Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
scottg
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Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby scottg » 22 Sep 2018, 10:28pm

Back when non-aero levers were in use, swapping between
a deep drop Bailey bend to a shallow drop Marsh pattern bend
was fairly quick. No gear or brake cables underneath the tape.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

Graham O
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby Graham O » 23 Sep 2018, 12:36pm

I built my current bike, a Surly Cross Check, initially with straight bars and they were great for most rides, but after a long 200km+ day, my hands were so battered that I could hardly hold the bars. Changed to drops and not had the same problems. However, I have probably used the dropped position (on any bike) only once or twice in the last 20 years, so may change to current bars for On-One Midge bars which have a very shallow drop or I may try the straight bars again.

nirakaro
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby nirakaro » 23 Sep 2018, 1:24pm

+1 for On-One Midge. I put them on my touring bike – nineties Specialized Hardrock - and I love 'em. The only downside I've found is that my other two bikes never get ridden any more, and just sit gathering dust.

MrsHJ
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Sep 2018, 4:15am

hondated wrote:
MrsHJ wrote:I was noticing today how many people still have drops (I’m in France) but that’s for cyclo sportif. I changed out my butterfly bars to thorn comfort bars with very expensive bar ends this year and I’m pretty happy. It’s whatever works for you but generally Northern Europe is flat bars and Southern Europe is drops.

Based on my trip touring on flat bars or butterfly bars certainly seems most popular in Europe at the moment although some people seem to be using their road bikes with drops.

Interested to read this as in my box of bits I have got some Thorn comfort bars and I was thinking of fitting them to the Roberts with Ergon GP5 grips but the expense of these is making me hesitate. Are these the bar ends you have used and if they are can you tell me what you think of them.
I have tried fitting Butterfly bars on the Roberts before but somehow it just did not feel right so I refitted the drops. But that said I have fitted butterfly bars on another bike that has a bigger frame than the Roberts and I have got to say they do feel comfortable. Last time I used this bike it was extremely windy so I was battling through it and although drops would of made it easier because I felt comfortable I just got on with it.

The only thing about my butterfly bars I dont like is that they are a little bit wider than I want so I am thinking the Thorn comfort bars with bar ends would solve that problem.

Why I would be interested to get your response to my question is that the Thorn comfort bars are a little bit swept back and I was wondering whether this angle affects the positioning of the bar ends.


I liked them. No regrets re losing the butterfly bars. I had some wrist pain before I travelled mostly due to being under fit so I was keen to tackle the contact with the bike points and not have anything too skinny to hold as that tends to be when my hands can cramp up due to my irregular cycling, I found the bars (and as you only in effect touch the ergo GP5) the grips comfy. I thought there were enough hand positions. In terms of the swept back nature of the bars I quite like a fairly upright position so they worked for me. The only day I had shoulder ache was doing the Montpellier to Sete canal which is very rough at the moment (but fascinating as it's just you and a load of water in the middle of the cam argue). The bars are quite wide and I considered chopping them slightly but actually on route I didn't have a problem with them. I used the bar ends some of the time but generally road with the pads of my palms in the grips, which are generous size wise, and my fingers extending to the bars. I got the small size which after ordering them isn't recommended unless you have very small hands but I thought they were right for my middling size female hands.

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hondated
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby hondated » 24 Sep 2018, 10:41am

Thanks Mrs HJ I,LL persevere with the drops for now but when funds are available I will buy the grips and fit the bars.

Mike_Ayling
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Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby Mike_Ayling » 25 Sep 2018, 12:25am

MrsHJ wrote:
hondated wrote:
MrsHJ wrote:I was noticing today how many people still have drops (I’m in France) but that’s for cyclo sportif. I changed out my butterfly bars to thorn comfort bars with very expensive bar ends this year and I’m pretty happy.

