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Alternative Handlebars? Modifications?

Old 03-18-08, 05:54 PM
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Alternative Handlebars? Modifications?

Trekking bars come in different styles. Has anyone compared them? Do any of them work particularly well, or have some advantages? It would be interesting to compare the different designs side-by-side (even in pictures).

****
Modifications to the more-standard drop and flat bars can also be interesting. Some of the most experienced and innovative and independent cyclists (Heinz Stücke, Dan Henry and Sheldon Brown, for example) have introduced creative alternatives that have real advantages, in their experience.

Dan Henry attached a small (padded) flat bar behind his drop bars, to get a more upright and comfortable position. He used them most of the time.

Sheldon added a flat bar considerably above the drops.

Heinz added a second bar, which was welded to his riser bars. His bars can be seen by freezing this video at 00:08,

https://youtube.com/watch?v=g1-biZVQQFU

****
These are interesting bars. They allow for some good alternative hand and body positions.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=d_o8tLpdgDM

[They can be seen by freezing the video at 00:24, 00:28, 00:35+c., 00:44-46, 00:54-55, 01:24, and elsewhere.]

****
Some bar ends have better shapes and angles than others, and there are alternative attachment points and angles. Does anyone know of any that are especially good?

****
If someone knows of ideas or possibilities, or has tried things that work well or have some advantages, please feel free to post....

Last edited by Niles H.; 03-18-08 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 03-19-08, 10:05 AM
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No haven't had loads of experience with them. I bought some Nashbar trekking bars last year, and put them on my tourer -my biggest gripe was that fact that they just seemed too wide (I realize now that I quite like narrow handlebars -e.g. I always cut down my bars for my mtbs). Anyway, after some admittedly short rides, I wasn't fully convinced, and wanted to go back to the drop handlebars so took them off.

This is where it gets interesting though; I moved the trekking bars to an old mtb frame I had, and lo and behold they are much more comfortable -I'm not sure but I think I have a longer top tube on the old mtb (used the same stem) so maybe that was the trick. I get the feeling that trekking bars are extremely finickety in set up to get them right. Until you get it right, I think an adjustable stem is a very good idea.

In retrospect, I think the Nashbar trekking bars are a great value (at least since I put them on my old mtb) but I think it would have been nice to have had a choice of widths.


Originally Posted by Niles H.
Trekking bars come in different styles. Has anyone compared them?
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If someone knows of ideas or possibilities, or has tried things that work well or have some advantages, please feel free to post....
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Old 03-19-08, 10:33 AM
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Hi,

on my homepage www.thomasontour.de -> Ausrüstung you can see my bike. I have two bar ends:
The vertikal ones are for uphill sections when I go out of the saddle.
The horizontal ones are for long distance straight ahead route (e.g. deserts) it is convienent and forces my to a more upright position (that's good for my back). On single trails these are dangerous and I remove these when I go mountain biking.

Regarding the styles and brands: You just have to test with which style is the most convienent one for you.

Thomas
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Old 03-19-08, 05:01 PM
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I like my Easton EA30 riser bars with titec hell bent bar ends.
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Old 03-19-08, 06:03 PM
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I like my trekking bars a lot and I find them comfortable. I do have drops on my road bike and I like them as well.



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Old 03-21-08, 12:18 AM
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Which Brand

THanks George for the photo - which brand and style of bar do you use? Are the "handles" on the inside bar, (closest to the rider) standard with the bar or is that an option?

Thanks
Maureen
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Old 03-21-08, 12:36 AM
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I think what you're referring to are the ergon grips. They're pretty comfortable.
Jeff Jones h-bars are certainly alternative, but they can be hard to come by. I like mine alot, but I might be going with a drop bar and 9spd 105 STIs.
https://www.jonesbikes.com/update/hbar/index.html
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Old 03-21-08, 12:41 AM
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Thanks yes I searched Harris Cyclery and discovered the Ergon grips, I definitely need those as I do suffer some hand numbness. I;ll have a look at the H bars too - very short arms!
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Old 03-21-08, 02:06 AM
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Here is my latest set-up. I've gone from traditional drops to Treking and now this. My favorite so far.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
handlebar small.jpg (77.5 KB, 175 views)
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Old 03-21-08, 04:07 AM
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Looks comfy. I've been toying with the idea of getting some mustache bars and bar end shifters for my ride, I don't exactly know what's holding me back.
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Old 03-21-08, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh
I think what you're referring to are the ergon grips. They're pretty comfortable.
Jeff Jones h-bars are certainly alternative, but they can be hard to come by. I like mine alot, but I might be going with a drop bar and 9spd 105 STIs.
https://www.jonesbikes.com/update/hbar/index.html
I thought the H-bars looked good too, but could not see spending $290 for another handlebar experiment. But the Wald bars in my photo cost a whopping $6.78, definitely worth a try and I found them very comfortable, especially with the padded barends next to the handlebar bag.

https://www.amazon.com/Wald-Steel-Han.../dp/B000C125NM
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Old 03-21-08, 05:43 AM
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Of the things that I have tried I still like drop bars and STI the best. I do like the ergon grips on my straight bar folding bike since it is limited to straight bars. Also the trekking bars are OK on my old MTB.
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Old 03-21-08, 05:54 AM
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Nashbar has theirs on sale..
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Old 03-21-08, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Of the things that I have tried I still like drop bars and STI the best. I do like the ergon grips on my straight bar folding bike since it is limited to straight bars. Also the trekking bars are OK on my old MTB.
If you don't like your straight bars on your folding bike, you might try the bars I shown above, they might work on that bike.

