Trekking butterfly bars

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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hondated
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Trekking butterfly bars

Postby hondated » 23 Sep 2012, 2:25pm

Afternoon all I hope you have better weather than we have in Eastbourne, heavy rain.
Having fitted butterfly bars to the Roberts yesterday early this morning I went out for a 50 mile ride to see how they felt.
Initially they felt great because I was in a more upright position but after a few miles I began to notice vibration in my hands which got progressively worse during the ride.
What is interesting about that is that I had previously fitted these bars to my old Ridgeback mountain bike and never had that sensation at all. I wonder whether that was because it is fitted with sturdier forks than the Roberts and they absorb the vibration.
Whilst it felt more comfortable it also did felt that my pedalling stroke was not as efficient as it normally is and that is not that good anyway.
Anway once I got back home I refitted the drops and the butterfly bars will now be refitted to the Ridgeback which I will attempt to change to a trekking bike over the Winter.
So having had this experience can I ask whether anyone knows if the advice I was offered by someone years ago that because of their individual design you cannot fit straight bars to a drop barred bike or the other way and maintain its efficiency is true.
The only reason I think this could be true is that the top tubes may be different lengths.
I would be interested in reading of your experiences and opinions.

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CREPELLO
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby CREPELLO » 23 Sep 2012, 4:25pm

Sorry to hear that the butterflys didn't work on your tourer. I don't think the fork being less sturdy would be the cause of vibration. If anything, a thinner bladed fork should reduce vibration and the fatter tyres most people tend to run on MTB's would make the greater difference in comfort. Butterfly bars should also reduce vibration, due to a longer piece of tube being used, where the default hand position is furthest from the stem clamp. They tend to be a bit more flexible because of this. So I'm a bit surprised by your experience if everything was set up correctly

I've run butterflies on two bikes now and I used to have issues related to vibration on the first (a Galaxy). This was more to do with the default hand position where the base of the palm would get numb after longer miles. Using Grab-on foam bar sleaves didn't help here, as the foam would get crushed quite thin from wear. My present butterflied bike (my own take on a modern Galaxy) has two layers of cork bar tape. The bars (original Modolo style) are also a better shape, which allows me to spread the hand right out across the whole front, side and rear of the bar, which makes for a very comfortable position. The previous Humpert bars were simply not as ergonomic.

I've heard this stuff about road frames being designed for drops and MTB frames for straight bars as well. I don't think this is an absolute truth and often bike fit can be accomodated unless the frame is nearly the wrong size or the person is an unusual proportion (I sort of fit into this catagory by way of having a shorter arms and torso).

So having fitted butterflies to two tourers, I think they should be perfectly compatible. But the stem must invariably be lengthened (if you have the controls to the rear of the butterfly bars), I would say by around 30mm - compared to a previous drop bar set up. I have a 130mm stem on my latest set up. Having an incorrect stem would also affect pedalling efficiency - too short and it would put the rider further back in the saddle. Too long, well, it would mean too much weight on the wrists.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Sep 2012, 4:43pm

I fitted butterflys to reduce vibration and it worked. As Crepello says they are much longer from clamp to end and this should reduce vibration. As belt and braces I did fit Decathlon foam grips underneath the bar tape right at the inner ends. The increase in vibration is puzzling?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

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hondated
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby hondated » 23 Sep 2012, 6:55pm

Thanks al and CREPELLO for responding. Its interesting you both find the vibration problem puzzling but I definitely had a tingling in my hands after riding it.I did use a 130mm stem as you recommended CREPELLO but it might have helped if I had also used several layers of tape now as you also recommend.
As for the straight bar - drop bar frame different design perhaps I am just being paranoid having had the Roberts specifically made for me with drop bars.
I don't know whether either of you would agree with me but I also found that my Brookes Flyer saddle not having a lot of adjustment has not helped matters either.
Still at least it gave me something to do today as I replaced the drops etc and began to strip the Ridgeback down ready to convert it from 7 speed to 9 speed and eventually fit the butterfly bars.

