Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Thorn General => Topic started by: Inbred on April 16, 2018, 02:06:38 AM

Title: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Inbred on April 16, 2018, 02:06:38 AM
Just out of curiosity, I was wondering what sort of handlebar set-up all you good people out there use?
Particularly, non-drop-barred/Rohloff style.
I've tried the usual Thorn Flat Track bars with ergo bar-ends and Ergon GP5s on my Nomad and also Thorn Comfort bars.
These are ok, but I think I'd like to try some others.
Thanks in advance for any replies 🙂👍
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: PH on April 16, 2018, 10:13:33 AM
Not much help I'm afraid - I use flat bars with Ergon GP5 and get on well with them.  They have a lot of adjustment, the angle of both the pads and extension, plus of course the bar width, height, sweep and stem length.  It took me a few experiments to get them right, my starting point was trying to replicate a position I knew to be comfortable on other bars.
IMO it's more about finding comfortable hand positions than bar shape, it's probably possible to replicate the same ones on a variety of bars. But I haven't found anything that reduces rough road surface vibration better than the composite (Plastic!) bar ends.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: bikerwaser on April 16, 2018, 05:46:47 PM
I tried quite a few different options as I have issues with my back and wrists.

My Sherpa started out with a type of butterfly bar but then changed to a Tioga riser bar r35  . It's similar in a way to the Thorn comfort bars in that is has a bit of a sweep to it(6 degs).

I then bought some end "ergo" grips . they were cheapo ones from China. I wasn't going to pay 35 for grips.
The ones i got from China have been perfect for what i needed . From the start I wrapped them in handlebar cushioning tape.

I'll try to attach a photo but i'm not that good at those sort of things.


Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: John Saxby on April 16, 2018, 07:01:54 PM
I have a different setup on my Raven:


This arrangement works better for me than other drop-bar set-ups in which the bars are more or less level with the saddle. At the same time, I find the drops essential for windy conditions -- a few folks in these parts tour with flat or swept-back bars, but I don't know how they manage headwinds.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Thomas777 on April 17, 2018, 10:56:50 PM
I have used flat, trekking and now I am using the Velo Orange Crazy Bars. These were great when we rode across Canada last Summer.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: John Saxby on April 17, 2018, 11:28:12 PM
Can you post a photo, Tom?  [Easier than a description, I reckon ;)  ]

Did you stay warm & dry through the "Colorado Low" storms of the past few days?

Cheers,  John
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Andre Jute on April 18, 2018, 12:11:56 AM
A handlebar type that is often overlooked but is the most ergonomic of all, is the North Road. It gives you useful extra height, though not all the apparent rise is extra height as the handlebars should point about 15-30 degrees down from the horizontal. The sweep of the grips falls under your hand in the natural relaxed position. It also brings your back more upright, which is always useful. Upside down, North Road bars are like more ergonomic Moustache bars, if you want to be fancy. North Road bars are also cheap: the Uno-Kalloy bars are particularly good.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: martinf on April 18, 2018, 08:16:15 AM
A handlebar type that is often overlooked but is the most ergonomic of all, is the North Road.

I have variants of these bars on 4 of the family bikes - my current two visitor bikes, the new Raven Tour Step Through small visitor bike I just built up and my wife's bike.

The bars on my wife's bike and the new visitor bike are "BLB FUBAR HANDLEBAR" in 480 mm width, the straight ends on these are just long enough to fit a Nexus 8 Shimano twist grip shifter, brake levers and grips for small hands. Both these bikes are set up for a very upright riding position.

http://www.fixedland.com/BLB-FUBAR-HANDLEBAR

My large visitor bike has a similar bar, but a tad wider and with slightly longer straight ends. This extra length enabled me to fit an Alfine 8 Shimano Rapidfire shifter (which I prefer over the twist grip) and full length grips to suit large hands. Due to the long frame, my riding position on this bike is not upright, but more relaxed than on my drop bar bikes, I would say between the "relaxed" and "fairly relaxed" positions shown in the Thorn Mega Brochure. I can ride this bike comfortably for long distances, although I miss the drop bar options of changing hand position and the low "down on the drops" position for headwinds.

Two of my drop bar bikes have "traditional" drop bars, my 2016 Raven Sport Tour has compact drops, which I now prefer. I will probably convert my Raven Tour heavy touring bike to compact drops, but my 1977 light derailleur tourer will have to keep the traditional bars as compacts don't seem to exist in the 25.4 centre bulge size that fits old quill stems.

