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Handlebars, etc on new P38

I'm wondering what changes some of you have made to the bars and controls of your bikes. There doesn't seem to be a search function or photos on this forum so I'm asking for ideas
What I'd like to do is change to more swept back design like a Modolo Gran Fondo with longer brake levers (don't like the 2 finger mountain bike style) and Paul's Thumbies instead of bar ends. Your feed back would be appreciated.

Hi again Howard,

The stock Lightning handlebar is very tough to beat for light weight. If you are willing to add a bit of weight to the bike, you can get a stem from Lightning that allows you to pivot the handlebar forward and backward, and locks the bar in place.

It is also possible to adapt pivoting handlebars made by other companies to a P-38. One of my bikes has an ancient Vision pivoting handlebar. There is somewhat fuzzy photo of the bike - with a Turner hardshell seat - about half way down the gallery area of this site. Handlebars from RANS, Terracycle, and others could be used if you so desire. They have to be compatible with the one inch fork steerer and headset you have on your bike.

You could put Paul thumbies on the Lightning if you like. The only shifters that do not make sense on a P-38 are Shimano Rapidfires that hang below the handlebar. Your knees can bump into them unless the handlebar is adjusted very high up.

My advice: ride the bike in stock form for awhile before making changes. You might find that the hand positions for shifting and braking that seem strange at first will grow on you over time.

And if you put in some miles with the stock set-up and still desire something different, you can always experiment in the future.

Safe riding,

Hi Joel,
Sage advice to ride it for a while .
I plan on doing that but I also enjoy tinkering.
I saw a very cool handlebar and thought it would look good on the bike. It's a Mondolo Gran Fondo.
I was wondering too if the stem can be rotated 180 and face forward (with all controls reversed as well)?
BTW I was a little surprised to see that the front "performance" wheel had half the spokes removed. The holes that remain are a grim reminder that this rim is multi-purpose. Doesn't look too good.

Don't know anything about the Mondolo Gran Fondo. Very impressive name though.

It may not improve the bike at all, but with a name like that, the bike will certainly SOUND faster.

Regarding your front wheel: as wheels get smaller and smaller, they get stronger and stronger. I would not worry about the dearth of spokes on your front wheel. Unless you are built like a pro linebacker, the half-spoked wheel will be just fine. And if you are built like a linebacker, you already exceed the Lightning frame weight limit anyway.

Ride the thing as Brummer intended for awhile. You can always personalize the bike and tinker to your heart's content later on.

I understand the urge to not leave well enough alone, and have yielded to it frequently in the past. In many cases when I modified my Lightning bikes, I later decided that the original configuration was best.

Put a few hundred miles on the bike and tell us your first impressions.

Safe riding,

I think an 18 spoke wheel is plenty strong enough. It's a 36 hole rim so there are 18 unused spoke holes that I'm looking at. Maybe cost is a factor here but starting with an 18 spoke rim would be a better looking 'performance' wheel.
In all other respects the bike is well prepped and the yellow paint job is striking.

There may not be any 20" ISO 406 rims available in an 18 hole drilling. Or they might be available, but only at a premium price as a special order. Think of the unused spoke holes in your front wheel as a weight reduction side effect and you will feel better.


I agree about riding the bike for a while before getting radical with bars. After two years I changed to backwards Bachetta bars with Scram twist shifters. I totally love the setup but it is a semi-closed cockpit. The one time I went down (slow speed dumb move) I had no damage to my hand/arm, but to get unclipped and get up, a buddy had to lift my bars a bit so I could slide out of the seat, much like my Bachetta buddies. The handling did improve considerably; I posted in August about that.


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