Adjusting bars/handles?

I have recently fitted a Nimbus Shadow handle set to my Nimbus 36, and a KH T bar handle to my KH29.

When I first set up the 36 with the Shadow handle, I fitted all the bits including the rear T bar. I didn’t shorten the stem of the T bar. I added lights as far forward as possible. I found the uni very difficult to ride.

The issue was that the long bars put a lot of weight a long way out from the central vertical axis of the uni, making it difficult to steer: it was hard to start a turn and hard to finish a turn. This was particularly noticeable at low speed, which is often when you need the most fine control.

I looked at the options and removed the rear T handle and cut the front one short. It is now as short as it can get without there being any danger of catching it with my knees. I got some lighter-weight lights. It is now much more rideable. Today I did 22+ miles and used the bars for all except the last part of a long steep climb.

I was so impressed with the shortened bars on the 36 that I decided I wanted some for the 29. Realising that the configuration I had chosen for the 36 was pretty similar to all the photos I had seen of the KH handle, I chose the KH instead of the Shadow.

Again, I found that setting it long affected steering and handling generally, and setting it short made it work better.

So my question is, why is it that when I look at pictures of some of the serious distance unis here so many of you not only have really long handle sets, but also lots of weight on them with lights, bottles, aero bars, etc.?

My only guess is that you find that the longer bar and slower steering improves directional stablility on the road.

I tend to ride a mixture of road and track. However, counting myself as an experienced rider (started 1987, I own 20, 24, 26, 28, 29 and 36 inch unis, I have ridden on and off road for many hundreds of miles, I’m good for 10 - 20 miles without a stop) I just cannot get on with long heavy bar arrangements like so many of you appear to use. What am I missing?

I love my KH T bar. I use carbon bar ends and they have held up for years. I have tried using aero bars mounted on my T-bar but found it made the uni bigger an awkward so I took them off after a couple months. It did make long saddle time more comfortable, but the front heavy rig caused some UPDs.

I do serious distance but I really don’t think I would like some of the huge custom handle setups that have been posted here in the past. I might put the aero bars back on for a long trip.