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Handlebar question for fellow geezers

Old 08-14-19, 12:22 PM
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frogbiscuit
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Handlebar question for fellow geezers

I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a couple of years - I really like it but I do get some hand/wrist pain after 10 or 15 miles. Has anyone tried replacing them with the Soma Clarence bars or something similar? I was wondering if it was worth the trouble.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:59 PM
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What do you have on there now? Regular drop bars? Maybe it's a fit problem like maybe you're putting too much weight on your hands.

You should be able to ride while lightly resting your hands on the bar.
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Old 08-14-19, 03:25 PM
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Hand Pain

Something's wrong somewhere. You shouldn't have hand pain after 150 miles. I doubt a different bar would make any difference. Photos of you on bike.
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Old 08-15-19, 03:14 AM
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There are so many variables involved. Some bars might be perfect for one rider, but torture for another. Saddle height, bar height reach, width, type of handlebar wrap all play a role, along with shape. I like Nitto Noodles and some French Randonneur bars. Nitto Randonneur bars are copies of the French bars but I have'nt tried them; they're not cheap. The VO Randonneur bars are good, but I wish they had a little higher "bump".


Those are my preferences, but I am not saying they would work for you.


I also move my hands around the bar a lot.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:05 AM
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Maybe a new stem that angles up more to raise the bars? As much as I like the looks of 10 degree stems with low rise bars, my hands and back like either a higher angled stem or higher rise bars. Plus ergo grips.

But that's me. Everyone is different.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:26 AM
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Sirrus is essentially a flat bar road bike:



If your hands are getting sore after just a few miles, you're carrying too much weight on your hands. This is a common problem for beginners and people who don't cycle much—their core muscles haven't developed enough to hold their upper bodies in the riding position, so they rest their upper body weight on the handlebars.

Swept-back handlebars will move the bars closer to your body, but if you have a weak core, your hands will still end up carrying too much weight.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's an interesting thread. I may play with the stem first. After reading that I am thinking the stem length is too much.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:36 AM
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I find flat bars unbearable for anything except short rides due to the lack of multiple hand positions. However, 10 to 15 miles is not very far so there may be something else at play...

Many people position their seats too far forward in an attempt to get closer to the bars, resulting in a bike fit problem. The problem is that sliding your seat forward puts more weight on your hands. If you have too much weight on your hands (i.e. you fall forward if you take pressure off the bars) then your seat needs to be moved backwards. That may also mean changing the stem to make it have less forward reach. It's difficult to diagnose whether this is a bike fit issue without seeing pictures of you riding your bike. You could also go to a good LBS and talk to someone experienced in bike fitting.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:56 AM
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A higher stem or maybe riser bars will bring your body into a position where you aren't putting as much weight on your hands. Someone also mentioned your reach. If your riding position is such that you ride without a slight bend in your elbows, the reach may be too far. In that case, possibly adjusting your seat forward a little may alleviate some pain.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Maybe a new stem that angles up more to raise the bars?
+1. A high rise stem is the cheapest, easiest way to get more upright posture. I would try that first. $25 and five minutes.

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Old 08-15-19, 11:47 AM
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I ride a relatively flat bar on my Trek 800 Sport. Switching grips to Ergon brand eliminated any problems I had....
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Old 08-15-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by frogbiscuit View Post
That's an interesting thread. I may play with the stem first. After reading that I am thinking the stem length is too much.
As others have said, if the fit is correct, for you, you shouldn't have a lot of weight on your hands, That being said, flat bars can be worse. What kind of grips do you have? You can prevent the wrist from dropping, and alleviate wrist pain by getting grips with some support. Something like this: https://bicyclewarehouse.com/collect...andlebar-grips

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Old 08-15-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by frogbiscuit View Post
That's an interesting thread. I may play with the stem first. After reading that I am thinking the stem length is too much.
Did you see the arm positions in the photos? And read where it says greater reach = less pressure on the hands?
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Old 08-15-19, 10:46 PM
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Bar ends. That'll give you many more hand positions. Just bought a Sirrus for my girlfriend (beautiful bike) and that's the first thing I installed on it.
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Old 08-16-19, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by frogbiscuit View Post
I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for a couple of years - I really like it but I do get some hand/wrist pain after 10 or 15 miles. Has anyone tried replacing them with the Soma Clarence bars or something similar? I was wondering if it was worth the trouble.
Have tried a recumbent bike. Seriously, after riding one I have no more wrist, neck, back, or butt pain. Its now hard to go back to my up right bikes.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
As others have said, if the fit is correct, for you, you shouldn't have a lot of weight on your hands, That being said, flat bars can be worse. What kind of grips do you have? You can prevent the wrist from dropping, and alleviate wrist pain by getting grips with some support. Something like this: https://bicyclewarehouse.com/collect...andlebar-grips

I have something very similar on my bikes.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:39 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I did put an extension and the original bars back on the bike and it helped, but it's not perfect. I think that the lack of options for differnt hand positions is an issue as well - It is much less when I ride my road bike. I am going to put some bar ends on it and see what happens.
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Old 08-16-19, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
Bar ends. That'll give you many more hand positions. Just bought a Sirrus for my girlfriend (beautiful bike) and that's the first thing I installed on it.
Which ones did you get? I was thinking of the grips with the horns on them.
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Old 08-16-19, 08:38 AM
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I have 3 compressed cervical vertebrae and carpal tunnel in both wrists and ergonomics is my friend. I use Ergo GP2 grips. The bar ends are small and allow for a change in hand position, which helps. I also cut the width of my bars down so that my arms are parallel to each other when I ride and not turned outward away from each other.

