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Randonneur Handlebars

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Randonneur Handlebars

Old 09-29-08, 04:11 PM
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Randonneur Handlebars

I'm curious what they're like. I like the look of them, they remind me of upside-down north roads but with all the benefits of drop handlebars. Is that about right? I wouldn't mind trying some, but, don't want to take the plunge if I'm not sure.
I just want some input, although, the same features I could also get a Nitto Noodle, which really interests me as well.
I've seen a few of both around here, but never any opinions of either.
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Old 09-29-08, 05:43 PM
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I personally like them. The drops flair out so when you are in the drops your wrist doesn't rub against the upper part of the bar. The bars were originally designed for distance/tourist type riders not racers. They have a tendency to be more narrow than newer bars. I have about ten to fifteen bikes with them. Roger
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Old 09-29-08, 06:53 PM
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I definitely like them.... make that LOVE them!

I ride with my handlebars just an inch or so below the level of my saddle tops, but I like riding in the drops if I'm pushing against a steady headwind, or often just for a change in position. However, at 58 I'm not getting any more agile. Randonneur bars often have a somewhat shallow drop compared to other classic road bars - something which I always welcome. As rhenning mentioned, the bottoms flare out somewhat (to what degree often depends on the brand) so this makes them very friendly for riding in the drops for longer distances and without butting my forearms against the corners or the tops of the bars.

That is definitely NOT the case with Noodle bars. Even riding with Noodle bars as high as I position all of mine (which is higher than many people), the parallel sides of the bars combined with the square corners and backward shifted tops makes those bars nearly impossible to place a hand inside the curves of the bar, or even on the bottoms, without feeling the continual pressure of the top against my forearms. Others may have different experiences, and I think many folks with STI/ERGO spend most of their riding with hands resting on the hoods - so perhaps not an issue with many other riders. Personally, I can't imagine what Grant Peterson was thinking. Nevertheless, they do seem very popular.

Most of my bikes now sport Raandonneur bars. I have some from Japanese companies Nitto and SR (the latter dating from the mid 1970s), and from the British maker GB, as well as the extinct French companies Pivo and Belleri. Nitto is perhaps the last of that style current manufactured, and I'm quite happy with them.

Be advised that the tops above the brake levers will seem quite narrowly spaced. Although a bar may measure 42 cm. at the tips, the "ramps" sloping toward the brake lever tops may only measure 34 to 36 cm. across - which will feel quite odd if you're accustomed to wide modern bars.

Also, in contrast to many modern "anatomic" racing bars, the fronts of the drops are simply quite rounded curves down to the bottom flats. I find this good for fine-tuning placement of my brake levers, but some modern riders may miss the sharply angled planes inside the drops.

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Old 09-29-08, 07:10 PM
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Man, I passed on a nice set of Sakae Randonneurs yesterday at a swap meet for $10. Having had three back surgeries, the drop looks really inviting.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:20 PM
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I also tried a pair and found that I really like them. I have newer anatomic bars on a newer trek but put Rando bars on an 83 Trek 520 and love them. They are the first bars in over 35 years that are comfortable in the drops. The flair at the ends makes them feel entirely different. The only weird part is deciding where to measure . I believe that despite my best attempt at measuring they feel slightly narrower on top than my other bars. Despite this they are in my opinion more comfortable. I am looking for excuses to replace my other bars.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:34 PM
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I like 'em too. For pretty much the same reasons that others have mentioned. The flare at the bottom makes the drops really comfortable; they're on my touring bike, and normally I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time in the drops, but they're so comfortable I find myself there more than I otherwise would. They are definitely narrower on top than a same-sized bar that doesn't have the flare, so you might actually want a slightly wider pair than you'd normally get. That's my preference anyway.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:06 PM
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i don't know if it was just b/c they were too narrow, but my experience with them was pretty bad. my hands were hurting right at the base of my pinky and ring finger ... right where the strange upward flare of the rando bars starts if i'm riding on the tops. i switched them out for the nitto noodle, which i am in love with. just ordered another for a different bike.
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Old 09-30-08, 05:16 AM
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I like the Nitto Randonneur bars better than the Noodle handlebars. The Randonneur bars have more flare, making it easier to grip the brake levers, and less drop, so the transition from hoods to drops is easy.

Some folks don't like Randonneur bars with STI levers because the shift lever sticks out due to the flare. Regular brake levers are fine.

Nitto makes two widths of Randonneur bars - 42 and 45 cm. The narrow bars are about 39 cm at the hoods. I find this too narrow for much out-of-the-saddle climbing, so I use the wider version on my single-speed bikes.

I have two bikes with North Road bars, and two bikes with Randonneur bars. They're all good!
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Old 09-30-08, 08:45 AM
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I have them by several different makers on some of my bikes and they are all very comfortable with lots of different hand positions possible. I most prefer a set made by Pivo, both for looks and comfort. Don
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Old 09-30-08, 09:32 AM
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I have always liked them, probably because my first road bike (a Schwinn LeTour IV) came with them.

