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Cruiser bars on a Surly LHT ??

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Cruiser bars on a Surly LHT ??

Old 04-22-20, 05:58 AM
  #1  
RH Clark
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Cruiser bars on a Surly LHT ??

I've had my stock Surly LHT for a couple months now. This is my first long term experience with drop bars and find myself trying to sit upright and rest my neck and shoulders on rides longer than a couple hours. I also ride a beach cruiser a good bit and think those type bars are exactly what I would like most.

I would like something that would work with my current bar end shifters if possible and I would like a section of the bar to be similar to my drop bar tops where I find my hands the majority of the time.

Any experience between the VeloOrange Crazy bar, Nitto Albatross, and Nitto Choco? Not sure if bar ends work with the VO crazy bar, and the Choco seems to have a flatter portion mimicking the top of a drop bar a little better than the Albatross.

Would love any advice on these or any other choices?
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Old 04-22-20, 01:32 PM
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Changing from drop bar to another type can be a fairly expensive proposition: short vs long cable pull requirements and the associated levers and adapters, plus gear shifters may have to be changed too, since few bars will accept bar-end shifters.

VO Crazy has looked interesting to me in the past but those who have owned them state that the "aero" bars are rarely used. You may as well use a flat MTB bar and some bar ends, this way you can choose bar end width.

I tried a Nitto Albatross bar once and found it to be no improvement over drop bars, so my time, effort and money were wasted - went back to drops.

Try to make minor, inexpensive changes before you go down this rabbit hole. A short, steep stem may be all you need, which is easy and cheap to try. Remember that bicycling long distance with heavy load is not supposed to be easy or without some discomfort.
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Old 04-22-20, 02:42 PM
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I would try a shorter taller stem 1st with drop bars. The multiple positions a drop bar has is a big advantage for me. Maybe the V/O happy stem?
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Old 04-22-20, 05:59 PM
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257 roberts
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Have you looked at the Surly Moloko bars...similar to the Jones H bars
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Old 04-22-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 257 roberts View Post
Have you looked at the Surly Moloko bars...similar to the Jones H bars
Yes,and the Jones H Loop bars but I am drawn to the Nitto Choco because of the straighter center section which I feel will mimic the top of my drop bars more so than the other choices. I likely spend 80% of my time on the flats. I'm only on the hoods going down hills very fast and only in the drops when I want to sprint. I'm in good shape at 6'1" and 170lbs but I'm 52 and don't sprint as often as a 20 year old. I find myself riding upright with one finger on the flats so I can sit more upright and riding no hands fairly often to rest my neck when I have ridden over 3 hours or so.

The top of my drops are just slightly higher than my seat. The cruiser I find so comfortable has bars even with the seat but they sit back quite a bite and are fairly wide. I can sit completely upright on that bike and being aero doesn't concern me too much. I'm more of a sit up and enjoy the day and scenery rider than a ,let's see how fast I can get there rider.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:16 AM
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I'm 6'1" with a long torso, I ride a 58cm LHT. I rode the first 1000-1200 miles with the stock drop bars, I hated them. After looking at all the options, i ended up going with a set of Salsa Woodchippers and a shorter and steeper stem. The woodchippers have very short reach and shallow drops, very comfortable.
Since changing bars I absolutely love this bike. I encourage you to make whatever changes necessary to find a comfortable position.
Good luck.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:01 PM
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You could try rotating the handlebar (ten degrees or such) back so that the brake hoods are 'pointing' upward more. If your seatpost is the layback type, you could scoot the seat farther forward so that it's clamped at the back of its rails. Or try a straight seatpost instead. Also, as someone suggested already, get a shorter stem. Raise the stem up with some spacers if there's room. A lot of stuff can probably get what you want without much expense. I never ride on the flats of my drop-bars (even if I implied that I did, on my Sutra thread, when I added crosstop levers. I will probably remove those levers). But then, I been riding drop-bars exclusively for the past 20 years. They seem the best to me.

Last edited by Nyah; 04-23-20 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:32 PM
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VO has their Left Bank handlebar in a 23.8mm size that will take you road levers and shifters. You could also try their "happy stem" with your current bars to get a more upright position.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:43 PM
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Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net

If you decide to change stems, this comparison tool does a good job of showing how length and angle effects bar location. It really helped me get my position dialed in to where I'm comfortable.
Good luck.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:47 PM
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RH Clark
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
VO has their Left Bank handlebar in a 23.8mm size that will take you road levers and shifters. You could also try their "happy stem" with your current bars to get a more upright position.
I may try that happy stem first. I'm not exactly uncomfortable and have only been riding the drop bars a few months. I liked them a lot at first compared to my Marlin 5 MTB bars with horns. I still like them in a lot of ways but my tired neck and shoulders after about 4 hours is becoming the limiting factor of my riding distance. I also think I would love the swept back design of a cruiser or city bike bar based on how relaxed and more upright I am on my 5 speed Schwinn Cruiser. I just don't ride it as much as my Surly LHT because of the limited gearing. I live in very hilly country.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
I've had my stock Surly LHT for a couple months now. This is my first long term experience with drop bars and find myself trying to sit upright and rest my neck and shoulders on rides longer than a couple hours. I also ride a beach cruiser a good bit and think those type bars are exactly what I would like most.

