About Handlebar Options on Touring Bikes
»The way we hold onto our bike is more of an issue when we ride several days in a row and for hours at a time. Being able to change position, especially the part of your hands you are resting on, and the angle of your back, makes a big difference.
»Choice of handlebars is subjective. We all need to feel happy on our own bike. There are three choices offered on VWR bikes; broadly drop and sit-up styles. But there is no right or wrong. Our hands become familiar with where everything is within a few days.
»The impetus for the drop bar user to change position is sometimes to be lower, to have more power, more body control and less wind resistance. But the trekking or riser bar rider can not get as low, so thinks less in terms of speed, possibly more about the scenery. Something to talk about over dinner.
»VWR bikes supplied for the sit-up position come with both trekking and riser bars. They are shipped with the trekking bars already on the bike. The riser bars, 31.8mm bore stem, hand grips and mirror-insertion are in a separate inner package. Changing the set-up is not a big job.
»Drop bars were originally developed to get our bodies a little lower, or at least to give us the option of being lower. This would reduce wind resistance. But for touring bikes, that get ridden for long periods, they (drop bars) offer the added benefit of being able to change our back-angle.
»You can position your drop bars up high if you want, providing your forks have a long steerer tube. You still get the advantage of drop bars in being able to adjust your back-angle. So drop bars don’t necessarily mean low riding positions. But it is still possible to get your body down low as you’d sometimes like to do when going down hills fast, going through faster corners or riding in traffic.
»A unique thing about drop bars is the way you can pull against them in the drop position.
»The brake lever hoods give you a whole extra place to put your hands. You now have a stretched-out position option.
»There are many different drop handlebars and many of them make no special concession to tourers who spend more hours on their bikes. One good idea is to have a little bit of backward “sweep” on the tops as seen on Nitto Noodle bars.
»Differences between shoulder widths and heights are catered for in drop handlebars. Widths vary (on VWRs) from 40 to 46 cm and drops from 95 to 120mm. As frame sizes go from small to large so do the ‘reach’,‘drop’ and width.