Sharon’s Cross Check Redux…

3 05 2011

Sharon's Cross Check with Titec H-bars...

Update: Sharon really likes the Titec H-bars – especially the forward aero position. Although she found out the hard way that unlike drop bars the H-bars don’t have brakes close at hand when you are all stretched out and hammering. After nearly blasting through an intended stop she’ll get out of the aero tuck next time and be ready to squeeze some brake.

On a funny note she was stopped by a fellow cycle commuter at the hospital she works at and asked if she was a randonneur. When she said no and asked why they thought she was the other cyclist responded that her bike looks like something a randonneur would ride. We had a laugh about that!…=-)

I posted a bunch of photos on my Bow Cycle Blog about upgrades to Sharon’s Surly Cross Check commuter rig. The biggest issue she was having was some discomfort in her hands. We tweaked the drop bar position and double wrapped it for extra padding, but she wasn’t happy with the result so I swapped in a Titec H-bar for a more upright MTB position that she is used to while still providing some lower/more forward hand positions to battle a head wind.

Sharon heading out on her first commute with the new bars...



12 responses

3 05 2011
Brian Benson

Mustache bars, maybe?

3 05 2011

What would the benefit of moustache bars be over Titec H-bars?

3 05 2011

More padding can actually make the problem worse. The pads on your palms can sink into the padding and then pressure is put on the nerves running down the middle of your palm/wrist. It’s better to give many positions for hands so no one position gets overused.

3 05 2011

@Jolly – we started with a single layer of cork tape on her drop bars so they weren’t overly padded. The second layer lessened the problem, but it didn’t go away.

3 05 2011
Steve Jones

How high are the bars above the saddle Vic? My comfy tourer has a stack of spacers and I have the bars positioned about 5 inches above the saddle. i know that seems a lot but in practice I can still pedal at speed and all the weight is off my hands with the more upright position.Looks like Sharon’s in a sports position which puts a fair bit of pressure on the hands. I too had some issues when the bars were too low compared to saddle height.Solved the problem by getting the bars up higher and pain in palms of hands went away. Hope you can get it sorted. good luck!

3 05 2011

@Steve – 5″ above the saddle is very high. Part of the reason she is on a new CC frame is to get away from the upright inefficient “sit up and beg’ position of her city bike.


Her MTB commuter [which worked great] had a MTB riser bar about level with the saddle.

3 05 2011

I like that setup. Nice job!
Peace 🙂

3 05 2011

Hey Vic

What brake levers are those? Looking at a similar setup on my tourer.

Off topic, you have a recommendation for 27 inch tyres?

Cheers, love the blog.

3 05 2011


Interested in a shot of how you mounted the rear fender near the BB. Saw a reference on Bike Forums that you had to implement a work around. I’m interested in your work around.

4 05 2011

I’m glad to hear that it’s more comfortable for her. The worst bike in the world is the one you don’t want to ride. Have you tried tweaking her seat position? If it’s nose down like my girlfriend prefers, she could be putting more weight on her hands than necessary. We ended up getting a saddle that she can ride comfortably in a more level position.

4 05 2011

@Alex – those are just some old Avid v-brake levers I had lying around – nothing special.

I don’t use any 27″ tires so I can’t help much there. Here is a link to some ideas:

4 05 2011

@ Michael – the saddle is slightly nose up which I find is how most people like to ride a B17.

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