handlebars -> long vs short

I’ve been looking at different handlebar setups around here for awhile. It seems that they pretty much fall into two categories: short ones and long ones.

The short ones I’ve seen lately are usually kh t-bar setups and seem to be less than a foot in front. Obviously the this setup isn’t capable of being longer, which I guess explains why there are so many short setups with the popularity of this bar system.

The long ones seem to be similar and length and stick way out in front, looks like at least 18" maybe more. There also seems to be a lot of these, and they look to be mostly homegrown types, but all seem pretty similar in length out in front. A lot of these have aero/time trials bars on them.

Just trying to figure out the advantages/disadvantages of these setups.

I use the Shadow handlebars (from UDC), and they are set up such that it is just under 1 ft from the front of the saddle’s plastic handle to the end of the handlebar bar ends. This setup gives you a choice between curved and straight bars. I use the curved one on my 36" and the straight section on my 32".
I think that, in general, road riders prefer the handles out a ways, and off-road riders prefer them close to the seat (or no handlebars at all, they just use the seat handle). (I don’t use bars on my muni.) For me, the handlebars just provide a nice place to put my hands on a long ride. After a couple hours of continuous riding, if you have your arms out all the time, it gets tiring. I think the handlebar distance is just a matter of each person’s preferred riding posture. I ride more upright, so the handles aren’t too far out there. Some riders have a more forward-leaning posture, and therefor have them farther out. Just my opinion.

Lance, could you please post a pic of your handlebar setup.
I’ve been feeling a small, niggling pain in my lower back when riding, since I put my bars on. I’ve never felt that sort of pain before…Its usually when battling really bad road camber.

I’ve tried a couple of different setups, but not anything sat upright. I’d been considering taking them off completely, to save my poor back :frowning:

Attached is a pic of my current setup, any tips would be appreciated. Lower seems worse.



I prefer my bars being shorter so that they don’t get in the way when I am mounting :slight_smile:

After posting my comment this morning, I decided to adjust to shorter and higher. I’ve put about 10 miles on Beast today and it seems a much better ride. I’m no longer leaning into the handlebars, just using them for a comfortable place to put my hands.

I need to try this setup on some of the hills about here now, to see if I can still pull on them a bit…

Pic in next post (not taken yet)

OK, here are pics of my handlebar setups. I just put them so they are about where my hands normally fall if I’m sitting in a normal position. I can still lean forward from time to time when needed, like climbing a hill.
As previously mentioned, when you buy the Shadow set, you get both curved and straight bars. I’m not really sure which I prefer, both seem pretty comfortable, although I have the straight one angled up a little. (I don’t think I would like it straight out.)



Pic of how I’ve had mine today. If the weather is at least half decent tomorrow I’ll chuck a 30 mile ride in, to let you know properly if its more/less comfortable (for me at least)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t look like you’re using the full Shadow handle setup - I thought it came with a base and everything? :thinking: it looks like you’re essentially just running the front bit, in the same way you’d run a KH T-bar. I didn’t think that was possible!

Yep, you’re wrong… :smiley:
That’s a KH indeed. I just installed one on my 29". But mine is close to the saddle, as I’m still getting used to it. I can do one hand for a long time, but the second hand can be on the bar for only a short amount of time so far. It helps a lot with achieving a smoother ride, though sometimes I get into phases where my body doesn’t want to face the road and starts to twist sideways – something you went through, if I remember a post you opened. Riding more is probably the answer. How more though, as my bike-comp just hit the 500km mark!
(end of the thread hi-jacking!)

Well, you’re sort of right. The Shadow base has the same tubular openings fore and aft, and I’ve seen people run both handles at the same time – the curved one in the front and the straight one in the rear. I’ve seen them use the rear bar for strapping things on, like a bike rack, and I’ve seen them use it as kind of a tow bar for when they are walking or carrying it. Anyway, I didn’t see too much use for running a bar out the back, so I just used the curved one in the front. It’s pretty commonly done that way. Then when I put the 32 together, I had to come up with a custom arrangement anyway, so I just used the straight bar for that, along with my own made-up mounting arrangement. Voy-la.

edit: Just to be clear, the Shadow setup is a “Nimbus” (comes from UDC), and is not a KH product.

Ahh, so you run the full saddle assembly, but just not the rear bar? For a second it looked like you missed out on this part:


And pierrox, I know how a KH T-Bar attaches, I just thought LanceB had done a similar setup using a Nimbus. It stumped me for a second. I think I’m going blind! :smiley:

EDIT: So your 32" isn’t using the ‘shadow’ handle base? Maybe I’ll read through your 32" thread and see how you set that up then! :smiley:

No, the 32" doesn’t use the Shadow base. (And you won’t find a description in my original 32" build thread, because I never went into detail there). I’m using a Qu-ax “Air” saddle (modified somewhat), and those saddles use the standard bicycle “rail”-style mounting arrangement (ergo, the Shadow base doesn’t work). I didn’t want to use the KH handle because it would have required modification. (I should have gone ahead and used it, it would have been easier). I decided to use the extra straight Shadow bar. This involved a bit of design/fabrication work (like everything else on that uni). I used a regular brake holder bracket fastened under the saddle. I used a piece of 7/8" solid aluminum rod to go through the holder bracket tube, and it anchors to a bracket attached to the seatpost. The other end of the rod goes into the handlebar tube, which is clamped using a clamp fabricated from a brake lever clamp. The handlebar tube is cut at an angle to fit closely with the brake bracket tube.
It’s probably difficult/impossible to follow all that in one’s mind’s eye, which is probably why I didn’t explain it in the original thread, but since you were interested, there it is. If you study the photo, you can probably see what I’m talking about. But I really doubt that anyone else (in their right mind) would undertake a similar setup. Like I said before, looking back, I should have just gone with the KH bar and made it work. Would have been easier in the long run, and probably more reliable (although this one works well, after I got the “kinks” out of it).

Oups my bad, I confused the photo with the Juni’s Oracle… :sunglasses:
It was between your two posts, which confused my three brain cells left! :smiley:

I think my brain just melted… :roll_eyes: Didn’t know the ‘air’ saddle uses rail fittings, I almost bought one not long ago! glad I didn’t :smiley:

I think I understood your setup, sort of. Brake lever holder (standard Muni brake thing) under saddle, metal pole going through it, other end of metal pole somehow attached to seatpost, Shadow ‘straight’ bar attached to front end of that. Or something to that effect. I’ve wondered about the effectiveness of such a setup before, as I think I would prefer a handlebar attached to the seatpost as opposed to just hanging off the front of my saddle (and annoyingly I can’t seem to find the Coker Pi-Bar here in merry ol’ England).

After putting 30ish miles on Beast today, with her current set-up, I’ve decided I prefer close and high with the bars. No niggling pain in the lower back, and still able to lift outta the saddle using the bars, on the evil hills around here :sunglasses:

I’m still having some issues with road camber, to the point I moved my saddle to the right a bit, to counteract it…I’ll find a thread more suitable for that topic though :slight_smile:

Join the club…
Or join that thread:
which was started by Piece Maker, and which I think highlights some of the issues some of us have. :slight_smile:

Thanks Pierrox, I had a read through. Unlike Piece Maker on that thread, the body twist only kicks in on really bad road camber for me. I’m sure in a couple hundred more miles I won’t even think about it…

There are other similar threads round here too - mine was mostly a beginner’s uncomfortable-ness on a big wheel :smiley: