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Ergo vs. Non-ergo drop bars

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Currently on the bike:



Those are 44cm bars, ideally I should have 42cm bars. I've been keeping an eye out for a good deal, but a lot of the bars out there are "ergo":



How do these compare for comfort? I assume if they are ergonomic they should be more comfortable, but my mind tells me the angled drops, as opposed to gentle curves, wouldn't be...
post #2 of 17
What you've got already isn't very deep for a bend, and is pretty close in shape to what used to be called a  'Modolo bend'  where the mid section above the true ends is flattish in shape.   (I think the patent is expired so anyone can make those now).

1) Do NOT assume that something called 'Ergo' will be comfortable (or more comfortable than any of the other sixteen dozen bar shapes in assorted colours that are currently available) for you.     That designation ('Ergo')  was invented almost 20 years ago to contrast with really, really deep bends that were shaped like Us (and fitted people with small hands very well). 

You can make U bars into a mock-Ergo shape by taking a piece of plastic pipe or bamboo and slicing it half lengthwise, fitting each half into the Us of the bend, taping it down with utility tape, then wrapping your bar tape over it. 

It's what we with large hands used to do before 'Ergos', it's cheap, and it could give you some additional feel.

2) Careful with the whole carbon bar thing.   Make sure your stem will fit it without crushing it or leaving it loose (just as bad, really).

3) You're a guy with fairly wide shoulders.   Going to 42cm without extending the stem forward  may do funny things to your bike position including restricting your breathing a bit or making you sit more upright.
post #3 of 17
The comfort level differs from person to person: some folks love the ergo bends, others think that the bends are in the wrong place.  It helps to audition different bars, if you can.  Ergo bends from Ritchey, for instance, differ from Deda, and they differ from Bontrager, etc. - it's a royal pain to figure it all out.

Other things to keep in mind, besides the width (be sure to check whether the width is measured outside-to-outside or center-to-center), are the depth of drop and the reach, because this is different between brands.  Some offer a shallow drop in both classic and ergo bends, other offer deep drop, or short reach, etc.  If your LBS has a fitting area they can often have you try out different bar setups to find what works best for you.  That's really the best way to be sure of what you are getting.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


What you've got already isn't very deep for a bend, and is pretty close in shape to what used to be called a  'Modolo bend'  where the mid section above the true ends is flattish in shape.   (I think the patent is expired so anyone can make those now).

1) Do NOT assume that something called 'Ergo' will be comfortable (or more comfortable than any of the other sixteen dozen bar shapes in assorted colours that are currently available) for you.     That designation ('Ergo')  was invented almost 20 years ago to contrast with really, really deep bends that were shaped like Us (and fitted people with small hands very well). 

You can make U bars into a mock-Ergo shape by taking a piece of plastic pipe or bamboo and slicing it half lengthwise, fitting each half into the Us of the bend, taping it down with utility tape, then wrapping your bar tape over it. 

It's what we with large hands used to do before 'Ergos', it's cheap, and it could give you some additional feel.

2) Careful with the whole carbon bar thing.   Make sure your stem will fit it without crushing it or leaving it loose (just as bad, really).

3) You're a guy with fairly wide shoulders.   Going to 42cm without extending the stem forward  may do funny things to your bike position including restricting your breathing a bit or making you sit more upright.
 


You stalking me or something?!

Last summer when I bought the bike I kind of noticed my arms felt stretched outwards, but I quickly got used to the feeling. This spring my shop told me to come in, as we had never finished my fitting. He dropped a spacer in my headset, bumped my seat up and re-adjusted my cleats (one had loosened and I tightened it up skewed). This bike is basically made for me.

He mentioned the bars were a little wide @44cm (center to center) and the a 42cm might feel a little better. I think now I might feel it more just because the thought is in my head! I'm assuming that if he thought the stem length would need to be changed he would have mentioned it. Essentially he told me no rush, but if I ever upgraded a 42cm bar would likely work better.

I'm fully aware that my ergo probably isn't your ergo, but personally that shape looks damn painful. i am kind of adrift in all these designs right now, and trying before you buy seems virtually impossible, I can't just jump on a bike where everything else isn't fit me and expect to evaluate the bars...

I've got large palms but relatively short, muscular fingers, so I'm not sure I really fall into the large hands category.

If I've got a 31.8mm stem, why would having a carbon bar cause fit issues? Do the bars vary that much brand to brand?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

Other things to keep in mind, besides the width (be sure to check whether the width is measured outside-to-outside or center-to-center), are the depth of drop and the reach, because this is different between brands.  Some offer a shallow drop in both classic and ergo bends, other offer deep drop, or short reach, etc.  If your LBS has a fitting area they can often have you try out different bar setups to find what works best for you.  That's really the best way to be sure of what you are getting.

I'm definelty keeping an eye on this.

