Setting up and getting used to a handlebar

I just got a KH T bar for my 36. I’ve been riding every day for 2 years, but today felt like my first day all over again. It’s hard! Do you guys have any tips for riding with a handlebar? Here’s a picture of how I have it set up currently

Things that now seem way harder:

  • breaking
  • turning
  • mounting
  • comfortable riding posture -

On the other hand, I now feel way steadier on rough terrain

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I have mine closer to my saddle, a matter of personal preference,. I continue to use my saddle handle for mounting. If you are trying both hands on from the get go I would try riding with your dominant hand on first, I comfortably ride with my right hand on and with both hands on flat non cambered straight aways.

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I found once I put the touring bar on it definitely created a mental barrier for me while mounting , I’m not sure why. It was something that I had to overcome, that is why I use my saddle handle to mount. Once again a matter of preference. Once I’m on and cruising along I really love having the bar.

Before installing the handlebars, were you comfortable riding with both hands on the saddle ?

If you’ve never ridden with handlebar before, I’d advise you to put it as close as possible to the saddle, and later you’ll be able to adjust it to your preferences.

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I put my brake lever way closer to the seat, since usually in situations where I’d use the brake I’m sitting up straight (though maybe higher-skilled riders stay crouched on the handlebar when braking downhill?)

Start with the handle closer to the seat and gradually move it further away as you get used to riding with a handlebar. Going from a saddle handle to the pictured setup is a big shift in riding position.
If you are not able to ride both hands on the handle practice that skill before you move to a stretched handlebar setup.
I would also aim for a setup with a lower positioned handlebar (than you current setup) as I believe it gives better control and more comfort as you are able more naturally to put more pressure on the handle and less on the saddle (a more bike like posture). But there is no right or wrong you just need to experiment to find your optimal setup (same goes for the brake lever positioning)

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Yes it takes awhile to get used to them but once you do they are very handy.

For turning the natural movement without handlebars is the opposite as what is needed with handlebars. When your hands/arms are in front of you with no handlebars and need to turn you throw your hands/arms in the opposite direction of the turn. With hands on handlebars you push the handlebars in the direction you need to turn. That kind of messes with your natural reaction or muscle memory that everyone develops when you first learned to ride.

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@JimT, Thanks for your tip on turning. That’ll certainly take some getting used too. I’ll bet the hardest part will be turning like that without flailing my arms around all over the place

@Hammer, @unitortoise, @Bug72, and @toutestbon, thanks for the advice on setting the handlebar position. I’ll reel it in a bit and see how that goes