Alternative to Jones H bar ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
a.twiddler
Posts: 23
Joined: 4 Jun 2009, 12:17am

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby a.twiddler » 8 Jun 2019, 8:38pm

I've been motivated to take the plunge by posts on this thread and fitted a Planet-x Geoff bar to my modest MTB. Original straight bar with gel grips and bar ends was comfortable but I had a hankering for extra hand positions.
Fitting was straightforward with some trial and error. The cable runs are a little sharply curved for my liking but brakes and gears work OK.
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I managed to fit my original Tioga bar ends by carefully sliding them up the bar to the welds. Note that they are reversed. They are not as ergonomic as they were on the original bars but they still give an additional hand position. There is a modified Mountain Myrricle attached to the RH one, which still gives a good rear view even though it is now inboard compared with the original fitting. The combined Shimano brake/gear levers were slid up to the relocated bar ends leaving space for the gear triggers to move fully. I used a set of drop bar foam grips from Halfords (£4.95) to cover the remaining grip area, trimmed to length. I still have enough left for another bar.
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After a couple of 20 mile runs on a mixture of road, railway path and rough bridlepath I can report that for me at least the results are good. The wide bars are not such a problem even on the type of barriers found on cycleways in my locality: it is not hard to wriggle through. The bars at first seemed immense but I soon got the hang of riding with them. They give confidence on rough/ muddy sections, and allow the grip to be changed for more normal riding. I found that I could stretch out to the loop part of the bars going downhill or on the flat on tarmac. I have not tried them against a headwind yet. There is no problem in reaching the brake or gear levers.
As others have suggested, the extension needs to be reduced (mine is 9cm) to bring the bars back slightly. I also think that for me, the bars would benefit from raising slightly. I will probably try a stem adjustable for angle to address this.
The angle of the bars is about 15 degrees, which works for me at present.
I have cable tied an old camera bag between the main bar and the loop for now so that I can carry refreshments, which will be replaced with something more purpose made once I have decided on the final layout of accessories etc on the bars.
Hope that this info is helpful to anyone thinking of buying a set of these bars.
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reohn2
Posts: 37486
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Jun 2019, 12:48pm

It's your choice of course,but IMO the bar ends don't offer any improvement to the loop bar,in fact I'd say they nullify at least two if not more hand positions this handlebar has to offer and kills any quick access to brakes and gearlevers from inboard of them.
The latter observation has always been my gripe with bar ends on the end of ordinary straight bars.
If you like the bar ends where they are perhaps a Surly Moloko bare may be a better bar for your needs,though the backsweep isn't as much at 34degrees,as the Geoff bar.
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I cycle therefore I am.

a.twiddler
Posts: 23
Joined: 4 Jun 2009, 12:17am

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby a.twiddler » 9 Jun 2019, 2:56pm

Still evaluating at present. The bar ends may disappear in due course, though being able to mount a mirror in a position where it is more protected than on the end of an already wide bar, and with a good view, is worth a lot to me.

If the Planet-x Geoff bar proves successful, it may have implications for the Nitto Randonneur on my steel tourer. This would be a more involved conversion than just a bar swop, needing a replacement for the brifters and removal of the cross brakes. It is a good set up that works well at present so I won't be changing over unless there is potential for a significant improvement. Also there is still that lingering feeling that a "proper" tourer should have drops. Anyhow, time will tell.

reohn2
Posts: 37486
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Jun 2019, 3:07pm

a.twiddler wrote:Still evaluating at present. The bar ends may disappear in due course, though being able to mount a mirror in a position where it is more protected than on the end of an already wide bar, and with a good view, is worth a lot to me.

I'm using a Cateye BM300G RVM designed for drops though they now appear to be discontinued :?

If the Planet-x Geoff bar proves successful, it may have implications for the Nitto Randonneur on my steel tourer. This would be a more involved conversion than just a bar swop, needing a replacement for the brifters and removal of the cross brakes. It is a good set up that works well at present so I won't be changing over unless there is potential for a significant improvement.....

My Salsa Vaya has drops and I've ridden drops both on and off road for many a looonnnnggggggg year but due to the comfort and many hand positions of the Geoff bar I'm considering changing them.

Also there is still that lingering feeling that a "proper" tourer should have drops. Anyhow, time will tell

I've long since turned my back on convention in favour of what suits me for the best cycling experience :)
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I cycle therefore I am.

hemo
Posts: 626
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hemo » 18 Jun 2019, 2:31pm

Fitted the PX Geoffs to my 700c Boardman last week and what a pleasure to ride with, ride position was a bit too upright for me so added a 160mm stem that suited me better. Fitted the Ergon GP2's I had on the old bars and very pleased with the new set up.

