John ware

Active Member
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I'm preparing to do the week long 450 mile ride across Iowa, RAGBRAI, this July on my ST2 . Obviously power management will be a major focus but I've also been concerned about riding comfort. I think I have one end of the equation worked out with my BodyFloat and a Terry saddle, but limited hand positions with the standard straight bar would likely to be a pain in the neck and hands, literally.

So I started doing some research and decided on giving a trekking bar a try. I have one on my regular road bike and like it so I went for it.

Check out the pics above or below, I don't seem to have control.

I'm just in evaluation stage at this point having done just one 22 mile ride but I love the option of having 3-4 spots to rest my hands. So far the primary position, where I have direct control over the brakes, gears and assist switch is proving to be very comfortable. The position is a couple inches closer and more inward than the standard bar but steering feels very natural and it feels like I'm just a tad more uprights in my position. One interesting change is the new primary position feels like It provides the ability to do more "pulling" against the bar in my baring down mode.

Distance and time on the saddle will be the true test but so far it seems to be working nicely, even if the simplicity and beauty of the straight bar is lost for the time being. There was no need for cable changes other than to rewrap the retaining "tape", although the shifter cables do have to make a little sharper curve, but it does not appear to effect the performance.

Anyways, it's an interesting experiment and for under $100 worth a try.

Product details

Handlebars from eBay - China knockoff but actually come in the 31.8mm bar size for $23
Trekking Cycling Road Mountain Bike Bicycle Butterfly Handlebar 25.4mm 31.8mm

Ergon GP1 BioKork Grip Shift Grips $25

Planet Bike Comfort GEL Road Bike Handlebar Tape with Reflective Bar Plugs - $16

Planet Bike Century Gel Pads for Road Bike Handlebars -$13

Photo 1 - The original beauty
Photo 2 - Naked fit to test fit and position
Photo 3 & 4 - Padding applied
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Love it!
Very interesting mods.
I hooked up my aerobars and it took me a while to get the position right but resting on my elbows was such a relief after the 100 miles.
I look fwd to your report on the RAGBRAI.

Charles Peck

New Member
I look forward to reading about your distance experience very much. I have always altered my riding position to more upright by changing the handle bars and have been looking/thinking of ways to do this to my new ST2 I take possession of this afternoon. This looks like a great solution that doesn't require expensive recabling, thanks for the parts list!


Active Member
See you at RAGBRAI this year! I'll look out for the white ST2. I have the same trekking/butterfly bars on my Surly LHT that I am taking. For long rides they cannot be beat for hand positions since i hate drop bars.

Its a hilly route this year so an eBike should be pretty sweet.

How are you planning to charge it each night?

Be warned: while most Ragbrai riders are really cool and accepting of just about everything, I've seen A LOT of people throwing shade at anyone that rides an eBike on RAGBRAI. Think of a clever response to shut them up.

John ware

Active Member
Thanks Gus. I've been a little apprehensive about the ebike shaming I may be in for on RAGBRAI. I have a young friend who is very much into everything cycling and works for bike parts distributor and lives in the Midwest, when I mentioned my concern to him he said "tough, they'll have to bet over it, ebikes are coming". Still I'm keeping my options open and training on my restored vintage Trek as well as the ST2.

Given that I'll be trudging along with my self supported trailer and they will likely be passing me as they shame me so I should have time for a suite of smart responses. If that doesn't work then the collection of RAGBRAI 5-11 patches and my gray beard may help deflect some to the comments.

I did a test ride of 26 miles the other day with a fully loaded trailer on 1 or none for assist level and I consumed right around 23% of my battery. With the longest day of 75 miles I'm hoping I can make it on a single charge. I'm signed up for a charter service so I'm hoping I'll be able to charge there at night otherwise I may be attempting multiple partial charges through out the day.

On a related note, the other day while I was out lumbering along with my trailer a fellow cyclist in Lycra on a carbon fiber bike came whizzing by me and didn't say a word. You'll never guess what was going through my sun baked head at that moment, yep, I felt like yelling "cheater". Guess it's just the degree of pain you are enduring that differeniates you from a cheater or a cheated.


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Steve Loe

New Member
Cool project! I'll also be at RAGBAI, but not on my Stromer. First time RAGBAIer. I signed up with PBV charter. Which charter service are you using?

John ware

Active Member
The last time I rode RAGBRAI was 33 years ago so I'm looking forward to seeing what's the same and what has changed since summer of 1983 when my wife and I did it on our tandem. I'm with Brancel Charters but I'm also training to do the week self supported on my ST2 + trailer. A good friend of mine, also from the SF Bay Area is going for the first time and is with PBV so we'll have to say hi.