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  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    Handlebar Types for different cycling and body needs.

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    Wanted to get a general discussion going on handlebars, different uses, and the brakes, shifters, etc.

    Straight, Drop, Trekking (Euro, Butterfly, same thing), Mustache.

    I know it's talked about a lot, but pictures help, the explanations are good and show the different brake/shifter requirements. (Of course, it's Sheldon's website). Plus, I thought this might also help anyone who is trying to follow the different handlebar/brake/shifter comments on TE, but not quite sure of the differences (like me).

    Thinking about 'adventure' bikes, and also the fact that some TE'rs experience pain in their current setups, so thought this article might be beneficial.

    For example, the Trekking bars allow for a decently aero position, but keep pressure off the hands. Plus, looks like they can use the same brakes as drop bars.

    I like this blog too. The cyclist uses trekking bars with ergon grips, and I believe trigger shifters. (Thought it could work with regular drop shifters?).

    I'm personally wondering if I'm going to want bar end grips on my new (used) mountain bike's flat handlebars.

    And maybe looking at trying butterfly bars on a future cross bike?

    Feel free to bring up your own hb setups, this is an area I'd like to see discussed well.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 11-20-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    Thanks for posting this. I really like my Jamis Coda, but I don't like the straight bars because I find them really uncomfortable. I would like to put drop bars the bike, but that is looking mighty expensive because there's a chain reaction of components that have to be changed as well. Perhaps Mustache bars are the solution. Something to ponder and research a bit.

  3. #3
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    Interesting discussion, Sheila! I have considered having the Bike Friday folks change my drop bars for their "Touring H Bars", which are Bike Friday-specific, along with adding a taller stem to give me a more upright position on my Pocket Crusoe for use as a touring/utility/town bike.

    Currently I have drop bars on the bike, but I have pain from when I fractured my pelvis that affects my right side upper buttock (SI joint/piriformis area) that seems to be exacerbated by a more aero/stretched position, so I end up riding on the top of the bars more than on the hoods, and this is not due to too long a top tube. I guess I got used to a more upright position from mountain biking and surely now from riding a beach cruiser in Belize for over a year.

    I hadn't pulled the trigger on this change before (when I was living in the US and riding the Bike Friday) because I'd have to change my shifters too (currently have bar ends), and it's expensive to ship the bike to/from the east to west coast, which would be required to have them change it. I might ask them if the bar-end shifters could be used on their (also unique) "STI bars", which would involve fewer changes.

    Here are the variety of Bike Friday handlebars: http://bikefriday.com/service/service_library/85/129

    The trekking bars look cool, but they seem to place the brakes the farthest from the inside (which would probably be my typical) hand position, so don't seem quite as safe. I like to be pretty close to my brakes at all times. What do you think?
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    They look a little iffy for brake placement to me too. Maybe an extra set of 'cheater' brake levers like you used to find along the top portion of drop bars?

    I thought putting ergon grips on the butterflies was a great idea.

    The mustache bars look like they would be comfy, but you can't change positions frequently. Still looks better than a flatbar.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Columbia, MO
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    My brakes are on the inside of my trekking bar.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  6. #6
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    I like the looks of that setup, Melalvai. How do you like them? Pros and cons?

    Thanks for posting the photo!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    My brakes are on the inside of my trekking bar.
    Melavai - am I blind or is there a bit of a rise in those bars? I considered these bars for my Gunnar, but I really need riser bars and I thought these were flat. I wound up with 2-inch riser bars and my mountain bike will likely wind up with the same bars if I decide I enjoy gravel grinding.

  8. #8
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    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    Melavai - am I blind or is there a bit of a rise in those bars? I considered these bars for my Gunnar, but I really need riser bars and I thought these were flat. I wound up with 2-inch riser bars and my mountain bike will likely wind up with the same bars if I decide I enjoy gravel grinding.
    You can angle them. I have mine angled up.
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    I like the looks of that setup, Melalvai. How do you like them? Pros and cons?
    Well, I love them, but I haven't experienced anything else (except the factory default straight bars). They are a vast improvement over those! On very long rides I still have troubles with my right shoulder & wrist. But I think tinkering with the exact angle would help, because in the past I have gotten it perfect. On the other hand maybe a different bar would be easier to dial in just right. I don't know.

