different handlebars for a too-big road bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    different handlebars for a too-big road bike

    I tore my handlebar in half on my way to school today. I was remounting when it happened, so I'm unhurt. But I need a new handlebar.

    The bike is an old 12-speed. It's a little big for me, and I've never been that comfortable on it for a longer ride. I like the palms-in/elbows back position of drop bars, but this bike already has a pretty stubby stem sitting with the clamp almost as high as the saddle. I don't think I'm going to make it really fit me right with drop bars.

    I'm thinking that the swept style of the old English roadsters might be an improvement. I can always move them further away if they shorten the reach too much.

    Thoughts?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    My thoughts are that you are superhuman. You tore your handlebar in half?! I'm scared to offer any advice, because you might not like it and I don't want to be on your bad side.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    From the appearance of the break, I think I cracked the handlebar at some point. It's original to the bike, which was made in the '80s. Once cracked, it's easy to expand the crack over time until there's not enough left.

    I'm actually not a big person, and have a pretty modest power output. When I do something well, it's because my modest power output goes with a modestly-sized person, and I'm smaller than that.

    I just did a Google search to see what other people have to say about it. Mostly just "I like this handlebar." Which is nice for them, but I was hoping for more of a review. "This handlebar really speaks to the human condition," or "the ultimate handlebar for the proletariat!"
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I've been able to compensate for a long frame and road bars by using a really short, tall, downhill stem (on my 29er commuter). Never had to deal with more extreme measures... good luck!
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I ended up just getting a set of Salsa Short'n'Shallow drop bars. The moustache bars didn't really have a shorter reach and were quite expensive. Also, not quite the hand position I was looking for. I wasn't really comfortable with how big a change I thought the cruiser bars would make, and I'd just as soon not have to replace my brake levers. I'm optimistic that these will work better for me, though. Fingers crossed.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    I bought Ritchey BioMax for my commuter, which is mtb framed, so very long TT and I needed to condense it as much as possible. It`s not as nice as having the bike actually fit, but it does help. Later I went hunting for drops for a tandem that`s also a bit on the big side for me and ended up with Salsa Pocos, which are almost identical in shape, but half the price. One aspect of those "compact" bars that you might not like is that the drops tend to be more triangular than round- that`s fine by me (actually I`ve come to like it), but I can see how some folks might hate it.

    Oh, also I think that`s a pretty new style, so most of the bars made like that are for big fat OS clamps. If you ride a clunker with REASONABLY sized (1 inch or 26mm) stem clamp, not many options. In that case, I recomend Universal`s website for shopping because it lets you sort bars by clamp size, makes sorting out the possibilities much easier.

    And I agree with CB- guys who tear off handlebars are ANIMALS!

    EDIT: Dangit, I just now see that you already bought. I had it in my mind that you were still in the considering mode. Well, I`m betting they`ll help, at least a little bit.

  7. #7
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    Holy cr*p, he'll be ripping phone books in half next. Always satisfying in a weird way to destroy parts. My favorites were destroying my first freewheel (pre-free-hub), which put the bike into neutral, and having the rim bend over at a tire change due to v-brake wear-thru.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    There's something that feels hardcore about it. But I thought breaking handlebars was something that people only did on the internet.


    20111108115410 by Andrew183, on Flickr
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    please forgive this impertinent question, i surely do not mean to offend someone strong enough to rip handlebars apart...

    but how are you going to fit your new bars into a quill stem?

  10. #10
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    ??? I don`t see the problem. As long as he ordered the right diameter bar (and I bet he did) it`ll slide right into the old stem.

    If he ordered a 31.8 bar, he`ll probably just force it in or squoosh the bar down with brute strength

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    ??? I don`t see the problem. As long as he ordered the right diameter bar (and I bet he did) it`ll slide right into the old stem.

    If he ordered a 31.8 bar, he`ll probably just force it in or squoosh the bar down with brute strength
    fyi those bars only come 31.8
    old quills like the one in the pic are usually 26.0
    yeah, we've seen proof he is awfully strong but brute strength aside
    do you (or AndrwSwitch) really think it is wise to try to force that?

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    If that`s the case, maybe he`ll cork one end and bong-suck it down to size through the open end. Ya never know what that animal is capable of!

  13. #13
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I'd leave it as-is. Then you always have 1 free hand to take pictures.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The handlebars in question were for a 26.0mm clamp. My quill stem has a 25.4mm clamp. So it took a little finagling. I used a screw driver to "finesse" the clamp. But the dimensions aren't wildly off.

    I notice Salsa now lists them only in the 31.8 size. I wonder if I got some '11 or '10 models. That shop sometimes carries stuff they score when someone wants to get things out of a warehouse.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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