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I currently have a flat bar on a hybrid bike (the Scott Sub10). It's a great bike, and I had the saddle height and angle adjusted at the store, so I've got the right leg angle on the down stroke and this, that, and the other, too.

I commute about 2-5 miles per day, depending on errands, and my body positioning tires me. I put a lot of my body weight forward, and as a result my arms and shoulders are tired at the end of the ride and my hands hurt. I don't think this is a result of the bar stem height being too low, though.

Anyway, I spoke to a guy at my local bike shop and he told me that trekking bars would be a little out of the question, but he wouldn't say why. I suspect it is because of the brake/shifter system. Only when pressured would he reveal there were bar ends to give drop hand positions. What's so bad about these?

Essentially I'm asking for some corroboration here. I want to know if bar ends are the best choice, or if I can do something like a trekking bar and be better off, or if even I can adjust the bike somehow. (A full drop bar being out of the question due to price)

  • If the bike is new, the shop should be working more to adjust it. Why do you think its not because the bar is too low? (This is often the case, aside from having a too small bike). Drop bar bar ends are typically too wide apart for drop use on a normal bar, but things like the Ergon GP3 are useful for longer rides (but they will likely not solve the problem you have). – Batman Mar 29 '16 at 6:16
  • The bike is fairly new and in fact they adjusted it today for me, doing a very cheap line bleed and rotor replacement for my brakes. That said, I don't believe it to be a bar height issue becaues when I purchased it, the employee and I talked at length about how I was going to use it, what I expected out of it, etc. I probably rode it around their parking lot for 30 minutes before he had adjusted everything to his liking. I have seen drop bar ends that clamp onto the bar, and not specifically just the end. – Bronze Mar 29 '16 at 6:41
  • 30 minutes in a parking lot is not enough to say that it isn't bar height. If the bar isn't at its highest setting, move it up a bit and see if that makes life better. The other thing is that you may be shifting weight due to saddle width or position as well. – Batman Mar 29 '16 at 7:15
  • The bike is fairly new but it needed a new rotor? Separately, its not quite a dupe of bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2516/pros-cons-of-bar-ends but there is a lot of bar-end info there. Think about your riding position while riding - are you working your arm and shoulder muscles? How's your lower back? Is your stomach squashed ? As a 40something I can't bend like the younger riders and prefer a slightly upright posititon, which all the fitting guides say is far too high. Your body has the final say in whether its right or not. – Criggie Mar 29 '16 at 9:20
  • New-used. It was a used bicycle. I guess they didn't think to put brand-new rotors on it before I got it, and that was five months ago. I don't know if that means they gave me worn rotors, though. I did just read the (almost) entirety of Sheldon Brown's discussion on posture and having ridden to work today I'm quite displeased with how upright it makes me. Shoulders forward, elbows bent and I feel too upright. – Bronze Mar 29 '16 at 18:33
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You should look at having the bike re-adjusted.

Your complaint,

my body positioning tires me. I put a lot of my body weight forward, and as a result my arms and shoulders are tired at the end of the ride and my hands hurt.

Is indicative of a bike which is set up too long/too low. It is possible that your body will adapt to the position, in time.

Changing to a drop bar, or adding bar ends in the dropped position will only make the bike longer and lower, which will exacerbate the problem you are complaining about.

In addition, the stock bars on the Sub 10 are a mountain bike rider style bar, with a width of about 24.5 inches.

Adding bar ends in a dropped position on that bar will also make your hand position exceptionally wide, which will affect the handling of the bike. In addition, it will put you in a riding position where you have no access to the brakes or shifters, which is unsafe.

You mentioned that the shop employee was reluctant to mention these bar ends. That is likely because he feels that they are inappropriate for your bike, and/or will not solve your problem. And I would agree.

I expect a solution would require a shorter stem and more rise on the bar, assuming the frame is the correct size.

It is impossible for us to say for sure though, because we can't see you on the bike.

Good Luck. :)

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