    I like the fact that I can dress it up with bright bar tape.

    I cycle for transportation, and some recreational rides. Honestly I find the recreational rides frustrating on my bike with the set up I have. Everyone else has a faster bike for that purpose. My bike it just fine for me and I don't mind 10 mph, I mean I get the same workout out of 2 hours whether I got 20 miles on my bike or 30 miles on a lighter faster bike right? Anyway the trekking bar lets me have a more upright position which is more comfortable but not as fast. Maybe it wouldn't be the right choice for someone who cares about going fast.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    I cycle for transportation, and some recreational rides. Honestly I find the recreational rides frustrating on my bike with the set up I have. Everyone else has a faster bike for that purpose. My bike it just fine for me and I don't mind 10 mph, I mean I get the same workout out of 2 hours whether I got 20 miles on my bike or 30 miles on a lighter faster bike right? Anyway the trekking bar lets me have a more upright position which is more comfortable but not as fast. Maybe it wouldn't be the right choice for someone who cares about going fast.
    If I were to do something like this, it would be for my Bike Friday, which would be my utility/errand bike, and being more upright would be a good thing, even at the expense of speed. Usually I have panniers and rack etc. on her anyway, so it's not like I break any speed records even with drop bars.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Austria
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    I'm currently trying out a new setup, and so far I really like it. I haven't seen it before, so I thought I'd share.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd like to use bartape instead of the grips in the end, so that I can use the flat gripping area in the front too, but I haven't decided if I'm going to swap the flat bar levers for drop-bar-style levers yet - think that would be prettier.

    The French handlebar offers an ergonomic handposition like a dropbar, but without much drop, which I like better in traffic.
    Last edited by Susan; 02-02-2013 at 08:34 AM.

  11. #11
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    Those bars look great for a utility bike, Susan. They're kind of similar to the bars on my beach cruiser, which is my utility bike (and only transportation!) here in Belize. They work very well for an upright position on the bike.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,099
    Those look very much like the bars I had on my 3 speed Raleigh in 1964-5.
    Sigh, that bike also had a Brooks saddle and saddlebag, Sturmey Archer shifter, and a generator light.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    perpetual traveler
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    I am curious, are their alternative bars to drop bars if you want to keep STI shifters? Most of the alternative bar arrangements I see seem to be on hybrid bikes with trigger or grip shifters or on bikes where they put bar end shifters on the bars.

    One of the pictures on Sheldon's site seems to be of mustache bars with STI shifter. I wonder how hard they would be to shift, the position seems weird.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 02-04-2013 at 03:02 PM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    215
    Bike Friday makes handlebars that take multiple shifter types including STI. See the last picture here.
    I have these bars on my Bike Friday with rapid fire shifters.

    You can special order them for a regular bike, but they will need to make some alterations to your stem (basically they add a sleeve for safety reasons since the handlebar comes apart into two pieces for packing). I had ordered a pair from them for one of my other bikes, but ended up using Scott AT handlebars instead (similar to these).
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  15. #15
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austria
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I am curious, are their alternative bars to drop bars if you want to keep STI shifters? Most of the alternative bar arrangements I see seem to be on hybrid bikes with trigger or grip shifters or on bikes where they put bar end shifters on the bars.

    One of the pictures on Sheldon's site seems to be of mustache bars with STI shifter. I wonder how hard they would be to shift, the position seems weird.

    French training bars - like the one on my bike - or moustache bars can be equipped with STI levers. They come in a lot of different shapes and you can have everything from a little rise to no drop to a bigger drop. I'm considering trying STI levers for my setup. I just used what I already had, so I have flat bar levers and trigger shifters on my setup. The STI lever would look better with bar tape I think.

    For STI levers, you need a handlebar that offers a little more space for pulling the lever than a flat bar would because of the more swept back form of the lever, so something with a arc somewhere where you put the lever should work - like moustache bars, or something like the Soma Sparrow. I find the placement that most people seem to use for their STI levers on moustache bars a bit odd. I'd place them more on the outside of the arc, so that you can reach the lever from the straight part of the bar (the one nearest towards you). But probably it's just preference.

 

 

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