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Butterfly handlebars ? Opinions sought

Old 09-07-21, 05:43 AM
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PedalingWalrus
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Butterfly handlebars ? Opinions sought

Howdy. Anyone touring with butterfly handlebars? Seems like a they offer more hand positions than drop bars...I am intrigued and interested to try.

Does anyone know who makes them in carbon?

Thanks.
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Old 09-07-21, 06:09 AM
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Don't know about if they come in carbon but, have sets on my touring and rail trail bike and love them. Got them several years ago. added long gel strips under bar tape.
nice having several different hand positions. Don't know if they still have them but got mine from Nasbar
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Old 09-07-21, 06:14 AM
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Lots of hand positions, but none that suited me as well as the fewer positions on regular drop bars. So, they really didn't work out well for me. For me hand (and arm, shoulder, neck, and general) comfort results from a relaxed posture more than a variety of hand positions. You may like them though.

I find regular drop bars preferrable. I figure that if I have bent elbows (forearms parrallel to the ground), shoulders relaxed and not hunched, and fingers loosely draped over the bars I can ride on the hoods the large majority of the time. If I want or need to I can use the bends, drops, or straight section of the bars for a break, but a lot of switching up isn't a huge priority for me even with super long days. YMMV.

The only way you will know how they work for you is to give them a try, but I'd suggest that you be sure that you be sure you have a good relaxed posture on the bike first and foremost. A lot of times when folks are looking for more hand positions the real problem is that they are riding with a poor body position and/or a tense upper body. If they exist locked elbows, tense shoulders, and tightly gripping the bars need to be addressed with bike fit and body position first Then think about trying various bar styles if you still want or need to. At that point you may no longer feel the need.

All that said I have considered putting a butterfly bar on my folding bike for reasons specific to that application.

Never seen butterfly bars in carbon, doubt they exist, but I guess it is possible.
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Old 09-07-21, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Does anyone know who makes them in carbon?
.
Not sure why you want carbon, but if weight is the primary concern there is a fairly wide range in the weight of the aluminum models according to an article I found. They ranged from 377-600 grams. For what it is worth the drop bars compared in the article averaged almost 40% lighter. The article had a good bit of info (not all of which I agree). It might be worth a look. https://brainybiker.com/butterfly-ba...ll-comparison/
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Old 09-07-21, 06:31 AM
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it may be placebo but I do enjoy the dampness of carbon bars when I ride - that is probably for another discussion though ;-)
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Old 09-07-21, 08:44 AM
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I've used butterfly bars for several years and was quite pleased with them, although like staehpj1 I felt that most positions were not that great, with the exception of the main position (i.e. where you can see the Ergon grips). And even then, I felt that my hands were a bit too close to my body despite having an extra long stem. On a long day, I'd spend 90-95% of the time on the grips and 5-10% on the tops. Practically never on the sides

I've toured quite extensively with them, but this past summer (4 500+ kms solo without rest days and several days in excess of 160kms) I've started to feel less and less comfortable, and was instinctively putting my hands at angle over the grips. I've very recently switched to flat bars with 16-degree back sweep and inner bar ends and "think" that they'll be better overall, but it'll probably take another long tour to be sure about that. (I'll eventually post a pic once I am done with adjusting the angles/controls).


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Old 09-08-21, 07:26 AM
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I have one bike with that style of bar. I use the bike as my rail to trail,siteseeing, casual riding, grocery getter, conversation ride bike. This bike is a more upright riding position which suits the butterfly. When I am riding most tours and long distance I prefer the drop bars.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:57 AM
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GEEZ ;-) I am almost ready to be talked out of it

... which, in many cases, is a GOOD THING :-)
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Old 09-08-21, 08:27 AM
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I've had them on several bikes. The first picture is a Trek 930 and the second one is a Rockhopper. One important thing is to resist the temptation to put grips on them (as in a picture posted above). That puts the brake levers WAY too far inward, all the way to the inside. Try to ride with your hands that close together, and you'll feel very unstable - just the opposite of what you want under braking. Move the levers as far to the outside as you can, and still leave room for your hands. Even then, I never felt like my hands were quite far enough apart if I needed access to the brakes.

