Alternative to Jones H bar ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
slowster
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby slowster » 3 Apr 2020, 9:56pm

531colin wrote: with a regular flat bar it feels like my thumbs are about to be torn off.....with a swept bar at an appropriate angle can I take weight on the heel of my hands rather than the web of my thumbs?

I think that the 10 to 15 degree angle that Jeff Jones recommends for his bars, and which many people using Jones bars and those with similar sweep also seem to find optimal, tends to give a fairly even weight distribution on the hands. In theory it makes sense that it is possible to vary that weight distribution by varying the angle of the bars, but I've never actually tried it. I would expect a steeper angle to put more weight on the web of the hand and that part of the hand in general, whereas the closer the bars are to horizontal the more weight would be on the heel of the hand.

I've never tried Ergotec grips as shown in hoppy58's posts above, but I suspect they would give an additional variable that could be experimented with in conjunction with altering the angle of the bars. You might also find a shorter stem might also be worth trying. Jeff Jones generally advises what might be considered very short stems, and to give some idea the ends of my 710mm Jones bars are 40mm behind the centre of the top cap (although most of the time I ride with my hands further inboard which also puts them further forward because of the sweep).

I think the Moloko bars are steel and relatively very heavy.

reohn2
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Apr 2020, 9:00am

531Colin
Like you I suffer from Arthitic joints particularly painful base of the thumb joint,straight bars with no or little backsweep hurt this joint and web of the thumb/index finger and place the arms in a very unnatural position.
The 45degree b/sweep of Geoff and Mike 'bars eliminates the problem but as Slowster points out 10 to 15 degree angle is crucial for comfort which evens out weight across the palm of the hand.
Reach is personal within reason but if you're currently riding with a short stem you may need something longer that's optimal for you,my Vagabond with an ETT of 595mm has the ends of the Geoffs 40mm behind the steerer tube centre with a 90mm stem.The Longitude OTOH with a 615mm ETT the ends of the Geoffs are 70mm behind the steer tube centre with 60mm stem.Both riding positions are spot on for me and handling is great even on really tight turns or technical rocky climbs and descents.
I've tried the Ergo grips and didn't like them as the offer only a single hand grip position which robs the Geoff/Jones bars of the many hand positions of the outer grip area.I can thoroughly recommend the XXL ESI Extra Chunky grips:- https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ESI-XXL-Extr ... SwzEdeKG9G .The Jeff Jones grips apears to be similar:- https://www.bothybikes.co.uk/m9b8s126p9 ... Foam-205mm
These grips are great for absorbing vibration and shock,are very comfy and mean you can make full use of the full length of the long hand grip area.

There can be no denying the Geoff bars look a leettle weird and odd but the proof of the pudding etc,they offer a variety of hand positions and if set up correctly are extremely comfortable for long rides and perform extremely well on rough off road terrain.I recommend you watch some of the Jeff Jones videos on YouTube:- https://youtu.be/YGwBvzvIhhs
This video shows the hand position relative to steerer tube:- https://youtu.be/mFQ39y6OQGA
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hoppy58
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby hoppy58 » 4 Apr 2020, 12:16pm

I've tried the Ergo grips and didn't like them as the offer only a single hand grip position which robs the Geoff/Jones bars of the many hand positions of the outer grip area


I’ve extended the handlebar grip above the ergo-grip so that the brake/gear levers are in approx the same position as recommended by jones and leave a long area to allow different hand positions...I find the ergo grip ends really comfortable for cruising, but I can still move my hands up the bars for better control. I was lucky that I had some old grips which were an identical profile to the ergo grips and that could be cut down to suit.

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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby 531colin » 5 Apr 2020, 4:34pm

Thanks for all the replies, that's all very useful stuff. I'll be sure to take into account the angle of the bars to the horizontal.
Interesting comparison with R2 on reach.
My roughstuff bike, current set-up....https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/49738790491/in/album-72157624571269648/
Previous set-up before arthritis stopped me braking from the hoods.....https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/29484912954/in/album-72157624571269648/...those are Nitto Noodle bars, which I liked because I could get the long "ramps" horizontal, and the hoods an extension of the ramps.
The current set-up is done so that the grip section of the bull bars is in the same place as the hoods on the drop bar set-up; about 120mm in front of the fork steerer. Its not a short bike; ETT is about 600mm, with a 71 deg seat tube, reach I measured roughly 400mm.
That explains why I'm looking for a bar where the grip bit isn't way behind the stem boss. (Although I'm not planning to change the bars on that bike, I'm looking towards a frame with aspects of "Modern MTB geometry" ...long reach/ slack head angle and the wheel way out in front.
Last edited by 531colin on 6 Apr 2020, 11:23am, edited 1 time in total.

colin54
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby colin54 » 6 Apr 2020, 7:51am

Hi Col', Both your links go to the same (original set-up ) picture, Wheel Easy !

slowster
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby slowster » 6 Apr 2020, 10:16am

531colin wrote:Although I'm not planning to change the bars on that bike, I'm looking towards a frame with aspects of "Modern MTB geometry" ...long reach/ slack head angle and the wheel way out in front.

