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What distinguishes the Bell Lap and Nitto Noodle/Rando bars?

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What distinguishes the Bell Lap and Nitto Noodle/Rando bars?

Old 04-17-10, 11:17 AM
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What distinguishes the Bell Lap and Nitto Noodle/Rando bars?

I am getting ready to buy a new set of bars. I bought a stock LHT in a 50cm frame size and the stock bars (42 cm wide) feel narrow. I am 5'7", have short legs, long torso, and wear a size 44 coat, so my shoulders are wide for my height. From edge to edge, my shoulders are about 47cm wide.

I spend most of my time on the hoods/corners, followed by tops and then drops. I don't sit up completely straight, but I do prefer a more comfortable position unless I'm fighting a stiff headwind. It seems like everyone tends to prefer the Bell Laps, Nitto Noodles and Nitto Randonneurs. What are the distinguishing features of these bars that sets them apart from one another?

Is this going to be a "whichever is most comfortable to you" situation or would one of these better fit my riding style? I primarily commute on this rig, but in my experience, what is good for touring is good for commuting.
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Old 04-17-10, 12:11 PM
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the nitto rando bars have flared drops (angled) which makes them MUCH nicer for the wrists when riding in the drops. They are also 'shallow' drops, meaning less drop from tops to curves/bottoms, also making them more comfortable. Before riding rando bars, I used to rarely use the drops, but since switching and raising my bars a few cm, I now ride in the drops the majority of the time. I would not be doing this with non-flared drop bars.

I used to have noodle bars, and they sweep backwards on the flats (top). I did not like these as much as others do. They basically felt like normal drop bars to me. I only ride rando bend bars now, as they are that good (for me). I set my bars up approximately level with my saddle, and can ride all day with no isses of hand/wrist/arm discomfort.
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Old 04-17-10, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by positron
the nitto rando bars have flared drops (angled) which makes them MUCH nicer for the wrists when riding in the drops. They are also 'shallow' drops, meaning less drop from tops to curves/bottoms, also making them more comfortable. Before riding rando bars, I used to rarely use the drops, but since switching and raising my bars a few cm, I now ride in the drops the majority of the time. I would not be doing this with non-flared drop bars.
How do the flare-end bars work with bar end shifters? Do you know how the flare on the Nitto Randos compares with the Bell Laps?
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Old 04-17-10, 03:11 PM
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The tubing itself does not flare.



See how the top of the bar has a slight curve to it? Thus the drops no longer "drop" at an angle perpendicular to the ground. They flare out to the sides slightly.

The flare on rando bars has no effect on bar-end shifters.
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Old 04-17-10, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets
The tubing itself does not flare.
See how the top of the bar has a slight curve to it? Thus the drops no longer "drop" at an angle perpendicular to the ground. They flare out to the sides slightly.

The flare on rando bars has no effect on bar-end shifters.
I know that they have no effect on the function of the bar end shifters, I just want to know if the flare is enough to make them stick out. For instance, I wouldn't want them on a woodchipper bar.

Last edited by aggiegrads; 04-17-10 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Edited to remove photo link and save bandwidth
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Old 04-17-10, 04:31 PM
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they're basically the same position as with any bar... I use the silver shifters, which are quite long, and Ive never had a problem.
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Old 04-17-10, 04:54 PM
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if your stem is 31.8 you're not going to be running the nittos without a shim- yuck.

Bell Lap, very nice bar. long drops with short reach to get there. and flare.
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Old 04-17-10, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
if your stem is 31.8 you're not going to be running the nittos without a shim- yuck.

Bell Lap, very nice bar. long drops with short reach to get there. and flare.
Sorry, I should have specified. I'll need the Bell Lap Moto Ace. I have a 26mm stem. As far as I can tell, that is the only difference between the regular Bell Lap and the Moto Ace Bell Lap.

Does anyone have any advice to offer regarding the width? Is there a disadvantage to erring on the side of too wide other than aerodynamics? Anybody have recommendations for my upper body size?
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Old 04-17-10, 05:17 PM
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Width is personal preference. Some people like wide, Grant P thinks it makes breathing easier.
I have been using wide (5'8" and 44cm Biomax bars) but I am thinking of trying a non-ergo
bar in a 42cm. I also have wide shoulders, but 42 would me more of a straight reach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EWM0KTdCOY
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Old 04-18-10, 12:16 PM
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I am 5'71/2" and bought a 52cm LHT about a year ago. I too got rid of the 42cm stock bars and replaced them with 46cm Nitto Noodles. I can't say that I am absolutely in love with the Noodles, but they are a big improvement. I don't like how the tops sweep back a bit. When my hands are on the tops, the outsides of my hands have some extra space inbetween the bars, as if the bars should instead be straight with no back sweep. The reach is also a bit far to the tops of the hoods, but you have one frame size smaller and we are about the same height so you may like that long of a reach. The best part of the Noodles is the wide curve that leads in from the tops into the hoods. It's very comfortable and flat. The drops are also nice with lots of room. I ride half of the time on forest service roads, so the width of the bars are nice for added control and leverage when riding out of the saddle.
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Old 04-18-10, 12:50 PM
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Thanks BWF. I like the aspect of more control. I use this bike to pull my daughter on a trailer bike, and it would help to have the added width for when she get too rambunctious back there.

There is one aspect that is steering me away from the Noodles, and that is the fact that I use bar mounted lights. The Noodles would take my forward mounted light and angle it off one way or the other. Am I correct in my assumption?
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Old 04-18-10, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads
There is one aspect that is steering me away from the Noodles, and that is the fact that I use bar mounted lights. The Noodles would take my forward mounted light and angle it off one way or the other. Am I correct in my assumption?
How close to your stem is the light? It's not a problem for me, as the first few inches next to the stem on the bar are straight.
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