I liked them. No regrets re losing the butterfly bars. I had some wrist pain before I travelled mostly due to being under fit so I was keen to tackle the contact with the bike points and not have anything too skinny to hold as that tends to be when my hands can cramp up due to my irregular cycling, I found the bars (and as you only in effect touch the ergo GP5) the grips comfy. I thought there were enough hand positions. In terms of the swept back nature of the bars I quite like a fairly upright position so they worked for me. The only day I had shoulder ache was doing the Montpellier to Sete canal which is very rough at the moment (but fascinating as it's just you and a load of water in the middle of the cam argue). The bars are quite wide and I considered chopping them slightly but actually on route I didn't have a problem with them. I used the bar ends some of the time but generally road with the pads of my palms in the grips, which are generous size wise, and my fingers extending to the bars. I got the small size which after ordering them isn't recommended unless you have very small hands but I thought they were right for my middling size female hands.


Mary and I use Ergon GP1 grips with TranzX bar ends which provide a number of hand positions.

https://commutercycles.com.au/shop/ergo ... lack-grey/

https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/tran ... ds/JD-861A

Mike

Brucey
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2018, 1:39am

Woodtourer wrote:So as we continue to tour in Europe today's thought was "Why do most touring bikes in the US have drop bars and those in Europe have flat bars?"
We are from the US and both of our bikes have flat or flared back bars. But my sport tourer does have drops.
Thoughts???


maybe it is due to how folk get into cycling in the first place. On the continent folk use bikes for transport and these bikes all have flat bars. Touring is presumably seen most often as a logical extension of that activity (to the extent that I have often seen Dutch touring types who are loaded up with stuff, in remote corners of Europe, riding the same bikes as they use for local transport back home, i.e. with one gear and a coaster brake).... With that background, you would usually only think of having a bike with dropped bars if you were intending to go racing, I'd imagine.

In the UK (and perhaps in the USA as well) utility cycling is/was not so prevalent as on the continent and more to the point a lot of cyclists who go touring are/were club cyclists. They might do the odd time trial etc and even on 'slightly enthusiastic' club runs the benefits of dropped bars are obvious. Thus there are more 'touring cyclists' whose idea of a touring bike has dropped handlebars, and this idea has permeated beyond the realms of club cycling. In times past the average UK cycle club would organise weekend runs (eg to the seaside and back) up to 300 miles in length; weaker riders would sit in the bunch (largely free of headwinds) and even get pushed up hills. Almost no-one would use anything higher than a north road drop if they were planning to participate in such rides.

Image

Image

people can and do use whatever handlebars they like, of course. But the slightly baffling thing is that some folk persist in using (say) flat bars even when it is perfectly obvious to everyone else that something different is better if you intend to ride far and/or ride fast. In fact (as you might expect if you have even the most rudimentary knowledge about how your energy is spent when riding) it is probably the single most important thing about a bicycle; for quite a few years I would use a bike that weighed about 45lbs but had north road drops fitted, and even on the (slow, draggy) utility tyres fitted, I was only ~2mph slower than I was on a proper lightweight. I rode up to about 75 miles a day on that bike, outside of normal working hours, in fairly hilly terrain. I was at least 2mph slower with the handlebars up the other way, and no more comfortable.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mike_Ayling
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Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby Mike_Ayling » 25 Sep 2018, 2:15am

When I was growing up in South Africa in the nineteen fifties all you could get was Raleigh or some of its derivatives, Rudge etc.
The bike of choice then was a Raleigh Sports with a three speed Sturmey Archer AW hub and four speed if you were really lucky. 26 inch wheels with steel rims which took a lot of stopping in the wet so the big upgrades was to SA drum brakes. There were SA dynohubs but the light output was very ordinary compared to the Miller bottle dynamo which gave you a work out when pedalling it. I did my first week long tour on one of these bikes.

Anyway getting back on topic we all rode the reversed North Road bars then.

