Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

WTF I just don't get it.....

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

WTF I just don't get it.....

Old 09-10-08, 08:41 AM
  #1  
johnce
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
WTF I just don't get it.....

Alright fella's, here's the deal, over the weekend a buddy and I were sittin' at a outdoor beer garden and a guy rolls up on a fixed gear bike (reeally nice lookin' rig BTW) anywho he had straight bars that couldn't have been a foot wide.

I don't get this, there's no way that you can have any leverage goin' up a hill! I know i've heard that narrower bars are good for scootin through traffic, but come on the differance between these and regular bars in traffic would be minimal..

I'm thinkin that its a looks thing, but it just seems like it makes riding a bike harder, can't figure it out..

So i'll dawn the flame suit now...start flamin' brohamuals....
johnce is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 08:49 AM
  #2  
gfrance
Senior Member
 
gfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's not about function....what ever gave you that idea? Going up hills? pffft. It's all about cruising around at 8 mph looking cool, dude.
gfrance is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 08:50 AM
  #3  
santaanna's leg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by johnce View Post
I'm thinkin that its a looks thing, but it just seems like it makes riding a bike harder, can't figure it out..
No, I think you have it figured out.
santaanna's leg is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 08:53 AM
  #4  
SingleSpeeDemon
Team Sohoku
 
SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Not where I want to be.
Posts: 2,005

Bikes: BMC, Cannondale, '87 Nishiki Modulus, 3Rensho Keirin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Despite the fact that many fixed gear riders have jumped on the chopped riser handlebar wagon, there is a practical application to having narrow bars. In the case of city riding; dodging buses and cabs, splitting lanes of gridlock, the narrow bars allow a rider to squeeze into spaces where wider bars would cause clearance issues. There is a common notion on this board that since the rider's hips and shoulders are usually wider than the chopped handlebar, then it renders the whole purpose of riding with such a narrow bar a moot point.

In reality, imagine trying to squeeze through a narrow gap on a bicycle. If you are able to steer through it and keep the front wheel straight, you should be able to make it unless there is simply no room to fit. In practice, the rider can dip a shoulder, pivot on the seat and contort the body to help facilitate clearance. If your hip or shoulder bumps into an object while tracking straight, it should have little bearing on your velocity. However, if the handlebar contacts an object, it will undoubtedly pivot the wheel causing an undesirable change in direction.

For climbing purposes, the lack of leverage is apparent, but then it is just like all things when riding a fixed gear bike on the road; everything becomes a bit of a compromise.
SingleSpeeDemon is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:00 AM
  #5  
cs1
Senior Member
 
cs1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clev Oh
Posts: 7,084

Bikes: Specialized, Schwinn

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 216 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by johnce View Post
WTF I just don't get it.....
What's there not to get? Narrow bars aren't as useful as wider when climbing. That's true. But what if it's just a fun barhopping bike. Really who cares how wide his bars are. Let's talk about important things like why would anyone paint a bike green?
cs1 is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:00 AM
  #6  
Adam G.
Senior Member
 
Adam G.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hear ya on this one. I think its the latest craze fashion for fixed now. The city where I work in, I have seen at least about a dozen of people with these little poles for a bar. It looks like they are water sking, whatever floats your boat though. The people riding this type of bike do not seem like riders though, its a lot chunky guys squeezed into tight ass jeans with cuffs, shirts that are to small and major muffin tops popping out on the side.

Fat guys on a fiiiiixed bike!!
Adam G. is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:00 AM
  #7  
ZiP0082
Senior Member
 
ZiP0082's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,703

Bikes: 2008 Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
well put, SingleSpeeDemon
ZiP0082 is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:11 AM
  #8  
zacked
-
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Banned in DC
Posts: 454
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SingleSpeeDemon View Post
In the case of city riding; dodging buses and cabs, splitting lanes of gridlock, the narrow bars allow a rider to squeeze into spaces where wider bars would cause clearance issues. .
Sure, and if you're riding up and downtown in manhattan all day it might even make sense, but how much time do you really spend splitting lanes with slow traffic in a day? In DC, traffic (on surface streets, anyway) is moving, and if it's not, you're only splitting lanes for half a block at most.

