Two Spoke Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am an old man just getting into biking (again, after 35 years). I find it difficult to get bent down to the 'bent around' racing handlebars. Is there any reason that I cannot use the streighter off road handle bars? I can see these being much more comfortable.

Thanks
Greg
 

·
Grenouille
Joined
·
161 Posts
Got a new bike this spring with straight bars. Otherwise it's very "road bike"-ish. Love it. Bars can even be lowered to more of a drop position. If I were doing centuries I'm sure I'd rather have drop bars, but for my usual 25-35 mi rides this is fine. Comfortable and more feeling of control.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,350 Posts
My suggestion would be to do with a flat bar, or even bullhorns, and one of these:



Ok, maybe not an adjustable stem from WalMart, but an adjustable one nonetheless. You can start out high, and as you find yourself getting a bit more flexible, lower it a few degrees. You may find yourself in a more aero position at some point. If not, no worries.
 

·
Older than Hack
Joined
·
147 Posts
The one downside is you may find you have numbness in your hands/wrists due to the straight bars. There are lots of solutions. I use IronMan gloves. I've also used different handlebar arrangements at times. Probably the best are trekking bars which give you many different hand positions. At 47, though, I don't feel as comfortable in drops as I used to.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,350 Posts
Good point, Mr. Doohickie. A little sweep (pullback) is a good thing. I put some fairly straight drag bars on my Harley. After only 15 minutes of riding, my wrists were so damaged I almost didn't make it home, and had pain for weeks after. I swapped them out for bars off a big touring bike, and now ride in comfort. No different than a bicycle, really.
 

·
Ridin Dirty
Joined
·
160 Posts
Well do they make some ape hangers for mt bikes, that would be cool lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I'm fairly old too (late 50s) and I strongly urge you to consider continuing to use drop-type bars, but make them comfortable for you by changing the shape, height and possibly how far they are from the saddle (reach). The reason I say this is that they provide such a variety of positions, and the positions are much more natural than straight bars - with the possible exception of bull horns (see below).

My hands and wrists are always bothering me quite a bit when I use mountain bike type bars for any length of time because of the positon of the grips - perpenduclar to the bike frame - and the lack of variety of positions available to shift around my position on longer rides.

A MUCH more natural position for the hands is parallel to the frame, the position they're in when riding "on the hoods" on drop bars or on the ends of bullhorn bars. when you drop your hands to your sides, this is the position the hands naturally fall into. This is a very important consideration.

Your problem with drop bars may be the height and reach of the bars and shape of the bars. Consider this: a higher drop type or bull horn handle bar, let's say at a height even or a little above the saddle height can give you everything a straight bar at a similar height can give you but much more. It can give you:

A "perpendicular" grip when you're on the tops - similar to a flat bar

Two different "parallel" grips - one on the hoods (which bullhorns also give you) and one in the drops

An in between wrist position when you're riding on the forward sweep/curve area of the bars (where they turn forward towards the brake levers)

The drops can be ignored, but are there - and very handy to have for the times when you want to get down out of the wind or just change your position - for whatever length of time you can tolerate.

For less than $100 you can completely change the shape of the bars to whatever you like as well as the reach and height (with a new stem).

You can set your bars up so your wrist is in a neutral (as opposed to flexed or hyper extended) position when you're in your most commonly used position (for me that's the brake hoods and tops).

You can set your bars up so that your weight bearing is shared between your butt, legs (on the pedals) and arms- in any proportion you want.

So many drop bar riders make the mistake of thinking that drop bars require a low, uncomfortable, racy position with a LOT of weight on the arms. This is absolutely false and drives a lot of people away from them to bars that really aren't designed for long road-type riding (as opposed to so much more variable mountain bike type riding).

Of course, you should go with whatever configuration is most comfortable to you, but I've tried using straight bars for road riding and it was very, very uncomfotable for anything more than about 1/2 hour.

Good luck!
 

·
Drink plenty of water!!!
Joined
·
328 Posts
Your grifters will not work on straight bars so you will be looking at a quite large price tag for the change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have not yet learned what 'grifters' are but I have ordered new shifters and brake handles. I think that should suffice.

greg
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top