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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-29-10, 10:51 AM   #1
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Alt bars for long-distance cycling

I'm curious as to whether any riders have used "alt" bars for brevets and other long distance events. As far as alt bars go, I'm referring primarily to Origin-8 space bars, jitensha flat bars, porteur bars, etc

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Old 04-29-10, 11:34 AM   #2
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The first brevet I did was on a cruiser with straightish bars. As I ride more, I'm beginning to appreciate drop bars when riding into the wind. People talk about having multiple hand positions, and that hasn't been a huge factor, really.

If the bike you plan to ride has those on it, go for it, but I can't see any special reason to buy them for long-distance riding.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:04 PM   #3
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I understand a number of LD riders use TT clip ons to get into different positions.
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Old 05-01-10, 11:02 PM   #4
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i've pondered this same question for several years, but had yet to find something to my satisfaction, until recently. just as a foreword, i really liked the idea of h-bars (for some extra nice/expensive ones check out: ), but also really liked riding on the hoods. i never spent time in the drops, no matter how bad the head wind was, in part because my hood position was about as aggressive a position as i could sustain.

flash forward to my recent IGH (internal gear hub)conversion, and i also needed a bar that could split in the middle to mount a grip shifter. i thought about going the aerobar/TT route, and even chatted with some guy in a local club about his set-up. but when i rode with him, he spent about 5% of his time on the aero bars, and the rest on the flats, making wonder why he bothered to attach the things, except as a conversation starter (YMMV of course). at the same time i stumbled upon a crazy bar similar to the h-bar at my LBS made by the local company Bike Friday, better known for their somewhat eccentric folding bicycles. the bars, a BF "STI-bar," are designed to replicate the riding-on-the-hood feel, and just so happen to enable a twist-shifter by coming apart in the middle (99% of riders won't need this, of course).

you can see pix of my set-up here:

the feel is about 90% similar to the hoods, at the moment. the geometry/ergonomics are identical to my hood-riding position (i planned it this way), but the bars as they are currently wrapped do not replicate the over-squishy sensation of brifter hoods. in other words, to more faithfully replicate it, i need to add a little more squish (i.e, padded tape) to the horns. on the other hand (or two hands), i lose the useless drop portion that i never used, and do find a truly flat section of the bar to be quite comfortable, though for speed cruising i am still back on the "hoods"/horns.

lastly, because it was a question for me, too: the seam in the middle of the bars (where they come apart) is a non-issue for safety. i used red loctite for the final assembly (which my resident engineer assured me was overkill), and then clamped to torque specification on my stem. afterward, no matter how we yanked they did not move (and we really honestly tried to move them). another note: i had the bars cut to 40cm to match my drop bar width; the BF bars weigh a touch more than the seamless drops they replaced, and cost $65, which isn't cheap, but for my needs was the only elegant IGH solution. you can see a rather poor picture of the BF bars at:

good luck, and let us know if you find another solution, or if you go with one of the bars you mention in your original post!

Last edited by pwdeegan; 05-01-10 at 11:13 PM. Reason: typo typos...
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Old 05-08-10, 09:43 PM   #5
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Surprised I haven't replied to this yet. Hopefully the OP is still monitoring his/her post. I have been using the On One Midge for close to a year now, which I think is similar to the Origin 8 bar. I am very happy with the bar. For one thing it gets lots of comments while on organized rides (generally when people are passing me ). I like the shallower drops and the angle of the bifters. I am feeling the need for a shorter stem with these bars over my Nitto Noodle bars, your results may vary. As for the angle of the bifters this is my favorite part. I have found this excellent position where I can rest my forearms on the tops of the bars and grab onto the hoods. It is a very comfortable position and quite aero. In fact I did a solo 110 mile ride on Friday and over the 6 hour 10 minute ride time I probably spend 80% of the time in this position. These are some of my random thoughts on the bars. Let me know if you have any questions.
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