Handle-bars. Both of my bikes have goofy handle-bars.
As can be seen in my previous post, the Red-line has "mustache" style bars. This was standard issue for the 2007 model year, and it lent the bike a unique profile. It apparently met with limited success, because they went with different bars in 2008.
It was a good decision on their part, I think. These bars do offer about three hand positions, but the overall drop from seat height to bar height is too much for me.
When I was a youthful bicycle racer in 1976-1981, I had a six inch drop, and I was comfortable with it. As you can see of my Giant, that drop is just right for me now, but not nearly as big as my Red-line
I will be on the look-out for a yard sale bike so that I can get a handle-bar like PM favors for my Red-line. (I don't think I am man enough for a basket though!) This bike is my spare and wet weather bike. I crash on it when it is wet because I don't slow down enough. A more upright position could be a big benefit for me if it helps me slow down a bit.
I have "customized" the bars on my Giant. I never use the drops. So I cut them off. It turns out I could have removed another half inch or so with out a problem, and I may yet do so. They are long enough for my fingers to rest while "on the hoods" without touching the edge of the bar end. I haven't yet decided if I am going to use that extra bar space to mount my cyclometer or not.
What is harder to notice is the extra material used when wrapping the bars. I have used strips of inner tubes to make the round bar more flat. That is, to provide a wider, flatter surface to rest my hands on.
The handle-bar that that most desire is no longer being manufactured. A Cinelli track bar #65. The bar began it's curve two inches or so from the stem in a long graceful arc. Not only did it look cool with brake handles, it provided six distinct and comfortable hand positions- perfect for long hours of saddle time!
Road bars provide multiple hand positions, which is helpful on long rides to keep your hands from hurting. I do all my braking with my hands on the top of the hoods, and so I have adjusted my brakes on the loose side for better leverage. No doubt Steve has a dozen more questions about all this, and I will answer them as he (or anyone else) asks them in the comments.
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