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stoker handlebars

Old 08-19-22, 01:40 PM
  #1  
jethro00
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stoker handlebars

We're experimenting with our new (to us) daVinci Symbiosis. On our other 2 tandems (Trek T900 & daVinci Grand Junction), my stoker rides with 5" rise MTB bars and is fine with that. The Symbiosis came with drop bars. She is using the flat part and is not going to use the drops. So, I would like her to try bullhorn bars to see if she likes them. If not, I can get her usual 5" rise MTB bars.

Can anyone suggest a particular bullhorn handlebar to try? Thanks.
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Old 08-19-22, 09:46 PM
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We got ours from Co-Motion. Many other bullhorn bars are not wide enough to be out of the way of the pilot's butt. The Co-Motion are 46 cm.
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Old 08-19-22, 09:54 PM
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Is borrowing a bar from your other bike and placing it on the new bike an option? Maybe get another of what's already on it if she likes it?
The only thing I'm picky about with bars is width, so if she feels too scrunched or too broad that's an issue.
As mentioned, wider may be needed if your legs share space with the bars.

No specific suggestions, but I've had good luck in the past by taking my wife to a LBS with 3 or 4 options for whatever I'm after and having her look at and put hands on them. Half the time it's pretty easy to predict. The other half of the time I have no clue why she picked the on she did, but she's happy with it and I install it.
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Old 08-20-22, 08:38 AM
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Sorry - no particular suggestions on brands. (though Todd at DaVinci does sell tandems with bull horns so you might send an email to him)

My personal experience as a (short) captain with stoker bullhorn bars is that they nearly kill me every time I get on and off the tandem. For the bars to be wide enough so I don't have interference with hands/butt while riding, they seem to get in the way of my leg swing when getting on/off. I do also sometimes have issues with drop bars and dummy hoods, but less issues. Seems that whatever position my wife likes for bull horn / drop bars, the bull horn bars catch my foot and I nearly fall over. So, just a warning if/when you get some installed. =)

simon
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Old 08-20-22, 10:10 AM
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I was just thinking I would get brand suggestions, but you are giving me some additional things to think about. Tomorrow morning when we ride, I will get my stoker to watch as I get on and off to gauge whether I might have an issue with bullhorn bars on the back. We've been riding every day for so many years I can't even picture how I swing my legs to get on and off.
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Old 08-20-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sdodd View Post
Sorry - no particular suggestions on brands. (though Todd at DaVinci does sell tandems with bull horns so you might send an email to him)

My personal experience as a (short) captain with stoker bullhorn bars is that they nearly kill me every time I get on and off the tandem. For the bars to be wide enough so I don't have interference with hands/butt while riding, they seem to get in the way of my leg swing when getting on/off. I do also sometimes have issues with drop bars and dummy hoods, but less issues. Seems that whatever position my wife likes for bull horn / drop bars, the bull horn bars catch my foot and I nearly fall over. So, just a warning if/when you get some installed. =)

simon
Goodness gracious. Just stand on one foot, and lean way forward as your stoker gently guides your foot through the maze. It's easy. Same with dismounting.

I (captain) have clip-on aero bars so I built a set of aero bars for my stoker. It's just an aluminum pipe through the stem with a pair of clip-ons on the ends. The pipe is long enough so that stoker's hands just clear my butt when she's down on the bars. When she gets down on the bars, we're gone.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro00 View Post
Can anyone suggest a particular bullhorn handlebar to try? Thanks.
The aptly named Profile Design Stoker bar, goes as wide as 47 cm...
https://profile-design.com/products/stoker-26
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Old 08-20-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Goodness gracious. Just stand on one foot, and lean way forward as your stoker gently guides your foot through the maze. It's easy. Same with dismounting.
Maybe if I had a custom tandem. I'm 5'6" with a 28.5" standover. That means that in every tandem I've ever owned I'm on my toes unless the bike is leaning. (my davinci 'small' with 26" wheels (1.25" Ribmo tires) has a 29" standover) Small frames also tend to have shorter cockpits, shoving the fork further back that I would like. The only thing that I can imagine normal people could compare this to is riding a tandem that is too large for you. Getting on and off is not the easiest, even if you can ride it OK.

