Jeff Jones Loop H-Bars

18 11 2010

Titec H-bar top - Jeff Jone Loop H-Bar bottom...

I love my Titec H-bars.  I own three. Right now my Surly Big Dummy and Surly Pugsley are rocking H-bars.  I’m considering swapping in my 3rd H-bar [freed up when I sold my Thorn Nomad] to my Surly 1×1.  The one issue with H-bars is that they have a limited amount of space below the crossbar of the “H” to mount a shifter and grip.  This means you end up with your brake lever above the crossbar and some compromises to your control setup.

Grip portion of Loop H-bar is nice and long...

I’ve figured out a couple setups that work for me through trial and error, but they are not ideal. Jeff Jones [designer of the H-bar that Titec builds under license] makes a variety of sweet bar options that would be perfect for me, but they cost $400+ and for that kind of $$$ I’m okay with what I have.  So I was pretty stoked to see this Loop H-bar option on Jeff’s website fabricated out of aluminum for $120 – about twice what I paid for my Titec H-bars, but within the realm of sanity for me.  Stock was limited so I ordered up one.

Grip area comparison...

The photos in this post show the main differences between the Titec H-bar and the Jones Loop H-bar:

  1. grip area below the crossbar is much longer on the Loop H-Bar
  2. overall grip is a bit narrower on the Loop H-bar
  3. minimal rise on the Loop H-bar
  4. crossbar on Loop H-bar curves away from rider significantly
  5. Loop area allows mounting accessories up front and adds aero grip area, but no controls can be mounted forward of crossbar now

Loop H-bar is a bit narrower...

So what does this all mean?  Well I should be able to mount my Rohloff shifter, brake lever and a full Ergon Grip on the Loop H-bar without having to hack away at the Ergon Grip.  This should be better from a comfort perspective and allow easier reach to the brakes which will allow for more control in a technical downhill section.  Of course it is really hard to evaluate the rest of the more subtle differences that exist between these bars.  I’ll have to mount the Loop H-bars up and see what I think after a few months.  I would have waited until I had more info and had some test kms under my belt, but I was too stoked to wait…plus I figured somebody out there might want a head’s up so they can get in on the last few bars left from this production run.

Thanks Jeff Jones for making some lower cost bars – that rocks!…=-)

Titec H-Bars on Pugsley & Big Dummy

19 02 2009
Titec H Bar

Titec H Bar

I’ve had Titec H-bars on my Surly Big Dummy since last spring and used them on my Pugsley for a a couple months.  On the Big Dummy they are pretty much ideal.  They give you a wide hand position to control heavy loads as well as a few other options to give you the ability to switch things up on longer rides.  The stretched out “aero” position is nice for long road rides or tours.  I think I’d like some of Jeff Jones new variants on the H-bar even better, but I can’t quite allow myself to spend $500-$600 on a set of handle bars.  I do hope some of these designs get licensed by Titec and we see $100 aluminum versions someday soon.

Pugnacious H Bars

Pugnacious H Bars

I’m not as sold on the H-bars for the Pugsley.  On one hand if you are cruising, touring or generally riding around on non-technical trails these bars are excellent.  However, as I ride more technical mountain bikey trails I’m not as fond of them.  I think a standard MTB riser bar you give me more control and let me throw the bike around better.  This is mostly due to the fact that with my Alfine shifter and Avid brake levers I can’t brake effectively from the far outside of the bars [cross bar forces you to mount the brake lever well ahead of the grips and shifter] so I end up moving my hands inboard to reach the brakes reducing my comfort and leverage. Jeff Jones doesn’t recommend Ergon Grips on these bars and in fact I don’t think he’d be stoked about my setup at all so perhaps that’s the issue not the bars themselves.  Having said that I love the Ergon Grips and Alfine so my options are limited.  I’m not quite at the point where I care enough to actually swap in some riser bars to confirm my theory, but I might get around to it this summer.  One way to make my H-bars work better on the Pugsley is to get the brake levers closer to the grips.  The Avid v-brake levers on there now are non-adjustable.  I’ve got some Shimano SLX hyraulic disc brakes waiting to get installed. They have an easy reach adjustment so I’ll be able to dial things in a bit.  The riser bars will give me more control, but at the expense of all those comfy hand positions so it’s not a clear cut decision.