General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Swept Back Handlebars

Old 05-25-18, 05:38 AM
  #1  
Bill Gem
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Swept Back Handlebars

Swept back handlebars are common on beach cruisers. Has anyone replaced risers, flat bats, or drop bars on a hybrid, mountain bike, etc with swept backs? What’s been your experience with the change?
Bill Gem is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 06:29 AM
  #2  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,269

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1149 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Not a feel that I personally like but you may feel differently.

Everything on a bicycle works together so you can almost never change just one part. Plan on having to buy new longer cables and housings for sure. New brake levers, shifters and hand grips may or may not be necessary too.

Since your hand position is being moved so much, your stem, the part that holds your handlebar onto the rest of the bike, might need a change too. Stems come in lots of different lengths and rises and getting that combination just right is really important.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 07:02 AM
  #3  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 3,772

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 926 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 35 Posts
I built my wife a performance cruiser. I started with a lightweight flatbar road bike. I added a stem raiser, a high rise stem and bars with both rise and sweep. Now she has the cruiser ergos she loves in a lightweight bike. Retro is right about the cables. My wife's shifter cables are pulled a touch too tight. They work fine, but really should be replaced.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 08:15 AM
  #4  
Rootman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: 2015 Giant Roam 2 Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I did on one bike years ago. I went through a period of bad back pain and riding flat bars just was too much leaning forward. It was a hassle getting all the cables right and it never felt as good on the brakes as it did originally and shifting was spongy as well. This may also have something to do with the quality of the cables as well as to the added length. Steering became real slow as the center line of the steering axis (is that the right term?) was now slightly behind the head tube rather than in front of it. You really had to reach when doing tight corners, which negated the desire to keep more upright, I generally let go with the opposite hand and steered only with the other. It worked, but I can't say it was all the pleasant an experience.
Rootman is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 09:20 AM
  #5  
Bill Gem
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
I did on one bike years ago. I went through a period of bad back pain and riding flat bars just was too much leaning forward. It was a hassle getting all the cables right and it never felt as good on the brakes as it did originally and shifting was spongy as well. This may also have something to do with the quality of the cables as well as to the added length. Steering became real slow as the center line of the steering axis (is that the right term?) was now slightly behind the head tube rather than in front of it. You really had to reach when doing tight corners, which negated the desire to keep more upright, I generally let go with the opposite hand and steered only with the other. It worked, but I can't say it was all the pleasant an experience.
Interesting . . .
Bill Gem is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 10:21 AM
  #6  
Jimbo47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Changing to a swept back bar will cause you to sit more upright which will probably cause the need for a different seat such as a cruiser seat, which is wider and more suited for upright peddling.
Platform pedals will help as well, allowing you to slow down and smell the roses.
Jimbo47 is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 10:49 AM
  #7  
hillyman 
Giddy Up
 
hillyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Truckin all 48 States
Posts: 1,480

Bikes: MONTAGUE X70

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 39 Times in 30 Posts

The Jones bars come up here now and then. The cool way to have sweeps now. Look good on a hardtail mountain bike. Wasn't to my liking but some love them.
__________________
www.hillyhundred.org
hillyman is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 10:54 AM
  #8  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,613

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6756 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 164 Times in 140 Posts
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 11:21 AM
  #9  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,034

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 415 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5321 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 43 Posts
It's a radical change. It changes the personality (bikality?) of the bike.

I've done lots of experiments with handlebars on this bike. I don't know where some pictures are. I had traditional drop bars on it, and I'm about to put mustache bars on it. I had the swept back handlebars on flipped up and flipped down.







