After injuring my neck, shoulder and arm on a fall from my bike I need the type of handlebar that you see more commonly on a cruiser bike. ie that is one that gives you anupright sitting position. My bikes are a Merida 100d and a Specialized Ariel. Does anyone know of a handlebar the can fit these bikes. Erin
You can likely find bars the will fit, but keep in mind that you still want the bike to function which means moving over your shifters and brake levers. While you could probably do this as a DIY project, I'd really recommend going to a bike shop and at least getting some advice first.
The can help you select a bar that is the right diameter to fit with your current stem and talk you through issues like re-cabling (longer bars probably mean longer cables) and where/how to mount shifters and brake levers. You might end up wanting to change brake levers to a different type depending on bars.
Don't forget the you still need to be able to get on and handle the bike. You will be doing some strange things with the center of rotation for the bars. At low speed (...i.e. the speed cruiser bikes that normally have these bars), this is probably not an issue. But you get up to high speed on a decent and you might find yourself in trouble. Start slow and see how it handles.
The simplest thing to do would be swap the stem for one that gets your handlebar taller, say some 5 inches taller at least, perhaps preferrably more. This would allow you to keep your current "cockpit", with grips and levers and shifters etc.
If you don't find the taller stem (I've had a hard time finding really tall stems at the shops), I would suggest a BMX handlebar, since they get your hands much higher.
One thing to note is: when you raise your hands and torso, the body weight gets shifted so that there's less weight on the front wheel, which might affect handling making the bike a bit more unstable and prone to unwanted wheelies uphill. In this case, a BMX handlebar can be more adjustable because by rotating it in the stem you can adjust reach to get a good weight-balance and steering behaviour. The downside is the torque BMX handlebars apply on the stem, which usually is not a problem if you don't ride aggressively.
A final note on the BMX handlebar: some shifters don't fit well around the curves of the handlebar, test it before buying, if you will.
And, of course, cable and router lengths will most probably need to be replaced for longer ones.
Hope that helps!