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Butterfly Bars

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Muddyfox, 6 Apr 2008.

  1. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Does anyone use butterfly bars ? and if so are they comfy for day rides ?

    My mountain bike is slowly being transformed into a day ride tourer type thingy, i've put some slick tyres on and i've ordered some mudguards and a rear rack but after about 15 miles or so i find the riser bars that i have on it to be a bit on the uncomfy side and would welcome a change of position (oooh er missus) i've thought about buying a Dawes Horizon or Revolution Country Traveller but the mountain bike is of good quality and relatively light so i thought i'd use it for this year and if i really enjoy the long day out touring thing i'l have a new "proper" touring bike for next year

  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

  3. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Thanks Dom ...

    I'm still none the wiser really ? it would seem that they offer less than conventional drops do but when you are converting a mountain bike drops are'nt really an option unless you spend a good few quid altering everything

    But as they are cheap maybe i should try some ? and if they dont work out i can always fix them to the rafters in the garage and hang stuff from them :angry:

  4. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    As was mentioned on the other thread, they are supposed to be a good thing to use if you have back problems, and I know a couple people who love them for that reason.

    But personally I would go for conventional drop handlebars unless you have a good reason to have butterfly bar, as drops give you a better range of positions.
  5. redcogs

    redcogs New Member

    Moray Firth
    i've got periodic back issues, and can confirm that shifting positions regularly (on butterfly bars) helps me. But i can't say whether drops would be as beneficial in terms of comfort because i've never used them.

    Some suggest that butterfly bars look a bit odd, which may be a fair point, but there are more important criteria to consider before ruling them out. Elsewhere in this section(Mountain Biking and Off Road) there is a photo of my Thorn Raven (under thread entitled 'Thorn Sterling') with butterfly's which might give you an idea on whether or not to reject them visually.
  6. PaulSB

    PaulSB Veteran

    Yes I've used them regularly and liked them. I was moving from riding a hybrid to a road bike with cyclo-cross frame and was nervous about making a move to drops. My LBS suggested butterfly bars which I used for about a year before moving on to drops. Having moved from straight bar to butterfly to drops I hope this will help. If you like the more sit up position of a hybrid / mountain bike the butterflys will give you different options - especially by rotating them as this raises or lowers the upper part (I'm not very technical). I've done 100 milers and been very comfy. In the year I used them I met a few people who also had these bars and all commented on the comfort.

    I made a move to drops about 3 years ago find these are by far the most comfortable position I have used but I'm on a road bike these days. Better control and extra power when out of the seat are the two main benefits for me.

    On a hybrid / mountain bike I'd say butterflys are good and provide extra positions. Most of your grip will be on the bar closer to you and round the curved part. You can grip the bar further away from the rider but for me it felt less stable. It's similar to having bar ends but with more postions.
  7. Mrs Creamcrackered and I have them on our Dawes World Tours and have done some big trips with them. We're pretty happy with them - they give you about three different hand positions (one is particularly good for cranking up hills). We hardly ever used the drops bit of the drops on our old bikes so they're and improvement in that respect.
    The only down sides we've found are that it can be difficult to fit a bar bag (you may need a click-fix extender) and the foam grips wear out quite quickly from where the handlebars are leaned up against walls and the like.
  8. CycleTourer

    CycleTourer Well-Known Member

    Bury St. Edmunds
    Another vote for butterfly bars, ours came as standard on our Giant expeditions and we have found them useful to change hand positions to relieve the pressure on the wrists and hands. Also combined with an adjustable stem, it makes it easy to adjust the position of your arms for a more comfortable riding position.

    I have used drops in the past and spent most of the time riding with my hands on the tops. With flat bars on our previous bikes we had to add bar ends just to give some variation of position.

    The Butterfly bars are slightly wider than drops which can aid to greater leverage in coping with rough terrain, but can make them slightly more difficult to get through the doors of trains and into the bike storage on trains. These are minor downsides against the greater benefits.
  9. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Thank you for the replys Gents

    I think i'l give them a go after reading your responses ... Drops are'nt really an option as they'l be going onto a mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes and i really dont want the expense of changing the braking system and next year i will probably buy myself a proper tourer (with drops) and Jake will have my mountain bike so i dont want to change to much stuff on it

    Cycletourer ... thats a pretty impressive website you have, im going to sit and have a proper read later on this evening

  10. As a really cheap solution have you thought about fitting ergonomic bar ends (Bontrager do them)? Also think about ergonomic grips which have extra padding where it matters. Even more, fit a conventional flat bar rather than a riser - one without much of a sweep? You could probably pick up a cheap one on the bay. Similarly, have you altered the spacers on your headtube?
  11. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Strangely enough my LBS advised this as well before fitting the Butterfly bars to see if it helped ... so in answer to your question, No i had'nt thought of doing that but yes i will give the bar ends a bash :smile:

  12. CycleTourer

    CycleTourer Well-Known Member

    Bury St. Edmunds
    Thanks Simon, glad you like the site. Enjoy the read and hope you find it useful.
  13. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    It's a great read and some cracking photo's as well (thank you for creating the site and allowing us to read it) ... i would love to have a level of fitness & enough time & money to do the North Sea Cycle Route (maybe one day i will) but for the time being i'l enjoy getting my fitness up and hope the other 2 fall into place :biggrin:

  14. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    My Club Tour has Butterfly Bars, My wrist wouldn't stand drops anymore so I bought it with a straight bar and fitted them later. There are more positions than a straight bar + bar ends. You can set them for a higher hand position and there is loads of spare room for bell, GPS, Computer and yoy can easily fit a bar bag!
    I'd still be riding it but for vertigo.
  15. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    Paul - wasn't it you I met on the Pendle Pedal a couple of years ago? If so, I seem to remember you (or whoever it actually was if it wasn't you!) having a near miss on that right-angled RH bend on the fast descent off Waddington Fell :ohmy:! I thought at the time that I'd rather be down on dropped handlebars when descending quickly because the weight distribution on the bike is much better. I can see that the bars might be very comfortable on the flat though.

    PS I almost came a cropper on the same bend last October on the Season of Mists audax!