bike chick tip #5- handle bars, stems & grips...oh my!
so assuming you all have a bike that you like, it is time to play with your bike and really make it yours! so lets start with handle bars. there are a bunch of different handle bars out there that can give riding a different experience. both of my bikes have 3 speed handle bars which i find to be very comfortable, easy to handle and they don't knock my knees when turning....although on long bike rides where i am required to climb hills they are not the most appropriate but there is no way i would change each time i went on one of those rides :D for the most part the 3 speed handle bars are the most versatile and probably the most common. they go with a lot of bikes styles and are more of a classic look.
please excuse my ninja turtle toes and mismatching socks!
the drop handle bars are another handle bar that is popular. i don't like them as much because they seem narrow, and the handling is a lot more touchy but they are great for climbing hills because when riding uphill i tend to put my hands closer to the stem to help give me more momentum and long distance because they have lots of different positions to rest your hands so your wrists don't get as tired. its just something about them....these are also another classic look but can have more of an athletic look to them but also can serve for any classic or more modern bike.
cruiser bars which are an extreme variation on the 3 speed handle bars but they are really generally only for cruisers. since they have a wider frame and riders on cruiser bikes tend to sit lower on the bike it makes for easier wider turns and your knees won't knock when turning.
below are some other handle bars of which i have not had the pleasure of trying but they are all variations on the 3-speed so they might work for your situation depending what your needs are.
above three images via velo-orange
so if you really like your handle bars and you either feel that you are maybe putting too much pressure on your wrists or your bars are hitting your knees while turning you might want to look into getting a taller stem. the stem fits into the bike frame and what connects to the handle bars. velo-orange is a site that we use a lot and they have some great stems to maybe look into, nitto brand stems are top-notch :)
finally, the grips...this is where it can get fun. i like my bikes to look more classic so i lean towards a more classic grip...i really love my faux leather grips on urusla and plus they have a bit of a cushion as i like to squeeze my grips while riding. i have been wanting to change the grips on mary as they are extremely boring but they are really nice because 1) they are squeezable (made out of some type of foam) and 2) they have a hand like shape to them so they are really comfortable and fit the contour of my grip.
there are some really great grips out there and for a while i had tennis racket tape on my bars which i really liked but they got dirty fast because they were white. keep color in mind because i hated when they got brown from my dirty hands so they got replaced constantly...tape is a really great option for sparks of color and they have cotton, leather and vinyl type tapes out there but with this you don't get much comfort and they can be more maintenance. because the tape wraps around the handle bars you don't get a cushion that other grips can provide... you can play with adding foam to the handle bars and then applying tape over it but once you have taped the foam it is extremely hard to remove. or if you are extremely crafty and super talented you can crochet some super cute grip covers to put on your ugly grips...hey that is a really great idea...i just might try that out myself!!
well enjoy my dears!!