Friday, March 9, 2012

What's the Best Handlebar Setup for a Singlespeed?

Oh wait, don't tell me...it's dependent on the rider and type of riding right? So I guess I should also add that this is a 26" wheeled bike. Well whatever the case I wish it was easier to figure this stuff out than the tried and true method of swapping parts until something works.

I have been running my SS for the past two to three years with basically the same type of cockpit setup. I've been looking for different types of bars, like a big 12 degree backswept or H-bar versions, but i could just never bring myself to drop the cash only to find out I don't like them. So I left it as is. But more and more I find that the bar I have on there feels wrong, especially when I'm climbing and really torquing it. Tonight I measured the current bar, a Raceface Air Alloy Low Riser,  it comes in just over 25". It's a 1" riser bar with standard upsweep and backsweep angles and a 31.8mm clamp section. Now I am not a big guy but I am a bit wider at the shoulder than some so I figured maybe I just need a wider bar? I have a few bars laying around that I can try and I came across an Easton EA50 bar that used to be on my Rocky. This bar measures 26-3/4" and has a 2" rise, the other details are the same as the current bar. It's a bit beat up and a bit heavier than what I have now but should work fine. I could trim this bar down if I wanted it shorter but I am not sure what the higher rise will do, other than the more upright seating position. My fear is that it will be even more twitchy but I do have some stems I could try, longer stems, that would help slow down the steering a bit and bring it back to its previous bar height.

A well used Easton EA50 is on test
So what is the best handlebar setup? What are you using? What have you had success or failure with? Let me know, I could use the help.