

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Old 03-17-22, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Clamp diameter at the stem will differ from the brake/grip area. Generally what you're working with will be a clamp diameter of 25.4mm, 26.0mm, or 31.8mm, but the bars you want will likely be 25.4mm like your vintage drop bars. The brake/grip diameter for drop bar brake levers is usually 23.8mm, but drop levers usually have a steel clamp that has some give, so you have a little bit of range to fit slightly diverging diameters. Modern upright brake levers usually have a hefty aluminum clamp set at 22.2mm, so there is very, very little give, if any, so they must go on a handlebar with 22.2mm brake/grip area (which is, again, independent of the clamp area, which will be 25.4, 26.0, or 31.8).

Take a look at Rivendell's handlebars page and click through to the individual product listings. The proprietor is famously opinionated, and you'll learn a lot about the hows and whys by reading those catalog descriptions. https://www.rivbike.com/collections/handlebars

Upright bars will make it feel like a new bike, so you're on the right track looking into this.
Thank you. Appreciate all the information. Left Bank could be a good option.
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Old 03-18-22, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Classtime . I'll checkout those Tektro's and the Nitto option Hobbiano mentioned. That's a pic of my (84) 620. It's very similar but this project is for an (81) 715. I can ride that 620 ok on the top of the drops but, for some odd reason, can no longer get comfortable riding the top of the drops on the 715.

You all have given me something to think about. Many options to consider. Kinda wish I started this project at the beginning of last winter rather than the start of riding season.

Thank you
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Old 03-18-22, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
Nice mrv . Take it you swapped your original dropbars out. Which is your comfort bike? The Schwinn looks really comfortable. Looking at your pictures makes me hope that my current cable length works. Just put new cables and housings on my bike about 2 years ago.
Thanks!
I do like the Albatross bars. Not speedy, but if you center your hands next to the stem, you can make your self think you're aero.
I think I tried bar ends on these - just not good. It's sticking way back and wants to swing in at you in a personal way when you stop at the lights and take your hands off the bars.
Roads have been salty, so I've not ridden the TREK420 yet - I rebuilt, framesaver'd, touch up paint, waxed & polished it. I don't want to get it dirty.....

pics to follow!
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Old 03-18-22, 09:25 PM
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This is the bike I'd like to turn into a comfort bike. After many suggestions from gracious members I've narrowed it down to either a 4" riser bar or a much longer stem. I do like the stem change option as it keeps the design of the bike but this is a comfort project so it's comfort over design. Any other opinions and/or recommendations are appreciated.


Last edited by Bruce27; 03-18-22 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 03-18-22, 09:44 PM
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Let me suggest that you could be more comfortable if your Brooks pointed up a bit and you could take a little pressure off your hands. (I never should have sold my 710.)
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Old 03-18-22, 09:58 PM
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Thanks Classtime . I'll double check the seat position. Something needs an adjustment, and I'm not excluding me.
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Old 03-18-22, 10:47 PM
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Why not get a tall Nitto stem to simply raise your bars vertically? The tallest version of the Technomic is very tall. Other Technomics are not as tall, but are finished like their famous Pearl stem. They also make a variety of stems with upward angle.

[edit] I see you've already thought of that. But I'll leave in the part about the various versions of Nitto stems. I like the looks of the Deluxe better and it gave me enough rise. But the newest regular Technomic looks pretty good too.
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Old 03-19-22, 08:07 AM
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Thanks Camilo I did see the 225mm Nitto stem. Not sure if I should lean towards the angle up stem or the standard. I think my bike would take 25.4mm bar clamp and 22.2mm quill. Do you recall how much height you gained? Did you angle up on your new stem?
Thanks
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Old 03-19-22, 08:49 AM
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I'm seeing a few things that make me wonder if this is the right size frame for you. The saddle is angled down (decreases reach), the handlebars are tilted back (decreased reach), seat height is low (also decreases reach). It's nearly impossible to know for sure (since I don't know what your physical capabilities, limitations, etc. are), but I wonder if a size smaller frame may resolve some of your issues.

That said, when it comes to fit and comfort, the best solution is always seeing a professional fitter.
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Old 03-19-22, 09:10 AM
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Thanks Rooney . That pic might not be the most up to date so I have to check the current seat angle. I think it's the correct size frame. I bought it new and was fitted by a professional at the time. I've been riding it for decades. I'll mess with the seat and the bar placement today.
Still on the fence on whether a taller stem or riser bars would do the trick.
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Old 03-19-22, 11:02 AM
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This is how I deal with an old stiff body.
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Old 03-19-22, 11:05 AM
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Here's the current positioning of the seat and bars. I pulled the bars back since I'm never in the drop and always riding on the lever hoods. The seat is pretty level.


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Old 03-19-22, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
Here's the current positioning of the seat and bars. I pulled the bars back since I'm never in the drop and always riding on the lever hoods. The seat is pretty level.


Are you comfortable with the brake reach?
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Old 03-19-22, 11:13 AM
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ok 52telecaster . Looks like you went the extended stem and bar change. Did you start with only one change or did you change both at the same time? Tough to tell, but is that a riser bar or flat bar?
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Old 03-19-22, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
Are you comfortable with the brake reach?
It's ok. 99% of the time I'm braking from the hoods.
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Old 03-19-22, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce27 View Post
It's ok. 99% of the time I'm braking from the hoods.
You might not want north road or porteur bars then. The levers are much closer to your hips.
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