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Flat transition handlebar causing me personal existential crisis

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Flat transition handlebar causing me personal existential crisis

Old 09-16-22, 12:17 AM
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zastolj
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Flat transition handlebar causing me personal existential crisis

Hi all,

I recently installed a Zipp Service Course 70 ergo handlebars to my bike because for years I´ve wanted to have that nice flat transition from the bar to the hoods cause I thought they looked cool. Now I got what I wanted as it´s completely flat. But after riding it for a couple of months, I´ve actually started to hate it and I´m already looking at other bars. I feel like I have to bend my wrists too much and I can´t get a safe grip on the hoods. It´s just too flat. I can´t twist the levers up because then I can´t reach the brake levers from the drops. I have the newest Sora rim brake levers.

I´ve been road cycling for almost 20 years now. I think the flat transition thing was a fashion thing around 10 years ago. I´ve always admired the look, but now that I´ve finally tried it properly, it makes no sense to me anymore. (Of course I acknowledge this all depends on your personal position on the bike and I guess maybe there´s a fine line between flat and too flat)

Does anyone else agree? What bars would you recommend? I think I want reasonably priced alloy bars that are short reach, shallow and lightweight, with a small curve to the brake levers.
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Old 09-16-22, 01:31 AM
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When you say you have to bend your wrist too much, which way?

Your handlebar has a 70 mm reach, which is a relatively short distance: Service Course 70 Ergo Handlebar | HB-DBSC-7E-B2 | Zipp (sram.com)

What you should try first is to (a) rotate the handlebar (within the stem) so that the ends (i.e., where you insert the plugs) are closer to the saddle, and (b) mount the STI levers further up on the curve. This will shorten the effective reach of the handlebar.

With reference to the portions of the handlebar described in Drop bar hand positions | BikeGremlin, there is no requirement for the ramps to be either parallel to the ground or lie perfectly flat with the rear of the hoods.

Moreover, you may be able to slightly adjust the reach of your Sora STI levers: REACH ADJUST | SHIMANO BIKE COMPONENT
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Old 09-16-22, 02:03 AM
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Could we get a good side view of your stem/bar/shifters combination? That will help us a lot.
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Old 09-16-22, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
When you say you have to bend your wrist too much, which way?

Your handlebar has a 70 mm reach, which is a relatively short distance: Service Course 70 Ergo Handlebar | HB-DBSC-7E-B2 | Zipp (sram.com)

What you should try first is to (a) rotate the handlebar (within the stem) so that the ends (i.e., where you insert the plugs) are closer to the saddle, and (b) mount the STI levers further up on the curve. This will shorten the effective reach of the handlebar.

With reference to the portions of the handlebar described in Drop bar hand positions | BikeGremlin, there is no requirement for the ramps to be either parallel to the ground or lie perfectly flat with the rear of the hoods.

Moreover, you may be able to slightly adjust the reach of your Sora STI levers: REACH ADJUST | SHIMANO BIKE COMPONENT
Good point. I am kind of bending my wrists downwards, as if the levers are too low. But I can not move them upwards because then I can not reach the levers from the drops at all. I feel like the design of the handlebar is not letting me put the levers at an angle I am comfortable with. Ends of the drops are now pointing at just about my rear brake. But like you said, I could try to adjust the drops more horizontal and then move the levers upwards.
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Old 09-16-22, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Could we get a good side view of your stem/bar/shifters combination? That will help us a lot.
Sorry, should have done that in the first place, here you go!

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Old 09-16-22, 05:00 AM
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These kind of things, for me, take some trial and error to get just right for the position I want. A couple of suggestions: move the brifters to a higher position on the curve, rotate the handlebar, slightly, so the flat area is a bit higher, shorten stem, maybe flip stem to a rise instead of drop. Do changes one at a time, in small increments. Little changes can make a large difference in comfort. I find having the flat, leading to the brifters, works better with a very slight rise to give my wrists a more neutral position.
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Old 09-16-22, 05:50 AM
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Bike looks great BTW.
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Old 09-16-22, 06:37 AM
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I'd say your saddle is too far forward, creating too much weight on your hands.
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Old 09-16-22, 07:17 AM
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No clue, because although we can see the bars, we cannot see the rider on the bike. Play with it is all i can suggest .... roll the bars upward and move the STIs back a little.
Or ......

and this is a good one ....