Is it an MTB that you are planning to get? I think most off the shelf MTB framesets that have that sort of "Modern MTB geometry" also have steep seat tube angles, e.g. 74 degrees or more.

Your proposed specification sounds very similar to the geometry of the Jones Plus Long Wheelbase:

- 67.5 degree head tube angle
- 76mm of fork rake/offset
- 71 degree seat tube angle (effective angle with bent seat tube; the EBB also allows some slight variation of the STA)
- 19″ chainstays
- 600mm effective top tube (medium size frame)

However, I presume that you are relatively easily able to get a custom titanium frame manufactured to your precise design from one of the factories that make Spa's frames.

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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby 531colin » 6 Apr 2020, 11:24am

colin54 wrote:Hi Col', Both your links go to the same (original set-up ) picture, Wheel Easy !

Thanks! Hopefully fixed now.

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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby 531colin » 6 Apr 2020, 12:07pm

slowster wrote:
531colin wrote:Although I'm not planning to change the bars on that bike, I'm looking towards a frame with aspects of "Modern MTB geometry" ...long reach/ slack head angle and the wheel way out in front.

Is it an MTB that you are planning to get? I think most off the shelf MTB framesets that have that sort of "Modern MTB geometry" also have steep seat tube angles, e.g. 74 degrees or more.

Your proposed specification sounds very similar to the geometry of the Jones Plus Long Wheelbase:

- 67.5 degree head tube angle
- 76mm of fork rake/offset
- 71 degree seat tube angle (effective angle with bent seat tube; the EBB also allows some slight variation of the STA)
- 19″ chainstays
- 600mm effective top tube (medium size frame)

However, I presume that you are relatively easily able to get a custom titanium frame manufactured to your precise design from one of the factories that make Spa's frames.


With an ETT of 600mm (71 deg seat) my bulbar handgrips are about 120mm in front of the steerer. I don't think I can do 600mm ETT with a backswept bar? MTB seat tube angles are going the same way as TT bikes, but I'm not....my body doesn't change as quickly as fashion. Chainstays on the roughstuff are 460mm, I may go a bit longer. As an aside, I have always had the same riding position on roughstuff bikes as tourers; so far they have been mainly the same bike with more tyre clearance. But my current roughstuff has got me appreciating having the wheel way out in front when I'm slithering down some dodgy descent, so I'm after trying the wheel even further out, which is what is steering me towards "straight" bars, rather than my current bullbars. I haven't done the maths, but that Jones looks like it will have a fairly traditional trail. Modern MTB geo. seems to pair slack head angles with relatively short offset forks and a long trail. I'm up for giving that a go, I'm guessing that the weight distribution will be altered so that the front is less loaded, which may bring the steering feel back to what we are used to; and long trail might give you less of a fight when the front wheel is deflected off-course by bumps and rocks.
So yeah, interesting times for an old man in lockdown, and thanks for your input. As you say, probably going to be a custom Ti job. Probably use an off the peg (Surly?) steel fork. (The Ti manufacturers are happy to do one-offs....the steel fabricators tend to want a production run, but I suppose everything can change now.)

reohn2
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 6 Apr 2020, 3:56pm

Colin
How close does the Genesis Longitude geo get toward where you're heading?
https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/longitude-fs (scroll down the page)
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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby 531colin » 6 Apr 2020, 6:36pm

reohn2 wrote:Colin
How close does the Genesis Longitude geo get toward where you're heading?
https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/longitude-fs (scroll down the page)

Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think it will be long enough in the top tube. I used to be 5' 10" and even if I go for the XL its 465mm reach. My existing roughstuff is about 400 reach, but then I've got another 100-120mm reach for the bull bars, so I don't think 465mm reach and backswept bars would work for me. I suppose it could work with a long enough stem. I notice Genesis show the bike with a straight bar and a fairly short stem.
Any comments on the Longitude handling? Its a fairly long trail design compared to conventional tourers, more towards "modern" MTB geometry, slack head angle without a long offset fork. I know you rate the bike, so I don't suppose you get lots of wheel flop? (at low speed, when you initiate a turn the front wheel tends to turn in more by itself, and you have to do a bit of counter-steering.) I would expect riding no hands to have to work at it a bit to get the bike to deviate from "straight ahead", but if the payoff is less fighting the steering over bumps and stones its a win.
Yet another confounding factor, (sign of the times!) I'm looking to be able to fit a crank-drive electric assist, and their chainline seems to be 50mm so I'm looking at (thru' axle) Boost hubs in order to get a sensible chainline on the low gears with a single chainring and a rear sprocket up to 51T
https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/getting-me-my-child-and-4-bottles-of-beer-up-a-mountain.36904/page-3. There is a lot for an old man to learn!
For what its worth, Pace RC529 got a "best in test" write-up from MBR; its a seriously-long bike, which they illustrate with a straight bar and very short stem. It'll be even longer because I'm not having a comedy seat tube angle. https://pacecycles.com/pages/rc529#geometryandsizing

reohn2
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 7 Apr 2020, 10:06am

Colin
I think you have to look at straights and particularly Jones/Geoff loop bars differently to a more stretched out drops type bike.The whole Jones/Geoff bar riding style is more upright and the width,if you aren't used to riding them,compared to drops seems a bit weird initially.Climbing especially with LWB Longitude is extremely stable and relaxed even at very slow <4mph speeds on rough terrain,akin to motorcycle trials riding,especially with the large section low pressure tyres(I ride very supple 2.4inch conti Xkings at 15psi front and 25psi rear and I weight in at 90kgs these days).

When the Longitude first came out I knew it would be right for the type of riding I had in mind,slack geo,front wheel way out there,long chainstays and a low SO,with the capability of a 3inch front tyre should I wish.
As I say it handles slow rptechnical climbs very well indeed even on the roughest terrain,but also is great fun on fast rocky descents thanks to the LWB and 29inch wheels/low psi big rubber means it rolls over practically anything,no wheel flop,but bear in mind it's designed for wide handlebars and upright rider style.I've never felt it lacking in anything other than being slow on tarmac but any dedicated MTB is,especially with an old man powering it :? .
It's most definetly not a nimble SWB MTB for doing jumps and tricks

I've tried three different handlebars on the Longitude,the original Alt bars which had a 30deg back sweep,Space Bugels,a loop bar with 34deg b/sweep(both bars hurt my hands in the thumb/index finger web area and irritated carpal tunnel giving me numb middle two finger ps on my left(dominant)hand),finally the 45deg loop Geoff bar(Jeff Jones copy),which IME are a perfect match,they take the weight off the hands and wrists and save lower back strain in the process,I can hang off the back of the saddle on steep tricky without feeling stretched out,as well as getting low on the loop into a headwind when needs be.
They're a different concept even to the normal straight MTB bars which frankly I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

As for e-assist,the Bafang mid drive system appear to be the best out there,take look at these folks,they do a range of chainrings to lower the gearing:- https://www.brightonebikes.co.uk/about.html
Their chainring selection to fit Bafang mid drive units:- https://www.brightonebikes.co.uk/store/c11/Lekkie®_Bling_Rings.html

The Pace bike in the link looks to me to be everything I don't want in an off road Rough Stuff machine.
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slowster
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby slowster » 7 Apr 2020, 2:13pm

531Colin, I would echo reohn2's comments.

The long grip section of Jones bars means that there is a 100m range of space for my hands to move from the point furthest outboard to the point furthest inboard (I have medium glove sized hands - someone with very large or very small hands will have a correspondingly smaller or larger range). Moving my hands from those two extremes changes the reach by 75mm (and similarly at the same time changes the effective width of the bar by the same amount, i.e. because of the 45 degree backweep). So, although I've already commented that the ends of my 710mm Jones bars are 40mm behind the top cap bolt with a 70mm stem, moving the hands up and down the bars significantly changes where they are in relation to the steering axis. I've not noticed any appreciable difference in the feel of the steering or the amount of control I have when changing the grip position, which I suspect is down to the 45 degree sweep: at the widest point any tendency for the position of the outermost part of the hands behind the steering axis to make the handling far too light/twitchy is countered by the leverage of the 710mm width.