After the novelty wore off, I switched back to drop bars after a few years. Keep in mind also that if you're coming from flat bars, this brings the main handlebar position (the bottom part) a lot closer. You may need to change stems.




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Old 09-08-21, 09:09 AM
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My touring bike started out with drop bars. I put even wider drop bars on it. I decided because I don't use the drops I would try the butterfly bars. They didn't work out so I tried the Jon's bars. They didn't work out so I tried out the Crazy bars from Velo Orange. The crazy bars worked so I have stayed with them and am well practiced at changing Rohloff cables. My wife also had some words fore me about my bar changing habits.


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Old 09-08-21, 04:11 PM
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hey there PW
The great thing with these bars is that they are cheap. I bought my pair probably 5 years ago when setting up my Troll, to try them out, and they were probably 30 bucks, tax incl. The other easy thing is that there is a good chance that you can simply switch out the controls as is, if the cables are long enough, but may be more complicated with your IGH stuff.

I had them on my Troll for a short while, before basically deciding that I'd go with my instincts of sticking with dropbars, so they ended up on my commuter bike for a bunch of years.
I did put grips on them, and found this position to be too narrow really for my tastes (but lazily left them as is) but when I put another set of these on my wifes bike, I just put two layers of tape, so was able to move the controls further out.

personally, I ride them most of the time with my hands on the sides, kinda like a "hand on hoods" position ish thing. I also angled the bars nearly flattish, so my hands really do feel like on hoods.
I dunno, maybe my stem position wasnt perfect, but while they are ok for me, they arent great great---but like I said, its an inexpensive and hopefully simple changeout for bars.
As mentioned, you probably will want a longer stem, but who knows, you may like them closer.

let us know if you try them, personally I find it fun to try different bars.
I really like how my commuters riding characteristics changed with the Jones bars I have on it now.
As I mentioned in the other thread by gauvins, I personally prefer an back sweep hand position, so it bugged me how the trekking bars front section is very straight, and narrow.
I have seen a neat trekking bar sold more in Europe, that has this section angled back to have some sweep--but never have seen them in a store here.

I don't know, try them if you like, but I have to say that now having spent some time living with the Jones bars and a lot more sweep, I like how it feels and do find the Crazy bars and the rare Denham bars to be pretty cool and intriguing looking.
Heck, if you had asked about this before your trip, I would have said, buy some denhams over there and bring them back in the box!

No matter though, the nice thing with playing around with bars is that if you don't like them, any of these bars would be really easy to sell for a good price, so you wouldnt lose much money.
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Old 09-08-21, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
My touring bike started out with drop bars. I put even wider drop bars on it. I decided because I don't use the drops I would try the butterfly bars. They didn't work out so I tried the Jon's bars. They didn't work out so I tried out the Crazy bars from Velo Orange. The crazy bars worked so I have stayed with them and am well practiced at changing Rohloff cables. My wife also had some words fore me about my bar changing habits.

funny Rick.
but in all seriousness, I certainly wouldnt think of going left hand shifting.
From car shifting, to downtube shifting, to sti rd shifting, the right hand certainly has all the muscle memory for shifting.
I take it that you are a strong leftie?
hey, if it works for you, thats all that matters. Just an interesting thing to see.
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Old 09-08-21, 04:31 PM
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funny Rick.
but in all seriousness, I certainly wouldnt think of going left hand shifting.
From car shifting, to downtube shifting, to sti rd shifting, the right hand certainly has all the muscle memory for shifting.
I take it that you are a strong leftie?
hey, if it works for you, thats all that matters. Just an interesting thing to see.
I have never had STI/brake shifters. I used bar end shifters on my drop bar bikes with derailleurs. Ergon only makes Rohloff specific grips for right handed so I had to cut the left grip on a standard pair myself. I run the front brake to the right hand like my motorcycle. I have always ran my front brake to the right hand and when some bicycle shop has insisted on doing it incorrectly on a new bike after I request it my way, they loose me as a customer. This has only happened twice though. Also: Grandma tried to train me to not be a lefty by embarrassment and manipulation. She even tied my left hand behind my back one evening at the dinner table. This did not go so well for her. So If you have a problem with it, as always how is that my problem.

