I finally did it. I got myself a trekking handlebar. I had wanted one for some time as I really needed to do something for my wrist and neck pain. I was hoping the trekking bar, with one hand position a little closer to me and adjustable to be higher as well, would make a difference for my neck, but the main thing I had hoped it would do is give me more hand positions for longer rides to reduce wrist pain.
I had asked around at various local bike shops (I'm stretching local here, checking out bike shops in neighbouring cities--Stoney Creek, Burlington, Oakville, Ancaster, Dundas, Guelph, even Toronto) and could not find anyone that carried trekking bars, sometimes called euro or butterfly bars. I had heard Nashbar carried them, but they seemed to have discontinued them for the time being.
I finally ordered mine from Wallingford Bicycle Parts in New Orleans. They had to travel a little distance to make it to me, but I didn't expect it to take 15 days! On the 15th day in the morning, being on vacation and itching to go riding, but not wanting to do so 'til I had my new handlebar installed, finally called Bill at Wallbike to see if they'd actually been sent or he could track them. He gave me the tracking number and I found that it was in Hamilton. I picked it up that night from the post office. Here's what I got:
That same night I went to MEC to get some cork handlebar tape and put the new handlebar on. I had never wrapped a bar with tape before, so I watched a couple of online tutorials before wrapping mine. I think it went okay.
Above is the final positioning of the new bar. I took it out for a ride yesterday--about 4 hours--and felt okay about it. It is really much better for my hands. I love having more hand positions. No neck pain, but my back was getting a little sore. Part of it obviously has to do with the shape I've gotten into over the winter, but I thought bringing the front end of the bar up a little more would be good. So I raised the front end by another couple of inches and went for another 2-hour ride.
I'm really enjoying the new setup. I now have a slightly more upright posture and have more hand positions. No pain today. And it almost feels like I'm handling a steering wheel rather than a handlebar. I really like it!
Next items: a cycling computer that is stem-mountable (the one I got recently was defective), perhaps a little German mirror and, of course, Old Man Mountain racks and Ortlieb panniers.