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Topic: Bicycle Touring [change]
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Reviews: Handlebars

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Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
Rating: ****_   (Average: ****_  from 4 votes)
By Scott Little on Tue 16 Mar 2010 18:31 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (4)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Anyone looking to de-stress the upper body - or to avoid the dreaded "R" word, may want to consider these handlebars.

My Bike Friday had always carried the stock H-bar, which is a very popular choice from the company. As I advance in age, the stress of a *standard* riding position has really limited my time on the bike. It usually hits at around the 25-30 mile mark (45km). The shoulders stiffen up, the elbows grow heavy and the fingers tingle.

This new Albatross bar has proven to be much more comfortable - no stiffness, no tingling and very little of that, uhmm, fidgety feeling that I would normally experience on a longer ride.

The bar is very well finished and provides plenty of room for bag mounts and supports and so forth.

As always, there are some compromises. Wind drag is definitely there. In time, I might experiment with lowering the bars just a touch. Long distance riders might become frustrated by it. Also, the more upright body position called for a new and wider saddle.

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Nitto Albatross Bar

      
#2: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
Rating: ***** 
By will jacobs on Thu 18 Mar 2010 17:59 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I concur. I just got a set of these for my commuter and although I won't be using them for a multi-day tour 95% or more of the rides I do aren't anyway. For commuting everyday these are awesome and gets my head above the traffic and are stable enough for light trail use (gravel bike baths, unimproved trails in the city). Only qualm is the width of the bars almost feels too wide but I think it may just come with the territory of the different riding style. Works with bar end shifters too! Too awesome.

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#3: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By Chris Wee on Thu 18 Mar 2010 23:48 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Scott, the bars are a great change from your everyday flat or drop bars, nice natural more upright position for the hand and wrists. I fitted the bars upside down for a few days, but felt it was a bit too low, compared to the saddle height. Flipped them over and tilted down just slightly from the horizontal stem.
Perfect !

Have not tried the bars for more than 20 kms, but I suspect a drop bar would be better for longer rides.

Another bonus $$ wise was that my LBS has lots of OEM parts from Kalloy, Tektro and Trans X, so my albatross look alike was about $15.

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Almost albatross handlebar on a KHS Cappuccino, great for getting coffee or beer

      
#4: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By Scott Little on Fri 19 Mar 2010 06:30 Edit Delete in reply to #2     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
>>Only qualm is the width of the bars>>

Yes, it took me a while to get used to that - especially when first shoving off or coming to a quick stop. I've grown used to it, and I am learning to simply relax and take each mile as it comes.

Scott

      
#5: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By Scott Little on Fri 19 Mar 2010 06:34 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
>>Have not tried the bars for more than 20 kms, but I suspect a drop bar would be better for longer rides.>>

I've cycled as far as 45 miles (72km) with these bars - including a touch of headwinds. A one to two week tour, averaging about 50 miles per day (80km), seems like a workable scenario for me. Beyond that, the near constant wind resistance could become a factor.

On the other hand, folks have toured successfully on all manner of bicycles and riding styles. I would much rather be relaxed and comfortable at 10mph - then stiff and numb at 14.

Scott

      
#6: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By [deleted] on Thu 25 Mar 2010 20:19 in reply to #1   (1)
This message has been deleted.

      
#7: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By Scott Little on Fri 26 Mar 2010 06:52 Edit Delete in reply to #6     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
It seems that a choice of handlebar is every bit as personal as that of a saddle.

The Albatross does create a more passive riding style. It took me some time to accept that. My shoulders don't complain - too many years of grinding away on boats - but it is a compromise solution.

Scott

      
#8: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By The Gullickson's on Sun 28 Mar 2010 03:33 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I LOVE my NITTO Albatross HB's! I did a xc trip(WA to ME) and Iowa to Key West with the drops that came on my Surly LHT'er. When I got back to WA, I swapped out those for the Nittos. Used them going down the pacific coast last fall and LOVED them! Like most people say, its a personal thing, but I will NEVER go back to drops! Glen

      
#9: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By Scott Little on Tue 30 Mar 2010 02:57 Edit Delete in reply to #8     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
>>Used them going down the pacific coast last fall and LOVED them>>

I am glad to read that folks are actually touring with them. I've really settled in with my set - if only I could find the time for a long tour.

Scott

      
#10: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
By will jacobs on Sat 22 May 2010 15:56 Edit Delete in reply to #9     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
So I moved the bars over to my trusty Lotus touring bike and I was surprised how much of a difference in riding style they really create just from the upright positioning. Relaxed is an understatement as I never really even mash down on the pedals at all now. For the purpose I use the bike for (commuting) that's absolutely fine and I like it that way.

      
#11: Re: Nitto Albatross Bar (thread)
Rating: ****_ 
By Jim Bangs on Fri 14 Jan 2011 11:00 Edit Delete in reply to #10     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Switched to the Albatross and I like the ride although it is different from the drops. I taped up the front part of the bars and find riding up there makes me about as aerodynamic as I was riding on the hoods.

I use bar end shifters and have bumped my leg a few times on those....no big deal really. I have been on long rides, 60 to 80 miles, with these bars no multi-day rides until this summer.

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