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Old 09-08-21, 05:04 PM
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interesting, and perhaps I wasn't clear, if it works best for you on the left, that's all that matters, that's great. (in other words, I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever, didnt mean for you to take it that way)
I also have my bikes (except one that I thought was going to someone else when I set it up) with the front brake on the right. Like you, in a split second my brain always comes back to my ingrained motorcycle instincts of "right lever=front brake". I had a bunch of motorcycles way before I owned a car, and raced motorcycles a bit too, so right hand=front braking is completely set in my brain.
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Old 09-08-21, 06:24 PM
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interesting, and perhaps I wasn't clear, if it works best for you on the left, that's all that matters, that's great. (in other words, I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever, didnt mean for you to take it that way)
I also have my bikes (except one that I thought was going to someone else when I set it up) with the front brake on the right. Like you, in a split second my brain always comes back to my ingrained motorcycle instincts of "right lever=front brake". I had a bunch of motorcycles way before I owned a car, and raced motorcycles a bit too, so right hand=front braking is completely set in my brain.
The rant part of my last post was my idea of fun. I rode small dirt bikes when I was a kid and motorcycles when I was in the Army. I had my first concussion from going over the bars on my first bicycle with hand brakes on Christmas morning at the age of 10 The family doctor was into bicycling and took an interest in my activates. He and a friend wired my now more expensive bicycle for the right hand on the front brake. I was used to those dirt bikes and the doc had his daughter teach me how to properly use the brakes. She was my riding partner until they figured out that I had a crush on her. Then they sent over the old Gezer for a riding partner.
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Old 09-08-21, 06:40 PM
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I think if you dial in the stem length, they work well for touring and general purpose riding. I think of them as drop bars squished flat. If converting an old MTB to touring/gravel riding, this is a cheap thing to try out.


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Old 09-08-21, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
The rant part of my last post was my idea of fun. I rode small dirt bikes when I was a kid and motorcycles when I was in the Army. I had my first concussion from going over the bars on my first bicycle with hand brakes on Christmas morning at the age of 10 The family doctor was into bicycling and took an interest in my activates. He and a friend wired my now more expensive bicycle for the right hand on the front brake. I was used to those dirt bikes and the doc had his daughter teach me how to properly use the brakes. She was my riding partner until they figured out that I had a crush on her. Then they sent over the old Gezer for a riding partner.
funny stories.
you'll laugh, but how I've always remembered that left pedals are reverse thread is that I recall the stuff like your grandmother and how "left " was "wrong", and that's how I remember it's not "normal"
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Old 09-08-21, 08:12 PM
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funny stories.
you'll laugh, but how I've always remembered that left pedals are reverse thread is that I recall the stuff like your grandmother and how "left " was "wrong", and that's how I remember it's not "normal"
At least we know about it from experience. one of the bicycle shops I worked in was owned by an old machinist and we had crank arm Hela coil kits. The left crank arm was the most common repair. Left hand threads are also common on fittings for gas lines.
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Old 09-09-21, 03:56 AM
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What I did figure out with butterflies is to not angle them back too much, a lot of the point of changing hand positions is to change your back angle, so you don't overstrain back muscles in one position, this ends up putting too much weight on your hands anyway. I used to angle mine forwards, so I got an aero position on the front bar for headwinds. Side was for climbing and back for cruising.
Ditched them eventually and now use Jones.
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Old 09-09-21, 05:48 AM
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Maybe I should consider Jones bars. I have them on my fat bikes and one touring bike that I left overseas at the inlaws. The Jones bars have worked great for me. I wonder where to put the grip shifter though (Rohloff or Pinion)
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Old 09-09-21, 06:31 AM
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Re rohlof shifters on Jones bars, I'm fairly certain I've seen photos of bikes on bikepacking.com with this set up, by that Cass Gilbert hardcore dude or others.
you should be able to find images readily for ideas.
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Old 09-09-21, 11:04 AM
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Rohloff shifter on Jones bars. Exactly the same as the crazy bar. I didn't have a picture of my previous setup with Jones bars. Shifter just before the grip.
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