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Bar options for touring

Old 05-10-16, 09:01 PM
  #1  
nycbusi
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Bar options for touring

i'm trying to decide on a bike for a 400 mi tour. I have two to choose from. One is a traditional road bike, jamis ventura and the other an old dutch bike.

The jamis has drop bars and the dutch has old style touring type where i can pretty much be sitting upright with one hand on the bar.

If i am doing 50mi a day i cant be hunched over for 6 hours. So my question for everyone is, what are the handlebar options for touring? What i would like is something that i can sit more erect, but have the option of leaning over a bit.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-10-16, 09:57 PM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...positions.html
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Old 05-10-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nycbusi View Post
i'm trying to decide on a bike for a 400 mi tour. I have two to choose from. One is a traditional road bike, jamis ventura and the other an old dutch bike.

The jamis has drop bars and the dutch has old style touring type where i can pretty much be sitting upright with one hand on the bar.

If i am doing 50mi a day i cant be hunched over for 6 hours. So my question for everyone is, what are the handlebar options for touring? What i would like is something that i can sit more erect, but have the option of leaning over a bit.

Any suggestions?
I probably wouldn't want to ride either for a long tour. The Ventura is aluminum (though with a nice crabon fork) and the old Dutch bike is probably heavier than a semi truck. However if I had to choose I would probably go with the Jamis (though if going Jamis the Renegade Expat and Exploit or the Aurora or Coda series are a better option) and I would probably get a stem with a higher rise and either some drop bars with a flatter top section or double wrap what I got.

Drop bars for me are my favorite bar for touring. Though a butterfly/trekking bar is also a great option if drops aren't your thing because they offer multiple hand positions and tons of mounting space for all sorts of useful clutter.

Pick whatever bike is most comfortable to you and gives you the most gear range. I haven't rode the Ventura yet but did ride the Quest Elite and found for me the geometry wasn't good. However a long stem and maybe a set back seatpost and I would be golden.
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Old 05-11-16, 06:42 AM
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I didn't think I would ever like drop bars for a longer day in the saddle but I have learned to love them. Most of the time my hands are on top so not sure what the difference would be compared to other bars, and your hands tend to stay closer together than wider bars would put them. I can move my hands in several different positions on top or on the hoods, and once in a while when I need better aero conditions due to strong head winds I can use the drops. Works for me at least.

I would like to try some of the other options but not bad enough to "buy and try", happy with what I have.
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Old 05-11-16, 06:50 AM
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This is a decision you'll likely only be confident making after you've been on the road for at least a few days. Everyone is different and your preference for handlebar style depends on your riding style, terrain, etc. That being said, I think that high, flat handlebars are going to be the most universally friendly. Perhaps it'd be wise to start with flats and refine your preference from there.

I've put several thousand miles on my touring rig that has drops, but to be honest, I find myself only riding the drops when up against a nasty headwind or when I just need to mix it up a little to avoid soreness. In both those cases, they are helpful. Otherwise, I ride almost exclusively on the hoods.
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Old 05-11-16, 06:57 AM
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Definitely drop bars for me, and in recent years I've got to like compact bars with a nice flat transition to the hoods. On my "fast" road bike there's about 3" saddle-to-bar drop, on the tourer/winter/commute, a 2" drop. (Same reach.) Subtle difference but enough to feel a little more upright, and for a long day in the saddle I tend to swap fairly frequently between resting on the top bar or stretching out a little on the hoods, with occasional reach to the drops just for downhills/hard braking.

Re: aluminium frame for touring, I'm happy with this as well. I'm pretty sure the stiffness of the frame material is more than compensated for by a comfortable saddle and a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 32c running about 60-70 psi.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:09 AM
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Trekking bars take Straight bar controls , If thats what you have.

( you sort out reach and rise to suit your needs )

back to the popularity touts.

I unpack & Prep other people's bikes , so they are ready to ride when they get off the POINT bus, so far lots have bought LHTs & Drop bars.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-11-16 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:40 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies guys.

That link to the bars opened me up to the Jones Handlebar which I had never seen before. That looks like it has a lot of handle positioning options and space for a few gadgets.

they are a little expensive though...
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Old 05-11-16, 08:42 AM
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Trekking bars are selling for as little as $20.
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Old 05-11-16, 09:02 AM
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It really is personal preference. In USA, most people use drop bars. But many if not most touring bikes in continental Europe have more upright bars. I prefer drop bars so I can use the drops to push into the wind.

I found that I was much more likely to use drop bars after I lost about 30 pounds (from 205 to 175 pounds), before that I did not like using the drops. Now I use the drops 20 to 30 percent of the time whereas before I lost weight I used the drops less than 5 percent of the time. A friend of mine that I tour with is somewhat overweight, he used to use drop bars and switched to the bars that I think he calls bull horns because he does not like using the drops. My point is that if you are on the heavy side, if you are like me you might not like drop bars.
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Old 05-11-16, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nycbusi View Post
...If i am doing 50mi a day i cant be hunched over for 6 hours. So my question for everyone is, what are the handlebar options for touring? What i would like is something that i can sit more erect, but have the option of leaning over a bit...
On a well built touring bike with drop bar (and quite a few road bikes nowadays), the handlebar is very purposefully positioned higher so that you will never ride in a "hunched over" posture. This allows one to ride on the hoods (or horns when climbing) in relative comfort for hours, and the drops are not so far down. This capability is partly designed into the frame with longer head tube, plus touring bikes typically include a steel fork which permits long steerer tube (not possible on carbon).

Traditional road bikes usually have the bar 2-3" below the saddle, and since so many people in USA are now overweight or simply obese, this makes for an uncomfortable or impractical posture.

I ride both drops and std 5 deg bend "flat" mtb bars with barends, and it makes little difference to me due to the fact that handlebar height is 1-2" above saddle height.

Consider a stem extender, steep angle stem and/or longer steerer tube fork as means of getting your handlebar higher. Trekking/butterfly bars are popular because they greatly shorten reach on relatively long-top-tube MTB frames, which predominate on touring bikes outside USA. I'm sure your LBS can help you achieve an economical solution to your "hunched over" problem.
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Old 05-11-16, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Trekking bars are selling for as little as $20.
thanks

I didn't even know they were called that. I found them on ebay for $11 !!
Trekking Cycling Road Mountain Bike Bicycle Butterfly Handlebar 580 25 4mm T0G3 | eBay
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Old 05-11-16, 12:51 PM
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nycbusi, Be aware that brake levers and such are sized differently for road and mountain bikes. You'll need a road bike handlebar for the Jamis in order to fit it's levers. Otherwise handlebars are sized by the stem's clamping diameter.

If this is just a one off tour and you can't ride 50 mi. a day with drop bars, then the Dutch bike is your option plus it probably has any attachment points for a rack that you may need.

Brad
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Old 05-11-16, 12:59 PM
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Handlebar

I am using Raceface Ride XC mtn handlebar 25.4mm clamp with
shimano XT Thumb ****ers 9 Speed and Avid Speed dial Brake Levers
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Old 05-11-16, 02:33 PM
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I stay away from bars on tour. Riding with a hangover sucks.
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Old 05-11-16, 02:45 PM
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@bradtx - yeah I am leaning one way towards one bike and then one day towards the other... =/

there are pluses and minuses for both. I dnt wnt hijack this thread wth my bike, maybe after I do a bit more planning ill start a new thread.

thnx to everyone with the suggestions
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