Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

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Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Chillibones » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:20 pm

Hello All,

Can anyone suggest an alternative handlebar for a flatbar road bike?

I use a Merida Speeder T1 for commuting, I am considering bullhorns but don't know whether they are suitable and whether or not the brakes and gears would fit on properly, although it looks like they should.

I'm just trying to give myself a more 'roadbike' style of riding without going as far as purchasing a roadbike ... if that makes sense!

I also can't afford to change all the running gear so I need to retain the current Shimano setup.

Anyone changed bars on a similar bike? What did you change to and was it an improvement?
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by BNA » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:02 pm

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Reman » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:02 pm

I added some bar ends, these give you extra grips like being on the hoods (but wider).

Also you could get some snap on aero bars, but they can be a little dangerous.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Chillibones » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:14 pm

Hi Reman,

I have some bar ends fitted, but I think that the fact that they are somewhat wider placed than a set of drop bars is one of the problems, so maybe a narrower set of bars is one of the things I need to consider.

I don't really like the idea of aerobars, I think fitting the brakes and gear levers in a safe position could be a problem.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:18 pm

I would pop on some bar ends and try those for a while to see if you like it, i think it would give you an indication of whether or not bullhorns are for you.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby il padrone » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:27 pm

Maybe some path-racer bars?

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Chillibones » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:30 pm

Thats a very nice looking bike Il Padrone, and I like those bars, very retro. I don't think they'd go so well on the Merida though.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby DavidS » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:56 pm

You could put bar ends on, but don't put them on the end of the bars, put them a few inches in from the end. I've seen this done and it might work.

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Reman » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:12 am

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:47 am

Two suggestions:

On-One Midge or Fleegle bars

or

Ragley Carnegie (in riser, dropper, flat and carbon flat forms).

Another option is a Titec touring bar...

Bear in mind that both the Fleegle and Carnegie bars may require longer cables as they are quite wide...

I'd strongly consider the On-one Midge for your bike...though being a dropper it will require a change of controls especially shifters
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:00 am

I thought bullhorns would work quite well on my drop bar tourer since I use all of the top of the bar including the bend, but rarely (almost never) use the drops. I've never much liked flats bars, but I have built a flat bar tourer since and compromised by fitting Ergon grips with an intergrated bar end extension, however I'm still in two minds about how much I really like them.

The bullhorn shape is pretty much identical to the tops of drop bars while the upswept ends are similar in position to the pistol grip type levers. I bought a set of Nitto bullhorns, but have never got around to fitting them.

There were some unresolved issues with the controls that I didn't get around to finding the answers for, but recently I saw a bike that used bullhorns with TT style bar-end brake levers and bar-end Dura-Ace shifters mounted on Paul Thumbies in what I thought a simple and elegant solution. I took a photo of the setup, and I will upload it when I get home.

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby find_bruce » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:27 pm

Are you looking to get more comfortable or get more aero ? Plenty of options for getting more comfortable here.

The basic way to get more aero is to reduce the area of your body exposed to the wind by getting more horizontal. They usual way to do that is to lower the position of your hands, by lowering the stem and or fitting drop bars. Aero bars, bull horns, & to some extent bar ends work by putting your hands further forward, causing you to stretch out & thereby lower your body.

To put it bluntly though while you might be able to find a creative way to fit the flat bar integrated brake & shifters onto the bars, you are not going to be able to put them in a place where it is conveneient to use them whilst in the drops. SImilarly with bullhorns - they are not going to work if placed on the horns & if you place them on the horizontal, they will be away from where you want to position your hands.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:04 pm

find_bruce wrote:The basic way to get more aero is to reduce the area of your body exposed to the wind by getting more horizontal. They usual way to do that is to lower the position of your hands, by lowering the stem and or fitting drop bars.

Aero flat bar :mrgreen:

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby clackers » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:08 pm

Chillibones wrote:Hi Reman,

I have some bar ends fitted, but I think that the fact that they are somewhat wider placed than a set of drop bars is one of the problems, so maybe a narrower set of bars is one of the things I need to consider.


Why couldn't you cut your bars so the ends are only shoulder wide, Chillibones?
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby find_bruce » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:27 pm

il padrone wrote:Aero flat bar :mrgreen:

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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby Chillibones » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:24 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I think it will either be Bullhorns or the touring type of bars.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby just4tehhalibut » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:52 am

Take care when buying bullhorns as to the width, a lot of the modern bars are made for a narrowed shoulder 'Superman or triathlon style. You should also consider butterfly (or called trekking) bars, here's an example
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/raleigh-trekking-comfort-handlebars-silver-prod21511/
Although these bars are also a little lacking in width and perhaps stiffness they might be more comfortable.
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby bosvit » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:21 am

A good thing about bullhorns is that you can get a set of bar end shifters which last forever and are fairly cheap.

They look really neat on bullhorns with a set of cheapie hand brakes from your local lbs or even cheaper from your local tip or even off of one of the kids old bikes in the shed.......

I've seen this set up a couple of times and I am currently collecting all the bits to do exactly the same myself as soon as my current chain and cluster wears out on my commuter/training bike
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby MattyK » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:25 am

Image??
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Re: Alternative handlebars for a flatbar road bike?

Postby bosvit » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:45 pm

MattyK wrote:Image??

LOL drop bars for flat bars.... :lol:
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