My search for bars started teh other day while surfing eBay. I found a set of the same control tech bars on my bike now (which work, other then width) in a size smaller for $6, but lost the auction due to a "One-click Bid" snafu
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
 i am kind of adrift in all these designs right now, and trying before you buy seems virtually impossible,
I've got large palms but relatively short, muscular fingers, so I'm not sure I really fall into the large hands category.

If I've got a 31.8mm stem, why would having a carbon bar cause fit issues? Do the bars vary that much brand to brand?

 

That's why I suggested the pipe/rigid tubing trick.  You can sort-of try before you buy, on a bike that is fitted to you.

I didn't know which stem you had.    Cracking a carbon bar during a ride =risk of immediate catastrophe.   Cracking an Al bar during a ride = bad, not likely, not an immediate catastrophe.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
So your bar (diameter) fit comment was just 26mm vs. 31.8mm?


I keep eying these carbon bars out of hong kong....
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post

If I've got a 31.8mm stem, why would having a carbon bar cause fit issues? Do the bars vary that much brand to brand?

It shouldn't vary much, if at all, in terms of fit.  Just be mindful that carbon bars are very picky in terms of torque settings, and that it's really easy to over-torque the clamp and crush the bar.  A torque wrench is a good investment - and if you have 4mm hex bolts on your stem, Ritchey sells a Torqkey that'll work wonders when tightening your stem.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post

So your bar (diameter) fit comment was just 26mm vs. 31.8mm?
 

No. 

Aside from the obvious torque and TCOE issues,  cheaper stems can have off-tolerances, badly finished (sharp) clamp edges, and horribly thought-out clamping force application, none of which is really relevant with Al bars.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

Aside from the obvious torque and TCOE issues,  cheaper stems can have off-tolerances, badly finished (sharp) clamp edges, and horribly thought-out clamping force application, none of which is really relevant with Al bars.

+1

There's something to be said for quality manufacturing of things that clamp.
post #11 of 17
 I wonder if this talk if crushing carbon bars is a little over-blown. Anybody crushed one? Anybody seen a catastrophic failure of one? One of my friends just took one off of his bike which had obviously been over-torqued. The laquer was deformed, but until the bar came off, nobody would have been the wiser.

Kyle - also be on the lookout for a Campy bend vs. a Shimano bend. It will allow you to run your levers lower on the bar for better reach to the brakes without having a weird transition to the hoods.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 I wonder if this talk if crushing carbon bars is a little over-blown. Anybody crushed one? Anybody seen a catastrophic failure of one? One of my friends just took one off of his bike which had obviously been over-torqued. The laquer was deformed, but until the bar came off, nobody would have been the wiser.

My gut (engineering) instinct tells me that unless you buy a really bad (visibly deformed) bar then the bolts would snap before the carbon crushes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Kyle - also be on the lookout for a Campy bend vs. a Shimano bend. It will allow you to run your levers lower on the bar for better reach to the brakes without having a weird transition to the hoods.
I'm assuming that since I have Shimano levers, I need a Shimano bend, correct?
post #13 of 17
 Yes. Something like this - http://www.dedaelementi.com/En/Products/Products_Detail.aspx?PagingIndex=1&SearchMode=Component&SearchComponent=Road+handlebar+31%2c7&ProductIDMaster=373

Also, be aware that some bars are measured center to center and some are outside to outside. You don't want to mistakenly buy a bar the same width as you already have.
post #14 of 17
 One more thing, I'd be very wary about buying a cheap carbon bar. There are fakes out there, also I read an interview with an engineer from a major carbon supplier (I think it was Mitsubishi) who said that there are unscrupulous manufacturers out there who sell "carbon" bars that are laid up with only the outer layers being carbon and the inner layers being fiberglass or what have you.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm wary of the no-name carbon bars and probably won't order one. $35 isn't too bad to risk on a fake, but it almost doubles with shipping from China so not really worth the risk. Odds are I'll end up with aluminum, I don't need the weight savings yet, it's easier and cheaper to loose 10lbs off of me then it is to loose 10grams of my bike.
post #16 of 17
FWIW, in the recent building of my bike, I spent close to an hour in the shop trying different handelbars. They wanted me to do this before installing the shifters so that when I came in for the last fitting, the shifters and tape were on new bars and we selected a stem positon.

I selected Bontrager Ergo bend bars simply because they seemed to feel better than traditional bars. My palms extended a little over the end of bars in traditional shape. I have thin, long fingers and wear Xl gloves. The shop pros seemed to favor traditioinal design, but I bought the Ergo's anyway.

After 150 road miles, they are fine. The Ergo shape seems to provide an additional hand position, but the angle is a little awkard for my wrist to bend. I've been working to develop hand posions on th top of the bar, and, spending less time in the drops unless riding into wind or riding harder.

Unless you are not happy with what you have, I don't think there is a benefit to making a change just for the sake of change.
post #17 of 17
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