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Old 06-19-2017, 05:31 AM
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Ti Designs Ti Designs is offline
Ride 'yer bike.
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington MA
Posts: 6,114
Every discussion about handlebars gets the same response from me - learn how to ride. I say this because riding a bike is one of the few cases where people somehow forget how to support their own body weight, and then try to engineer a solution to a defective structure that's just never going to work. I'm talking about supporting body weight on the handlebars. If you're looking for a way to be comfortable on the bike while supporting your weight at your hands, the answer is probably golf.

Try this experiment. Sit down in a chair, lean forward towards your desk so your center of gravity is forward of your hips. Move your hands over your keyboard - it's a position that people in desk jobs can hold all day long because your weight is supported at your feet below you. Now lift both feet 1/2" off the ground. Either you've just banged your face on the desk, or you're now trying to support your weight at your hands, I'm not sure which one is worse. You're asking your spine to act as part of a bridge structure, which it's not. Your lumbar spine has a reverse curve, which in suspension bridge terms is called really bad design. If you want to engineer around this problem, I would forget the bars/stem and work on a carbon fiber exoskeleton...

By far the worst thing about this tendency to find a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist is when large companies actively market their solution. Yes, I'm talking about the new Specialized Future Shock. They built a spring into the steerer tube of some of their bikes, which decreases the energy transferred to the rider from hitting bumps or potholes. While it does take the edge off the impacts, it doesn't reduce the long term effect of supporting weight at the hands any more than putting springs on the bottom of my shoes reduces my weight to zero.

Seriously, your cycling position should be determined by your saddle to pedal relationship. Once you have that you figure out which bars you need by where you want to place your hands. It doesn't work the other way around...
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