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Help: Modifying the Handlebars/Shifters on a Mountain Bike

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Help: Modifying the Handlebars/Shifters on a Mountain Bike

Old 07-23-08, 03:21 PM
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545h4
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Help: Modifying the Handlebars/Shifters on a Mountain Bike

I have a mountain bike that is my commuter bike. I really want to get some sort of multiposition handlebar set-up, my wrists are killing me lately...

I like the Titec H-Bar, the Nashbar trekking bar, and moustache bars. It is my understanding that the shifters can be a problem when you swap out for any of these bars. I currently have a 24-sd set-up with the stock Shimano Alivio rapid-fire shifters. What should my considerations be?

I've also been intrigued by bar-end shifters on the moustache bars, but would I be able to find such shifters that would be compatible with Deore(f)/Alivio(r) derailleurs, etc etc...

Help! I'm holding off getting a new headlamp until I know what the handlebar is going to be, and I'm sitting here scratching my head!!!
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Old 07-23-08, 04:46 PM
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tpelle
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Here's a pic of my Trek 820 mtb set up with Nashbar Trekking bars:



I'm tweaking this bike up to be a bad weather/winter bike. But it's probably not too far off being what you are looking for as a commuter bike.

I just put the new bars on last week, and don't have too much time on them. Initially I had the bars turned around backwards, so that the "open" end was forward. This was because I didn't think I'd like having the brakes/shifters close to my body. After a 10-mile ride, I found that I didn't like the "angle-of-the-dangle" of the part of the bar that makes the 180-degree turn - I think this is the part where my hands will rest most of the time. Last night I flipped the bars around the right way, and re-mounted the controls.

The issue with using the stock controls that came on the bike is that the mounting "collar" won't slip around the curved part of the bar - they have to stay on the straight "open" end as pictured.

My bike has a 100mm stem, and I'm considering swapping it for a 120 or 130 to move the controls a little more forward. Go too far, though, and the forward part of the bars will be too far away. I'm going to ride it a little more and see how it feels.

I've done some web-crawling looking for solutions for the shifter/brake problems. Like you, I think bar-end shifters are ultimately what I'm after.

Rivendell sells "Paul Thumbies", which are adapters that permit mounting bar-end shifters to places other than the bar-end. They come in sizes for both mtb and road bars:

http://www.rivbike.com/search/run?qu...h#product=none

A less-expensive shifter solution is these jobbies from VeloOrange:

http://www.velo-orange.com/fafrthsh.html

I expect that after solving the shifter setup, then the brake levers will be easy.

The search for bicycle perfection never ends!

Last edited by tpelle; 07-23-08 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:02 PM
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Any Shimano rear shifter will work with any Shimano rear derailer, save for 8 speed Dura-Ace derailer and shifter. A friction shifter will work with any derailer.
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Old 07-24-08, 05:31 AM
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If you have V-brakes there are only 2 levers that will work with mustache bars
the dia-comp 287V and the new Drop V levers from cane creek
the bar ends will work fine - i use with the deore rd on my cross check
also with mustache bars you will want to shorten your stem at least 2 cm

Steve
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Old 07-24-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tpelle View Post
The issue with using the stock controls that came on the bike is that the mounting "collar" won't slip around the curved part of the bar - they have to stay on the straight "open" end as pictured.

My bike has a 100mm stem, and I'm considering swapping it for a 120 or 130 to move the controls a little more forward. Go too far, though, and the forward part of the bars will be too far away. I'm going to ride it a little more and see how it feels.

I've done some web-crawling looking for solutions for the shifter/brake problems. Like you, I think bar-end shifters are ultimately what I'm after.

Rivendell sells "Paul Thumbies", which are adapters that permit mounting bar-end shifters to places other than the bar-end. They come in sizes for both mtb and road bars:

http://www.rivbike.com/search/run?qu...h#product=none

A less-expensive shifter solution is these jobbies from VeloOrange:

http://www.velo-orange.com/fafrthsh.html

I expect that after solving the shifter setup, then the brake levers will be easy.

The search for bicycle perfection never ends!
Thanks for the tips, looks like this weekend is shaping up to be some serious research! You said it best, the search for bicycle perfection never ends, and I think in a small way, the journey is the best part! Bike / Body / Brain - The divine trinity!



Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Any Shimano rear shifter will work with any Shimano rear derailer, save for 8 speed Dura-Ace derailer and shifter. A friction shifter will work with any derailer.
Cheers! That was something I just couldn't persuade Google to tell me!!!



Originally Posted by sfswanson View Post
If you have V-brakes there are only 2 levers that will work with mustache bars
the dia-comp 287V and the new Drop V levers from cane creek
the bar ends will work fine - i use with the deore rd on my cross check
also with mustache bars you will want to shorten your stem at least 2 cm

Steve
I actually have disc brakes (again, stock: Hayes MX-2, and, apologies for this description, just repeating what the mfc site states, Tektro e-clip bushing...)




Maybe I should tell you guys about the stem/handlebar set-up, too, as I am a bit of a novice when it comes to bicycle genetic engineering...!

Current Handlebar: Truvativ Allot Riser 640 x 45 rise
Stem: Haro Welded Allot Clamp-on
Shifters: Shimano Alivio Rapid-fire + 8-speed
Brake Lever: Tektro e-clip bushing (attached to basic disc brakes...)
Accessories: Mini-bell, Knog mini-LED headlight, bar-end mirror (I realize that I'll need to find an alternative mirror
CURRENT FEEL: Right now I feel I might be more comfortable reaching a bit further than where the bar is right now... I guess the hardest part is that I don't know anyone with a trekking/moustache/H-Bar to get an idea of the most ideal set-up. I do know that lately I've been resting with my forearms perpendicular to the handlebar when I am just cruising in the straight/flat sections of my typical routes (almost like a tri bike)...

Can you help me form a checklist of what I would need to switch to any of the multi-position bars I mentioned in the original post.

I'm ready to get my experiment on...!
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Old 07-24-08, 02:39 PM
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Your stock parts will swap straight on to the H Bar and trekking bar,you just may need to shorten/lengthen the cables. If you're looking to stretch out more,I'd suggest the trekking bar. Because of it's design,you can move it around quite a bit and radically change your setup.

Sheldon had one installed on one of his bikes and it was mounted flat-ish,so that it was almost like a moustache bar:


I have mine mounted at a slight foward angle. Can't find a pic of my bike,but it's pretty close to this:


When I'm on the bottom part,it's like being in the drops of a road bar,the top part helps me sit up and stretch out,and the sides are good for climbing like barends on a flat bar. I'd install one of these and play with it awhile.
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Old 07-25-08, 08:24 PM
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Note that with the trekking bar mounted, the "open" ends, which normally are to the rear, fall at about the middle of the stem - at least they do on my Trek pictured in my earlier post - with a 100mm stem. I was a little concerned that this would put the controls too close, but yesterday evening I rode the bike for about 8 miles, and was pleasantly surprised how good it felt. I found that my hands rested naturally on the outside curved parts of the bars (like the 3rd pic from the left in dynarider's post above), and if I needed to use the brakes or shifters, it was just a matter of "rolling" my hands inwards, pivoting on the heels of my palms, to reach the controls.

I had been thinking about buying a longer stem - maybe 120 or 130mm - but I'm not sure I'll have to, now. I'll put more miles on it before I make up my mind.

Overall I'm quite pleased with the trekking bars. Before I would get numb hands after only about 2 miles with the standard flat bars that came on the Trek. Last night I rode 8 miles with no hint of numbness.
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I still don't like those d@mned clicker/shifters, though. Sooner or later, they're gonna go!
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