Handlebar recommendation for all day riding please

GyatsoLa
GyatsoLa Posts: 667
edited January 2010 in Road buying advice
I'm speccing up a new bike I'm getting that will be primarily for long day rides, sportifs and light touring.

My current road bike has fairly narrow Cinelli bars which I've never found particularly comfortable - part of seems to be that they are a little narrow - on a bike fitting I was told that I need quite wide (44cm) bars.

But also, due to an accident a few years ago, I have quite a stiff neck and upper shoulders (my physio says I will always have some degree of loss of movement). So I'm not very comfortable going into the drops for long, and I often find I ride more on the upper bar than on the drops after an hour or twos riding. I guess I'm a bit 'fidgety' on the bike, I find myself always moving from the drops to the side curve to the upper bar for a comfortable hand grip.

So basically, i'm looking for a set of handlebars with the following characteristics:

1. Good shape (preferably oversized) for hand comfort on the upper part and the curve.
2. Shallow drop as I probably won't use anything fairly deep.
3. Good shock absorption.
4. Preferably with grooves for cables, as I will be using Ultegra with cable routing along the bar to allow room for barbags.
5. Preferably 'classic' looking, as its for a steel frame (Enigma Ethos)

Looking through the reviews, a few bars seem to fit this criteria:

Syntace Racelite 2014
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... lite-32251

Nitto Noodle
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... g-bar-9388

Planet X Strada:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... s-09-34926

FSA K-wing compact
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... ebar-29764

Any comments or recommendations?

Comments

  • tenor
    tenor Posts: 278
    Condor have classic shallow drop Deda 215 and ITM Strada 260's in their sale for 25 and 20 pounds respectively. Both good bars in standard diameter well damped.
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    That's quite a price range you've got in those links.

    I've got the Deda Newton Shallows on one bike. Just fitted a pair of FSA Omega to another bike, as I wanted the shallow drop but didn't want to pay the earth. I think if you are spending a long time on the hoods I would recommend the FSA over the Deda, as they have a flatter transition from the tops to the brake levers. Se pic below. They're only £22.50 from Wiggle.

    fsa-185-1386-zoom.jpg
  • plug1n
    plug1n Posts: 204
    I have the Nitto noodle bar (in 46) but they are quite deep and I no longer use them. The Nitto randonneur is a lot shallower but narrow on top (Maes shape) where the brake levers go, so may not suit you but I am happy with them on my commuter.

    I have some old 3T Morphe on another bike which are perfect for me but no longer produced and are 25.4 not 31.8.
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    I replaced the Ritchey Ergo's on my Boardman for a set of FSA Omeaga compacts, as I found the Ergo's difficult to find a comfy position - especially on the drops.

    Worked for me - it is a personal thing though, so I'd suggest you try a few before buying, if possible.
    Cycling weakly
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    Having started on shallow drop classic bars, then flirted with anatomic and compact bars, I'm now firmly back using shallow drop bars. If you're bike fits you well, and you make sure you set up the angle of the bars correctly, I think shallow classic drops are great. However, I still keep the compact bar because it's extremely comfortable and I've fitted it to a bike which is slightly too small for me, because it's very comfortable to hold in the drops.

    That said, I used a Syntace Racelight 7075 (the old shape) and I really liked it, it's a kind of deeper drop compact shape. The only reason I sold it was becuase it was a little flexy for my tastes, but that makes it ideal if you're looking for a comfy bar. Well worth trying, and you can tend to pick them up cheaply on ebay and other places.

    I'd try either that or the FSA (or any of the other modern compact shapes, they're all pretty similar). The real issue for me with compacts (in a non-race setting - they're not too good for sprinting with) are the range of body positions they allow - not many, because the variation between drops, hoods, and tops is not a lot. That said, they off a lot of different hand positions.

    Sorry, bit of a ramble, just try eitherthe Syntace or a compact! Or, if you can set it up correctly, and you know your bike fits well, a classic shallow drop.
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Thanks for the feedback everyone - must admit I didn't know what 'compact' bars were until I started looking into this - they look like they are what I need.

    APIII - yes, a big price range! Obviously I don't want to pay £200 for a set of bars if a £25 set will do the job - I'm intrigued by the K-wing bars, but it is a silly price. But I'm willing to pay whats needed if it gives me the comfort and control I want.

