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  1. #1
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    Wrist pain dang it

    1,300 miles behind me in 16 weeks straight commuting.

    Riding a flat bar bike (Orbea Carpe 3.0). I think the hand position is bugging my wrists. Both left and right, It really hurts to twist my forearms and when I pick up things with even a little mass.

    Looking for comfortable bar ideas. Butterfly? Drop? Bull?
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear that. It sounds pretty severe if it is hurting not just when you're riding, but off the bike as well. Hate to say it but you may need to rest it a while and maybe have someone take a look at it before continuing the high miles with new bars. Aside from that (perhaps unwelcome advice, I haven't tried anything other than flat or riser bars. In general, whether riding or typing, a straight wrist rather than a bent one is preferred ergonomically.

  3. #3
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    Not cycling is not an option. Yes, I am being stubborn and probably stupid.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Bar ends?
    And good luck. Hopefully they`ll straighten themselves out if you work up the mileage more gradually- carefull!
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    I find drop bars to be uncomfortable, myself. The drop on most frames is so huge that it hurts my back.

    By far, I prefer bullhorns or bar ends, if the bike allows for it.

  6. #6
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    I prefer drop bars. You get several hand positions on top of the bars as well as a drop position for riding into the wind. I rotate hand positions a lot when I ride. I use bars with a shallow drop, they are not as aero as a standard drop but more comfortable to ride in when I need to use the drop position.

    If you want to stick with flat bars, try some bar ends.

    100% commuting this year (5700+ miles) with no hand or wrist pain.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    I find drop bars to be uncomfortable, myself. The drop on most frames is so huge that it hurts my back.
    Does take getting used to, and you can loose that "used-to-ism". I find that my back gets "unaccustomed" after a long period of little riding, just like legs, butt, neck... If I drop my bike time way down over the winter, I end up raising my bars (with achey-breaky lower back) after that first long spring ride. Also worth noting that a taller stem (you didn`t buy into that threadless headset business, did you?) or more spacers (and didn`t chop your steerer, if you did go threadless?) can raise the bars reguardless of the frame, as can a shallower drop, like Woodway brought up. Not trying to convince anybdoy who really prefers a different style bar, but keep in mind that bars can usually be raised a bit on any given frame. And you still might not like them.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I100% commuting this year (5700+ miles) with no hand or wrist pain.
    Yay, me too! Um, the percentage, NOT the miles.
    Nor the elevation.
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
    jrm
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    Try something with

    more sweep. the additional sweep will give you a more natural hand position.
    the bontrager satellite, on one freegle or mary

  9. #9
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    Just ordered a pair of these:
    1 Pair Rubber Mountain MTB Bike Bicycle Cycling Lock on Handlebar Grips Ends W | eBay

    If they don't alleviate the pain...I will try a bar with a bit of sweep. The on-one fleegle bar looks good (and pretty affordable).
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  10. #10
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    Those look like a good first step. Hope they help. Other options include altering position on the bike. Raising bars a bit will take pressure off of wrists and hands as will moving your saddle back, down and uptilt just a smidge in each direction to put more weight on your butt and keep the same leg extension. One should never make huge alterations all at once. Just a bit at a time to see how your body reacts.

  11. #11
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    Big sweep, bar ends, and Ergon grips helps a lot with wrist issues.

  12. #12
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    I had the same problem. Ergon grips helped a lot--I got the model meant larger hands although I actually have smaller hands. I also switch my grip around as I ride. Gripping the grips, keeping closed fists and leaning my knuckles against the grips, or leaving my hands open and pressing my palms against the grips with my wrists rotated to whatever angle is comfy. Downside, of course, is that I could get my hands knocked off the bars when hitting a large bump, so I only do it on familiar routes.

    I've broken bones in both wrists and this strategy helps avoid pain. 200-300 miles/week.

