Cycling in Brisbane Australia
The riser-bar on a bike I often commute on has persistent surface rust, which annoys me a lot because I keep it clean and dry as much as possible. I've been wanting to try butterfly-bars for a while, so after a bit of shopping I found what I wanted and a few weeks the bars arrived in the post, so some shopping for bar-tape later, I went to work replacing the old handle-bar.
The change-over is quite easy, I have two separate brake levers and one twist-shifter for the gears (8-speed internal hub gears). I only needed one hex-key, a socket scissors and a screwdriver to remove the old handlebar 'furniture' and handlebar and install the new handlebar and stuff. No special skill was needed, though I wasn't sure which way up to put the new handlebar as it can be installed in four different ways, and even then, the tilt of the bar can be adjusted. A quick look on the internet didn't help much, though I did get a few tips about wrapping the bar tape, for which I did a few 'practice runs' before I was happy with the result. All up the change-over took about an hour and didn't require any special skills. All the cables reached the new position on the handlebar and no other adjustment was needed.
A bit wobbly on the first dozen yards when riding with the new butterfly-bars, but overall they have about the same response to movement as the old flat bars. Still a very 'site-up-and-beg' riding position, but very comfortable and more ways to hold on and ride than I can think of. Been riding it with the butterfly-bar installed into the CBD to work for two weeks now, and I would say I can't find a position to hold on that's uncomfortable. There are way more places to hold on than on drop-bars, and I find the bar tape more comfortable and not as slippery when wet as the rubber grips were - no gloves needed! A downside (which I didn't expect) is that I still can't get low when riding into the wind. I like the butterfly-bar, much more comfortable than the flat bars and it will be staying on the bike, but might experiment with the position more - tilts, flip them etc.
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Highly recommended, I see now why tourers like them - 8 out of 10 Freds!
When in Holland we cycled around on upright 'hybrid bikes' (essentially with derailleurs instead of a hub box) and they had butterfly bars. They were probably overkill on a bike that was already very upright but I can see the appeal on a typical Australian 'hybrid' bike as you can make many adjustments to the bar position until you get it just right.
I also found that when we were tired or there was a hell of a headwind (ie. Most of the time! There is a reason they have lots of windmills there) I could lean my forearms on them like aerobars. Not quite as aerodynamic mind you but better than being bolt upright. The range of positions on these bars made them quite useful for touring.