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.