I run bars wider than my mom (56cm) and have no trouble splitting lanes when I have to. Sure, sometimes I have to slow down to slalom a couple of mirrors or switch lines to pass a bus, but being able to actually ride my bike otherwise more than makes up for that 2 second inconvenience.
zacked is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:12 AM
  #9  
elTwitcho
Live without dead time
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SingleSpeeDemon View Post
Despite the fact that many fixed gear riders have jumped on the chopped riser handlebar wagon, there is a practical application to having narrow bars. In the case of city riding; dodging buses and cabs, splitting lanes of gridlock, the narrow bars allow a rider to squeeze into spaces where wider bars would cause clearance issues. There is a common notion on this board that since the rider's hips and shoulders are usually wider than the chopped handlebar, then it renders the whole purpose of riding with such a narrow bar a moot point.

In reality, imagine trying to squeeze through a narrow gap on a bicycle. If you are able to steer through it and keep the front wheel straight, you should be able to make it unless there is simply no room to fit. In practice, the rider can dip a shoulder, pivot on the seat and contort the body to help facilitate clearance. If your hip or shoulder bumps into an object while tracking straight, it should have little bearing on your velocity. However, if the handlebar contacts an object, it will undoubtedly pivot the wheel causing an undesirable change in direction.

For climbing purposes, the lack of leverage is apparent, but then it is just like all things when riding a fixed gear bike on the road; everything becomes a bit of a compromise.

It's also common on bike polo bikes since it keeps the bars out of the way and there isn't a whole ton of climbing involved.

Like you said though, it's all a compromise. Me I like my bars being just slightly wider (as in maybe an inch) than my shoulders as it gives me a good visual refference for whether I will fit through gaps or not. Other's experience may vary
elTwitcho is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:18 AM
  #10  
andrewro
shiz bichiz
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow 56cm!!!!!!!!

I had 44cm Soma UPs and it felt like I was hugging a cow.

I have 40cm flip/chops now and it feels about right.

Can't relate to the super narrow things though!

EDIT: God, now that I look at these numbers, my bars seem a littler wider than that. I'll have to double-check when I get home.
andrewro is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:19 AM
  #11  
SingleSpeeDemon
Team Sohoku
 
SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Not where I want to be.
Posts: 2,005

Bikes: BMC, Cannondale, '87 Nishiki Modulus, 3Rensho Keirin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ZiP0082 View Post
well put, SingleSpeeDemon
Thanks.
SingleSpeeDemon is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:22 AM
  #12  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 8,234

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 57 Posts
What's wrong with green? Everybody loves money!
Wanderer is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:24 AM
  #13  
chris wielk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: brooklyn
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
when i got my first set of risers i cut them pretty short. the main reason i got them was because i clipped a mirror in a tight spot riding drops and flipped over. since then i've had 2 more pairs and each one has gotten wider. i've realized i'd rather have a bar thats more stable with the width when going through tight spots than being wobbly with just enough room to fit a hand on each side of the stem. but, i know some people that have ridden on short bars for so long that its what they're used to and they swear by it. who knows. i will definitely say that for me, regardless of width i feel more comfortable on risers or a straight bar in traffic rather than bullhorns or drops. i don't have too much of a problem with climbing, but i also don't do that much climbing.
chris wielk is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 09:25 AM
  #14  
Catnap 
zungguzungguguzungguzeng
 
Catnap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ridgewood, Queens
Posts: 1,670

Bikes: Zunow, 3Rensho, Look KG196

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 100 Posts
my bars are chopped pretty narrow... but not narrow enough to keep from ripping the left hand mirror off some dipshiat's Mercedes the other day, when he tried to squeeze me between a city bus in traffic the other day.

