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creadinger
02-10-2012, 12:16 PM
When I got my touring bike I realized a lot of things I don't like about my older bike - a Fuji 'Cross bike, which is now relegated to shorter functional trips and occasional commutes.

One thing I'd like to fix is that the handlebars flex on the Fuji when I'm pulling or pushing on them. I'm a big guy - 6'5" 260 or so and I prefer the extremely strong no-flex feel of the Salsa handlebars I have on my tourer.

#1 - Is the flexing solely due to the handlebars or could it also be the stem?

I'd like to upgrade and while I'm at it I'm gonna get wider bars to accommodate my broad shoulders. Right now the big thing causing me to pause on this project is that the Salsa bars have a large diameter tube where it clamps to the stem.

#2 - Does the wider diameter Salsa tube mean I'll have to get a new stem as well? A headset too possibly?

I only have experience with the stock bar that came on my Fuji and the Salsa bar that was recommended when I had my IF built so if you guys have any other suggestions I'd have happy to hear them.

DaveK
02-10-2012, 12:26 PM
When I got my touring bike I realized a lot of things I don't like about my older bike - a Fuji 'Cross bike, which is now relegated to shorter functional trips and occasional commutes.

One thing I'd like to fix is that the handlebars flex on the Fuji when I'm pulling or pushing on them. I'm a big guy - 6'5" 260 or so and I prefer the extremely strong no-flex feel of the Salsa handlebars I have on my tourer.

#1 - Is the flexing solely due to the handlebars or could it also be the stem?

It could be a combination of both. I'd replace the bars first as aluminum stems don't tend to be very noodly.


I'd like to upgrade and while I'm at it I'm gonna get wider bars to accommodate my broad shoulders. Right now the big thing causing me to pause on this project is that the Salsa bars have a large diameter tube where it clamps to the stem.

#2 - Does the wider diameter Salsa tube mean I'll have to get a new stem as well? A headset too possibly?

I only have experience with the stock bar that came on my Fuji and the Salsa bar that was recommended when I had my IF built so if you guys have any other suggestions I'd have happy to hear them.

Many bars widen out at the clamp area to 31.8mm to take more stem alternatives, make sure your bars are actually 26.0mm at the clamp before you buy a new stem. But yes, you'll have to get a new stem if you're going from a 26.0mm diameter to 31.8mm. Headset only varies with the frame, you won't touch it for these changes.

CCrew
02-10-2012, 01:03 PM
#1 - Is the flexing solely due to the handlebars or could it also be the stem?


What's on it? My Cross Pro has a 31.6 Ritchey WCS bar, and while I'm nowhere near your size I loved the bars enough to put them on several other bikes.

creadinger
02-10-2012, 09:37 PM
It's a Ritchey 26mm handlebar. Mine is a 2005. Yours must be newer. I wonder if the difference maker here is the 31.8 vs 26mm tube? Otherwise why would they have made them larger? I'm gonna have to go to my local shop to ask some questions and put my hands on some bars. I think a wider bar will make a nice difference too.

CCrew
02-11-2012, 01:45 AM
It's a Ritchey 26mm handlebar. Mine is a 2005. Yours must be newer. I wonder if the difference maker here is the 31.8 vs 26mm tube? Otherwise why would they have made them larger? I'm gonna have to go to my local shop to ask some questions and put my hands on some bars. I think a wider bar will make a nice difference too.

Yeah, mine was (sold it recently) a 2010 Cross Pro, Given your size I'd agree that you probably need something wider with a bit more strength to it based on what you have. Bigger bar will necessitate a new stem, but I doubt you have to buy toward the top of the price range to get something stout. 7 years makes a difference in technology for sure.

creadinger
02-13-2012, 11:42 AM
New bar and stem have been ordered and should come in around mid-week. I'm going to try to do the installation myself but I told the bike shop guy that I'll bring it in if I royally screw it up. I'll probably post some pictures to the FailBlog too if that happens. Haha.

The biggest problem I can foresee is doing the bar tape. That's seems more like art than mere assembly/installation of parts. Of course I'm also expecting unforeseen problems as well, but I'll have to work with those as they come up.

Dirt
02-13-2012, 01:10 PM
Taping the bars isn't extremely difficult.

Start by unwinding the tape you've got. See how it winds around and goes around the brake levers. That can help with the re-installation process.

Before I start taping, I make sure that I use a little electrical tape to hold the cables in the right place under the tape. It will be covered by the tape, so do 2 or 3 rounds of electrical tape in 1 or 2 places to make sure it doesn't move around while you're taping.

Just take your time and be even with how you overlap. If you've got tape that has a narrow adhesive strip in the middle (which most do these days), the tape overlaps so that most of the time the adhesive sticks to the handlebar, rather than the bar tape. When you go around a curve, the adhesive will stick to the tape on the inside of the curve and that's okay.

I'd also add that most of what holds the tape in place is tension. You should stretch the tape a little bit as you wind it around. At first it seems like having 3 or 4 hands would help the process, but actually it can be easily done with just 2. If you need to stop and let go of the unused end of the tape, it is okay. When you start winding again, back up half a turn to get the stretch of the tape even.

I have some bars to tape in the next week or so. If I get time to do it before you get your bars and stem, I'll make a video of the process for you.

Good luck.

Pete

Dirt
02-13-2012, 01:12 PM
Oh yeah... Don't text while wrapping handlebars. That can be very dangerous. ;)

creadinger
02-21-2012, 09:01 AM
Ok, I am all set now to swap my handlebars and stem. So far the hardest part has been finding a place to buy frickin' electrical tape. Sheesh! I finally got some last night after work, on a little ride to the hardware store in Old Town. I would have thought a place like Target or Best Buy might sell it but no.