As I said, not usually a problem with drop bars. But the upturn of the cow horn tends to grab my toes.

simon
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Old 08-20-22, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sdodd View Post
Maybe if I had a custom tandem. I'm 5'6" with a 28.5" standover. That means that in every tandem I've ever owned I'm on my toes unless the bike is leaning. (my davinci 'small' with 26" wheels (1.25" Ribmo tires) has a 29" standover) Small frames also tend to have shorter cockpits, shoving the fork further back that I would like. The only thing that I can imagine normal people could compare this to is riding a tandem that is too large for you. Getting on and off is not the easiest, even if you can ride it OK.

As I said, not usually a problem with drop bars. But the upturn of the cow horn tends to grab my toes.

simon
So lean it over while your stoker guides your foot. I'm also 5'6" and have a 31" standover. Plus I'm 77. You got it easy. She guides your foot inside the near cowhorn, then over the saddle and down.
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Old 08-20-22, 12:22 PM
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This is a more interesting discussion than I anticipated. Our Grand Junction is a small/small. The Symbiosis we picked up is a medium/medium. We are both okay with the standover. The basis for getting the Symbiosis is to try some new things. Apart from being way higher end than any bike we have or have had, it has a SoftRide suspension beam for the stoker, Brooks saddles the seller threw in, 4 rings in the front, brakes that could stop a VW, etc. We are both used to MTB bars, 3" rise for me and 5" rise for my stoker. She has no use for the drop bars that came with the bike as she isn't going to use the drops. But, I think she might like using the vertical hand position on bullhorn bars. The width suggestions make sense, and I wouldn't want her bars to make my butt look big

Last edited by jethro00; 08-20-22 at 12:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-20-22, 01:06 PM
  #11  
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We’ve always had bullhorn bars for the stoker, and they stick up well above my saddle. I don’t try to swing my leg over them as I would if I was trying to mount or dismount like I would my single bikes. Instead I either step over the captain’s top tube, or alternatively, swing my leg over the captain’s handlebar.

I bought this bar a few years back: https://www.aliexpress.com/i/2251832...apt=4itemAdapt
It can be ordered in 46 cm width.
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Old 08-20-22, 10:22 PM
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Swing your leg over the front of the bike rather than the back. Your leg lifts further up in front of you than behind. You do have to hold the bars with one hand and then change to the other hand in mid swing, but this is no problem after you do it once.
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Old 08-21-22, 06:32 AM
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Another idea for stoker handlebars: Use road bars but mount them flipped up and pointed backwards.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:03 PM
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This has all been very informative
We went to the largest LBS nearby this afternoon.
Alas, they did not have any bullhorn bars for my stoker to put her hands on.

I have 2 follow up questions.

First, there are 2 good options that have been recommended
Profile Stoker 26 aluminum 47cm

https://www.performancebike.com/prof...b26471/p940701

Fixed Gear Road Bike racing TT Time Trial Triathlon Bullhorn Bar Handlebar 46cm Kevlar

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/2251832...apt=4itemAdapt

Apart from one being aluminum and the other Kevlar, they have different shapes. The aluminum is round and the Kevlar is flat in some areas.
Can anyone suggest a basis for choosing between the 2?


Second, does one usually put bar tape on bullhorn bars?
We don’t put tape on our current bars because our 3” & 5" rise MTB bars have rubber grips on the ends.