*evil laugh*
__________________
Check out www.djcatnap.com for articles on vintage Japanese & French bicycle restorations, components and history.
Catnap is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:14 AM
  #15  
tmh657 
Senior Member
 
tmh657's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,929

Bikes: A few BSO's.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by johnce View Post
So i'll dawn the flame suit now...start flamin' brohamuals....
Word police here. "don" the flame suit. Dawn = persons name.
tmh657 is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:15 AM
  #16  
tmh657 
Senior Member
 
tmh657's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,929

Bikes: A few BSO's.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
ie
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Picture 1.jpg (12.4 KB, 64 views)
tmh657 is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:17 AM
  #17  
aMull
Senior Member
 
aMull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,779

Bikes: Leader 735TR 09 58cm 46/17

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are bars are narrower than your shoulders, wouldn't that constrict your chest and thus preventing you from using all your power?
aMull is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:19 AM
  #18  
jdms mvp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: four 1 OHHH , Maryland
Posts: 2,849

Bikes: nagasawa, fuji track pro

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by aMull View Post
If you are bars are narrower than your shoulders, wouldn't that constrict your chest and thus preventing you from using all your power?
that's not all, then your shoulder will be taking out side mirrors, not your bars lolol
jdms mvp is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:23 AM
  #19  
elTwitcho
Live without dead time
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
my bars are chopped pretty narrow... but not narrow enough to keep from ripping the left hand mirror off some dipshiat's Mercedes the other day, when he tried to squeeze me between a city bus in traffic the other day.

*evil laugh*
See now that is one thing I have NEVER understood with drivers. What do they expect is going to happen other than their car getting ****ed up when you press up against a cyclist with it?
elTwitcho is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:37 AM
  #20  
stakes is high
sigh...
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: nyc
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i've found that having slightly narrower bars does make riding through traffic a little bit less stressful.
i keep mine at about the same width as my shoulders. maybe just a tiny bit narrower. i can't fathom how having extremely narrow bars is that much of an advantage.


slightly narrower bars make things a bit easier for me, but i also don't have a problem with riding in normal conditions where i'm not ducking in and out of cars. i don't know that i'd even try to squeeze into a space where your bars are cut to the point where it's just your grips sticking out of either side of the stem would be useful.

i'm thinking of switching back to drops. even though i don't use the drops often, theres still times when i'd like to have them.
stakes is high is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:51 AM
  #21  
johnce
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I really don't care what folks do to their rigs, but i've seen some really great lookin' rides that have those type bars and it just seems to me that your losing something performance wise. There is just no way the bike can handle as well..

As far as cutting though traffic, if I have to cut my bars down that narrow to squeeze between a bus and a car I really don't want to be in that situation in the first place.

O.K. i'm callin' BS, their doin it to be groovy....
johnce is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 10:51 AM
  #22  
progre-ss
Senior Member
 
progre-ss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: The Poconos, PA
Posts: 1,002

Bikes: Converted 1997 Trek Singletrack 930 singlespeed and a Kona Lavadome singlespeed, fixed Dahon folding bike, fixed 27" Miyata road bike, early 70's Raleigh Chopper

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Funny this topic came up. I am in search of a new bike and found the following ad on nyc's craigslist...

Http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/830481276.html

And a steal at $50!
progre-ss is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 11:21 AM
  #23  
kyselad
extra bitter
 
kyselad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,563

Bikes: Miyata 210, Fuji Royale II, Bridgestone Kabuki, Miyata Ninety

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by progre-ss View Post
Funny this topic came up. I am in search of a new bike and found the following ad on nyc's craigslist...

Http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/830481276.html

And a steal at $50!
Wow, that just about sums it up for me. Those bars are indeed "super rad," especially with that price tag. I think "these are super expensive Equipe road bars" should read "these were super expensive Equipe road bars." I also now understand why these high form, low function bars don't sit well with me -- I have no steez.
kyselad is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 11:32 AM
  #24  
shecky
Senior Member
 
shecky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Home of the Homeless
Posts: 610

Bikes: Rustbuckets, the lot of them.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Who the **** cares about someone who likes narrow flat bars? I hate when you guys go all Blackwell on me.
shecky is offline  
Old 09-10-08, 11:49 AM
  #25  
lanOGiro
son of a son of a sailor
 
lanOGiro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
What's there not to get? Narrow bars aren't as useful as wider when climbing. That's true. But what if it's just a fun barhopping bike. Really who cares how wide his bars are. Let's talk about important things like why would anyone paint a bike green?
Hey! Let's keep it narrow bars! Green is clean
lanOGiro is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.