Friday, June 05, 2009

Ride Upright Handle Bars

The ride upright handle bars allow you to ride your bike in the upright position. The most important benefit is that it is more comfortable. I have been able to simulate handle bars like this by flipping my curved ‘drop’ handle bars upside down. These handle bars are intended to make the experience of riding a bike more like a car or pushing a shopping cart. When you ride upright you feel in command of the road and you are sitting in a comfortable position most of the time. Current bicycle philosophy is based on the fact that leaning over gives the rider more power, but it is not necessary. I believe the benefit of feeling comfortable and always upright and aware of your surroundings outweighs the minor performance gains by leaning dramatically forward. If these handle bars were created more people would buy them as is evidenced by the fact that so many people ride beach cruisers and mountain bikes with seats adjusted too low to attempt to achieve the ‘upright’ experience. A BMX also simulates the upright experience. These handle bars are designed for a road bike to give the speed and performance of a road bike, but the comfort of a beach cruiser.

From my early experiments with my ‘drop’ handle bars flipped upside down to bring the handle bars as close to me and high as possible I have discovered I now don’t mind my seat being higher, I am always looking around while I ride, and even the bumps on the road don’t seem as bad. I think most cycle makers have it wrong. Cycle enthusiasts want speed, but we don’t all drive a sports car every day. If they built a bike like this or one where the horn handle bars came toward the rider I think you would be amazed if not by the comfort, by your awareness and even desire/accessablility to ride a bike on a daily basis.

I’ve even found starting and stopping is easier because your head stays level. Hills seem easier to climb because you are near a standing position. Here are my handle bars currently. They are basic drop handle bars inverted, but the gain is good.
Simulated Ride Upright Handle Bars

With these handle bars I feel free to move about the city without being hunched over and snot pouring out of my face. I really cannot describe the many benefits of upright handle bar riding on a road bike. It is the same reason I believe electric bikes should be made out of road bikes. It is the best of both worlds. I also have an idea for horns or trigger style toward the rider if shopping cart doesn’t turn out to work.

Nicholas Juntilla

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