My complete bar setup is:

Spank Spike Race 50mm riser bars
Bontrager Elite Blendr 90mm 25 degree stem
Ergon GP2 grips/bar ends

Here are a couple of photos:



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Old 08-16-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The Snowman View Post
I have 3 compressed cervical vertebrae and carpal tunnel in both wrists and ergonomics is my friend. I use Ergo GP2 grips. The bar ends are small and allow for a change in hand position, which helps. I also cut the width of my bars down so that my arms are parallel to each other when I ride and not turned outward away from each other.

My complete bar setup is:

Spank Spike Race 50mm riser bars
Bontrager Elite Blendr 90mm 25 degree stem
Ergon GP2 grips/bar ends
That's an awesome setup. Thanks for showing me that.
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Old 08-16-19, 09:58 PM
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I also don't like the flat bars - puts the wrists/forearms in an unsustainable position IMO,

so I'd say get a drop bar bike. 10-15 miles is pretty limiting.
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Old 08-17-19, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by frogbiscuit View Post
Thanks for the advice. I did put an extension and the original bars back on the bike and it helped, but it's not perfect. I think that the lack of options for differnt hand positions is an issue as well - It is much less when I ride my road bike. I am going to put some bar ends on it and see what happens.
If you find riding your (drop bar) road bike more comfortable/sustainable, then maybe you are just one of those who prefer drop bars to flat bars for your road cycling.

I don't. I use simple flat bars (580 width, 3 degree bend, 0 rise) with bar ends/Ergon grips. No issues at all on regular weekend rides of 40-60 miles, or centuries (done two over the years, just to see if I could). I prefer shifting/braking from the 'mtb position'.

Bike (Sirrus) is set up so that my position on the bar ends is pretty much identical to what I'd have on the hoods of a properly-fitted Roubaix. Bar ends facilitate the same wrist/arm/shoulder realignment as moving between hoods and tops on drop bars, and that's all that I've found necessary. But as I said, lots of folks simply find drop bars more comfortable; you may be one.

My set-up:
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Old 08-17-19, 07:49 AM
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Flat bar's actually look painful. Your hands are locked in an unnatural position, and the more weight on them the worse it gets. It probably depends on the bike, Some seem to be fine. All it takes is a slight angle to make a huge difference in comfort. The Soma Clarence bars look much better. Other options are bar ends like badger 1 suggested, or drop bars, But staring at the ground or craning my neck to see using the drops looks worse then straight bars. Good though if your fighting strong wind, and we do have the option of using the hoods or top of the handlebar.
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Old 08-17-19, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Flat bar's actually look painful. Your hands are locked in an unnatural position, and the more weight on them the worse it gets. It probably depends on the bike, Some seem to be fine. All it takes is a slight angle to make a huge difference in comfort. The Soma Clarence bars look much better. Other options are bar ends like badger 1 suggested, or drop bars, But staring at the ground or craning my neck to see using the drops looks worse then straight bars. Good though if your fighting strong wind, and we do have the option of using the hoods or top of the handlebar.
No staring at the ground or neck pain, even on 18 hour rides with a drop bar bike. It's all in one's position, which should incorporate a straight back from the top of the shorts to the top of shoulder blades. As should be used by riders with any setup. One rolls the pelvis forward and straightens the back. Neck pain gone. Most MTB riders use the same position as roadies using the hoods, but the MTBers hands are rotated 90, which is an issue for many folks. The ordinary road or MTB position is not about aero. It's about comfort.
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Old 08-17-19, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
No staring at the ground or neck pain, even on 18 hour rides with a drop bar bike. It's all in one's position, which should incorporate a straight back from the top of the shorts to the top of shoulder blades. As should be used by riders with any setup. One rolls the pelvis forward and straightens the back. Neck pain gone. Most MTB riders use the same position as roadies using the hoods, but the MTBers hands are rotated 90, which is an issue for many folks. The ordinary road or MTB position is not about aero. It's about comfort.
Yeah, it's all about fit. I just did a 400 mile trip on my LHT, with drop bars, and no neck pain, back pain, or hand and wrist pain. I did obsess over them during the many hours in the saddle each day, and realized they were a bit wider than my liking, so I just switched them for some Nitto Noodles in a narrower size, but still, I was comfortable on the trip.
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