Thanks.
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Old 08-21-22, 07:16 PM
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I bought the AliExpress bar as part of a quest to make our ride as smooth as possible, in part by using carbon fiber components. (My stoker especially noticed the vibration reduction from the carbon fiber stoker stem) We had ridden a demo bike with a carbon fiber bullhorn with those flat portions, and my stoker liked the way it felt. I use the same cushioned bar tape on it that is on my drop bars.
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Old 08-22-22, 08:22 AM
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<<,I bought the AliExpress bar as part of a quest to make our ride as smooth as possible, in part by using carbon fiber components. (My stoker especially noticed the vibration reduction from the carbon fiber stoker stem) >>

If we get the carbon fiber bars, should we also switch to a carbon fiber stoker stem?
If so, any recommendation on the stem?

Thanks.
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Old 08-22-22, 02:48 PM
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The CF bar will work fine with any stem that fits, aluminum or whatever. The only CF stoker stem I found when I was looking years ago was hand made as a special order by Craig Calfee. You can see a little more information on it in my old post here:
Calfee carbon stoker stem

I’m not sure these are available any more from Calfee. But in any event, it’s not something that’s inexpensive, or necessary, although I’m glad we have it now.
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Old 08-23-22, 01:58 AM
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The one thing I would advise if you havenít used composite components before is to use the proper assembly paste. While I got along just fine without it for years, a tiny dab of CF assembly paste works wonders for keeping carbon bars and seat posts from slipping, even with proper torque. Whatever generic one you have will work just fine. Iíve not noticed a difference between brands and a tiny tube will last a long time unless your cleaning and reapplying to seatposts regularly.
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Old 08-23-22, 08:12 AM
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jccaclimber, thanks for that suggestion. That supports what I read that using CF assembly paste is needed to avoid over-torquing to stop slippage which might damage the CF.
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Old 08-23-22, 12:43 PM
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Just a word of warning: if you buy both CF assembly paste and grease lube from Park, don’t confuse the tubes, as they look very similar. Don’t ask how I know this 🥴
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Old 08-23-22, 12:55 PM
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<<Just a word of warning: if you buy both CF assembly paste and grease lube from Park, don’t confuse the tubes, as they look very similar. Don’t ask how I know this 🥴>>

That's funny. Good advice.
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Old 08-23-22, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. They were very helpful.

I put together a summary of pros and cons from this thread and from another thread on CF vs. aluminum bars for my stoker, along with a link to the Profile Stoker bars used by daVinci and the AliEzxpress «F bars. After looking at the pictures and reading the summary, she can’t say whether she prefers the flat areas on the CF bars to the round on the aluminum. Since she can’t. put her hands on either at a LBS, she figures she can return the bars from Amazon if she does not like them. So, she went with the Profile Stoker bars.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1

I plan to put gel or padded tape under her bar tape which should handle any vibration advantage CF bars might have.
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Old 09-01-22, 08:39 AM
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The Profile Stoker bars arrived. But, I canít get the bar to pass through the stem clamp. See picture below. I am pretty sure the stem is a Co-Motion Stoker Stem, which according to the Co-Motion web site accepts a 31.8mm handlebar. Is there a technique for getting the bars through the clamp? Or, do I need to get a 2-piece clamp? If the latter, any recommendations on a clamp? Thanks.

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Old 09-01-22, 08:01 PM
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Sometimes the right twisting around and some very ginger spreading with a screwdriver does the trick. The rest of the time it just scratches up the bars and still doesnít go in. No specific recommendations, but it sure is a lot easier with a removable faceplate stem. Doubly so if you ever decide to change the stem because you wonít have to remove the bar tape from one side.

Edit, when I say twist around I mean keep the narrow section by the pinch bolt on the inside of the handlebar bend.
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Old 09-02-22, 08:04 AM
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jccaclimber, thanks for the reply. Last night, I read on an old thread that running the pinch bolt through the exit hole and jamming it onto a penny in the slot may act as a spreader and provide 1mm to 2mm of additional space. I'll try that tonight and report whether that works. I suppose the one-piece stem clamp makes sense for straight bars. A 2-piece seems like a better choice for bars with curves.
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