I have an old aluminum roadbike on my Elite trainer. I need to modify the handlebar, to provide a more ergonomic grip. Is there a "split" or two-part grip that will fit around the bar, or do I need to replace the entire bar?
@Friday Thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you have a bike with traditional "drop bars." Unlike most bikes with "flat bars", these handlebars are actually wrapped with a handlebar tape. If you are in search of a more comfortable ride or hand position, we have a few reccomendations for you.
First, there are several choices for different handlebar tapes that would increase the diamater of the bar, change the shape slightly, or allow a bit of gel padding. Check out the options here and here. This is an informative video on how to wrap that new tape on your bars.
Second, you could try adjusting the angle or position of your current bar. You would be amazed how rotating the bars slightly up or down can completely change your hands relationship with the bar and significantly increase comfort.
Finally, if you want to try a new handlebar there is a great article on how to choose one here.
Of course you can stop by your local REI and any of our Green Vests in the Cycling Department would be happy to help you explore your options. Hope this helps and have fun logging time on that new trainer!
Well said @REI-BryanV .
@Friday Great question. I don't know of any grips that are split to allow installation on the top of a road bike handlebar. The big problem would be that the grip would not hold very well due to the split.
If you are experienicing discomfort or numbing of your hands while riding on the trainer, making some adjustments (as Bryan shared) to the height of the bars or angle of your seat might help alleviate some of the pressure on your hands, resulting in less discomfort. An REI employee or shop technician should be able to help with this. If these adjustments don't work, you can try a few things.
One option is to "build up" the tape. You can do this a few ways. You can cut some strips of tape and lay them across the top of the handle bar and then tape over them, creating a padded, flat spot on the top of the bars. Another option would be to add 2-3 additional layers of padded tape around the top of the bar. While the second option isn't as ergonomic, it does provide a lot of padding and comfortable grip, especially when on a trainer. Both options may be just enough to help you out.
Taping road bike bars is not difficult if you know how, but can be challenging. If you are not comfortable trying it yourself, you could bring your bike to your local REI and a shop technician could work with you to tape the bars in a way that provides the padding and some ergonimics as I described above.
I hope this helps.