This is a plea for people to not take up transportation bicycling in America. Bicycle riders are being duped by faulty designs that will hurt you after cumulative outings. The static handlebars that are found on most bikes have a variety of configurations but they all have only one hand position. The occasional trip to the library or store won’t hurt you but, using one hand position daily has cumulative effects which causes nerve trauma in the wrist, hands, shoulders and lower back. Americans should be cautious before attempting to bike ride to work or school and using a bike for transportation needs. If you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle there are better ways to get fit than transportation bike riding. For example start by standing at your desk instead of sitting all day long. Hey, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk in your neighborhood. Whatever you do don’t get on a bike with a static hand position. You are guaranteed to start hurting somewhere in no time at all. If there was a better handlebar for transportation bike riding it hasn’t been made. Or has it?
It has been discovered that in Australia in the early part of the twentieth century a major trend was to turn drop racing handlebars upside down. This style of handlebar is possibly the origin of why Australia is known as the land down under. Locals called this style of handlebar “down under” because it gave them added strength to get down under when accelerating and climbing hills. Today, in Australia this tradition of the “down under’ is long forgotten and with it mandatory helmet laws that are effectively stamping out transportation bike riding.
If Australia will take that step to eradicate bike riding should America also take the lead to prevent further injury of especially our sedentary population? As a professional bicycle rider with over four decades of transportation bike riding experience I fully recommend an American modified “down under” style of handlebar if you dare to attempt transportation bike riding. On this blog domotion2011 I have a DIY page for the “Detroit Handlebar” and REV 2 modification that goes two steps further to complete a handlebar style for transportation bike riding. The Detroit handlebar is multiple hand positions that allows your wrist, hands, shoulders and torso to move constantly through a wide range of hand grips. The upright riding posture is variable as your grip changes from resting, to a power grip to braking. The Detroit handlebar smashes static handlebars and defeats cumulative trauma associated with one hand grip handlbars.
Either way, the fewer bike riders on the streets the less hassle car drivers have with uninitiated individuals that fail to educate themselves fully before they attempt transportation bike riding. So for those that will build themselves a REV2 modification all the best and to the rest good luck and don’t get hurt. Stay out of the lane if you don’t know what you are doing. Safety first. Don’t leave home for fear of getting hurt.