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Handlebar Modifications

Old 07-05-15, 03:18 PM
  #1  
L0NE_W0LF
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Handlebar Modifications

Hello!

I was wondering if some of you guys had suggestions for modifications to the handlebars to make hours in the saddle a little more comfortable. I saw some dude today with two stems on his steer tube and he had two handle bars mounted for maximum hand positions. I was also interested in attachments that could go on my current drops that would have me sit a little more upright.

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-15, 04:47 PM
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A couple of local buds rotated the bar so that the drops were up rather than down. One even ran a length of pvc pipe across that extended outward on either side of the drops. Allowed a much more upright position and more hand positions.

Adding aerobars is another useful option. I use bull horns with aerobars. Lots of positions.

A stem with an acute upward angle is another fix.
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Old 07-05-15, 05:40 PM
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I use trekking bars with aerobars. Count the elbow rests as another hand position where you can sit very upright.
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Old 07-05-15, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by L0NE_W0LF View Post
... I was wondering if some of you guys had suggestions for modifications to the handlebars to make hours in the saddle a little more comfortable........... I was also interested in attachments that could go on my current drops that would have me sit a little more upright.
All I really have are my own experiences... and what has worked well for me.

First I an old man and have ridden road bike off and on since my early teens. I've had some back problems as I've aged and discovered conventional upright bike riding to be undesirable. In an upright cycling position any bump is a spine pounder... for me.

I find the [correct] road cycling position to be the most comfortable. As the weight is distributed between the three points of contact. Feet, saddle, and hands. So nothing gets stressed. I do prefer a "less aggressive" cycling position... with the handlebars/hoods about the same height as the saddle. And of course the bicycle being the correct size and properly fitted.

Working on position finesse... with bent elbows, lifted butt, and hips tilted as needed for optimum force/comfort are all part of being comfortable. Once the right saddle along with the positioning mentioned is found.... riding the bike is as comfy as sitting in an easy chair.
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Old 07-06-15, 08:26 AM
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Bar ends work for me. Look at some treking bars.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:36 AM
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Back when they were still available I bought 'off-the-front' grip shapes and made broader flatter surfaces under the Tape
rather than the round tube of the Randonneur bars.

Now I also have bikes with trekking bars , the R'off shifter grips are perfect for the smaller 22.2 tubes of those ..
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Old 07-06-15, 10:46 AM
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Old 07-06-15, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
...
I find the [correct] road cycling position to be the most comfortable. As the weight is distributed between the three points of contact. Feet, saddle, and hands. So nothing gets stressed. I do prefer a "less aggressive" cycling position... with the handlebars/hoods about the same height as the saddle. And of course the bicycle being the correct size and properly fitted.

Working on position finesse... with bent elbows, lifted butt, and hips tilted as needed for optimum force/comfort are all part of being comfortable. Once the right saddle along with the positioning mentioned is found.... riding the bike is as comfy as sitting in an easy chair.
+1

One thing I've found very important for long term comfort is, ironically, short term discomfort: I don't put my shifters anyplace that's so convenient that I'm tempted to leave my hands in the same place all the time. Down tube shifters, or bar end, are close enough. The advantage of down tube shifters is that they force me to move my hands around a lot, and this moves my whole upper body, and this keeps me comfortable in a long day in the saddle.
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Old 07-06-15, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
... One thing I've found very important for long term comfort is, ironically, short term discomfort....
As we get better... or become stronger cyclists... we can forget that it's important to just stand-up and pedal for a bit every now-and-again. Take ALL the weight off everything but the feet... and pump some blood into the butt. Then when you return to the saddle drop your hands and "gently" wiggle your fingers. Cycling is NOT a passive sport.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:01 PM
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I tend to change my hand position regularly, sometimes every minute or so, this is the great advantage of drop bars.
As has been mentioned, your bike has to fit you from the get go.
My drops also are fairly shallow, which works great for me, and when in the drops, my hands are even closer to the seat than the tops of bars, so the three positions work great for a change up of hand pressures, neck positions and arm positions too.

I move without even thinking about it, and often is the key for me
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Old 07-07-15, 01:37 PM
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I'm currently using a Salsa Flat Bar 2 with Profile Design Century aerobars attached. In a few days, I'll exchange my grips for ESI Extra Chunky foam, for added plush factor. The combination of flat bars and aerobars has been an unexpected delight, and may be my new go-to for long distance off-road bikes.

Try aerobars on your drop bars!
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Old 07-07-15, 03:39 PM
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Besides aerobars and bar-ends for hand positions, you may want to be more upright by swapping your stem for something like this 30-degree model.