May consider doing the e-kit mtb now as well.

Only thing with the bars is the width though if need be they can be trimmed, brakes cable esp Hydraulic may be tight so you may need to think about new longer cables if you don't have enough length with them. My front was a bit long to start with but now ideal.

hoppy58
Posts: 225
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 1 Feb 2020, 7:44am

On one Mike bars are now only £7.99....is there a significant difference when riding, between these and the Geoffs, (apart from the obvious - loop and being marginally narrower/slightly less sweep)? Thinking of trying some.

reohn2
Posts: 37486
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Feb 2020, 8:29am

hoppy58 wrote:On one Mike bars are now only £7.99....is there a significant difference when riding, between these and the Geoffs, (apart from the obvious - loop and being marginally narrower/slightly less sweep)? Thinking of trying some.

Thanks for the heads up,just ordered a pair :)
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I cycle therefore I am.

hoppy58
Posts: 225
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 1 Feb 2020, 10:16am

..so have I now! For that price, it’s worth a try, bought a load of cable inners and outers as well, as I expect they’ll be too short!

a.twiddler
Posts: 23
Joined: 4 Jun 2009, 12:17am

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby a.twiddler » 3 Feb 2020, 5:17pm

Those Mike bars are well priced! I have no experience of those, but thought you might be interested in an update on my original thoughts on the Geoff bar.

I think I've given my Geoff bars a good trial in the last seven months and I'll be sticking with them as set up last July, inboard "bar ends" and all. A little more foam padding has appeared on them since, and I have experimented with the angles of the bars but settled at about 15 degrees upwards from rear to front. They are on a budget used ATB which I bought on a whim last year, after being defeated on my tourer on a local bridleway which had become unmaneagably wet and rutted. My tourer manages most off road trails well enough in the dry and not-too-wet and is good on the road. The ATB despite its basic spec adds another dimension but I have never really got on with straight bars and began to get numb and tingly fingers if out for too long. The gel grips were initially effective but there was nowhere else to put your hands for relief.

The Geoff bar has been a revelation in that respect. I have kept the full width which allows the hands to come back towards the body at a low level for very relaxed riding, with a standard hand position for access to brakes and gears and the ability to stretch out by holding the front or back of the loop. I rarely get numb hands, and the extra width is useful for giving confidence when the surface is really slimy. Now that the "bar ends" are padded I can hold the tops to give a more elevated position if needed. And also the right hand one holds a mirror in the perfect position for me.


They are not the answer to everything though, and while I originally thought about replacing the Nitto Randonneur bars on my tourer with Geoffs I have found that I appreciate them more than ever now because both bikes give such different and rewarding experiences.

It has become a win win situation.

hoppy58
Posts: 225
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 7 Feb 2020, 8:47pm

I have just fitted these to my daughters bike. They’re Humpert boomerangs. Not too wide but just right for her. Very comfy, I think 17 degrees sweep and a slight rise. I was trying to reduce the reach and raise the height of the bars as the original set up was too low and stretched. (I had an old riser stem which I used aswell)

I have also fitted some on one Mikes to my old Marin and after a few rides around the block, I’m really pleased with these. Will post a picture and post-ride comments tomorrow...
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hoppy58
Posts: 225
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 8 Feb 2020, 4:42pm

Well, went for a 20 mile ride this morning using the on-one Mikes - mixture of rough lanes, stone tracks, canal towpaths and rooty, stone tracks. Initially very comfortable, hands on forward section for climbs and at the top of the straight section on downhills, cruising on the ends - all good. After a while, wrists ached so I rotated the bar further down, made a difference for a while, however by then I was on the stone rooty stuff which is pretty unforgiving! After this, cruising on the lanes and better on the wrists.

The long section behind the levers are wrapped in bar tape. I initially tried some ergo grips which are really comfortable but look a bit daft as they’re too short for the available space. I have cut down some old grips to fill in the gaps, so I’m going to try this set up.
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reohn2
Posts: 37486
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 8 Feb 2020, 5:12pm

If I were you I'd lift the 'bars higher or shorten the reach,to take weight off the hands
Last edited by reohn2 on 8 Feb 2020, 9:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I cycle therefore I am.

hoppy58
Posts: 225
Joined: 9 Mar 2011, 3:07pm

Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 8 Feb 2020, 6:05pm

Ok, thanks. I’ll try a 75mm stem that I have in the workshop. Presently a 90 mm on.