Anyway, now I'm all ready to do the work but it looks like the weather Thursday will be too good to pass up biking to work. So I'll wait until after Thursday.

creadinger
02-28-2012, 08:56 PM
Ok, I need a hand.

I took off the bar tape, and pulled off the cyclocross brake levers. Easy enough. For the STi shifters I rolled up the rubber sleeves and loosened the little screws but the shifters are as tight as ever. They're not even budging. Is there something else I need to do? Since it's been 7 years is it possible they're sorta glued to the bar? If so, how should I unstick them? Some gentle hammering? Punching? Yelling? Do a couple of forgot-to-unclip falls to each side?

Thanks for the help!

elcee
02-28-2012, 10:35 PM
First make sure they're the correct screws. If they are, loosen the screws completely. The shifter bodies should then separate from the clamps, and you'll be able to see why they're stuck to the handlebar.

off2ride
02-28-2012, 10:56 PM
Remove the shifters completely and let them dangle. Once they're off, you'll see that clamp part if the shifters remain on the handle bar. Possibly the sticky stuff from the tape is keeping the clamp from loosening. If it has bonded from corrosion you might want to look into replacing clamps and inspecting the inside of the shifters. Also inspect the handle bar for corrosion. (Not sure if just the clamp part is available. I'll ask around) The clamp has these claws to keep them from moving side to side once it's tight. The design on the clamp is like a noose. The more you tighten the allen bolt, the tighter it gets. Email me off forum on what you see then we can go from there. Kinda hard to give you a solution to your problem. I can't see it.


Ok, I need a hand.

I took off the bar tape, and pulled off the cyclocross brake levers. Easy enough. For the STi shifters I rolled up the rubber sleeves and loosened the little screws but the shifters are as tight as ever. They're not even budging. Is there something else I need to do? Since it's been 7 years is it possible they're sorta glued to the bar? If so, how should I unstick them? Some gentle hammering? Punching? Yelling? Do a couple of forgot-to-unclip falls to each side?

Thanks for the help!

creadinger
03-06-2012, 10:38 AM
First make sure they're the correct screws. If they are, loosen the screws completely. The shifter bodies should then separate from the clamps, and you'll be able to see why they're stuck to the handlebar.

Final update - Ok, they were the incorrect screws that I was messing with, so it's not surprising the clamps didn't budge. I finally did find the hex-nuts to unscrew and I got the shifters off no problem. Man, they are hard to get to with the rubber flaps in the way though.

So I put the new stem and bar on and slid the shifters onto the ends. At this point, if I had normal brakes I think I could finish the project myself. Unfortunately the cross-bar brake levers did not really fit on the new bar. So I un-did the cable to pull them off, and removed them, but now I need new cables and housing etc... and I think it's time to call in the professionals. I'd be happy if I could finish it myself, but it would also drive me crazy knowing that paying someone else would get me much better results.


PS - Thanks for all of the help and advice! I really appreciate when experienced folks try to help out mechanical newbs like myself.

Dirt
03-06-2012, 10:53 AM
Where roughly are you located? I can help.

eminva
05-08-2012, 09:34 AM
I'm reviving an old thread, but creadinger, did you ever get this figured out?

I had my bike in for routine maintenance last week and the mechanic noted the bar tape was chewed up and asked if I wanted it replaced. I said yes, but I guess they forgot to do it because it was the same ratty bar tape when I picked it up. I figured it was an omen that the time has come for me to learn this basic bike maintenance task. Now it is beginning to unravel and I suspect I must address this issue sooner rather than later.

So, my plan is as follows, how does it sound? Buy bar tape, watch a few Youtube videos a couple dozen times and have a bottle of wine at the ready. Am I forgetting something?

Thanks.

Liz

Dirt
05-08-2012, 09:42 AM
Sounds like a good plan. I haven't looked at the available youtube offerings yet. I'm able to help if you'd like.

Electrical tape is good for finishing off the wrap. Sharp scissors help for cutting the tape at an angle when you finish your wrap.

I'll look at things at lunch and let you know if I find something good that is helpful.

Dirt
05-08-2012, 09:54 AM
I don't have the audio turned on, so I have no idea what this guy is saying. I will say that he's got really huge arms and spectacular tattoos. There's some value in that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-fG76hbx2w&feature=fvst

txgoonie
05-08-2012, 11:47 AM
I don't have the audio turned on, so I have no idea what this guy is saying. I will say that he's got really huge arms and spectacular tattoos. There's some value in that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-fG76hbx2w&feature=fvst

Ha! When I was teaching myself to wrap bar tape, I clicked on this video simply because I thought the Leopard Trek-ish bar tape color was awesome (and it wasn't 10 minutes long). Turns out the video told me everything I needed to know. Except I like to put the finishing tape so it's partly on the handlebar tape and partly on the bar. I like the idea of it being "sealed."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7TJ_hz_JSM

I happen to like Fizik handlebar tape, too -- the suede-y, soft kind, though.

Dirt
05-08-2012, 12:06 PM
I happen to like Fizik handlebar tape, too -- the suede-y, soft kind, though.
Amen, sista! That tape is AWESOME!!!

SRAM SuperCork is a close second. Not as light weight, but a little more padding. Quite durable too... and it is available in some color that I'm fond of.... slips my mind at the moment what color that might be....