  13. #13
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    It might help if you buy some wrist support bands (not to be confused with sweat wrist bands) to wear especially while riding. I was having some wrist pains that I believe mostly came from bad habits, and the wrist supports (don't restrict movement but offer a little extra resistance) helped to keep my wrists straight. The supports are only about $5 each at Wally World. Keep in mind that this will only help if your problems come from bad riding posture/wrist position and not something more serious.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  14. #14
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    There could be a number or reasons why your wrists might be sore. Poor cockpit positioning, whether yours or that of the components', along with your physical conditioning, amongst many other factors blahblahblah ...

    I say check your grips first. I find it makes a huge difference if I have popular brand lock-on grips (even ones with a thicker more "cushy" design) or my ESI Chunky grips. I am a big fan of foam-based grips. Started years ago with Bontrager foam grips and evolved from there. Tried road bar grip tape too but just can't wrap it right on a non-road bar (figures, eh?!?!).

    That and the bar material. I gotta have my carbon. Period.


    Of course neither are a match for when i've been overdo-ing it with the nachos ... and beer ... and rum and cokes ... and chocolate cake. Anatomy fact - the tummy is in between the hips and wrists.

    Oh, and the grips would be easier to change than everything you already have set up (if you're the lazy type ).
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

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  15. #15
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    I feel your pain (literally).

    I've moved away from straight bars - now use a bullmoose (flat with a bit of sweep) and a Carnegie and a Mary (both sweepy "alt" bars). I prefer them to risers, but can still have issues.

    For me personally it feels like wrist pain, but I've discovered that the root of it is actually my thumb/indexfinger. I've used wrist braces and supports, but found they didn't help. Ergon grips feel comfy but they didn't solve the longterm problem. My wrists can be sore just because of one stopsign on the way to work. So I pay a lot of attention to how I'm holding the bar, and how I'm using my brake levers. I spent a lot of time thinking it was my wrists but didn't really see progress until I started focussing on my thumb/finger. But that is just me.

  16. #16
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    OP, Look i dont wanna derail the thread to much but id like to ask you what you are getting up to in your free time.
    To much mastorbation can be very bad for your wrists, im speaking from experience here, you need to start using both hands n spread the load a bit more.
    Its a common occurrence for bike riders to blame their bikes, ive seen this phenomenon hundreds of times....
    Maybe even think of giving it a rest for a few weeks or investigate other methods where the wrists are not used to much.
    I had a mate that had to have a shoulder reconstruction because he wore down his rotator cuff from years of spanking the monkey with his right hand, over those years he was always complaining about his sore right shoulder n wrist, i told him to share the load with his other hand but no, he wouldnt listen..
    Anyway i didnt wanna put you on the spot to much OP, but just have a think about it mate, cheers....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    OP, Look i dont wanna derail the thread to much but id like to ask you what you are getting up to in your free time.
    To much mastorbation can be very bad for your wrists, im speaking from experience here, you need to start using both hands n spread the load a bit more.
    Its a common occurrence for bike riders to blame their bikes, ive seen this phenomenon hundreds of times....
    Maybe even think of giving it a rest for a few weeks or investigate other methods where the wrists are not used to much.
    I had a mate that had to have a shoulder reconstruction because he wore down his rotator cuff from years of spanking the monkey with his right hand, over those years he was always complaining about his sore right shoulder n wrist, i told him to share the load with his other hand but no, he wouldnt listen..
    Anyway i didnt wanna put you on the spot to much OP, but just have a think about it mate, cheers....
    LOL. I really don't spank much, my wife is great at "releasing my steam". I should ask her if her wrists hurt much...
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  18. #18
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    Funny guys. I work in IT, ride at least 250 miles a week and I use butterfly bars after drops were too painful to continue using from the beginnings of carpal tunnel due to excessive time at a keyboard. Had a PT massage them regularly (every 2 weeks) and did daily exercises to strengthen and break up tissue build up - back of hands against the underside of desk and pull up, flexing and massaging the wrists every hour or so... a month off the bike and keyboard finally solved my problems. Hopefully you don't have to go through that too.