Try a little ergonomic experiment. stand with your hands relaxed at you side, now reach forward in front of you at about handlebar height. What angle are your hands in? That angle is what I tried to achieve in a handlebar. Is this perfect science, no, but not a bad place to start.
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Old 03-21-08, 06:10 AM
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My last handlebar experiment was with the Nashbar trekking bars. I found that the hand position with the controls (brakes and shifters) was my least comfortable position, it's a straight bar at that point and too close to my body. The most comfortable spot was on the sides, but I had to move my hands anytime I wanted to shift or brake. I think your most comfortable position should have the controls.
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Old 03-21-08, 06:27 AM
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Bike Friday has these interesting things:



and these:



.. and I used these and like them a lot, although for commuting, not touring:

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Old 03-21-08, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gregw
If you don't like your straight bars on your folding bike, you might try the bars I shown above, they might work on that bike.

Try a little ergonomic experiment. stand with your hands relaxed at you side, now reach forward in front of you at about handlebar height. What angle are your hands in? That angle is what I tried to achieve in a handlebar. Is this perfect science, no, but not a bad place to start.
Actually when I do that my hands wind up in the handshake position which is pretty much the drop bar position. Maybe that is because I am thinking about riding when I do it though.

I am pretty satisfied with the flat bars as a compromise on the folding bike. I like that I can fold it without raising, lowering, or rotating the bars. They wind up jammed tightly between the front and back wheel with not much room for anything that isn't flat against the wheel. Anything that is either swept back or swept forward would require rotation in the stem each time it was folded. It is mostly used for very short (<10 mile) rides and works well enough for that.

I had originally thought it might work out as an all purpose bike, but it just isn't up to that for a variety of reasons. I keep thinking that sometime I may take it on a very relaxed, lightly loaded, credit card type tour though.
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Old 03-21-08, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gregw
My last handlebar experiment was with the Nashbar trekking bars. I found that the hand position with the controls (brakes and shifters) was my least comfortable position, it's a straight bar at that point and too close to my body. The most comfortable spot was on the sides, but I had to move my hands anytime I wanted to shift or brake. I think your most comfortable position should have the controls.
I agree. The hand comfort is OK but the access to the controls is poor. I accept it as a reasonable, but far from optimum compromise on my MTB when used as a commuter type bike. My daughter is actually the one that has been using it, I just rode it a few times in this incarnation to try it out. It makes a bit more sense for her since the rearward hand position is closer to normal for her shorter torso on this almost too big frame.
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Old 03-21-08, 07:46 AM
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"Actually when I do that my hands wind up in the handshake position which is pretty much the drop bar position. "

Well, see there, it worked for both of us. It confirmed your preference for drop bars, other people might be palm down and prefer straight bars. Still not very scientific though.
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Old 03-21-08, 10:06 AM
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anybody try flipping their drop bars around?

seems to be an easy way to get a more upright position and for bar end shifters, would put your hands right by the shifters.

i want to try it, but i don't want to be made fun of :]
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Old 03-21-08, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dubois
anybody try flipping their drop bars around?

seems to be an easy way to get a more upright position and for bar end shifters, would put your hands right by the shifters.

i want to try it, but i don't want to be made fun of :]
I used to see that configuration in those 70's movies. ;-)
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Old 03-21-08, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dubois
i want to try it, but i don't want to be made fun of :]
Then leave it on the trainer in your basement!

I have used a pair of old "upright" handlebars upside down, w/ mtn brake levers/shifters - gives kinda a moustachebar-esque effect.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:41 AM
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That seems like a really good price on the MB at nashbar...
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Old 03-22-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dubois
anybody try flipping their drop bars around?

seems to be an easy way to get a more upright position and for bar end shifters, would put your hands right by the shifters.

i want to try it, but i don't want to be made fun of :]
A few weeks ago I saw an old man in Chicago riding around with that configuration. He was more toward the eccentric-vagabond end of the spectrum, but such folks often have some very resourceful bike ideas. I laughed at this at first, but then realized it made a lot of sense. I'd say go for it. Soon we'll see urban hipsters flipping the speckled-color drop bars on their fixies and you'll be fully exonerated.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by letouriste
A few weeks ago I saw an old man in Chicago riding around with that configuration. He was more toward the eccentric-vagabond end of the spectrum, but such folks often have some very resourceful bike ideas. I laughed at this at first, but then realized it made a lot of sense. I'd say go for it. Soon we'll see urban hipsters flipping the speckled-color drop bars on their fixies and you'll be fully exonerated.
Somebody will give them a name, and start selling the regular $25 bars for $125 with the new name, lots of people will start swearing by these "new" bars, and only a few smart folks will realize that if they flip over the $25 bars, they get the $125 bars, and save themselves the $100 difference.....
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