__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 12:42 PM
  #10  
stanman13
Not racing.
 
stanman13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 157

Bikes: Old rigid mtn bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I rode this Giant Iguana for many years with the original flat bars. Old-style flat bars- no rise, no sweep, nothing. When I let my son take over this bike he hated the flat bars. So we fit it with North Roads. The steering came out a little twitchy with the original stem. It also looked goofy with that black steel angled stem leading to the swoopy North Roads. After a bit of experimentation, we finally disovered that what was needed was a short Technomic. 60mm x 225mm. For some reason that settled the steering down. I can't begin to explain the physics of why, but it works for this bike and his fit.

stanman13 is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 12:48 PM
  #11  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 32,431

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3838 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 34 Posts
I've done cruiser bars - too wide. Nitto Porteur, too narrow and low. Surly Open Bar - pretty nice.

I'd love to do Jones risers but a little pricey.
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 05-25-18, 01:20 PM
  #12  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 3,772

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 926 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
. You really had to reach when doing tight corners, which negated the desire to keep more upright, I generally let go with the opposite hand and steered only with the other.
I am struggling to picture this. Wouldn't that be a function of width rather than rearward sweep?
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 06:29 PM
  #13  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
I love swept bars. I've fitted them on all but one of my bikes. They predate "cruiser" bikes by decades.

I don't like drops -- my neck don't bend that way no more. I don't like straight bars -- they pound the hell out of my wrists. I can ride swept bars for miles and miles. My preference is to have them roughly level with the top of the saddle, so I'm not sitting bolt upright.

You can get a lot of variety in swept bars, in terms of rise, sweep, and width. Niagara Cycle has a few types under "cruiser" bars for under 10 bucks before shipping. It doesn't seem to take a huge amount of sweep to get the comfort benefit compared to straight bars.

Conversion from a straight bar bike is easy, except that you might need to install longer cables. Some older bars don't have a lot of space for grips, brake levers, and shifters. Newer bars tend to have a longer straight section to accommodate those parts.

Conversion from a drop bar bike may require replacing all of your controls, which can get expensive.

When I tried riding my mountain bike with swept bars, the torque from going over bumps made the bike want to pull the grips out of my hands. I think that too much sweep is probably not a good idea for MTB.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 06:39 PM
  #14  
Trevtassie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Down Under
Posts: 1,123

Bikes: A steel framed 26" off road tourer from a manufacturer who thinks they are cool. Giant Anthem. Trek 720 Multiroad pub bike. 10 kids bikes all under 20". Assorted waifs and unfinished projects.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 316 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 17 Posts
I've tried butterflies, Crazy Bars and Jones. Butterflies are OK for strictly road riding, but are too narrow off road. I like Jones the best, but because they are so wide you need to watch cable lengths. Crazy bars are a good cheaper version of Jones, and there is less need to change anything to make them fit since they are narrower than Jones, especially if you already have 25.4 bars. A set of grips to suit swept bars, like the Ergon GC1 are worthwhile
Trevtassie is offline  
Old 05-25-18, 10:48 PM
  #15  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 8,889

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 154 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2697 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 72 Posts
I've already switched my hybrid from flat to riser bars with slight back sweep. After I recover from this busted shoulder I'll be switching to swept back bars. Better ergonomically for my shoulder. The neutral forearm/wrist position makes more efficient use of the pectoral and triceps muscles. That's one reason why many folks prefer drop bars even if they raise the handlebar to saddle height or higher. The pronated forearm/wrist position is pretty good for quick reactions, but less efficient over longer rides.

With swept back bars that aren't as wide as beach cruisers, they're pretty aero too. The upper arms are tucked into the chest. After a friend swapped from flat to albatross and North Roads bars on his hybrids, I had more trouble keeping up with him while I was on my hybrids with flat and riser bars. His underarms weren't catching the wind like I was. He looked more relaxed too, especially over longer rides.
canklecat is offline  
Old 05-26-18, 08:19 PM
  #16  
Rootman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: 2015 Giant Roam 2 Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I am struggling to picture this. Wouldn't that be a function of width rather than rearward sweep?
Yes, swept bars are typically wider, at least the ones I chose were.
Rootman is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sandrab
Northern California
7
02-02-14 06:13 PM
G-Unit
Training & Nutrition
6
08-01-05 12:33 PM
Zeggelaar
Mountain Biking
2
04-21-05 09:16 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.