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Handlebars question

Discussion in 'Touring and Expedition' started by Cathryn, 23 Jul 2007.

  1. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Hello, need some advice. I've recently bought my first touring bike, a rather gorgeous little Thorn XTC. She's got drop handlebars, which is the first time I've used them - having had a flatbarred hybrid up until now.

    Whilst I'm LOVING the new bike, I don't yet love the drop handlebars. I feel safer with the width of the flat bars and actually prefer the position. I've done week long tours on flat bars and have always found them very comfortable, despite the received wisdom that drop handlebars give you more hand positions etc. So....if, after giving drops more of a chance, if I still don't like them, can I swap my current bars for flat bars? Is this possible???

    Thanks in advance for the wisdom....
     
  2. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    It took me a good month or so to get used to drop bars. I'm glad I persisted as now I wouldn't willingly go back to flat bars. Have you had your position on the bike *properly* fitted? Length of stem, positioning of levers on the bars and the like?
     
  3. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Yes you can change to flat bars. You'll need to change your brake levers (obviously), and you need specific gear changers to work with the road mech.
     
  4. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Do you have the 'auxillary brake levers' on the tops of the bars? The new style one (Cane Creek ?) work well and shouldn't be compared with the old 'suicide levers' that were common in the '70's.

    Many people moving from flat bars like the added security of finding the brakes where they expect to find them. The only down side is they can be fiddly with some bar bags.

    But as has been said, fit is everything, especially on a touring bike. Don't try to DIY it, have a real expert take a look at you. If your neck is brassy enough, a trip over to Paul Hewitt would be worth the few pouinds he would charge to look at another make of bike. Actually you wouldn't be the first (or 2nd, 3rd...) to take a Thorn to him.

    It's worth perservering with the drops as their enduring popularity is due to fashion - they do work.
     
  5. Tony

    Tony New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Try raising the bars (but not above limit line if a quill stem) and rolling the bars back towards you so as to make the brake hoods easier for you to ride on.
     
  6. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Thanks, there's some good advice and it's just reassuring to know that if I continue to not be comfy, I can swap out. I think the big thing is getting my bike fitted to me, as I know I haven't done that properly. Down the LBS on Thursday for me!!!
     
  7. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    If you decide the drops are not for you, before going over to straights, it might be worth considering butterfly bars.
    There can be problems fitting a barbag on butterflies, so do enquire about that before committing yourself.
    Sorry for giving you another option to think about.:biggrin:
     
  8. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Oooh...I'm liking butterfly bars. They look mean! I was also thinking of those bars that stick up at the end of a straight...I call them bull bars but have no idea if that's the name!!

    I shall try getting my Thorn fitted for me before changing anything though.
     
  9. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    Location:
    Gosport
    How old is the Thorn?

    YOu mention "getting the Thorn fitted for me"?

    Will they perform this change as part of the 100 day guarrantee, or even subsidise the change with free labour?
     
  10. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I bought it second hand from a C+ forum user so it's not been fitted for me. She was the same height as me (ie 5ft1) so it was a great opportunity as smaller womens' tourers are quite rare. I have a good LBS so am taking it down there next week for a service/fitting.

    Liesl (the Thorn in question) is about 3 years old I believe but hardly used...she rocks!!!!
     
  11. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    As Tim suggests, have you thought of "cross-levers"? My wife had similar issues when moving to drops on her new Dawes Horizon, the crosstops solved her problem, and they do work efficiently. They mean she does not have to adopt such a forward stance when heavily on the brakes. Persevere though, you'll get there.

    http://tinyurl.com/2tgwml
     
  12. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I would persevere for a while yet - it took me a while to get used to drops. I have ITM "Marathon" bars on my Thorn Audax which I find very comfortable, as they have a number of hand positions.
     
  13. piedwagtail91

    piedwagtail91 Über Member

    if you have a bar bag with butterfly bars you can just use an extender for the mont on the bars, well at least with the carradice klickfix(?)type anyhow.