...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
RodT
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Joined: 7 Oct 2016, 8:59am

...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby RodT » 30 Nov 2019, 5:11pm

I’ve got drop bars with bar-end shifters on my Cinelli Hobootleg and I’m thinking of swapping them for a Jones H-bar. Any advice on which brakes, shifters and possibly stem I should get to take the place of the existing components would be welcome.
I’ve done a search but not found anything helpful.
Thanks.

reohn2
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby reohn2 » 30 Nov 2019, 6:36pm

We need to know what brakes and mechs are fitted to your bike.
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RodT
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby RodT » 30 Nov 2019, 7:05pm

Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes. Shimano Deore mechs.

Brucey
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby Brucey » 30 Nov 2019, 10:25pm

which Deore? There are 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s etc models and they all use different shifters.

If the Jones bars are 22.2mm (7/8") OD then you should buy levers which have a short cable pull (for cantis and some DP brakes) if you want to keep the brakes. However it would almost certainly be a lot easier to source V-brake levers (there would certainly be a lot more choice) and to use them with V brakes. if you (for some reason) want to use integrated shifters and levers then V brake cable pull is often your only choice.

cheers
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PH
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby PH » 30 Nov 2019, 11:00pm

You can get fitting to use your existing bar end shifters on flat bars as thumbies, which would be my choice.

reohn2
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Dec 2019, 12:01am

The choices are:-
For brakes
Keep the Oryx cantis and source road pull,straight handlebar levers.
Or change the Oryx for V brakes and buy MTB levers,which will certainly improve braking.

Gears
As PH says you can buy thumbies brackets to fit your b/end levers to fit onto.
Or buy MTB STI levers (Deore work very well indeed) to match the number of sprockets on the rear.

Thumbies aren't as ergonomic as STI's IMO
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slowster
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby slowster » 1 Dec 2019, 2:44pm

If the Jones bars are 22.2mm (7/8") OD then you should buy levers which have a short cable pull (for cantis and some DP brakes) if you want to keep the brakes. However it would almost certainly be a lot easier to source V-brake levers (there would certainly be a lot more choice) and to use them with V brakes. if you (for some reason) want to use integrated shifters and levers then V brake cable pull is often your only choice.

IMO integrated shifters and brake levers are the best option with Jones bars. The bars have a very long grip area, and to get the full benefit of that you should fit very long grips to match, which will allow you to move your hands up and down the grip to suit your preference and the road/terrain (as well as use the other possible positions on the bars), i.e. just as you would vary your hand position on a drop bar.

(Incidentally, because you can move your hands up and down the grips and significantly vary your forward reach/lean as a result, I would not bother to buy a new stem straight away. You should be able to use your existing stem and soon determine for yourself roughly what alternative length of stem you would prefer, which is likely to be a shorter length stem than you currently have.)

Many of the custom bike manufacturers who supply Jones bars fitted to their bikes, fit the bars with ordinary length grips, thereby reducing the range of hand positions and forcing the hands to grip the bars at the widest point.

Instead, you should fit suitable extra long grips. You can either buy Jones brand grips (available in closed cell EVA foam or a softer rubber) or ESI brand silicone foam, which is probably the squishiest of the three. If you use shifters and levers with separate clamps, you will lose a bit of useable bar length, but more importantly you are likely to have to cut these grips to reduce their length, which is a pain and may be difficult/impossible to do if you want a nice clean cut.

reohn2 found links to the following sellers:
ESI grips - XXL Extra Chunky
Bar plugs - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMX-Bar-End-Caps-Plugs/273211954781?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 (the standard sized plugs supplied with ESI grips are not wide enough to protect the edge of the foam grip from damage as a result of contact with the ground if you fall or lay your bike down on the ground or against a brick wall - these wider plugs are similar to the ones supplied with Jones brand grips).

In conclusion therefore, whilst you might be able to find a Shimano flat bar brake lever intended for road bikes (and thus with a road cable pull suitable for your cantilevers), and which also has the i-Spec B or i-Spec-2 connection points for the corresponding Shimano i-Spec B or i-Spec 2 shifters, it is probably simpler (and possibly even no more expensive, given the cost of flat bar levers for road bikes vs MTB levers) to buy v brakes and (i-Spec B or i-Spec 2 compatible) v-brake levers.

I would also recommend that you buy the trekking version levers, rather than an MTB version, e.g. BL-T670 or BL-T611. Those trekking levers are longer to allow three finger braking, which means that with the long Jones bar grip you can still brake (using one or two fingers) with your hands further from the brakes and closer to the ends of the bars (whereas with a one finger MTB lever you would have to slide your hands inwards on the bars to reach the brake lever). NB BL-T670 and BL-T611 levers are i-Spec B compatible, so you would need to buy i-Spec B shifters (unless you are prepared to go down the route of also buying a so-called 'matchmaker').

slowster
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby slowster » 1 Dec 2019, 3:03pm

Another reason not to buy a new stem straight away is that you may want/need to have the Jones bars higher than your current drop bars. The general recommendation is to have Jones bars at a height roughly level with your saddle (or possibly even a bit higher).

Depending upon how much of the steerer tube has been removed from your Hobootleg, you might not have enough available to raise your current stem high enough. If so, you would need to consider getting a stem with a steep angled rise (or using a steerer tube extender).

reohn2
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Dec 2019, 4:15pm

All good advise from Slowster when thinking of Jones bars. :wink:
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RodT
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby RodT » 1 Dec 2019, 5:22pm

Many thanks to all for such helpful and comprehensive advice. In reply to Brucey, my Deore is 9-speed.
An additional query; I’m going for the loop bar. It comes in two versions; expensive and very expensive. The latter is described as ‘butted aluminium’, the former as plain aluminium. I’ll be using the bike on the road and for touring, with a little off-road occasionally. I’m inclined to go for the plain aluminium version. Any comments?
I’m so grateful for the expertise available on this forum. Thanks especially to slowster.