Shorten the stem.
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Old 09-16-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I'd say your saddle is too far forward, creating too much weight on your hands.
How can you say that without seeing the OP on the bike? You're just guessing, nothing more.
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Old 09-16-22, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by zastolj View Post
Sorry, should have done that in the first place, here you go!

Handlebar angle from the side does not look too bad in this photo, but you can try to rotating it to have the ends parallel to the top tube.

I see so many drop handlebars setup with the ramps aligned with the stem angle, such that the ends point more or less at the rear axle.
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Old 09-16-22, 12:13 PM
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I have kind of the same problem.. I will start with shorting the stem and see if it helps
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Old 09-16-22, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zastolj View Post
Sorry, should have done that in the first place, here you go!

I mean... it looks 'in the ballpark'... that's the way the modern stuff is designed... shorter actual bar reach (hence the 70 ...) with the reach extending across the shifter body to the lever/stops.
There is a bit of leeway to the shifter placement, but as you rotate the shifter up and back, the actual lever distance from the drop/hooks becomes greater, so more difficult to reach with shorter hands/fingers... I believe there are levers which can be adjusted for reach ??? Not sure make/model...
If unworkable, then there's always shortening the stem... certainly a better option than moving the saddle...
Ride On
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Old 09-17-22, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Bike looks great BTW.

I don’t know about that. The valve stems are not a 6 o’clock. 2 point demerit. I give it a “nice”.

The name of the bars has ‘ergo’ but they don’t sound no ergo to me if you have to bend your wrists funny.
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Old 09-17-22, 09:39 AM
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The first question I'd ask would be about reach - when you sit on the saddle, do your hands naturally fall to the hoods, or the ramps behind them? Do you feel like you have to reach out for the hoods, rather than that being the most natural place for your hands?

I have the same bar on my Bianchi, and what I find is the flat transition puts my wrists in a nice, neutral position, so I'm curious how you're bending your wrists. That, and when I'm on the hoods the neutral wrist allows my fingers to wrap around the hoods in a way that feels nice and secure, with one or two fingers on the brake lever.
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Old 09-17-22, 11:12 AM
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I have big hands. I bought a bike with these handlebars. There was no way that I could EVER reach the brake levers with my hands in the drops. They immediately went into the garbage.

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Old 09-17-22, 12:41 PM
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I use FSA Omega Compact bars, like 'em.
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Old 09-18-22, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
The first question I'd ask would be about reach - when you sit on the saddle, do your hands naturally fall to the hoods, or the ramps behind them? Do you feel like you have to reach out for the hoods, rather than that being the most natural place for your hands?

I have the same bar on my Bianchi, and what I find is the flat transition puts my wrists in a nice, neutral position, so I'm curious how you're bending your wrists. That, and when I'm on the hoods the neutral wrist allows my fingers to wrap around the hoods in a way that feels nice and secure, with one or two fingers on the brake lever.
Yeah, I see what you mean. My position on this bike is definitely long and I often find myself on the tops or the ramps. This old frame is really long too even though it´s nominally a small size.
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Old 09-18-22, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I don’t know about that. The valve stems are not a 6 o’clock. 2 point demerit. I give it a “nice”.

The name of the bars has ‘ergo’ but they don’t sound no ergo to me if you have to bend your wrists funny.
Oh, dang I forgot about the valve stems.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by zastolj View Post
Yeah, I see what you mean. My position on this bike is definitely long and I often find myself on the tops or the ramps. This old frame is really long too even though it´s nominally a small size.
Consider moving the saddle backwards and mounting a shorter stem. Saddle position should give you stability and balance, it should never compensate a large frame.
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Old 09-18-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by zastolj View Post
Yeah, I see what you mean. My position on this bike is definitely long and I often find myself on the tops or the ramps. This old frame is really long too even though it´s nominally a small size.
I'd test whether your saddle is too far forward by seeing whether you can lift both hands off the hoods just a little without falling forward. Your saddle needs to be in the right place, or nothing else will work. If that's okay, then I'd try a shorter stem. 10mm can make a huge difference, but you could also go 20mm. You shouldn't feel like you have to reach out to the hoods.
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Old 09-20-22, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I'd say your saddle is too far forward, creating too much weight on your hands.
Is he wearing the cloaking device?
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