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Help with Handlebar Choice

Old 10-08-20, 04:38 PM
  #1  
WarrenC
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Help with Handlebar Choice

I own a Giant Fastroad hybrid with a straight flatbar. For comfort, I was thinking of getting a riser bar and from what I've read, I should be looking for something with at least a 15 degree sweep and a rise of "?". If the specs on Giant's website are correct, the bars I have are 540mm, but most of the ones I've seen are much longer. Is cutting them down something to consider (and by how much), and can someone offer suggestions as to brands? Thanks.
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Old 10-08-20, 04:48 PM
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badger1
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Originally Posted by WarrenC View Post
I own a Giant Fastroad hybrid with a straight flatbar. For comfort, I was thinking of getting a riser bar and from what I've read, I should be looking for something with at least a 15 degree sweep and a rise of "?". If the specs on Giant's website are correct, the bars I have are 540mm, but most of the ones I've seen are much longer. Is cutting them down something to consider (and by how much), and can someone offer suggestions as to brands? Thanks.
FWIW, I don't think Giant has ever specc'd a 540mm bar on any of their flatbar bikes. More typical would be minimum 580. Do you have a link to your year/spec level of bike?

That aside, sweep and rise are a function of your preference, not anyone else's. More sweep and/or rise will put you in a more 'upright' position. Is that what you are looking for?
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Old 10-08-20, 04:51 PM
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WarrenC
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It's a 2019 SL1. I'm looking at eliminating hand numbness, so more upright is what I'm after.
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Old 10-08-20, 05:02 PM
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badger1
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Originally Posted by WarrenC View Post
It's a 2019 SL1. I'm looking at eliminating hand numbness, so more upright is what I'm after.
Huh ... you are right re. 540mm bar, assuming you have a Small or Med. My mistake. That is narrowish.

I note the bike already has bar ends; are you alternating between the grips and bar ends? If yes, then it's reasonable to look for something else. Those stock bars are likely only 5 degree sweep or so. You could try a standard 9 degree sweep/ low-rise riser bar, and see if that helps. You should easily be able to find one, and yes ... any aluminum one can be cut down to your preferred length. The other, more extreme option might be something like a Jones H-Bar (https://www.jonesbikes.com/h-bars/).
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Old 10-08-20, 06:24 PM
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This is what I have, my bike is a Jamis Coda hybrid
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Old 10-08-20, 06:42 PM
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Have a look at something like the FSA Metropolis bar and pair those with Ergon cork grips.
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Old 10-08-20, 06:52 PM
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Nice bike!

Do you wear gloves? A minor part of my elimination of hand numbness is to wear a glove one size larger than normal. I ride a drop bar bike. I wear a size large for a normal glove. But for riding, I wear an extra-large.

Just another data point that might have some small benefit.

Glenn
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Old 10-08-20, 07:06 PM
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Butterfly (Trekking) handlebars, very affordable, or the Jones bars. Try Grab On Grips to eliminate the vibration, 1/4 inch of closed cell foam. You can wrap it with gel tape or just use the grips by themselves. I use both types of h bars. The grips are great, and wider tires with lower pressure also help.
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Old 10-08-20, 07:23 PM
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Iím borrowing my recent post from another thread since itís on point here.

Hereís my Schwinn with Sunlite Elson Roadster bars which I recommend highly. Itís essentially an exact copy of the shape of the Nitto/Rivendell Albatross, but just a cheap steel bar.

The bars donít photograph easily because of the black bar tape that runs all the way up beyond the grips. That is key, all along those parts are very useful grip locations, both sitting and standing.

My overall task was aided by the fact that I had already converted to single speed, so no need for shifter decisions.

Notice also the tall stem from an old MTB. The bar height at the center is nearly an inch above the saddle height and the swept back section is another inch higher. I can stand directly over the pedals, straight up and reach the grips. I often take a break and coast in that position when heading downhill or when I need to slow down. It also does a good job of air braking.

Iíve been riding this bike about 150 miles per week mostly on crushed stone trails with no comfort issues.



