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Handlebar Problems(5 posts)

Handlebar Problemschris-a
Jan 21, 2002 7:33 AM
I've had my new road bike for about a year now. It came with a Richey ergonomic bar, 44 cm I would guess, kind of longing reach and drop. My old 70's era Motobecane had a classic style bar without hoods that you could ride on. It was comfortable in the drops with brake levers easy to reach.

I've got medium size hands, but shortish fingers. After playing with it alot, I've got the bar/stem/hoods position set where its quite comfortable in the hoods, but too big a drop for neck comfort and too long a reach to the levers from the drops. As a result I don't like hilly rides now.

I'm thinking about changing the bars to either the Salsa Poco or the Richey Biomax II based on some posted opinions and the figures for drop and reach. I've also thought about switching to non-ergo bars.

I'm looking for feedback on this dillema, anyone with experience on the Poco or Biomax II, and sugestions for a GOOD non-ergo bar.

complicated issue...C-40
Jan 21, 2002 8:11 AM
Unless you have accurate info on your Ritchey bars, how are you going to compare them with other prospects? The reach dimensions only tell the distance from the center of the bar in the clamp area to the hooked portion of the bar. It says nothing about the ability to reach the brake levers with the hands in the drops.

The most common postiion for brakes hoods places them with a slightly upward angle. Shimano hoods are more easily angled upward. Look at photos of Lance Armstrong's bike for an example. They must be up 15 degrees. Campy hoods are difficult to position with more than a few degrees upward angle.

The bend of some bars slopes down from the top of the bar to the brake hood, lowering the brake hood relative to the saddle (ITM, TTT and others). Deda and Easton bars are very much horizontal in this area and position the hoods quite high.

Deda bars have the shortest reach to the brake lever that I've found with an ergonomic bar. ITM bars are almost as good, but have the downward slope that requires rotating the bars to bring the hoods up in height and positioned with an upward angle. I can't recommend Easton bars to anyone with small hands. I'm using Eastons now, but the reach to the levers is a real stretch. The Deda shape has been the best for my small hands.

For reference, the length of my middle finger is 3 inches. My hand is 7-1/4 inches measured along the middle finger to the wrist.
re: Handlebar Problemsgtx
Jan 21, 2002 1:38 PM
I like the Cinelli Model 66, which is the classic deep drop bar, but you might like the model 64, which has a more shallow drop. They make these in a 26.0 clamp now. It's a classic non-ergo bend.
re: Handlebar ProblemsMGS
Jan 21, 2002 5:19 PM
I have small hands, size seven, which constitutes a small mans glove.

I've used both the Salsa and Richey. I found the Salsa Poco a funny reach and somewhat uncomfortable when changing positions. Everyone raved about them, but I could live without them

I liked the Richey biomax. Good drop, short reach, and more importantly, allowed for the brake levers to be rotated higher on the bar to allow for a shorter reach.

My favorite turned out to be the TTT Prima 199. Even though it has specs that look larger than the Salsa, the drop is small, the reach with the brakes on is short, and the brake reach in the drops is very short.

Also, it is comfortable to ride. I use this bar and will not go back to the Salsa, but the Richey is a good alternative.
re: Handlebar Problemschrisa
Jan 22, 2002 9:23 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'll check out those other bars.