Personally I'd stay away for the double-stem-bar rigging. It's kludgy, lunky, and flugly and probably functionally ineffective, or we hear more how great they are on the road. The only time I see them discussed is in the engineering and building stage.
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Old 07-08-15, 09:40 PM
  #13  
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These are some options that will make things more comfortable without added weight (generally):
3T Arx II Pro Stem (has a +/-17˙angle
Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo Handlebar (nice flat top bars with good ergonomics, I would go back to round bars) you can also go with the non-SL version and it will do the same thing with just a little weight penalty 45 grams)

Lizard Skins 3.2mm DSP Bar Tape (nice, thick and comfortable)
This is basically my set up and I am quite comfortable over the long haul. I cannot think of anything I would really change unless I was having stuff designed specifically for me.

If you need extra height than that you can go with an adjustable stem (3T ARXA is probably one of the lightest and nicest but Ritchey makes a decent one for cheaper) or go with a steerer extender (Dimension, Orgin8, Zoom and maybe others make similar/different versions of them).

Moving your hands around is also a good way to go and having bar ends is quite nice (and a touch safer than down tube shifters) for that reason.

When I converted to my new bars I went with something quite a bit wider than what I had because it made it easier and more comfortable for me to ride out of the saddle. Also upgrading the brake levers can be nice if you have something a little more like the brifters which tend to be more ergonomic. The SRAM S-500s are my favorites and our head mechanic who actually helped me install them thought I was silly for buying new levers and then tried them and felt the difference right away. I believe Cane Creek makes something with a similar ergo style.

If this stuff doesn't help I don't know what will. If this doesn't work the bike geometry could be off or maybe drop bars aren't for you and a trekking bar is more the answer.

Last edited by veganbikes; 07-08-15 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Odd formating that I never added but needed to remove
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Old 07-10-15, 04:38 AM
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Modern, shallow drop bars such as 3TTT ergonova are more comfy for many riders
Cinelli Spinaci, small bar extensions were prohibited by UCI which probably counts in their favour, if clip-on aerobars are too bulky.

I pack out the rubber hoods with small wraps and rolls of inner tube to fine tune the profile. Position the brakes in rotation as well as height.
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Old 07-11-15, 02:10 PM
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Has anyone tried replacing the standard drop bars with something like the Jones bar?
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Old 07-11-15, 02:11 PM
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Sure, but everything is different , all 4 cables and levers have to be replaced.
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Old 07-12-15, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
A couple of local buds rotated the bar so that the drops were up rather than down. One even ran a length of pvc pipe across that extended outward on either side of the drops. Allowed a much more upright position and more hand positions.

Adding aerobars is another useful option. I use bull horns with aerobars. Lots of positions.

A stem with an acute upward angle is another fix.
One could combine both the aerobar & higher stem which gives some more upright positions but also allows one to lean into the wind--also aerobars help relax arm muscles which can be more important than the lowered wind resistance. Aerobars give some added room for mounting accessories.

Back in the 70's bike boom many folks bought cheapo dept store 10-speeds & turned the drop bars over for upright riding. Not an ideal setup but OK for slow riding I guess.
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Old 07-12-15, 12:24 AM
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I've gone with winged handlebars... and aero brakes. I just think the wings are a bit more comfortable to grip from the tops of the bars.



These are IRC Blackbird bars which I think are discontinued, but other brands are available, and many CF bars are "ergonomic".

Unfortunately they do cut down the mount points... and thus the light bar.

Personally I'd prefer a round curve to the bars rather than all the crimps.
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Old 07-13-15, 08:33 AM
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One mod that I've been thinking about with standard drop bars...

There seems to be a place right at the top, inside of the hoods where I never wrap my fingers....
So I'd like to connect a straight bar from side to side between the bars. Something like this (drawn, not a commercial product).



One used to need to slide the bars into the stem, but that is no longer needed with the new stems.

Done right, it might need minor hood modifications, but shouldn't be too much in the way.

It would be an excellent place to mount all of those accessories, lights, cameras, speedometers, phones, etc. Especially with my contoured/winged bars which have essentially no mount points.
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Old 07-13-15, 08:41 AM
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adding a second threadless stem under the 1st, allows a bar bag to mount there .

and Be a place to mount all the electronic toys people cannot seem to wean themselves from to go camping and riding their Bike.

a single bolt T mount https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/thorn-acc...36082/?geoc=us

takes up a little less steerer tube than an actual stem.
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Old 07-20-15, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Modern, shallow drop bars such as 3TTT ergonova are more comfy for many riders
Cinelli Spinaci, small bar extensions were prohibited by UCI which probably counts in their favour, if clip-on aerobars are too bulky.

I pack out the rubber hoods with small wraps and rolls of inner tube to fine tune the profile. Position the brakes in rotation as well as height.
Michael, those Spinaci bars are a SWEET find! I am having a buddy in the UK order a pair for me. Thanks for the tip!
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