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Old 10-08-20, 08:20 PM
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Dimension bars HB2048 silver, 600mm W, 70mm rise, 50 degree sweep
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Old 10-10-20, 03:17 PM
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Regarding cutting: Iíd recommend moving your levers as far inboard as youíre comfortable with and using bartape instead of grips so as to just have a semi-multiple position bar.

regarding sweep: thatís personal and variable on mood, I think. My preferred bars effectively have 90 degrees of sweep (bullhorns and classic drops) but I also really like Bullmoose bars which Iíd guess to have about 10 degrees.

Right now my main commuter has VO Postino bars with drop levers for a sorta Moustache-ĎMoose functionality/look (Bullstache?) which I find both really fun, but a little unsafe without gloves. Unsafe only because my hands seem to expect a more straight section to be grabbing onto. Theyíre darn close to 40 degrees and thus have a lot of front-back variation which is good for my back and shoulders. Plus theyíre super flexible which both smoothes out the road feel and provides some additional spring when sprinting/climbing.

sorry for the cruddy pics

Bullmoose


Postino



edit- I thought you were just wanting ďriserĒ bars as an alternative to straight/flat bars.

hand numbness: yoga & core/lower back strengthening exercises. You really should only be touching the handlebars, not supporting the weight of your torso & head on them. Your weight really ought to be mostly going into the pedals. Itís a bike, after all.

If you refuse to beef up your core for lifestyle reasons or already have core/back issues that make doing those exercises contrary to any medical advice youíve gotten, then you probably should be looking at getting a super high-rise stem and some really far pullback bars like ofajenís rig. But then youíll also need a wiiide saddle with springs since thatís where youíll probably be putting your weight.

Last edited by hsuBM; 10-10-20 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 10-10-20, 06:42 PM
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I have FSA Metropolis bar which is comfortable if you want upright position but it's kind of uncomfortable at times specially on hills. I have since switched to a 15 degree flat bar with bar ends, no more wrist pain and climbs feel a lot easier.
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Old 10-11-20, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep ‘em coming. I’m intrigued with the Jones bar. However, just about every website I’ve visited has them out of stock. Are they that popular? Ideally a distributor from Canada would be ideal
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Old 10-12-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hsuBM View Post
If you refuse to beef up your core for lifestyle reasons or already have core/back issues that make doing those exercises contrary to any medical advice youíve gotten, then you probably should be looking at getting a super high-rise stem and some really far pullback bars like ofajenís rig. But then youíll also need a wiiide saddle with springs since thatís where youíll probably be putting your weight.
Iíll note that you can use a stem with a long reach and keep the forward bend equivalent in reach to something like drop bar ramps or even more like the hood position, if you want. With a long stem, the range of reach resembles that of the typical Jones bike.

When Iím in the saddle, Iím mostly on the forward section or at or just in front of the levers, so a typical saddle (mine being that very typical Volt saddle) can work fine. Iím mostly standing when actually using the rear grip section, but I will use that part while seated from time to time for variety.

Otto
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Old 10-12-20, 03:13 PM
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I think you mean 640mm. There's no way your current bars are 540.

I bought some upanbike aluminum riser bars on Amazon. Available in 720 and 780mm lengths. They feel good. Lighter than stock steel.

It wont make a huge difference in terms of sitting more upright. I recommend getting a stem riser.
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Old 10-14-20, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I think you mean 640mm. There's no way your current bars are 540.

It wont make a huge difference in terms of sitting more upright. I recommend getting a stem riser.
540mm was pretty standard in the days when 25.4mm clamps were the norm. Narrow straight bars are still popular with the urban-SS-Fixie set. 640mm risers were about all you needed on a 26er MTB; the 700+ long bars came with the big-wheel bikes (29ers)

Filpping the stem or going to a super-short high-rise angle stem can sometimes have a less than desirable effect on the bikesí handling, especially with steep HTAs. Thatís why risers exist in the first place.
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Old 10-14-20, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
540mm was pretty standard in the days when 25.4mm clamps were the norm. Narrow straight bars are still popular with the urban-SS-Fixie set. 640mm risers were about all you needed on a 26er MTB; the 700+ long bars came with the big-wheel bikes (29ers)

Filpping the stem or going to a super-short high-rise angle stem can sometimes have a less than desirable effect on the bikesí handling, especially with steep HTAs. Thatís why risers exist in the first place.
For his newer style bike, no way its less than 640mm.

