I’ve been thinking about that ergo/triangular handle a bit more. I’m OK with the big pointy bit at the front, but am wondering about the issue of knee strikes on the corners back by the seat. That could be painful. Thoughts on that?
On a 36er I wouldn’t worry about it. Actually, it seems to me that on pretty much any uni you should have the seat high enough not to hit those with your knees. People don’t have problems hitting their knees on the saddle bumper.
Loose an inch in width!
The photos below show the new configuration of the Shadow Handle on my O29. (Guess where I got the idea of for ergo/triangular handle depicted in my prior post?)
With a standard width straight T-bar shortened in length and mounted on the Shadow Mount so it sat close to the saddle I was having problems with the bottoms of my gripped hands bumping my thighs while pedaling. One way to reduce that problem would be to have the T-bar extended further outward, or to use the bent bar in the upturned configuration. However, I used such a (extended, upturned) configuration in the past, and I often got tangled up with it during UPDs, which resulted in some nice bruises on my thighs.
After getting bruised one too many times I figured locating the handle closer to the seat would reduce the problem. As a bonus I really like having the grips closer and lower so that my arms are straighter when grabbing the handlebar in a relaxed position. This also makes it easier to pull up hard on the handle when I need to, since I’m starting with almost straight arms, as opposed to starting with bent arms. It also facilitates resting with straight arms on the handles while riding the smooth stuff.
The solution to reducing thigh bump (as others have noted) was to trim of both ends of the T to make a narrower handle that is less in the way – both while pedaling, and during a UPD.
Using a hacksaw and a Park Tools Saw Guide I cut about 1/2" (12.5 mm) off each end of the T, reducing the overall width from the original 6 3/8" (160 mm) to 5 3/8" (135 mm).
Now I barely notice bumping my hands on my thighs while pedaling (and only when I hold the very bottom of the bar ends on the outside ends of the T). Moreover, I have yet to get tangled up in this reconfigured handle during a UPD. Which is why I want to fabricate a triangular/ergo (“Christmas Tree”) grab handle for my Nurse Ben mounting plate on the O26. Time to go see what goodies I can find at the Bike Collective that can be used to make my new grab handle.
is it just personal preference to have a hand brake to assist in descends? how often do you guys use the hand brakes? I am contemplating a nimbus 29er soon and wondering if i should get a hand brake on it now or order it stock and add later as my skills get better.
I would add it later. It’s not about being a better rider. A good handlebar is helpful though. Also, if you are going with Maggie’s you can pick up a reconditioned used set much cheaper from Bryce’s on this forum. There are other brake options you may consider if you are a bit of a DIY’er.
Needing a brake depends on a lot. If you are running really short cranks you may want a brake. If you are on long descents you may want a brake. A heavy wheel could also be a candidate. I don’t usually use my brake, but when I do I’m glad I have it.
(Looks like jtrops beat me to it, but here’s my $0.02 to add to it.)
If you do a “Tag Search” for “brakes” you’ll find lots of threads discussing the questions you raise. See, for instance:
Basically, if you are new to riding you’re probably better off waiting to get brakes on your 29er. When I started riding muni I rode my N24 for a couple of years before I felt I really might be able to make use of a brake. Maybe you are at this point now too. Like you, I started using a brake once I started riding a larger wheel (KH29). Like many others, I started out with refurbished Magura rim brakes that I bought from Brycer :D, after I bought the uni. (Check out Brycer’s current selection in this thread: Magura Green Frog limited edition HS33 brakes, new and used)
Brakes really only come in handy when you are riding very steep descents on trails, or long steep descents on roads. On trails they allow for greater control by slowing things down and evening out the power cycle of the pedals. On long descents on both roads & trails brakes give your leg muscles and knees a brake from having to keep substantial pressure on your pedals throughout the pedal cycle, particularly during the up-stroke, when the pedals are coming up behind you. :o
Of course, if you are shopping for 29ers now and can afford one with a disk brake, it will be there for the times when you need it in the future. That is, unless the brake lever gets demolished by a rock during a UPD before you are ready to use it. This is another reason brakes aren’t recommended for brand new riders – the more UPDs one has, the more likely the brakes will be destroyed during one of them. Better to ride without brakes until the UPD frequency is reduced.
