Author Topic: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)  (Read 582 times)

KvBCycles

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Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:07:46 AM »
Good evening all,
I am a newbie here, as you will probably see once this is posted - so please be kind (but hopefully I get it right!).
Also, I have never done long distance touring, which will be changing later this year. I am just in the process of deciding which bike, of which the Thorn is in the shortlist, and am looking at handlebars specifically at the moment, as one of my other shortlisted bikes comes with them by default - the trekking (butterfly) handlebars.

And my question is with regards to the process involved in changing from flat to trekking bars (in the event I find a suitable second hand bike available), as I do like them and find them comfortable for cruising.

Would it please be possible for someone with the know how to please advise me on this point. I've done some googling and searching on youtube but haven't found the information I'm after specifically for the Thorn bicycle.
I know that Thorn really don't like them, it says so in the mega brochure  ;D

If there is anyone who's made this change, I would also like to hear your feedback!

thank you.
KvB



jags

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 02:38:43 AM »
Welcome kvb well if its bars your after it would be hard to beat shallow drops 44is the usual width.ten speed tiagra is excellent unless your going wi g h a rohloff hub.anywsay whatever you decide have fun.gotta go ghe drugs is kicking cant se e t his phone.im awayto me co t.

Danneaux

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 04:55:08 AM »
Welcome, KVB!

I prefer shallow/compact drop handlebars or randonneur bend drops myself for comfort, a variety of hand positions, and for riding into headwinds.

I'm sure someone experienced with trekking 'bars will along shortly to help you out with your questions.

Best,

Dan.

onmybike

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 09:56:42 AM »

Would it please be possible for someone with the know how to please advise me on this point. I've done some googling and searching on youtube but haven't found the information I'm after specifically for the Thorn bicycle.
I know that Thorn really don't like them, it says so in the mega brochure  ;D

If there is anyone who's made this change, I would also like to hear your feedback!

KvB

Hi KvB

Good grief, you may as well have asked for saddle recommendations - we all know there's only one answer to that question  ;)

My Nomad started off with the wide Thorn comfort bars. They were discarded after a few months as they lacked anything resembling 'comfort', unless 'comfort' involves both pins and needles in the hands and sore elbows (I could never quite suss that one out but figure it was a unique combination of bar width and sweepback angle forcing an elbow angle that simply didn't work with my physiology. It was weird).

Next attempt was narrower straight bars. These solved the elbow issues and let me isolate the blame for the pins and needles directly on the ergon grips.

Attempt no. 3 was a combination of butterfly bars and Grab-on Grips ( https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebar-tape-grips/grabon-foam-maxi-handlebar-sleeves-for-drop-bars-black/?geoc=AU ). Bliss!

If I remember correctly, at the time I bought the bike the mega brochure's rant against butterfly bars was even more vehement than it is now. In roughly 9 years of using this set up, and around 22 months of that touring, I can honestly say that I've never even noticed the 'alarming' flex mentioned in the brochure, and the brake position suits me just fine. It should be noted that I tour on dirt a lot but am cautious on dirt descents, so maybe I'm simply not heroic enough to experience the 'alarming' flex. But, as I stated at the beginning of my reply, handlebar comfort is almost as unique to an individual as seat comfort. Unless you try it for yourself you'll never know.

My own mods to the bars include inboard bar ends. These don't get much use but are great when pushing into headwinds. If you like mirrors Zefel Spy mirrors are the easiest to install on butterfly bars....



Andre Jute

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 01:15:39 PM »
Good grief, you may as well have asked for saddle recommendations - we all know there's only one answer to that question  ;)


At first I wondered if you were an innocent wandering abroad, begging to be kicked, then I when I checked your name I laughed out loud. Of course there is only one saddle worth sitting on, and it is the double rail triple helical spring Brooks B73.

My Nomad started off with the wide Thorn comfort bars. They were discarded after a few months as they lacked anything resembling 'comfort', unless 'comfort' involves both pins and needles in the hands and sore elbows (I could never quite suss that one out but figure it was a unique combination of bar width and sweepback angle forcing an elbow angle that simply didn't work with my physiology. It was weird).

Next attempt was narrower straight bars. These solved the elbow issues and let me isolate the blame for the pins and needles directly on the ergon grips.

Let me say first that I'm on record here, many times, as praising the Thorn designer for his component choices and his general wisdom. But the first time I saw a photo of those Thorn "comfort" bars, I can't repeat on a conference that may be read by other cyclists' children what I said. They are obviously likely to cause residual stress, especially to tourers who will hold onto them for long stretches every day.

Narrower straight bars are also fundamentally antipathetic to the natural angles of the human skeleton and its joints.

There is nothing ergonomic about either of these bars.

I wouldn't have drop bars within a mile of my bike because a) they would kill my back and b) I'm never on my bike for longer than two hours these days so the single shortcoming of my preferred North Road bars don't appear. However, the thing about drop bars is that they have a really important advantage for a tourer: several hand positions, and consequent different spine positions.

The same applies to butterfly bars, if to a lesser extent.

Mind you, your suggestion of adding extra grips perpendicular to the main handlebar would give North Road bars the extra grip required, but I still wouldn't recommend them for touring because they presume you're sitting upright on the bike.

There's an exception though, which favour North Road bars, which, by themselves are already the most ergonomic bars you can buy. I have on my Gazelle Toulouse a Gazelle proprietary stem called the Switch, which allows you by pulling a lever on the stem to angle it up for comfort or down for speed. So what, you say. Well, the other end also rotates the handlebar in the gripper. Then you close the lever, and you have your handlebars and in particular its grips in a position for a speed run or a long ride against a stiff wind. When I made a ton-up run (truck assisted, of course) the bike I chose from all my bikes was this fat Gazelle for rich, soft commuters. I set the North Road bars down almost to the mudguard (yah, the only thing I even thought of removing was the rack, and I decided against that because if the rear tyre blew, it would protect my back) and then turned the bars in the Switch stem so that the grips pointed almost straight down to the road, set the seat up a fraction, and that allowed me to present a straight back, which is worth progressively more as you go faster. Uno Kalloy makes an inexpensive copy of this no-tools adjustable stem. I really don't know why it isn't more widely known in the touring community.

Attempt no. 3 was a combination of butterfly bars and Grab-on Grips

Where you have those spy mirrors is exactly where I would, most of the time, want to hold those bars, as the most ergonomic position the offer. But I love the clever innovation of the Grab-on Grips.

onmybike

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 11:29:56 PM »
Where you have those spy mirrors is exactly where I would, most of the time, want to hold those bars, as the most ergonomic position the offer.

When I bought the bars I assumed I'd be using that part of the bar a lot too. In reality I almost never used it, preferring the lower part of the bars (90+% of the time) or the 'elbow' above the mirrors, especially when climbing. The bar ends only come into play for headwinds, although if I had taller gearing they'd maybe get a bit more use for the aero advantage they offer. The mirrors are positioned where they are because I found it to be the least obstructive location. They're easy enough to reposition if required.

KvBCycles

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Re: Handlebar - flat or butterfly (eek)
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 09:25:59 PM »
Thanks for the advise everyone.
I hit the order button today on a Nomad with Yuma Comfort bars and the foam maxi grip :)
Will collect early May.  8)