    Anyway, when I looked in to it, I saw a few options to alleviate wrist pain:
    TT Bars - useful if you're not climbing too much - moves the stress from your wrists to your forearms and elbows. Downside is it puts you in a more aggressive position which is poorly suited to MTB's (too much seat tube angle).
    Butterfly bars - What I went with. Multiple hand positions available. I keep mine relatively flat, so they're like wide, higher up TT bars. Most people have a higher and a lower position, but because the issue was pressure on my hands, I kept mine flat and had a fore and aft position. Biggest downside is now the weight is shifted to my sit bones, and I don't have a good seat.
    Jones H Bars - similar to Butterfly bars in principle - large amount of sweep, lots of places to grab hold of. I would say these are likely to be the biggest hammer to smash any sized nail that you need - they're also really freakin' pricey.
    On-One Midge bars or Salsa Fargo bars - Drop bars are 23.8mm in diameter, and MTB bars are 22.2 mm in diameter. Thus you can put road components on road bars and MTB bars, but you can only put MTB components on MTB bars. These work ok, but the compatibility with existing parts was a deal breaker for me.
    Moustache Bars - Similar in every way to the butterfly bars. I believe these take road components though.

    In addition to this, there are some companies that produce ergonomic grips. Whether they work or not is a whole different story, but I have no experience in that. I can't remember the name of the company that produces them though.

  19. #19
    jrm
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    yeah, i started shaving the palms of my hands

    just to get my gloves to fit. And i cant see shlt

  20. #20
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    IT GEEK COMMUTER PRIDE!

    I will see how the bar ends work, it might require some time off the bike. I hate the thought of it. It's hard enough for me to lose weight even while cycling all the time.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    IT GEEK COMMUTER PRIDE!

    I will see how the bar ends work, it might require some time off the bike. I hate the thought of it. It's hard enough for me to lose weight even while cycling all the time.
    Don't focus on weight. The scale doesn't tell the whole story. Use progress pictures or find a way to measure body fat %.

  22. #22
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    I have plain risers and I can feel the wrists from time to time....

    I installed barends inboard of the shifter and brake bracket....

    I use them to either get out of the wind or change up the hand position.


    What helps the most is the reverse prayer pose

    You start with the hands and arms just behind the back, and grab the opposite elbows.

    Yoga: Reverse Prayer Pose (Paschima Namaskarasana) - YouTube

    The easy way In tadasana, join your hands behind you in reverse prayer position. If your shoulders feel tight, grab your elbows or interlace your hands behind your back. Draw your shoulder blades onto your back and toward one another. Move the top or the “head” of each arm bone toward the back plane of your body. These actions will stabilize your shoulders and help you open up the front of your chest more fully.
    Last edited by jeffscott; 11-13-2012 at 09:05 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    IT GEEK COMMUTER PRIDE!

    I will see how the bar ends work, it might require some time off the bike. I hate the thought of it. It's hard enough for me to lose weight even while cycling all the time.
    Flat bars are problematic.....make a move of some sort....sooner than later.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanath View Post
    Don't focus on weight. The scale doesn't tell the whole story. Use progress pictures or find a way to measure body fat %.
    My scale tracks BF%. I'm at 37.5% as of this morning. My metabolism adapts. I really didn't work out for two years. I put on 40lbs eating all kinds of crap. I've been bicycle commuting for 16 weeks and eating much better, tracking calories and nutrition. I initially lost 12 lbs. I've been stuck at 208lbs / 37-38%bf for the last three weeks.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    My scale tracks BF%. I'm at 37.5% as of this morning. My metabolism adapts. I really didn't work out for two years. I put on 40lbs eating all kinds of crap. I've been bicycle commuting for 16 weeks and eating much better, tracking calories and nutrition. I initially lost 12 lbs. I've been stuck at 208lbs / 37-38%bf for the last three weeks.
    The scale is probably estimates BF% low.....

    When you stck at a weight.....you have to really up the exercise....or moderately reduce diet.

    Are you drinking fruit juices, gatorade???