    Looks like the FSA Omega is worth a try anyway, I think I'll give them a go.
  • JamesB
    JamesB Posts: 1,184
    Not on your list and expensive (£130 ish I think)---but as another cyclist who rarely uses drops, and have shoulder / upper neck pains from a previous accident,-- I bought a pair of Zeus Cat 3 carbon bars, they are wide, have a good large top curve for extended riding on hoods, and wing shape on the centre + cable grooves. I believe that the carbon build also contributes some extra comfort thro` flex. Wing / flat top took a bit of getting used to admittedly but now find them to be great bars replaced some Easton bars which were narrower, smaller `curve` and were far less comforatble)
    Also happy with a set of Ritchey WCS bars at 44cm, and again large area on top of curve for riding on hoods --at less than half cost of above :)
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Just a question - With oversized bars - isnt the handgrippy part the same diameter as the 'normal' bars ? Its just OS at the centre bulge ?

    I'm still using normal bars - so I dont know ?
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Generally yes, the 'oversize' relates to the clamping zone rather than the diameter of the rest of the bars
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    ta !
  • Deda Newton Shallow
  • What about pro lite ravenna bars???? they are offer at dave hinde for £120? they are the wing style carbon so should be comfy and reduce the buzz through your hands!
  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    What about pro lite ravenna bars???? they are offer at dave hinde for £120? they are the wing style carbon so should be comfy and reduce the buzz through your hands!

    Shopping at Dave Hinde :shock: :shock:

    I have FSA K-Wing compact carbon bars. Very impressed. Great for long rides, rarely notice any road buzz. Cable guides, look great, too! :wink:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    cougie wrote:
    Just a question - With oversized bars - isnt the handgrippy part the same diameter as the 'normal' bars ? Its just OS at the centre bulge ?

    I'm still using normal bars - so I dont know ?

    Ah, sorry yes, I should have made clear - I was referring to bars where the 'grip' part is oversized. I'm not sure about these things either!

    But thanks everyone for all the advice and help - I think I'll keep the k-wings in mind for a second go, if the cheaper ones don't work out so well.
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    The FSA K-Wings are essentially the same shape (bend) as the Omega compacts, but with a flattened-out top section. ...and they're carbon.

    You could always try a double-layer of bar tape from the hoods up, if you find the 'tops' too thin or uncomfortable to hold for long periods. :wink:
    Cycling weakly
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Hell of a lot of dosh for bars. What tyres do you ride - and what psi ?

    I prefer alloy over carbon for handlebars - same weight, far cheaper, sturdier too.
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    cougie wrote:
    Hell of a lot of dosh for bars. What tyres do you ride - and what psi ?

    I prefer alloy over carbon for handlebars - same weight, far cheaper, sturdier too.

    Are you asking me? I haven't decided what I'll run on the new bike yet - I currently run Conti 4000's on my road bike. I use Conti 4 seasons on my fixie, which has the fantastic On One Midge bars (super comfortable, they convinced me that shallow drops are the way for me). I would use them on my new bike except I think they are too wide.

    http://www.on-one-shop.co.uk/acatalog/i ... OMMIB.html

    BTW, I agree on the silly price for carbon bars, I really don't see where the performance benefits justify the price difference.
  • Wheelspinner
    Wheelspinner Posts: 6,611
    3T Ergonova Team (carbon) or Pro (alloy) bars are lovely things to use.

    Wing (?) shaped tops, short reach, shallow drop. Perfect.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • 3T Rotundo
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Hi Gyatsola - nice tyres - I love my GP4000s too. I was wondering if a little less air in the tyres may help with a bit more give for the front end ? I run mine at 90 - 100 PSI with no problems.

    I must admit I rarely use the drop parts of the bar too, and yeah you do need to get a bar to match the width of your shoulders - but I'd rather go with alloy and maybe two wraps of tape or gel rather than carbon.
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Fair point cougie, I tend to run them quite hard on the non scientifically proven case that they seem to puncture less when I go 110psi or higher. It is slightly better when they are not so hard - but I'm pretty sure my main problem is positioning, not vibration feedback (although I once had the experience of both arms going numb after a long descent on a rough road!). I also have gel under the tape too - feels very nice when riding.

    But thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I'll see which ones I can get the best price on.