Mike

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hondated
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby hondated » 25 Sep 2018, 4:17pm

Mike_Ayling wrote:
MrsHJ wrote:
hondated wrote:


Mary and I use Ergon GP1 grips with TranzX bar ends which provide a number of hand positions.

https://commutercycles.com.au/shop/ergo ... lack-grey/

https://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/tran ... ds/JD-861A

Mike

Thanks Mike

willem jongman
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby willem jongman » 25 Sep 2018, 4:31pm

Once upon a time when we had a Thorn childback tandem I used a Thorn Comfort handlebar for more leverage. On my townbike I have a Nitto Albatros bar for a more upright position in urban traffic, but both of my touring bikes have Nitto Noodle bars. I have never used anything other than drop bars for my touring bikes, and never will. The position is indeed more aerodynamic, and gives better power transfer. Most importantly, however, I also find it far more comfortable for my wrists (not a problem with the Albatros bar either because it is so swept back). Here in the Netherlands drop bars are indeed an unusual choice, and there are very few off the peg tourers with drop bars. Fortunately m-gineering, my frame builder, is a fan of drop bars as well, and the majorty of his builds have them. I am happy to say that the number of drop bar tourers is increasing a bit, with the increased popularity of gravel racers and bike packing.

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hondated
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby hondated » 25 Sep 2018, 4:55pm

Thought I would show you this to get some comments.
Seems after struggling to get the gears sorted with a lot of help from our Forum colleagues the problem has been resolved and I had a great ride on it today.
What I would appreciate comments on is the riding position. Riding it today I was amazed how much easier it was riding the hills compared to riding it with drops on.
Would I be right in thinking that as I am more upright I am able to put more power through the pedals.
Got to also add having the brake levers more conveniently placed is a pleasure as well.
Just need to get some bigger tyres now :wink:
IMG_20180925_162324226.jpg

willem jongman
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby willem jongman » 25 Sep 2018, 5:11pm

The common view is, I think, that for climbing you need to move your body weight forward rather than sit upright. Hence also bar ends for straight bars.

Brucey
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2018, 6:07pm

hondated wrote:Would I be right in thinking that as I am more upright I am able to put more power through the pedals.


yes you may find that. You need a lot more core strength (and training) to push hard on the pedals when you are in any kind of crouched position, whereas an upright position is a bit more like climbing the stairs, and comes a bit more naturally. Racers have the option of a (relatively) upright position to climb with on the tops but if they can climb in a lower position, they often do so; even at 10-15mph aero drag is significant.

IMHO the forwardness of (flat bar) bar ends is not where their benefit lies when climbing; it is in letting your wrists articulate in a natural way when riding out of the saddle and/or throwing the bike around beneath you; this is rather uncomfortable when your hands are on the normal grips on a flat bar.

cheers
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hondated
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby hondated » 25 Sep 2018, 7:26pm

willem jongman wrote:The common view is, I think, that for climbing you need to move your body weight forward rather than sit upright. Hence also bar ends for straight bars.

Thanks willem.

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hondated
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Re: Handle Bars- US & Europe??

Postby hondated » 25 Sep 2018, 7:34pm

Brucey wrote:
hondated wrote:Would I be right in thinking that as I am more upright I am able to put more power through the pedals.


yes you may find that. You need a lot more core strength (and training) to push hard on the pedals when you are in any kind of crouched position, whereas an upright position is a bit more like climbing the stairs, and comes a bit more naturally. Racers have the option of a (relatively) upright position to climb with on the tops but if they can climb in a lower position, they often do so; even at 10-15mph aero drag is significant.

IMHO the forwardness of (flat bar) bar ends is not where their benefit lies when climbing; it is in letting your wrists articulate in a natural way when riding out of the saddle and/or throwing the bike around beneath you; this is rather uncomfortable when your hands are on the normal grips on a flat bar.

cheers

#Thanks Brucey. The information you have provided as now got me thinking that because I have an hiatal hernia the crouch position may not be the best one for me and the reason I like my current position it is because it gives me the benefit of getting air in and out more easily.
What do you or anyone think about that !