  26. #26
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    I ride drops, but I ride them for the hood position. I don't spend much time in the drops, but I use them for a headwind situation. I set up the hood position of my drops just a tiny bit lower than seat height on my commuter. I've ridden bullhorns basically set up the same way. My wrists like the rotated (thumbs pointing forward, basically) position better than a riser/flat bar position. When I do all day epic rides on the mountian bike with flat/riser bar, my wrists complain a little bit. I think the biggest thing is just having options. I switch up positions on longer rides, whenever I think about it.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  27. #27
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    I drink nothing but water.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    I drink nothing but water.
    Wow that takes some disipline.

    Consider adding salt and sugar (sucrose) to the drinks after a ride....you need to replace those carbs within two hours of expending them...

    It keeps hunger under control much better.

  29. #29
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    That was hyperbole, I have a coffee once a week with cream and sugar. I had a hot chocolate last night. I'll have a beer here and there. But by and large, I "only drink water".
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  30. #30
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    BC, how much were you riding before you got into it hot and heavy last summer? Did you go straight from occasional to maniac?
    Recalculating....

  31. #31
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    I used to ride a lot in Colorado, that "regular riding" was back about 3 years ago. When I new we would be moving to town and I would bike commuting, I started riding around our property in the sticks a few miles about 4 times a week.

    So it had been about three years off the bike, then a little riding for about 2 months.

    I started out commuting about 25 miles a week, set my sites on a 70 mile Tour and started cranking up the miles eventually hitting 140 miles total the week of the Tour. The last three weeks I have averaged about 50 miles a week.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  32. #32
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    Bar ends on mid sweep Fleegle bar? How odd would that be?
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    Bar ends on mid sweep Fleegle bar? How odd would that be?
    Who cares if it's odd, if it works? Try it, if it works keep after it, and if anybody laughs or questions it, tell 'em "Least my wrists don't hurt." Then pedal off and let them eat your (comfortable) dust.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    Bar ends on mid sweep Fleegle bar? How odd would that be?
    I've got a Carnegie bar which is pretty similar to the Fleegle. I tried full barends, and the stubby ergons, and didn't really like either.

    For the full barends, on a sweepy bar they splay out and become treecatchers. On a dedicated commuter they'd be fine, but if you're going anywhere near a trail I would recommend against it.

    For the ergons, they were just meh. I really like using them with my riser bar, but I've tried them on my Carnegie a few times and they never last more than a week before I take them off again.

    Oh, and I'll add that just before winter I got a sweepier Mary bar, and wooooow that thing is comfy. I've been using a Carnegie as my main bar for 3 years now, and I like it better than a normal bar, but it's not quite in the sweet spot - basically I'd like either a little bit less sweep, or a lot more. I've seen a few other people comment on that, too. The sweep of the Mary feels perfect though, but it also feels really narrow compared to the Carnegie.
    Last edited by newfangled; 11-16-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Who cares if it's odd, if it works? Try it, if it works keep after it, and if anybody laughs or questions it, tell 'em "Least my wrists don't hurt." Then pedal off and let them eat your (comfortable) dust.
    THANK GOD ... someone with brains that does things that works for them instead of what looks cool to post for people on the internet.
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  36. #36
    jrm
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    Dont think youll need

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    Bar ends on mid sweep Fleegle bar? How odd would that be?
    the bar ends. But i will suggest some Oury grips

  37. #37
    since 4/10/2009
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    I'm tossing around getting some Fleegle or Mary bars for my mtb. My current riser bar doesn't have enough sweep for optimal comfort. Not sure which one to go with.

  38. #38
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    ^^I have nor ridden either, but I googled the Fleegle and came up with a funeral home, so I recommend the Mary's. Plus the Fleegles do not seem to be that different from most bars.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I'm tossing around getting some Fleegle or Mary bars for my mtb. My current riser bar doesn't have enough sweep for optimal comfort. Not sure which one to go with.
    The Mary's really feel narrow to me. I like the sweep, but they don't feel anything like a riser. The less sweepy Carnegie (and presumably Fleegle) does feel like a riser that's just a bit different. If you've ever ridden northroad/albatross/english 3spd bars that's what the Mary feels a lot like. The Carnegie/Fleegle is much more of a middle ground.

    I do really like them both though. And if you do get one, you'll spend forever playing with the angle, because even a little adjustment can really change how they feel.