I have straight bars with bar ends on two of my bikes, my old 650B utility bike now used mainly for survey work and my Raven Tour utility bike used for shopping and other urban trips. The Raven Tour utility bike will probably end up with either compact drop bars or some variant of North Road bars.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Thomas777 on April 18, 2018, 10:30:48 PM
Here is a pic of my bike with Velo Orange Crazy Bars.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Inbred on April 19, 2018, 04:28:41 PM
Thanks for all the replies.
Very interesting....
So what sort of height difference do you have between saddle and bars?
I can manage to get my flat track bars about 6cm above my saddle. Obviously, the comfort bars can go higher.
I've seen several photos (on google images), of the unholy combination of comfort bars and GP5 bar ends, but never tried them myself.
Maybe I should?
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: David Simpson on April 19, 2018, 06:52:50 PM
On my Nomad, I use the Thorn eXp flat bars, with metal bar ends. I use metal bar ends because I have my mirror mounted in the end of the bar end. I like the mirror to be mounted high, so that I can quickly glance in the mirror without taking my eyes off the road. I commute in traffic, and am in the habit of checking my mirror every 5-10 seconds.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/thorn-exp-flat-handlebar-125-deg-318mm-clamp-680mm-black (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/thorn-exp-flat-handlebar-125-deg-318mm-clamp-680mm-black)
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/mirrycle-mountain-mirrycle-mirror-for-straight-handlebars (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/mirrycle-mountain-mirrycle-mirror-for-straight-handlebars)

In order for your mirror to see past your arm and elbow, the mirror must be mounted above, below, or outside of your elbow. I didn't like it mounted below, since it difficult to glance at when it was so far from my normal looking-ahead view of the road. I tried it mounted outside, on the end of my bar, but I broke it off too many times, and it made the bike that much wider (difficult to maneuver in my basement). I previously had the Ergon EP5 grips with the plastic (composite?) bar ends. I switched to the EP1 grips and added metal bar ends so that I could mount the mirror in the end of them. That position of the mirror has worked very well for me.

Here's an old photo, when I had the Thorn Flat Track bar. I switched to the eXp bar because it has a slightly greater sweep back.
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9029.msg62409#msg62409 (http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9029.msg62409#msg62409)

For bar height, I had read that a good starting point is to have the bar equal height to the seat. I started with that, and found it to be perfect for me. I experimented with the bar higher or lower, but eventually came back to equal height.

I found that bar height, like seat height, makes a big difference for me. Even a 5mm different is noticeable. It is worth experimenting with, in order to find the best fit. When the seat height is not optimal, I can feel it in my knees (seat too low) or hips (seat too high). When the bars are too low/high, I feel it in my back and shoulders.

- DaveS

Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: martinf on April 20, 2018, 11:05:18 AM
So what sort of height difference do you have between saddle and bars?

On my own bikes, I generally have the saddle and top of handlebars at about the same height.

I expect I will have to increase bar height and/or change bar type as I grow older.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Inbred on April 20, 2018, 11:14:31 AM
I worry that I actually have the handlebars too high!
I do get shoulder pain after a few hours, which gets quite unbearable at times!
This has persisted, no matter which bar set-up I've used, so it's probably down to poor posture and weak muscles (which I'm working on).
I'm 53 now and despite losing 40lbs over the last year (Yay me😃), I'm still overweight. (5'10" & 194lbs).
What's frustrating is that I used to race MTBs and do Audax rides back in the '90s and I never had this problem.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: PH on April 20, 2018, 12:02:00 PM
I'm 53 now and despite losing 40lbs over the last year (Yay me😃), I'm still overweight. (5'10" & 194lbs).
Yay indeed, well done.
Quote
This has persisted, no matter which bar set-up I've used, so it's probably down to poor posture and weak muscles (which I'm working on).
You're probably right, as I said upthread if you get the other elements of fit correct bar position become less relevant.  Core strength certainly helps, and it's a shame that no amount of cycling makes a significant difference to this.  There's a reluctance among many cyclist to consider it may improve their cycling pleasure to sometimes do something else!
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Inbred on April 20, 2018, 12:39:56 PM
Thanks PH. It's a start but still some way to go!

Yes indeed. Cycling is great for building stamina and aerobic fitness but it's pretty rubbish for flexibility or core strength!
I've started regular stretches that help with neck/shoulder flexibility/strength and I'm now researching appropriate exercises/activities that will help with core muscle groups.
In my former life of competitive cycling, I was also and Outdoor Education instructor. Spending my time climbing, canoeing, walking, etc, which probably helped! Not to mention being 30 years younger 😂

Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Danneaux on April 20, 2018, 05:54:33 PM
Quote
Cycling is great for building stamina and aerobic fitness but it's pretty rubbish for flexibility or core strength!
<nods> Boy, that's true. Doesn't do much for bone density either as it is not considered weight-bearing exercise. I found myself with osteopoenia -- partly due to cycling as my primary exercise, according to my doc, partly due to celiac sprue disease (gluten intolerance). He advised walks -- preferably with rocks in my pockets or some sort of additional weight carried. I took it to heart and added a daily 8km walk to my regular exercise. That and Vitamin D supplements helped a lot in rebuilding bone density. My original DEXA bone density scan showed a >28% risk of hip fracture; that is now down to about 3%.

I lost the greatest bone density when I was regularly riding 8,000-12,000mi/13,000-19,000km annually.

For more on the topic:
http://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitness/cyclists-bone-health-281573
https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/why-cycling-is-bad-for-bone-density-and-how-you-can-improve-it/
https://www.velopress.com/building-strong-bones-for-cyclists/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554602/

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Handlebar choice?
Post by: Inbred on April 20, 2018, 08:17:15 PM
Yikes! I didn't even think of that!
Maybe I should avoid cycling altogether? 😉
I think I presently do a fair mix of walking and cycling.
Probably going to diversify a bit into other activities too, just to be on the safe side!