Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

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Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby dkmwt » 14 Aug 2014, 10:20pm

As you might see by my recent post on the pictures thread I've got myself an ICE B1 with hamster bars.

I was wondering if anybody is in a position to compare hamster bars to wraparound bars and which is easiest to get on with. One of the reasons that I ask is that with hamster bars and the front boom at what I think is the correct length I'm touching my thumbs with my knees on each turn of the pedals. I don't want to spend out getting wraparounds only to find out that they are more difficult to ride with and don't solve the problem.

After 9 years of riding a trike (which I'm still riding occasionally) learning to balance is quite a challenge but I'm getting there, all be it slowly.
Cheers, Donald
Trice "Qnt 26" 26/39/55 F 10sp 11/36 R, now with Windwrap fairing.
ICE B1 34/50 F Capreo 9/32 R.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby pjclinch » 15 Aug 2014, 3:37pm

Very much down to individuals. I've never really got on with hamster/tiller bars (I can use them okay but I find it hard to properly relax) and very much prefer superman/aero types (or better still, under-seat), but other people have no issue at all with tillers. Really is a case of suck it and see.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby Geoff.D » 16 Aug 2014, 10:00am

I've tried all three positions, and ended up using the"superman" position ( with a fixed riser and North Road handlebars). But my reasons for making this choice weren't about ease of control whilst in motion. In fact, I found all three OK whilst in motion, although different.
The three main reasons were that, with arthritis and a lower back problem, I find the fixed riser helps me get out of the seat when I stop. I also find it easier to push the bike around, not least when walking up a steep hill. Finally (before I retired and was commuting) I found that this position allowed more airflow under my armpits, and so I didn't arrive at work as smelly as I might have done.
The choice is personal, and I grew into it.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby hercule » 16 Aug 2014, 11:19am

I switched the narrow T-shaped bars on my BikeEs to broad back swept North Road bars. It's made a tremendous difference and much improved the riding experience and comfort. Plus it's meant the bars aren't so far away - I must have relatively short arms as I found the original bars a rather uncomfortable reach. Not quite the tiller/superman difference - there was zero tiller on the original bars - but the wider hand position certainly makes handling easier. OTOH I have the usual tiller bars on my Fuego and have no problem with them. I contemplated the "aero steer" bars as Nazca calls them but have been put off by reports of bar/leg conflict in sharp corners.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby swscotland bentrider » 16 Aug 2014, 6:05pm

I have used both Hamster and Open cockpit setups over the years. Hamster feel more aerodynamic and when going hard they feel nice and tucked in. I have them on both my bikes - a Fuego and a Challenge Furai 26. Open cockpit can have leg interference issues but this is not a major issue unless you use narrow bars. They do however feel more relaxed and when carrying a load give better control. I like them for touring. Especially on bikes with higher seats - they enable you to sit up when stopped, say for a chat or drink. Hamster bars can prevent this. On a higher seated bike balance can be awkward when remaining reclined and I found it better to dismount. Also a touring bike and load can put quite a strain on the hinge of hamster bars. (Usually heaving the bike up and down kerbs). My Fuego tiller seems strongly made but I'm less confident about the Challenge one.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby Stradageek » 16 Aug 2014, 6:32pm

Hi dkmwt

Hope you're enjoying the B1, nearly bought one myself. I have open cockpit bars on my Bacchetta Strada and tiller steering on my Speedmachine. I tend to grasp the tiller bars in the centre (hamster fashion) when going, or wanting to go faster, so I think that must be more aerodynamic. On the Strada my 'aero' tuck involves straightening my arms to go more superman. On both bikes I go to standard position for slow speed manoeuvers but both can hit the thighs so some care is needed. Hamster position does need finer control (hence my return to standard position for slow speed control). I agree with the less sweaty armpits on open cockpit bars but this also means that on really cold days I tend to ride the Speedmachine in hamster position to stay warmer.

On a final note it is a peculiarity of the Speedmachine tiller bars that when I've (infrequently) toppled over, my legs are pinned by the bars in a manner that stops the foot rotation necessary to release a cleat, giving onlookers plenty of time to laugh as I struggle to get free.

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Re: Handle bars, wraparound or hamster!!

Postby BlackPanther » 17 Aug 2014, 7:04pm

I owned a Bachetta strada with Wraparound bars (Superman) and an Optima Baron with the Hamsters. Although they were completely different machines (High and Low Racers) I far preferred the Wraparounds. They looked a bit weirder, but seemed to offer better control, and had all the space required for bell/horn/lights etc.
The photobucket images don't work !!!