I ride the Nitto 45 cm Randonneur bars, and I find them quite comfortable.

I have a Nitto Noodle that I have yet to try, awaiting the right project.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:54 AM
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man Those Noodle bars look so comfy to me.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:39 AM
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I have a set of Noodles and they're exactly what my road bike fit has been missing. They're really wide (48cm), which I love 'cause I've got wide shoulders and like a very stable front end (but not a slow front end, if that makes any sense). The backwards bend to the tops is quite comfy as it matches up with the natural angle for my wrists. The drop is super shallow so it can be kinda tight sprinting with your hands in the drops, but I've always gripped right near the ends when down there anyway.
The main thing that got me to try them however is that the bit from the tops to the hoods is perfectly flat. This has made riding on the hoods much more comfortable for me. I have always felt like I'm slipping down to the brake hoods, but haven't wanted to run them higher on the bars because I wouldn't be able to reach the levers from the drops. The combination of flat ramps and round drops is only found on the Noodle (and Soba) as far as I can tell; the other traditional bend bars all seem to have ramps that drop down to the brake levers.

Nitto Noodle, 55cm top tube, and a Regal saddle - finally, a road bike that fits:

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Old 01-25-09, 10:19 PM
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Grand Bois, a Japanese producer of fine french styled bikes (Toei frames) makes a Randonneur bar too.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:05 AM
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I really like my 45cm Nitto rando bar. I was using it on the rollers with different bikes with brake cables detached and it was comfy on every one I tried. I now installed it on my 84 Voyageur and plan to migrate my other bikes to this bar. The more standard 42cm rando bars are a little too narrow for me, but the 45 is just right. I have broad shoulders and big hands. I also have the 48cm Nitto Noodle on my Trek 460, but I like the Nitto rando bar better. With the rando bar, I get equal comfort from the drops, the hoods, the ramp behind the hoods and the top.
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Old 01-26-09, 06:38 AM
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I'm another fan of rando bars and even traded some Nitto Noodles with a BF member for some narrower randos (thanks, Brian!). I mostly ride on the hoods, and like the randos because of the relatively flat ramps, the slight angle to the hoods, and the slight sweep towards the rider at the bends. All of that makes me feel quite leveraged, but bar comfort, like saddle comfort, is surely individual.

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Old 01-26-09, 07:33 AM
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Anyone try these from Velo-orange?

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Old 01-26-09, 07:44 AM
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I got the Grand Bois/ Nitto Randonneur bar for my new Toei randonneur, I only have a couple of hours riding, but I really like them. I am running Shimano brakes and down shifter, no STI.
I was afraid they might be too narrow, but they are perfect.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:16 AM
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The only ones I have ever tried were on old 70's or 80's road bikes and were VERY narrow. I think t he shape is good, and hope to try a set that are wider some day. Are there any lower cost new options?
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Old 01-26-09, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle
Anyone try these from Velo-orange?

Modolo Gran Fondo
I'd like to know as well. I've been very curious regarding those bars for quite some time. Just haven't heard from anyone with them to make me pull the trigger.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by stronglight

Most of my bikes now sport Raandonneur bars. I have some from Japanese companies Nitto and SR (the latter dating from the mid 1970s), and from the British maker GB, as well as the extinct French companies Pivo and Belleri. Nitto is perhaps the last of that style current manufactured, and I'm quite happy with them.

GB rando bars came stock on mid 70's Schwinn Continentals. I purchased a couple of girl frame Continentals at garage sales for $10 each. I then removed the GB rando bars and dumped the rest in the trash. Two pair of perfect condition GB rando bars for $20.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:18 AM
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I love Randonneur bars! More hand positions and angles. Harris has 'em:


Also available in 45cm. Made by Nitto as above person mentions.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:19 PM
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rando bars

I think they are great, very comfortable. Here is a set of Belleri's that i found NOS in a shop, i put them on my 1992 Miyata 1000LT.

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Old 01-26-09, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I'm another fan of rando bars and even traded some Nitto Noodles with a BF member for some narrower randos (thanks, Brian!).


That reminds me, threw the Sakei Rando bars in the box as well and sent them out to you last week, maybe you've already received them.

Back to the thread:
I love rando bars, but none of the older bars are ever wide enough for me. My 6'3" broad shouldered frame prefers something at least 44cm or so. The older ones always seem to be around 42 or smaller.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:15 PM
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See now, I really like that they are narrow.
That combination of narrow and flared just hits me in the right spot....
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Old 01-26-09, 04:59 PM
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I definitely like them.... make that LOVE them! ----- me too. I have the Nitto 45's and have found them to be the most comfortable bars by a longshot. As far as STI's --- they look just fine on the rads. Lp
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