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Why not flat bars?(5 posts)

Why not flat bars?nicholasdunford
May 17, 2003 4:48 PM
I am having a decent amount of hand numbness, and after doing searches on this website, I am not alone. There seem to be different opinions on the fix, but is seems to come down to a stem at a comfortable height, and not being too stretched out and having a lot of weight on your hands. It seems like an easy way to accomplish this is with a flat bar setup like many of the more "comfortable" "commuting" road bikes have. But the flat bar seems to be very unpopular and I was wondering why this is? I know for myself, and many of the other people on this site, racing isn't really the most important aspect. I like to get on my bike, not be in pain, and ride for a long time. So for the average Joe like me who is trying to find that happy medium between efficiency and comfort, is there any reason not to go to a flat bar setup?

I am a newbie, so feel free to rip me a new one if it is justified.
Used 'em for awhile on my commuter. If they work for you...cory
May 17, 2003 5:03 PM
I had flats on an old Trek I used for my 11-mile (one way) commute for a year or so--it was just a standard touring bike, dead stock except for the flat bars and some old MB thumbshifters and brake levers (road levers won't fit most mountain bike bars). I rarely used the drops in traffic, and it helped me see better.
For short rides, which is all I did with them, they worked fine. You'd lose the variety of hand positions you get with drops, of course, and you couldn't get as aero, but on a commuter, that's not a factor. I almost never use the drops anyway.
A simpler swap with some of the same benefits might be a mustache bar from Rivendell--you can keep all your existing controls, and you get a couple of places to put your hands. Check
re: Why not flat bars?torquecal
May 17, 2003 7:00 PM
I think a lot of it is the hand position issue you mention. Some people never manage to get comfortable on long rides with the limited hand positions most flat bars offer.
flat bars & cane creek ergo bar ends......stik__boy
May 18, 2003 4:02 AM
VERY ergonomically correct bar ends. not true bar ends,.... kinda like a bar "T"??? so your weight isnt all the way forward. have them on my mtb..... also known as my "urban assault vehicle"... all day comfortable. i know trek, klein, and lemond are all offering a bike with this as a standard set-up right now.
"Chicken levers" on your drop bars could be an alternative...The Walrus
May 18, 2003 7:44 PM
...combined with a stem that gives a bit more rise. By "chicken levers" (actually another poster's pejorative term)I mean the top-mount secondary brake levers used on a lot of cyclocross bikes; they mount inline between your STI or Ergo levers, clamping to the bar next to the "bulge" in the center. You can ride on the tops of the bars and still operate the brakes without going back to the hoods or drops. Far be it from me to toot Supergo's horn, but they have Tektro's version of this set-up for $20, which is way less than anyone else. Best upgrade I've made to my 'cross and touring bikes....