Hopefully this time when its built its vibration free and if it is knowing me I might have another go at converting the Roberts.

I think my wife maybe right when she says to me that you enjoy fettling with your bikes more than you do riding them.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Sep 2012, 6:59pm

Perhaps if your stem and bars we of the Cinelli variety (ie paper thin!) That could explain it.

Al :D
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

rich100
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby rich100 » 23 Sep 2012, 7:02pm

Not if it would help, but I had some of these on my old galaxy with trekking bars: http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=ergon+grips&sugexp=chrome,mod%3D11&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1571530280857872235&sa=X&ei=1UxfUNb-BqLB0gX104HAAw&ved=0CFoQ8wIwAg

Image

i found it much more comfy with these than with extra padding under the tape.

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hondated
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby hondated » 23 Sep 2012, 7:24pm

al its an ITM stem and thanks rich I will see how the bars work out on the Ridgeback and if I still have a problem I may buy them.
I am terribly so indecisive thateven now I am thinking of refitting them on the Roberts to give them another try.
I don't know how I ever agreed to get married and later have kids now.

Tacascarow
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby Tacascarow » 23 Sep 2012, 9:33pm

hondated wrote:I don't know how I ever agreed to get married and later have kids now.

You did what most men do in such situations.
Let the woman decide.

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CREPELLO
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby CREPELLO » 23 Sep 2012, 9:35pm

hondated wrote:I don't know whether either of you would agree with me but I also found that my Brookes Flyer saddle not having a lot of adjustment has not helped matters either.
Using Brooks saddles as well, I appreciate the limitations of getting a good saddle position with the short rails - not enough lay back IMO. It's worth considering that the saddle postion must really come first, before considering bar reach/stem length. Get that right and everything else comfort wise falls into place.

Which does lead me to ask your motivation for changing from drops - were you finding the riding position uncomfortable? For all my good words on butterfly bars, I'm equally a fan of drop bars. Anyone who finds their drop bar riding position uncomforatble merely needs to raise the bar height and consider the saddle position first before anything else.

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hondated
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby hondated » 23 Sep 2012, 10:24pm

CREPELLO even though I was obviously measured when the bike was made for me since owning it I have struggled to get comfortable on it. I knew from speaking to others that had also had their bikes made for them that when initially riding it it would perhaps feel different but unlike those that I spoke to I just have not been able to get comfortable on it.
The basic reason is I think that its been made to big for me and I always feel stretched out on it. This also makes going downhill riding on the hoods hard work as well.
The butterfly bars appealed to me as I thought they would resolve the problem but todays experience is telling me at the moment that it will not.

As for the bars on the Roberts they have been cut high so that isn'tthe problem but I think you may have something with regard to the seat.

To try and get the proper seat position and I know it does not work for everyone the KOP system and to determine that I have used a spirit level to mark the correct position on the cross bar and I have made sure that my knee is on that mark.But when it comes to adjustment its difficult because as I said the Brookes has limited perimeters in moving it and I also have this seat post:
http://www.use1.com/product/000052/alien-aluminium-/

Until I brought this bike I had never even heard about this seat post and to be honest I am not impressed with it and I don't know what you think but my view is its made more for a racing bike than a tourer in my opinion.
The iriny of all this is that I brought the bike at a great cost to get what I thought would be the Holy Grail of all touring cyclists comfort and to be honest its never happened.
Unfortunately because of my experiences I would never advise anyone to get a bike made to measure but rather to buy an off the peg bike and adapt it to meet your needs. Its a lot cheaper I can tell you.

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breakwellmz
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby breakwellmz » 24 Sep 2012, 7:14am

Hi.

Not much setback on that post is there?
It should be fine if you read what is says :) -

"Ultimate lightweight seat post
Designed for the performance rider
To perform on the world stage (2 X Tour de France King of the Mountain and multiple MTB World Cup victories)
Chosen by the worlds best athletes who do not compromise" :wink:

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531colin
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby 531colin » 24 Sep 2012, 9:10am

hondated wrote:........................
The iriny of all this is that I brought the bike at a great cost to get what I thought would be the Holy Grail of all touring cyclists comfort and to be honest its never happened...........


