There are too many handle related threads to sift through, so I’m starting my own. Convince me that I need more than the handle that comes with my KH saddle, specifically in the context of big wheel riding. I’ve “tried” the T7 handle (“tried” meaning that I’ve ridden around a few hundred feet), but I didn’t feel any benefit for me.
One possible benefit of a special handle could be that it would provide somewhere to hang a bunch of accessories. Personally, I’d rather carry a back pack than weighing down my unicycle.
I’ve heard that it’s nice to have a place to rest your hands, but I’m pretty comfortable resting my hands on the KH handle.
I’ve heard that it gives you more control, but, for me, most of the control seems to be best supplied from the lower half of my body. If I’m straining my arm, then I’m wasting energy that could be used for riding faster, right?
Are there other reasons I’m missing? Aero-tucking positions?
i like being able to push down on the handle in order to take weight off my sit bones, also to allow me 2 different seating positions, by pushing the handles forward away form you, not down away from you, you can sit much further back on the seat where it is wider. this is a less comfortable position, but it allows for a nice rest on your more comfortable position.
you will never see me riding with those big crazy stick out poles-for-handles though
I think really the only reason to have a big fancy handle is comfort. Many people find those handles more comfortable, hence why they use them.
I get along with the kh handle pretty well aswell but I have been finding it a bit annoying that I don’t have much place to put both my hands at once and the fact that it looks like I’m just crushing my junk to other people.
I would like something along the lines of a GB4 handle that doesn’t stick out too much but gives a good place for my hands to help support my body weight.
I’ve only ridden a tiny little bit with either, but the T7 handle is so much nicer than the GB4 in terms of position. The T7 puts you in a nice riding position, whereas the GB4 just feels odd always. GB4 handles I’ve tried have always felt really dodgy, whereas the T7 was instantly comfortable and in the right place.
To answer the original question, yeah people who ride with the T7 handle do seem to use it to ride lower than normal, in a bit of a tuck position. All the really fast riders I know ride pretty low down.
If you have one it’s a handy place to fit a cycle computer, brake etc.
It’s also nice to be able to comfortably put both hands on. I sometimes ride 2 handed on my KH, but it isn’t nice.
If they weren’t rubbish and in the way for off-road I’d have a T7 handle for sure.
As for control from the upper or lower body, any fast riding is going to involve both, but for sure you do use the upper body, for fast turns, and particularly for general stability, which having a longer lever like the T7 is supposed to help. It really is designed for fast road riding (I guess it’s designed for the sort of riding Roger Davies does, which is the fastest of the fast road riding).
But when it comes down to it, you don’t need one. I’ve ridden thousands of miles, the first couple of thousand on viscount seats with no handle, the rest on KH seats with the standard handle. I know several other people who ride really long distances on stock seats too.
Most of the above suggests that you don’t ride a lot of miles. Or maybe you do, but you haven’t learned the benefits of “more” handle. A few hundred feet is enough to tell you if you hate a handle, but not enough to really get any idea of how you’ll like it beyond that. Your comment about the backpack is what makes me think you don’t do lots of miles. If you do you’ll eventually realize you want less weight on your crotch! This is also where a good two-handed handle can be very useful.
My Coker is set up with three handles. There’s the Miyata front bumper/handle, the Wyganowski “T” handle, and I stuck bar-ends to what was originally intended as a front bumper. I use the bar-ends for a slightly “tuck” position for cruising. It also puts my crotch at more of a bike-like angle on the seat, which probably helps with crotch endurance. I use the T-handle when I’m going slower or need more control. And I use the seat handle occasionally, for mounting in difficult terrain, or for pulling up when riding up the steep stuff. I really like having the choices.
But if your KH handle is working for you, no worries! If, later on, you start wondering if you’re missing anything, ask one of the guys to let you put some real miles on something with a handle to get a better idea.
You don’t need a fancy distance handle, especially if you continue to limit your rides to a few hundred feet. All those distance riders with the fancy handles and doo-dads everywhere are just showing off. Dare to be different!
But in the pictures of Roger racing at Warwick he’s holding the KH handle.
(sorry - I’m just in a stirring mood at the moment - I’ve never used any handle except the KH so I’m not really qualified to comment).
I was of the same opinion as yourself until recently. I’ve covered somewhere around 2500 to 3000 miles on my 29er all without a handle. I did use the plastic handle a little bit, but probably less than 10% of the time.
So, when I came to order my new Nimbus I wasn’t going to bother with the T7 handle. However, it looks good, and is somewhere to mount a cycle computer, so as it was cheaper to order it at the same time as the rest of the uni I got one.
And I wouldn’t be without it! I use it all the time now. My left hand is on it for about 90% of the time, and I often ride with both hands on it - something that I never did before. It’s in just the right place to be very comfortable, both for my hands, and for shifting my weight around on the saddle. It’s also very handy for mounting stuff on, such as lights, comuter, brake handle etc. The rear part isn’t quite so handy, but it does make pushing it around a bit easier.
I can’t say that a large handle is going to be right for you or not, but by using mine I know that it’s right for me.
Longer T7 style handles give a great position for cruising, but as John Foss said, for tight control you still want to use the seat handle. Warwick was very twisty, and the longer handle wasn’t much advantage.
My homemade handle is pretty much like the T7 now (made with alu tube and bar-ends), and I find it a good improvement from only having the KH handle. Before that though, I’d done most of my 36er riding (inc. End to End) with just a KH handle, which I held with both hands mostly. The longer handle thing felt odd to start with, but I wouldn’t ever choose to go without a longer handle on the road now. Definitely the way to go.
Though personally I don’t think it enables any more speed - it’s just more comfy, at speed or otherwise.
I guess I avoid long flat sections of road, which are what cause most of the discomfort. When I do ride them, I just push down on the KH handle every so often. Also, I find a higher cadence not only gets me through the flats faster, it also seems to reduce the pressure on the sit bones.
For the record, I haven’t ridden very far yet. My farthest rides have been around 25 miles long, but I have been planning out longer local routes that I will be trying out soon.
As for less weight on my crotch, I only weigh 140 lbs., and my water pack is probably only 7 or 8 lbs. full. Compared to carrying a pack leaning over when riding a bicycle, carrying it sitting up straight doesn’t seem bad at all. I guess if I were carrying more gear for a solo multi-day ride, a pannier of some sort would be nice.
My brake handle works great mounted on the KH rail adapter. I keep my “cycling computer” in my head, and my larynx makes a fine bell.
I recently switched from a GB4 handle to the T7. Before I put at least a couple dozen miles on it, I distinctly DID NOT like the T7. I definitely think you need to spend more time with a distance handle before you recognize the benefits.
Now, I’m happy I made the switch. It definitely allows for a bit more of a tuck, more space for accessories, and a number of hand positions.
I’m happy to have access to the KH seat handle, which I did not have when I had the G4 since it replaces the seat handle. The seat handle is definitely what I use for tight control, but for distance, there are a few different hand positions I use on the T7. I recently did a ride up Mt. Diablo, and I noticed on the decent, my left hand gravitated toward the seat handle for tight control while my right hand was on the T7. I was thinking this would be nice when i finally install my brake since I won’t have to sacrifice tight control to grab the brake handle (which clearly wants to be installed on the right prong of the T7.
That being said, going touring handle-less has its benefits. Less weight, and less stuff to get in the way. If you do a good mix of off-road and only moderate distance, I’d stick with just the freeride saddle.