Saturday, September 29, 2012

Things I Like - Comfortable Handlebars

Handlebars are a contentious issue for me because I have never had a comfortable set.  I am not even certain how to find the right ones.

My daughter's SWOBO bars were intended for my PAKE but they never made it.
She loves them, so that ship has sailed.

I am foremost and first a bicycle commuter so I should be attempting to maximize comfort.  And yet, I do not. 

Here's how I pay for it because I use a straight bar, which does not seem to perfectly suit me...
  • I have too much weight forward and not enough on the saddle.  This is dangerous when you hit potholes and such because if you lose your grip, over you go!
  • My hands tingle.
  • Sometimes my back get really stiff.  Not as much with the Pake I built, but its still there on longer rides.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Safety among cars and within traffic is marginalized due to my position (i.e. having to look up)

Flat bar benefits...

  • I arrive home 60 seconds faster than I would using a more upright position (this is sarcasm).
  • I am ready for my one/two races a year without needing to swap out the bars for a more aggressive position.
  • Easy to tape.
  • I don't look too geeky.

I think my issue is primarily with this last one.  How important, really, is it that I impress some other bicycling tribe? 

Here is my daughter's SWOBO set-up.

I have now turned my attention to the SOMA Clarence Bar.  Having done a bit of research they read like a good fit.

Anyone have any experience with this bar?

1 comment:

  1. Handlebars? Hey, buddy, that's a personal question!

    It's really hard to predict what might work well for another person. Flat bars never worked for me, but the SOMA bars in your post look pretty good, with some sweep back, but maybe not too much.

    Drop bars set close to saddle height seem to be best for me (so far), but it would be fun to experiment with a few other options sometime.

    What we need is a bar swap co-op!