I would like something that would work with my current bar end shifters if possible and I would like a section of the bar to be similar to my drop bar tops where I find my hands the majority of the time.

Any experience between the VeloOrange Crazy bar, Nitto Albatross, and Nitto Choco? Not sure if bar ends work with the VO crazy bar, and the Choco seems to have a flatter portion mimicking the top of a drop bar a little better than the Albatross.

Would love any advice on these or any other choices?
Albatross baby:
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Old 04-24-20, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by takenreasy View Post
Albatross baby:
Looks like a very comfortable ride for long distances
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Old 04-24-20, 12:42 PM
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Sitting bolt upright when you don't have to means more frontal area, more aerodynamic drag, more pedaling effort required for longer periods for a given distance. Most healthy touring bicyclists can find a comfortable posture on a properly fitted bike with drop bars, so that they can reap the benefit of an intelligent design which has evolved over decades through extensive expert human testing. Drop bars not only help cut through the air but also help to achieve a more powerful pedaling technique.

Even with a short, steep stem and resulting more upright posture, drop bars offer one the option to intermittently grab the lower bar (drops) and speed up for a short time, perhaps making a head wind less difficult, then return to the brake hoods position to rest back/shoulders/arms. Rest and repeat. A bicyclist who uses only the tops/flats of their drop bars is not realizing the full potential of the drop handlebar.

Yes, the beach cruiser is comfortable for the 15 minutes you ride it, but do you want to turn the average 6 hour daily tour ride into 8 hours so you can use "comfortable" cruiser handlebars?
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Old 04-24-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Sitting bolt upright when you don't have to means more frontal area, more aerodynamic drag, more pedaling effort required for longer periods for a given distance. Most healthy touring bicyclists can find a comfortable posture on a properly fitted bike with drop bars, so that they can reap the benefit of an intelligent design which has evolved over decades through extensive expert human testing. Drop bars not only help cut through the air but also help to achieve a more powerful pedaling technique.

Even with a short, steep stem and resulting more upright posture, drop bars offer one the option to intermittently grab the lower bar (drops) and speed up for a short time, perhaps making a head wind less difficult, then return to the brake hoods position to rest back/shoulders/arms. Rest and repeat. A bicyclist who uses only the tops/flats of their drop bars is not realizing the full potential of the drop handlebar.

Yes, the beach cruiser is comfortable for the 15 minutes you ride it, but do you want to turn the average 6 hour daily tour ride into 8 hours so you can use "comfortable" cruiser handlebars?
Oh, thanks. I guess I've should have stuck with my drop bars that I had in 1987. I switched to upright bars in 2000. What was I thinking? I've been doing this touring stuff all wrong for the last 20 years. If only this advise had been around 20 years ago I would have realized that drop bars cuts down on wind resistance.
Did you even read the OP concerns?
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Old 04-24-20, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Remember that bicycling long distance with heavy load is not supposed to be easy or without some discomfort.
More proof I've been doing it all wrong.
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Old 04-24-20, 10:41 PM
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Went with these on my Cross Check. Multiple positions, the only thing I lack deep drops. Bend your elbows!
i ride the taped section a lot . Pretty much the same thing as riding the hoods on my drop bar.
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Old 04-24-20, 11:55 PM
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The OP needs to consider rise and reach changes. Mine has 2 1/4" rise, quite necessary.

Bolt upright, seeker333 ?? WTF is that?? Only happens when I used to ride with one or NO hands. I used to try figure out the speed difference. I concluded it was .2 mph with one arm tucked around to my back pocket. LOL I don't think it made much diff either when I was going 3.6 mph into a 30 mph headwind. Only steep downhills and peletons make any diff at all. IMO
I have ZERO miles with drops. IF they are sooo great, then why did 95% of Boomer 10 speeds get garage ABANDONED by the second year?? LOL
I'm still using the comfort style kind of bars, with 70d sweep, I got on my 1974 Raleigh. My first tour going UP Vietnam into the wind, I was bending over a lot and it was MISERABLE. I raised the bar 30 mm the second trip to Oregon and had NO neck, knee or backache at all. My most often position has my left hand on the grip and RH on the bend, that has no tape.
NO bar will eliminate numb hands or bum. THe 5x RAAM champ had hands still numb days AFTER the race was over.

As for bar width I have used 48cm center, 50 cm and 51.5. I liked 50 cm the best, but it broke and was goofy 15/16" clamp anyway.
Some of those other Jones and Nitto's are way too wide for my taste.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 04-25-20 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:44 PM
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Bike touring is popular in Germany & they love their flat bars. Some folks in the US etc use bar-end shifters on their swept-back type flat bars. There are some flat-bar brake levers designed for road brakes like the Shimano Sora BL-R3000. Flat bars can offer more flexibility for future upgrades like hydraulic brakes.
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