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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been thinking about updating my handlebars. I really like the feel of the newer style (flatter top bar) Are all handlebars created equal when it comes to mounting them? Will I not be able to update this on my 80's bike?

Important to note is that I'm 6'3 245. I have what some people like to call twinkie fingers (size 14 ring). My hands are 10" long and 11" wide pinky to thumb.

I'm also thinking about a new saddle.

 

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The problem you're going to have is that most bars nowadays have a 31.8mm clamp diameter. Yours should be 25.4mm's.

There are some bars still available and adapters to convert to a threadless stem, but given the age of the bike, the expense and hassle of converting, I suggest maintaining the bike and riding it 'as is'.

If you want to upgrade, upgrade to a new (modern) bike.. but keep the Raleigh. It's a cool bike.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Ya I'll talk to my wife tonight about just getting a new bike. OK back to reality. Thanks for the diameter info. a quick search yielded these:

Bontrager Flat Top handlebar 40cm , road drop bars in 25.4mm clamp size! - B & L Bicycles near Paradise Creek on the Palouse in Pullman
Unless you have narrow shoulders for your body, a 40cm bar isn't going to be very comfortable for you.

Again, the problem isn't finding bars with 25.4mm clamping diameter, it's lack of selection.
 

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Bar diameter

The problem you're going to have is that most bars nowadays have a 31.8mm clamp diameter. Yours should be 25.4mm's.

There are some bars still available and adapters to convert to a threadless stem, but given the age of the bike, the expense and hassle of converting, I suggest maintaining the bike and riding it 'as is'.

If you want to upgrade, upgrade to a new (modern) bike.. but keep the Raleigh. It's a cool bike.
Agree that upgrading that bike has limited value. And note that there were a couple of bar diameter sizes available back then so while 25.4mm is probably right, it should be checked carefully before ordering anything.
 

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Ya looks like its not possible. Maybe a little thicker tape job will have to do.
When you re-tape, you might try building up some layers under the tape to get some approximation of the flat-top shape you're looking for. I've done this quite successfully. It looks like you've got foam grip on there now, and it will have to be cut up to be removed anyway. Cut some pieces to build up the shape, attach with double-sided tape, then finish with a last layer of tape. You can improve comfort considerably this way. Don't forget the bends, and the drops if you use them much.
 
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