Formerly known as the "eco-friendly bicycling photographer" of Long Beach. I've since traveled 10,000 miles through the US as PathLessPedaled.com. I now find myself in the US bike epicenter - Portland. Join me as I re-enter the working world to save for the next adventure.
I've got a new poll up! What kind of handlebars do you use? I personally was a great fan of the Nitto Randonneur bar. It had a great shape. Flat-ish ramps made a comfortable platform, the drops were on the shallow side and flared out for comfort. At one point, each of my bikes had them. Two years later, only my road bike has them and everything else has Albatross bars in some configuration or the other.
For me, I enjoy the rather upright position of Albatross bars. I also find that the A-bar is actually a pretty good multi-position bar. There is a more slow and meandering position near the ends and a more aggressive position near the stem. I particularly enjoy them on loaded climbs out of the saddle. The wide bars give a comfortable and stable handhold to stomp on. When I was using drops, I was mostly on the hoods. With some stem adjustment, I position the A-bars so they are roughly where the hoods were on my drops.
One thing I have discovered (maybe someone who is savvy with frame geometry can confirm or deny this), is that the modern frame is generally not made for swept-back bars. For swept backs to work, for me, I have to use a longer stem (120 to 135mm range), whereas if the bars were drops, I would be using something in the 90mm to 100mm range. What this means is if I were to by a frame and I knew that I was going to use an A-bar or equivalent with it, I would buy a frame that is a size or two larger.
On my cargo bike, I've made a modification to my A-bar. I wanted a slightly more stretched out position (the stem was a little shorter than I would have liked), so I experimented with sliding on some mountain bike bar-ends onto the center of the bar. This gives me something that is like an H-bar. It's great. On long straight stretches, I find myself holding on to the bar ends in some form or the other.
Anyway, what kind of bar do you use now? Has it been an evolution to your current bar?