Avoiding Numb Hands – Trekking Bars (Buttefly Bars) Use and Setup (Video)

Have you experienced numb fingers on long bike rides? When your hands are in the same position for hours, and especially if you’re riding everyday for a week or more, the pressure on nerves can made you lose sensation in your hands. Road bikes have drop handle bars, that provide the rider at least 3 main hand positions but mountain bikes, with straight bars only have one although you can add bar ends as an easy way to add a second.


Let’s say you want to use a mountain bike for touring as your road bike just isn’t setup for racks and carrying a lot of equipment. An option is adding Trekking bars which are also called butterfly bars based on their shape which will give you three main hand positions. You might be asking why not just use road bike drop bars? You can but it’s going to take more effort and more money if you want to do it right. You see, there isn’t an easy way to just move your mountain brake levers and shifters to drop bars. You can use road levers but you’ll have to make some modifications to make them work v-brakes. If your looking for a fast and inexpensive conversion, watch the following video:

These are the trekking bars in the video for less than $20 (they show a silver bar but the description is black):

Published by Johnny P

Johnny P has been a bicycle lover since he was a child. He's a self propelled individual with a zest for living. His mother tells a story about finding young Johnny on his tricycle on the couch ready to do his best Evil Kenivel jump. He loves to build bikes as much as ride them. He lives in Denver, CO with his wife where he operates a sales and marketing company that he founded.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Any thoughts on best angle to tilt them for comfort? Or Flipping them to gap forward? Or Brake levers on front of front loop vs aft loop?

    I just stuck one on with brakes on front, and tilted a bit more low in back than your example. Didn’t wrap it yet (ouch) for quick couple of mile test – fore arms are sore already.

    Good ideas out there… One fellow has an Ergon grip (nice !) at bottom by brake/shifter and a silicone rubber (siligel com) grips on side (looks great).
    Another fellow double wrapped bars with either other layer of tape (trim back bottom layer away from where tape tucks in bar end.) or bottom layer can be inner tube.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *