A bit of searching and reading would get you your answers but since you asked: they greatly reduce wobble, let you get some weight off the seat, tuck you in a more aerodynamic position, give you somewhere to have your brake handle, can help steer and generally make you more stable at speed.
I like my handles lower and further out than most.
If you were thinking about getting the Coker handlebars you should keep in mind that a few riders have complained about the bars on the handles hitting their knees while riding. A lot of distance riders seem to like the T7 handle which will attach directly to your seat and then you need to have a rail type seatpost.
Are you set on the V2? From what I have heard the V2 frame is quite heavy, but it does look kind of cool. You might want to checkout the Nimbus Nightrider from unicycle dot com, it has a better tire, rim, and frame.
I would like to try one, just to try it, and so many good riders say it’s great.
I don’t think I want one really. I’m a sloppy rider, and I like to “run off” , my ineptitude, Maybe I am totally wrong about how it looks like this stuff may complicate my not infrequent crashes. I am getting pretty good at bailing, and like to keep it simple.
As far as handlebar crashing, I had a number of hits with the front of the seat plastic handle nailing my ankel, but have had no problem with the T7 hitting me. The T7 never seems to be in my way. I ride with a T7 on a Nimbus 36.
I have a V2 with the handle bars and I am happy with them. My legs do not hit the bars while riding, but my inner thighs have been bruised a couple times during UPDs because of hitting the handle grips. The handle grips also get shifted back during falls when they hit the ground, but I just knock them back into place with my hand.
My computer fits nicely between the handle grips. I agree with all the other benefits listed by others above and I also just like having a place to rest my arms during long trips.
As far as the V2 goes, it is a little heavier than other 36s but it doesn’t bother me. I like the way it looks and it is very rigid. I don’t plan on winning any races so I don’t think I would notice a one or two pound difference anyway. One thing that was annoying at first was that my leg was hitting the frame a little because it sticks out further than other 36s. But now that I have been riding it a couple of months, my legs never hit the frame anymore.
Ok, i’m convinced on geting a handlebar once I get a 36er, but now i’m torn between the V2 and the Nimbus nightrider. I like those especailly since i could lock them up at bike racks, which will be necessary for me since i’ll be living in college dorms for the next few years. I’m leaning toward the V2, but I’m still not sure about the handlebars because of the accounts of others…
Just bought one of these “handlebar kits” the nimbus shadow handle set.
My plan was to buy something larger than my 24" mountain for the near future.
However, I wanted to “try” this out with what I had.
Good thing. I had some major injury falling and here’s some advice.
1.) The additional “tip down” force tends to create a “very fragile” stability. As you enjoy leaning forward with your weight on the bars and seat more comfortable and going fast, the slightest disruption will cause you to crash. Not just a normal “land on your feet” UPD. More like a forward end/over/end fall. Don’t think so? Next time you ride, try leaning forward a little more…and more…you will find yourself going faster…but then…
2.) I recommend you “do not” angle the seat at all. Keep it level and do not lean on the bar too much. Put your hands on the bar mainly to compensate for side/side wobble, when trying to go faster.
3.) There is a basic design problem with the “geared” post and “geared” saddle mounting bracket. It comes loose after 10 minutes of riding. Why? Not the screw, but the basic gear mesh of the two parts. Typically, with “good gear mesh” the points do not come in contact, but rather the flats so there is better contact area. You can remedy this by filing the tips before assembly. Also, the surface contact of the single M10x30 button head bolt is crappy. You should try to find a washer with a small OD(17mm or less).
Keep in mind, this was tested on a 24" unicycle not a 36". It’s possible the larger wheel will roll better and be more stable. Pratt and Geezer don’t seem to have any problems with it. However, you must also be better skilled to ride such a big wheel, also. I’d recommend to anyone before putting on handle bars to try them out on smaller unicycle, first. So you can get the feel and ride “cautiously”, I believe using these bars and riding fast is for advanced/expert level. I thought I was pretty rock solid riding on grass and large gravel, and I can ride with just pedal pressure for balance(no arms needed). There is very little reporting by riders using this on anything less than a 36".
If you are at your max safe RPM at 12 mph on a 24"… you’ll reach your max safe RPM at 18 mph on a 36"!!!
That’s why the handlebar works better on big wheel: big wheels requires more torque but don’t suffer from overspinnig at extreme RPM as smaller wheels do. Keep your handle bar for your big wheel! I use it on my hunirex and it is perfect for the job
It might just be a matter of getting used to it. I’ve been using handlebars for the last few years and now anytime I ride hands-free (eating a snack, getting something out of my backpack etc) it feels very unstable. In fact, when riding fast I’m not game to let go of the bars because I find the speed wobbles (both longitudinal and lateral) very unsettling.
Maybe yours is defective. I have over 3000km on my Shadow base/bar and it’s never come loose once. When I first set it up I cranked it down pretty tight and used threadlocker on the bolt.
Again, I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it. Same with the larger wheel sizes - compared to smaller wheels I would describe a 36" as harder to mount but easier to ride.