I had a 32mm stem before which I tried flipping around for fun. Pretty comfortable ride, still felt pretty stable at regular speeds - but the handlebars would occasionally hit your knees and anything other than a moderate hill rendered the bike useless.
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Old 10-14-20, 04:57 PM
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I measured -- it's 620 mm. And I decided to go with the Denham bar. Checks off all my wants, except for being economical.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 257 roberts View Post

This is what I have, my bike is a Jamis Coda hybrid
Nice bar wrap job!
Tim
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Old 10-23-20, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
540mm was pretty standard in the days when 25.4mm clamps were the norm. Narrow straight bars are still popular with the urban-SS-Fixie set. 640mm risers were about all you needed on a 26er MTB; the 700+ long bars came with the big-wheel bikes (29ers)

Filpping the stem or going to a super-short high-rise angle stem can sometimes have a less than desirable effect on the bikesí handling, especially with steep HTAs. Thatís why risers exist in the first place.
going from hands in front of the steering axis to hands behind the steering axis is a weird sensation that takes some getting used to regardless of the HTA being steep or slack.

In reality, the least bad advice for the OP if they are not going to address core strength is to get a beach cruiser or recumbent and sell the FR SL1.
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Old 10-23-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by hsuBM View Post
going from hands in front of the steering axis to hands behind the steering axis is a weird sensation that takes some getting used to regardless of the HTA being steep or slack.

In reality, the least bad advice for the OP if they are not going to address core strength is to get a beach cruiser or recumbent and sell the FR SL1.
Id only suggest doing that if youre using a short 30mm stem and your frame is wildly too small for you. This means you wont be doing anything too crazy with the bike anyways, so luckily you won't get to experience what its like to climb steep hills or tackling corners at full speed with a backwards stem.

If youre just looking for a comfortable cruising position, there's no problem in doing so. The handlebars will probably hit your knees around turns though.
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Old 10-23-20, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrenC View Post
I measured -- it's 620 mm. And I decided to go with the Denham bar. Checks off all my wants, except for being economical.
I am looking at going for the Koga Denham bar as I have for a while now. I wish Koga would wise the F up and sell their bars in the Youknighted shahes of 'Merica. Those things would fly here. I and the owner of the shop I work at have tried to no avail. It is a real shame it is money flushed down the toilet. People would buy them for sure. They are always sold out when I go to look for them and they even released a 31.8 version finally.

Having tried them briefly I was further sold but lets face it I was sold well before that. I am currently using and liking the Surly Moloko Bars with Ergon GC-1 grips and no tape (I tried to tape at one point and just could figure a good pattern I liked but I like the position nude so it is cool. I also have tried the Velo Orange Crazy Bars and liked those in my short riding on them but had the same thoughts as Alee.
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Old 10-24-20, 08:10 AM
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I've tried Butterflies, Crazy Bars and Jones, really like the Jones, but if I'd seen the Denhams before I got the Jones, I'd get those. But if you are on a budget, butterflies are a good choice if you aren't going off road much.
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Old 10-24-20, 08:24 AM
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Some bars on bikes in my fleet:

FSA Metropolis on my "road" bike, i.e., the one I use for longer rides
Origin8 Citi Classic
Velo Orange Tourist
Generic steel bar from old Schwinn
Something that was on clearance at Niagara Cycle

This is just to give folks some more ideas of things to look at. I love my swept bars because they're comfortable on my wrists and I can ride all day long in one position. I need to ride in a more upright position due to neck and (possibly recently) back issues. But it's worth noticing what @hsuBM says... don't get to my age and have people start telling you that you should have worked on your core strength 40 years ago.
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Old 10-24-20, 08:36 AM
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Hereís the view down the steering axis on my vintage MTB with swept back touring bars (Sunlite Elson Roadster):




In addition to some Oury grips (no need for shaped grips because there isnít that much weight when seated, and I mostly use the grips for standing), Iíve taped the rest of the bar and will keep my hands in just about every possible place on the bars during a typical ride.

You are not limited to the grip position alone if you donít want to be.

Otto
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