Author Topic: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?  (Read 3002 times)

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Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« on: April 04, 2013, 10:25:48 pm »
Hi everyone,
I own a Surly Long Haul Trucker that was purchased new in November 2010. It is a 56" with 700 cc wheels. I would like to make sure I have the most ergonomic possible handlebars. I want something that will make it easy and natural for me to ride with my elbows slightly bent; and that will be gentle on the shoulders, hands & wrists. Are drop bars the best approach? Are there better handlebars on the market that the stock LHT handlebars?
Thanks,
Neil

Offline DaveB

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 09:12:01 am »
. I would like to make sure I have the most ergonomic possible handlebars.

Simple answer, there is no such thing. Handlebar likes and dislikes are nearly as subjective as saddles, which is why there are so many designs and styles.  My own preference is drop bars with a particular liking for FSA's Wing Pro design but that me, not necessarily you. 

Many riders don't like drop bars at all and prefer flat bars (MTB type) which I detest.  Others like Mustache, Trekking, or a variety of similar flatter designs.   

Drop bars (and the Trekking designs) allow several hand positions so you can move around during a ride and avoid hand numbness and allow you to get lower when fighting a headwind.  Drop bars also come in a variety of bends and "reach" and drop dimensions so you can usually find a design that suits your style and physical needs.   

Flat bars also come in a variety of widths and configurations and "bar ends" can be added to give an alternate hand position.  One problem with your LHT is that if you decide on flat bars, you will need replacement brake levers and shifters since the ones that come with the LHT's drop bars won't work on flat bars.



Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 10:44:35 am »
First question, are you feeling any pain?  Do you need to change something?

If so, perhaps the place to start would be getting a stem that brings the stock bars up to seat level (if it's lower than that) and perhaps back toward your saddle.  The bike shop where you bought it should be able to help with that, or any competent shop can help you check out alternate stems and swap them for you.

You can spend a lot of time and money swapping bars.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 04:47:24 am »
I agree it's all about how your bike is set up.  However, there is a similar discussion going on over here in UK http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=74356

plus Sheldon Brown has some good pointers http://sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html


Let us know how you get on as I also have LHT and had thought about doing the same.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Miller

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 03:48:32 pm »
After having oversized (31mm) drop bars with flat tops on my road bike I hated how the LHT 26mm drop bars felt so I switched them out for oversized flat top drops, which I find vastly more comfortable but as everybody has said it's a very individual thing. 

Regarding wrist pain I had a lot of problems with this on flat bars on my hybrid but it all went away when I started riding drop bars. The hoods hand position is very wrist friendly and you have so many other choices of hand positions to choose from. Not to mention the aerodynamic advantages of drop bars.

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 08:42:00 pm »
Thanks Miller. I am glad your problem was resolved.
Best,
Neil

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 08:48:26 pm »
I agree it's all about how your bike is set up.  However, there is a similar discussion going on over here in UK http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=74356

plus Sheldon Brown has some good pointers http://sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html


Let us know how you get on as I also have LHT and had thought about doing the same.
Hi Tony,
Thanks for the Sheldon Brown reference. That is a good resource. I will certainly update forum if I get a satisfactory resolution.
Best,
Neil

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Ergonomic Handlebars for Surly LHT?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 08:53:30 pm »
First question, are you feeling any pain?  Do you need to change something?

If so, perhaps the place to start would be getting a stem that brings the stock bars up to seat level (if it's lower than that) and perhaps back toward your saddle.  The bike shop where you bought it should be able to help with that, or any competent shop can help you check out alternate stems and swap them for you.

You can spend a lot of time and money swapping bars.
Hi PD Lamb,
Thanks for the tip on seat height. I just took a look at my seat and the stem looks a few inches lower than the seat. My hands do get painful after a long ride and I do I get some numbness too. My hope is to deal with all fit issues in one visit when I next visit my local fitter.
Best,
Neil.