I hope this helps. You’ll find many more opinions in the other threads devoted to this very topic.
UPD in Utah
This is how I replaced the T part of my KH T-bar.
I sometimes hit my tights in an UPD with a T-bar (making it narrower helped much, but not fully) and I had not enough grip for jumping.
I looked at some turtle-like constructions where you have a grip and brake on the straight part of T-bar and then a T part (Custom Grab Handles, post what you got!). But then I decided that I prefer to have my brake accessible most of the time, so I would not use the T part that much.
I decided to take a regular bike handlebar and cut it as it’s curvature looked promising. It feels nice in place and first impression is good but for one thing. I would prefer it directed more to the left, which means I would need to take the other side of the handlebar. I will probably get another one and try. Also after first ride I don’t feel the problem of having just one hand rest. I’m putting the other hand over the first one and it seems comfortable enough for my non-muni rides.
Nice idea with the bike handlebar! Is there a reason you keep the plastic bumper on?
Great idea of using half an old handlebar in your KH T-handle mount.
If you’d like to move the grip closer to the seatpost and closer to your center of gravity for better hopping strength, it’s pretty easy to cut off the handle part of a grab handle. The photos below show the result with my ghetto flat saddle mounted on a T7 seat base, but if you imagine the same saddle outfitted with a KH T-handle, you get the idea.
Alternatively, you can replace the standard grab handle with a freestyle handle (which is made without the handle).
I find being able to grip more closely to the seatpost to have distinct advantages for the control needed during MUni, and for hopping, while gripping farther away feels better for XC and especially road riding.
I guess every configuration has it’s advantages and which one is best depends on the type of riding you are doing.
UPD in Utah
I was looking first for old handlebars that are 22,2 size as KH T-bar, but they are hard to get. Then it turned out that most handlebars have 22,2 on sides, just the middle is 25,4 or 30something. So it is easy material to get.
And for bumper. I was thinking about replacing it to freestyle one, but I have none at the moment, so I kept it as it was.
This mod of the KH bar, although sloppily done, solves the aforementioned problemas (at least for me):
Trimmed crosspiece prevents knee strikes.
Trimmed crosspiece prevents upd entanglements.
Front section allows for non-fiddly grabbing of bar anywhere in any orientation.
Front section allows for two-hand riding with many hand positions to rest hands.
Front section allows you to pull straight up (not slightly left/right)
Front section wrap protects brake handle and bars when upd.
It’s amazing to me that each of the three stock handlebar options has at least one major design flaw:
KH- bar attaches to seat, but seat flexes. Plus two handles prevent you from pulling straight up.
Coker – bar attaches to seatpost (good, doesn’t flex) but wide bars cause knee strikes
Nimbus – fiddly mechanism, requires loctite, compromises seatpost connection.
The ONE4ALL Unicon Handle
You can mount the Brake under the saddle handle or in front of the saddle handle
How does it mount onto the saddle?
I can give you when I get it back. It is currently being tested. You can go to a hardware store, there you will find mounting brackets that look like the omega sign. You can attach them to the screws of the saddle handle and clamp the tube. You have to experiment with different sizes and types. This is not the same for all seats
I decided I wanted something new on the 32 so I hit the LBS and picked up a used aero bar and went to work, after getting the measurements figured out I cut the bar down and then welded it together. other than being just a tad off I think it turned out pretty nice. I rode today at lunch to give it a bit of a shakedown and I think I’m going to like it.
I take it the lower handle is there to protect the brake in the event of a upd?
yes, originally it was the only handle and had the brake on it. I still find my self having UPD’s so I figured I’d just leave it to protect not only the brake but the aluminum grab handles