When Jeff Jones started making the bars they were originally only 660mm wide, and only subsequently did he increase that to 710mm. However, the 710mm bars come with markings to indicate where to cut them if the customer prefers a 660mm width. You might find a narrower bar quite sufficient or even better for your personal needs on a bike with a longer trail. However, I would urge you to try the bars for yourself before making a decision about the frame geometry of whatever bike you end up fitting them to. That is especially so if you get a custom frame made, since the range of fore and aft (and inboard and outboard) hand movement might influence your choice of reach/ETT.

As for the issue of shorter trail vs longer trail I hesitate to comment, since you are far more knowledgeable and experienced than I am when it comes to bike geometry and handling. Having thought a little bit about it since you've raised the issue I presume a shorter trail is the default for most/all MTB bike/frame manufacturers, because the handling it provides is ideal for tight twisty trails and singletrack in wooded areas. In contrast, if someone's off road riding is less about getting thrills from riding such technical terrain as fast as their courage/skills/foolhardiness and suspension will allow, and more (off road) touring oriented, focused on covering rough terrain and longer distances in as much comfort as possible, I can understand how long trail might be greatly preferred/optimum, especially if it means less lively, more predictable handling requiring less active input and concentration when the rider is tired after a long ride.

I don't have enough experience of different bikes to know - or even imagine - what an MTB with long trail might feel like on a long off road ride compared with one with a more typical short trail. I only have experience of the Jones Plus Long Wheelbase, with its (short trail) slack head angle and large fork offset, and my poor fitness and the relatively tame terrain close to where I live have prevented me from pushing the bike and myself to be able to better judge its performance as an off road roughstuff bike. Nevertheless, my understanding is that bikes like Jones and the Longitude are popular with off road tourers, bikepackers and many of those doing very long distance off road races and challenges like the Tour Divide in the US.

Maybe with those types of bike the much wider MTB tyres, e.g. 2.4" or wider up to 3", make the difference in handling between short and long trail much less significant compared with a narrower tyred (touring type) roughstuff bike?

Whatever you eventually decide on, I'll be very interested to hear what your choice is and how you find it.

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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby gregoryoftours » 8 Apr 2020, 1:42am

I've found the tilt angle with the Jones bar to be more critical than other types of flat bar. In my case I'm running the 660 bar with a very long stem (135mm), a bit lower than the saddle and pretty much parallel to the ground. Not how Jeff meant them to be used. The frame is a little small though. I only ever use the end sections of the bar for grips. Maybe I should experiment! I use them with grab on foam grip equivalents. I have used Ergon grips for a while with an on one Mary bar (somewhat shallower sweep angle.) Personally I found them to be comfortable but not secure with swept bars - the palm supported/raised by the flat part of the grips combined with the sweep made my hands tend to slip forwards and inwards toward the stem when descending in the wet, especially if the surface was rough. I definitely think that they are good to relieve pressure from the webbing between thumb/first finger. They are just the right angle for pulling on when climbing, better than bar ends, I would say.

reohn2
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby reohn2 » 8 Apr 2020, 9:50am

If you're only using the ends of the bars it seems to indicate the stem's too long by quite a bit.
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531colin
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Re: Alternative to Jones H bar ?

Postby 531colin » 8 Apr 2020, 1:06pm

I was perfectly happy doing roughstuff on my drops, until arthritis meant I couldn't hang from my thumbs to brake from the hoods.
Now I'm perfectly happy doing roughstuff on my bull bars https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=113772&hilit=bullbars which duplicate the old "hoods" position, but my weight is on the heel of my hand even when I brake.
There is a fair bit of bodgery involved with my bullbars….getting the gear levers where I want them, getting drop bar brake levers to pull enough cable before they come up to the bars; but thats all done and I now have 4 sets of bars and the associated controls.
The bullbars put my hands a long way in front of the stem boss, because of the bend; not a problem on tourers, but I have a very short stem on the (long) roughstuff bike, for the exact same riding position, so any longer bike is going to be a problem.
I know my arthritic hands won't tolerate straight bars, but (because I haven't tried yet) I don't know if I can use swept bars; and swept bars have the opposite problem they put my hands a long way behind the stem boss.
So I'm going to stick with what I know, which is to have the handgrips pointing front to back; but I'm going to braze up some handlebars from stainless tube; inch tube in the stem boss (with a shim) and 7/8th tube for the handgrips, brazed at 90 degrees like a "T" ....or an "H" for the whole bar. (7/8th tube fits MTB controls, 22.2mm is the translation)
So I can have whatever width I like, and the handgrips at a bit of an angle if I want. I might decide between a Longitude and a Surly before I work out whether to have a bigger length of grip facing forward or back.