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Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 12:23 PM

Flat Bar Alternative Handlebars
From time to time we've discussed alternatives to the "straight pipe" flat bars that are found on flat bar road bikes and mountain bikes. The bars that nearly everyone disses for their lack of hand positions on longer rides.

I wanted to pull together a number of the alternatives into a single thread to serve as sort of a reference thread on this subject. Something we can pull back up out of the archives whenever someone pops on the forum and asks about this subject.

These are bars that would fit a traditional mountain/hybrid/flat bar bike with a 25.4mm stem, or with one of the larger 31.8mm stems, and would be compatible with the brake levers and shifters on these types of bikes.

I will begin by providing info and links to some of the alternatives.

The Nitto Dove bar, with it's classic lines and steep 80'ish degree sweep.

The Wald #8095 North Road bar:

The Nitto version of a North Road bar, which can be flipped up or down:

The On One Mary bar (note there is a near identical knockoff of this named an Origin8 Space Bar):

The Mary bar first sweeps forward 50mm before bending to a 40 degree backsweep, so it is possible to bar warp at the forward sweep positions for an alternative hand position.

The Titec H-bar, providing multiple hand positions without having to use bar ends:

The Nitto All-rounder:

Titec has a number of MTB bars here:

The Dimension Trekking Bar, with up to 80mm of rise, depending upon how you angle it, and 25 degree sweep:

A classic "butterfly" Trekking Bar:

Some discussion of bar ends will, eventually, follow.

Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 12:24 PM

Here's a thread with some good pictures of Mary and North Road bars

Post #68 shows some good comparative pictures.

maddmaxx 01-10-08 01:04 PM

You can add to your data table some of my info. MTB clamp area outside diameter 25.4 or 31.8. Road clamp area outside diameter 26.0 or 31.8. Road bar outside diameters away from the clamp area 24.0. Most clamp on aerobars 22.5 (not Vision). I don't have the OD for MTB bars away from the clamp area but it is not the same as a road bar and thus the controls do not mix and match well.

Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 02:44 PM

The outside diameters (O.D.) of the clamp areas of a "road" bar are 23.8 mm (15/16"). For a mountain bike / hybrid / flat bar road bike, it is 22.2 mm (7/8").

The focus, at least my intended focus, of this thread is upon the options / alternatives which are compatible with the MTB/Hybrid/Flat Bar bikes.

Thus I made no mention of various drop bar options or alternatives like Noodle, Albatross, and Moustache bars, which cannot be used on a flat bar bike without signification modifications to the bar components and perhaps even the brakes and derailleurs.

Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 02:56 PM

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Here's an interesting picture of a bike that has the On One Mary bar, with bar ends that have been placed inside of the grips/levels.

John E 01-10-08 03:17 PM

On my mountain bike, I have straight perpendicular extensions at the ends of the bars. With my hands on the extensions, my forearm orientation is pretty similar to that on the bends of my drop bars, but I am not bent over quite as far as on my road bikes. An added plus is that I can quickly and securely grab the ends of my 4-finger motorcycle-style brake handles from the bar extensions.

staehpj1 01-10-08 03:36 PM

Every other bar style that I have tried seems like a poor excuse for drops when road touring. The trekking bars come the closest for me,

If I were to set up a bike for touring with a substantial off road component I would probably use trekking bars or maybe even road drops.

Little Darwin 01-10-08 03:39 PM

Another trekking bar:

Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 03:45 PM

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I like L-shaped bar ends, like this, as they give you two additional hand positions. Then they can be positioned to either letting you have a very upright alternate position (when the L-portion is above the handlebars) or a more forward, lowered position.

BluesDawg 01-10-08 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil (Post 5960106)
Here's an interesting picture of a bike that has the On One Mary bar, with bar ends that have been placed inside of the grips/levels.

Worth noting about the Mary bars...because they bend forward first and then sweep back, the resulting grip location is about the same place as with straight or mildly sloping bars, but with a different angle. If they swept back at such a drastic angle without going forward first they would be much closer to the rider. So they are better suited to a situation where the cockpit is not too long. To shorten the cockpit, you would want bars that sweep further back relative to the stem clamp.

Tom Bombadil 01-10-08 11:12 PM

And bar ends set up to give you an aero position

solveg 01-10-08 11:59 PM

They all look like they'd poke your eye out.

Tom Bombadil 01-11-08 12:02 AM

Calm down Mother. There's no need to worry.

Tom Bombadil 01-11-08 12:39 AM

Just came across one that I've neve seen before ... an adjustable butterfly trekking bar. You can alter the angle of the bars to the plane of the stem:

Tom Bombadil 01-11-08 12:42 AM

Wallbike also offers another unusual trekking bar, with with built-in aero bars (that could poke your eye out):

dawes56 01-11-08 10:47 AM

I've been thinking of trying these on my Kona Dew Deluxe.

I tend to think about things for a long time before actually doing anything, so it may be a while..and something else may come along.

After about 20 miles though, the stock riser bar (with added bar ends) is not very comfortable

There are just so many options......


Tom Bombadil 01-11-08 10:55 AM

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Thanks Pete, for posting that one. I knew that one was out there, as I had looked at it before, but couldn't remember where I'd seen it or what the name was. It's a very interesting bar, that looks like it could work well either down or flipped up, depending upon one's preferences. It is similar in design to the On One Mary bar, but is narrower with a bit more rise. In fact, the 490mm is so narrow that a larger person could experience shoulder problems on long rides.

In the interest of getting a few more pics directly into the thread, here's what it looks like:

Tom Bombadil 01-11-08 11:02 AM

And speaking of Soma bars, they have a couple other variations on this theme.

Soma Oxford Handlebar, which will bring the hand positions well back of where a flat bar would place them & has a 2" rise:

Soma Noah's Arc bar, which is just that, an arc. This one has a lot of sweep, but no rise.

Cleave 01-11-08 09:41 PM

Hello Tom,

Thanks for all of the links. I need new bars for my Milano as the straight flat bars bother my wrists. I'm sure one of the bars you posted will do the trick.

Tom Bombadil 01-13-08 03:28 PM

Some pics of the Titec H-bar

Tom Bombadil 01-13-08 03:31 PM

Nitto Dove pics

solveg 01-13-08 03:32 PM

OK. I gotta fess up here.

I am a road bar LOVER. I ride all parts of a road bar equally. Never wanted anything else.

But I think the flat bars on my Scott are great with those bullhorn-looking things up front. I haven't gone any huge distances on them yet, but they really feel great.

I am now looking at these other bars with interest.

Tom Bombadil 01-13-08 03:36 PM

On One Mary bar pics:

Tom Bombadil 01-13-08 03:44 PM

Should note that I have no agenda to influence anyone to move from drop bars. Just wanting to show that there are alternatives to straight pipe bars or standard riser bars, for those who have bikes with those types of bars on them.

Tom Bombadil 01-13-08 03:49 PM

Trekking bars

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