Thats a real shame, but don't give up on it yet, I think its very likely that it just needs some relatively simple sorting out.
Do you have a bike that you are/were more or less comfortable with that you can compare to?
Somebody already said, start with the saddle position. Some of us on this forum find it difficult to get our Brooks saddles far enough back, and go looking for seatposts with a long layback....yours is virtually in-line, ie no layback at all, this could be throwing your weight onto your hands, it could all be as simple as that.
Can you compare how far behind the BB axle the saddle nose is on this bike as against a bike you are comfortable on?
If you want to try a seatpost with some layback, I have them in 27.2 and (mysteriously) 27.0mm diameter laying around doing nothing.

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CREPELLO
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby CREPELLO » 24 Sep 2012, 10:40am

Yes, I suspect your seatpost may have something to do with it. You say the bike somehow feels 'too long'. The paradox of fitting an (near) inline seatpost is that it will throw much more weight onto the front (wrists/hands), perhaps giving the impression of being stretched out.

This would be all well and good for a racing cyclist who would then fit a longer stem to achieve that stetched out and powerful riding position. But it's not the ideal approach for most average cyclists who appreciate a bit of comfort.

I've never payed much attention to the KOPS system of saddle fit myself - I've done it through trial and error. I started myself with a USE sus seatpost which was inline. I soon appreciated that I needed at least some layback. One way I think of saddle fit is to see if I can cycle no-hands with hands just above the bars - if only for a few seconds. You want to be able to balance your body on the saddle without falling forward. Any suggestion of needing to move back on the saddle to attain this feat suggests more lay back is needed IMO. That is unless you would be a athletic cyclist with a strong torso and strong legs which will also help support the torso.

I suppose you could have too much lay back on a bike, but it seems that most modern frames suffer from seat tube angles too steep rather than too shallow see viewtopic.php?f=5&t=68475

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CREPELLO
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby CREPELLO » 24 Sep 2012, 10:48am

Did Roberts spec that seatpost for you? Particularly with the Brooks saddle I think it's a strange combination for a tourer. Even if you've had the bike for a while, I'd still go back to them and voice your greivences. You payed for a gold plated bike which includes the fitting like a glove. They should take your legitimate concerns on board and make good advice on a good seatpost/stem/bar combination.

Failing that, it would be worth having a proper bike fit done, to look at your cycling style/body proportions and the right components.

As an aside, I often wonder why Brooks don't make or market there own seatposts with nice lay back. They must know there's an issue with these shorter saddle rails, combined with the steeper seat tube angles of modern bikes. They've got Reynolds down the road, who could provide some decent tubing. Surely a whole new market awaits?

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Erudin
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Re: Trekking butterfly bars

Postby Erudin » 24 Sep 2012, 12:39pm

Hope you get the bike fit sorted OP, have you tried different stem lengths and angles? I've just fitted a BBB Multibar Butterfly Bar and 13cm HighSix Adjustable Stem to my old Ridgeback MTB.

I sometimes get a bit of tingling/numbness in hands on longer rides with flat bars now so giving butterfly bars a try, don't have any problems with drop bars. I managed to convert my other flat bar mtb to drops, used a very short 45mm stem and short reach compact bars to get the fit the same as my drop bar audax bike, surprisingly it still handles/steers fine unloaded or with loaded barbag and panniers.

The foam grips took a while to get on the butterfly bar, but a bit of water helped them slide on. First impressions are the reach to the brake section is shorter and narrower than with the flat bars, the outer section feels really comfortable. Using them feels totally different to flat bars or drops, agree with what the road.cc review of the bars says:

"In use the bars take a bit of getting used to, in that handling of the bike can change radically depending on where your hands are positioned, but the beauty of the set up is its tweakability."
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Last edited by Erudin on 25 Sep 2012, 5:21am, edited 4 times in total.