|*Image from Bike Touring News|
|I still haven't settled on a bar tape color... but I will, eventually.|
This particular set measures 57 cm at the widest point, providing a broad stance. However, there are also lots of positions on the bars that are much narrower. For a mountain biker, the distance may not seem very wide at all, but for someone used to drops or more standard upright bars, there is a definite difference. If a rider prefers a narrow position in a handlebar, there are positions on this bar that fit that need, but the widest points of the handlebars would likely go unused perhaps making them not an ideal option.
While there are technically four hand positions, I find that I use a broad spectrum of space in between each of these, depending on the day and/or task. It seems a natural place to put my hands at the sides (the widest point) of the bar, much as one would with a northroad style or albatross handlebar, and I do spend a fair amount of time here depending on where I'm riding.
If I have a little more space in traffic or I'm out on back roads, I find that my hands naturally tend to want to move around the corners/bends of the bars. When I feel the need to sit more directly upright, I use the portion of the bar directly in front of and closest to me.
As someone who needs to move her hands frequently when riding, having so many possibilities is really ideal. Even for those who don't have injuries or ailments that require position changes, it's a good idea not to stay in one position for too long to prevent strain, injuries, and just simply pain.
I will note that I have tried these bars on a couple of different road bikes too. Both of these bikes were quite stable using a drop bar set up, but I didn't necessarily appreciate the trekking bars on each of these bikes the way I do on the Campeur. More specifically, the set up with the trekking bars worked decently on one of the road bikes, but the other seemed to make the bikes' handling more squirrelly. This could be a result of different body positioning on each bike, however.
Sitting more upright on a bike intended for speed doesn't seem to be a good combination with these handlebars - at least during my limited testing. Granted, these are handlebars meant for long distance, multi-day cycling, so using them on a bike meant for faster rides is perhaps not ideal, depending on the situation and again on the riders preferences.
There are a lot of handlebars on the market to choose from for a variety of riding purposes, so I often find myself wondering what the benefit is of one type over another. As pointed out earlier, I think the biggest asset with these is the number of hand position possibilities. Beyond that, it becomes a matter of likes and dislikes as well as aesthetics. If a drop bar set up is working well for the rider, I see no true advantage to these handlebars. However, if the rider struggles with utilizing all the positions available or if one additional position may do the trick, these may be a set to try out.
If you've tried these on your own bike, I'd love to get your feedback in regard to what you've liked or haven't with this style of handlebar. Likewise, if you have questions, I will do my best to answer, or perhaps others can offer their expertise.