Author Topic: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?  (Read 965 times)

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Offline naterskine

two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« on: April 14, 2013, 09:00:50 pm »
I just got a new touring bike, a Lynskey Backroad, and I added a second handlebar on top. I took my hybrid bike bar and put it on top of the drop bars that came with the bike (left the stem long when the bike was built so two bars would slide on with spacers in between). Reason being, I like the wider reach (4" on each side wider than the drop bars, and 3" closer to me than where I would normally reach on the drop bars.) placement for my hands and like to "sit up" a lot. No shifters or brakes on this bar (might change them from the drop bar to this bar), but I can easily drop down to the drop bars that came with the bike to get out of the wind with the second set of bars already there. A little more weight but loads of hand positions.
My body just rebelled when I had to ride without the hybrid bars(I did get fit for the bike just like my old bike). Is this crazy? Should I ditch the drop bars and just use the hybrid bars? Is there a single bar out there that would accomplish what I am trying to do with two? Going Canada to Mexico this summer over the Rockies. First tour but have trained a lot, so now it is just getting these ergonomics right. Thoughts anyone?

Offline staehpj1

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 04:29:02 am »
I just got a new touring bike, a Lynskey Backroad, and I added a second handlebar on top. I took my hybrid bike bar and put it on top of the drop bars that came with the bike (left the stem long when the bike was built so two bars would slide on with spacers in between). Reason being, I like the wider reach (4" on each side wider than the drop bars, and 3" closer to me than where I would normally reach on the drop bars.) placement for my hands and like to "sit up" a lot. No shifters or brakes on this bar (might change them from the drop bar to this bar), but I can easily drop down to the drop bars that came with the bike to get out of the wind with the second set of bars already there. A little more weight but loads of hand positions.
My body just rebelled when I had to ride without the hybrid bars(I did get fit for the bike just like my old bike). Is this crazy? Should I ditch the drop bars and just use the hybrid bars? Is there a single bar out there that would accomplish what I am trying to do with two? Going Canada to Mexico this summer over the Rockies. First tour but have trained a lot, so now it is just getting these ergonomics right. Thoughts anyone?

Personally, I'd get rid of the hybrid bars and use only the drop bars, but you need to do what works for you.  I would suggest using the drop bars, starting with them fairly high and gradually lowering them as you adjust to the position.  Again that may not be for you so experiment a bit and decide, but do give your body a chance to adapt to the drop bars before giving them up.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 06:38:07 am »
I don't see why you'd have two bars, either.  But first I'd try getting the drops where you need them -- it sounds like your "fitter" expects you to be young, thin, and flexible, which you may not be.  The point should be to make the bike fit you, not the other way around -- kind of like a shoe.

I'd start with the drops on top -- that'll be an inch higher to start with.  Then get an old fat guy to re-fit you, and see if he'll give you a shorter, higher stem.  Give it an honest try for a few weeks to months to see if you can adjust to a new, more aerodynamic position.  If the drops just don't work for you, ditch them and deal with new shifters/levers.

Offline naterskine

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 07:44:35 pm »
OK..I am 52 but 6 ft tall and 155...in very good shape. Even so, it feels like I am leaning so far forward with the drops that I am getting no leverage as I reach. A new stem that pulled the drop bars closer to me and the same height as my hybrid bars might be it. I had them high to start with, and that didn't help. So I wonder, if I leave it like this, I could rig something to work the brake and shifter (integrated) just on the right side (which is almost the only side we shift with) so I don't have to redo those onto the higher bar. Something like a thin metal attachment to pull which attaches to the lower drop bars, where the shifter/brake resides. I will mess up this beautiful bike if you don't save me from myself!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 08:13:58 pm »
OK..I am 52 but 6 ft tall and 155...in very good shape. Even so, it feels like I am leaning so far forward with the drops that I am getting no leverage as I reach. A new stem that pulled the drop bars closer to me and the same height as my hybrid bars might be it. I had them high to start with, and that didn't help.

OK, I'm starting to get bad vibes about this fit; I wonder if your saddle isn't too far forward.  Paradoxically, if your saddle is moved back, you can lean forward more and stay balanced.

Quote
So I wonder, if I leave it like this, I could rig something to work the brake and shifter (integrated) just on the right side (which is almost the only side we shift with) so I don't have to redo those onto the higher bar. Something like a thin metal attachment to pull which attaches to the lower drop bars, where the shifter/brake resides. I will mess up this beautiful bike if you don't save me from myself!

May I suggest you find an experienced rider, whom you trust, or another fitter, and get a second opinion?  Get someone else to look at you on the bike before you start making changes willy-nilly.  Sure, some people tour with flat bars, but the changes you're proposing are going to get expensive quickly, both in terms of parts and labor.  Unless you just want to duplicate the old fit on a shiny new frame, I don't think you have a good idea where you're trying to go with this bike.

Offline mbattisti

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 11:59:22 am »
Have you tried pivoting the drop bars severely upwards?  Brings your hands higher and closer to your body.  I know several people with bad backs that found this to be a cheap and simple solution.

Offline naterskine

Re: two handlebars on one stem...crazy?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 12:12:24 pm »
I will try both of the above suggestions and ride for a while. I wasn't thrilled with the "fit" I was given on this bike. My other bike, the guys doubled checked each other and used objective measurements and put me on a bike...even changed my cleat placements on my shoes. It was great. For this bike, at a different place, their guy just looked at me and said he didn't believe in all the measurements. He could tell by just watching me ride, he said. Red flags should have gone up.
 I appreciate the suggestions and will try them out.