  40. #40
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    Fleegle...$19.99

    On-One Fleegle Handlebar

    I will know by the end of the week if it helps with my wrists.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  41. #41
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    ^ cool. When you get them, spend a couple of days trying them at different angles.

    I've heard that aiming them at the rear dropout is a good starting point. But you can also run them level, which I did for quite awhile. It completely changes the feel, and can have a big effect on comfort. Now I run mine angled down more than the toptube but less than the downtube...it's not very scientific.
    Last edited by newfangled; 11-19-2012 at 08:14 AM.

  42. #42
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    I like a double wrap of bar tape. I have giant hands and find that regular sized grips are too small.

  43. #43
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    Fleegle, grips and bars have arrived, they are installed. Shake down run just finished. Feels weird for sure, feels like I'm driving a city bus compared to the narrow little flat bar.

    But my wrists don't ache...I'll buy a round for that.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


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    Very cool that you're on your way to getting the bar situation sorted out. I ride with Mary Bars with ERGON GP2 grips and that made a BIG difference from the flat bar. Have you had a proper bike fitting, there might be something in that. The only other thing I can think of is you're putting to much of your weight on the bars...engage your core more to take the pressure off your wrist. Good luck.

  45. #45
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    just placed an order for the Fleegle Pros. The only color available in 31.8 was white and I didn't feel like messing with the smaller clamp size and trying to achieve a creak-free fit just so I could match colors. Still, the white will probably look odd next to my yellow frame and black hardware nearly everywhere else.

    I went with these because they're the exact same width as my current Race Face Deus bars. I find the width of them just fine...they just don't have enough sweep.

    I went with these instead of the Mary bars because even though the rise is about the same between them, the Marys are a decent bit narrower and I like the 660mm width. I don't think I could go wider on my current bike, but I know I like this width more than narrower ones. Also, I wanted to be sure I had enough space on either side of the clamp to mount lights. With the Mary, I wasn't sure how much space was available, but it looked like less than the Fleegles. The lack of rise might work out for me a little. Some time ago, I made adjustments to my cockpit to make the bike descend a little better (laid back post, shorter stem, wider bars) and I lost a little too much comfort climbing when I did that. I have a tough time with wheel lift now and hopefully the lack of rise will help me get forward a hair more so I can regain some of that.

    I waited too long, though, and missed the 19.99 price. They're up to 24.99 now.

  46. #46
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    ^ one thing about the Mary is that they definitely require a longer stem. Riding with the 60mm that I'd been using before I felt like I was on a kid's bike, and had to switch to a 90mm. And like I mentioned earlier, they feel super narrow.

    With the Fleegle I don't think that will be an issue (although I've only got the Carnegie as a comparison, but I think they're supposed to be pretty similar.)

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I like a double wrap of bar tape. I have giant hands and find that regular sized grips are too small.
    I do this too, especially during winter. Apparently some of the Paris-Roubaix guys did it a few years back, but my reasoning is much simpler - I put a stronger, more durable tape on the outside, and softer Cinelli cork gel tape on the inside.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    Apparently some of the Paris-Roubaix guys did it a few years back, but my reasoning is much simpler - I put a stronger, more durable tape on the outside, and softer Cinelli cork gel tape on the inside.
    I don`t like an overly fat grip area, but I`m thinking of trying it for the same reason. Maybe stretch the cork out as tightly as possible with no sidelap, then counterwrap (other direction) with that old cotton-looking stuff.
    Recalculating....

  49. #49
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    The ergonomics of drops are different, but with flat & riser bars I've found that girthy grips can cause me more problems than narrower ones.

    The interface between wrist/thumb/indexfinger/brakelever isn't particularly ergonomic, and a wider grip (something really chunky like an Oury or ODI Rogue) throws my thumb into a weird angle that usually leads to issues, and that offsets the benefits of the extra cushiness.

  50. #50
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    On-One Fleegle Mounted up with the cheap E-Bay grips and bar ends.


    Another shot:


    This is where she sleeps, corner of the bedroom next to my cycling locker:


    Took a pic at my Mother's this morning:
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


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