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nick12
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby nick12 » 1 Dec 2019, 6:12pm

There is a thread on here called. Alternative to Jones H bars might be worth a read.

slowster
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby slowster » 1 Dec 2019, 6:53pm

My understanding is that the only significant functional difference between the two is weight, i.e. I don't think the butted version is supposed to flex more and be more comfortable (whereas the 'sell your first born expensive' carbon bar reportedly does dampen vibration more than the aluminium bars, although in any case I imagine the ability of the grips to absorb vibration is probably far more important than the ability of the bars to do so, i.e. in the same way that tyres/pressures are more important than the frame itself for absorbing vibration).

So it's probably simply a question of the extra 100g for the saving in £s. In that regard I would point out that whichever you choose, both are relatively heavy, especially compared to a road bar, and that extra weight may be more noticeable on a touring/gravel bike than a burlier, heavier MTB. That is inevitable: the bars are 710mm wide and that width means the bars need to be stronger (= more metal) to cope with the leverage, and obviously the loop part itself is more metal. That does not mean that I would not fit such bars to a touring bike like the Hobootleg, but it does mean I would not fit them to a very lightweight fast tourer with light wheels and narrow 28mm tyres.

So in your shoes I would probably get the cheaper SG version (NB not the 2.5 SG version, which gets around the problem of a too short steerer/too many spacers by having 2" more rise in the bars, but at the price of spoiling the useful aero position with wrists resting on the bars and hands gripping the front of the loop).

Incidentally, something else to be aware of is that the angle of the brake levers usually necessitates longer (i.e. new) brake cables when switching to Jones bars from conventional flat bars (see the cables on photos of complete Jones bikes on his website's home page to see what I mean). It's possible that your existing drop bar cable outers might be long enough, and that you would therefore only need to buy new inner cables, but I would probably buy a complete new MTB cable set with inners and outers, rather than buy separate inners and then find that I needed new longer outers as well (although note that sometimes when you buy brake levers a set of cable inners and outers may be included).

Another reason to fit new and much longer brake and gear cables, as shown on the Jones' website photos, is if you intend to fit a bikepacking style bar bag or harness to the handlebars, in which case you will probably need longer cables to be able to push them aside to make way for the bag/harness. (And given the cost of the bars I would wrap the bars/loop with handlebar tape to protect it from the inevitable abrasion that would otherwise occur if you strap a bag/harness to the bars.)

Edit to add: You'll almost certainly also need new gear cable inners and outers as well: your existing cabling to your bar end shifters will be quite a bit shorter than the cable length needed for a Jones bar.
Last edited by slowster on 1 Dec 2019, 8:41pm, edited 1 time in total.

reohn2
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Dec 2019, 8:38pm

RodT wrote:Many thanks to all for such helpful and comprehensive advice. In reply to Brucey, my Deore is 9-speed.
An additional query; I’m going for the loop bar. It comes in two versions; expensive and very expensive. The latter is described as ‘butted aluminium’, the former as plain aluminium. I’ll be using the bike on the road and for touring, with a little off-road occasionally. I’m inclined to go for the plain aluminium version. Any comments?
I’m so grateful for the expertise available on this forum. Thanks especially to slowster.


PlanetX copy:- https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBOOGBV2/ ... -handlebar
I'm running two of them on different bikes and can say they've very well made and are a direct copy of the prohitively expensive Jeff Jones loop bars.
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RodT
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby RodT » 2 Dec 2019, 8:01pm

If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. But I can’t see the catch here. A price difference of £71 for what seems to be the same product is amazing. How many more companies stick a premium price on their products on the strength of a name? Many, I suspect. It is especially pleasing that planetX have cheekily called their bars ‘Geoff’.
Thanks a million for the tip.

slowster
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Re: ...about swapping drops for Jones H-bar?

Postby slowster » 2 Dec 2019, 9:56pm

RodT wrote:If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. But I can’t see the catch here. A price difference of £71 for what seems to be the same product is amazing. How many more companies stick a premium price on their products on the strength of a name? Many, I suspect. It is especially pleasing that planetX have cheekily called their bars ‘Geoff’.

I wouldn't blame you for buying the Planet X bars, given that import duty etc. pushes their price up a lot compared with prices in the USA, but you are being somewhat unfair to Jeff Jones. I've explained in a few posts on this thread why I think that Planet X have been pretty unscrupulous in buying bars from a chinese manufacturer which has simply copied Jeff Jones' design. In short Jeff Jones operates a pretty small business with only a small number of employees and he is a genuine innovator. It takes quite a bit of courage to invest and risk the money and effort to develop a novel product like his bars and frames, and it has taken him years from him starting out custom building individual frames and bars as a one man band, and promoting and marketing his ideas behind the designs, which was probably not easy because they were/are not mainstream and have only gained recognition and acceptance gradually, to the position where he is now able to contract out the manufacture of frames and bars in still fairly small numbers.

It's very easy for a manufacturer in China to copy any design, and there is little design rights legal protection in the EU market for someone like Jeff Jones who is based outside the EU - hence Planet X being able to import those bars and sell them without them or the manufacturer having to take any financial risk in developing the design and building up a market for them.

As for finding it "pleasing that planetX have cheekily called their bars ‘Geoff’", bear in mind that Jeff Jones is a much smaller business than Planet X and has only a few employees, and his EU/UK importer is, I believe, a one man band. The sale of knock-offs of his products might jeopardise the viability of the business of his EU/UK importer, and it might conceivably even have an impact on the number of people that Jeff employs. This is not David defeating Goliath; it's Goliath giving David a bit of a kicking.