Through the years, strapping my bags to my bike, loading them up with camping gear, and hopping over my saddle has been described as “the couch.” Maybe it was a reference to watching football every Sunday on the couch, with a beer, food, and your team on the boobtube, everything you need, right? What I’m getting at is that the couch is pretty darn comfortable. A least at the beginning of the game, before your team goes down 14-0, that couch is a pretty cozy place.

When I thought my couch was as comfortable as it could get, I slapped on some 710 Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars on my Surly Moonlander. The main reason was to give me a more upright position to cure my unnecessary pains. Not until I actually talked to Jeff on the phone did he convince me that his bars are capable of so much more. Riding my bike down Schafer Road, into the canyons and along the White Rim, I kept thinking to myself, he was right.

The Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars
Jeff Jones has gone through a number of styles with his bars, but has stuck to one major theme, a lot of sweep, 45 degrees to be exact. Also present on all of his bars is a 13mm rise/drop. Starting with his original steel H-Bar with one hand position, all the way to the Loop H-Bar – Jeff understands the need for comfort, and carries through with these innovations.

Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars Jeff Jones designed the Loop bars to make for a better overall ride. The bar gives riders more hand positions, an inherent benefit for bikepacking. The extension bar out front gives space for plenty of fun gadgets, like lights, GPS, SPOT, and other items. The loop feature also stiffens up the bar. Jeff originally started with the 660mm bars, Surly asked Jeff if they would make some longer ones for a hand full of 2014 bikes. The rest is history, even Jeff said he digs the longer bars.

“It’s made from two different tubes that are butted (one is also tapered) then both are bent , mitered and welded together, then heat treated, etc. This is not a normal handlebar that is made from a single piece of bent tubing. And it is not made it giant numbers like most normal bars. It is very well made and works very well” says Jeff Jones.

The Test
The Loop H-Bars have been on my Moonlander since June, primarily for the fatty commuter I put together early this summer. But my intentions have always been to use them for long days in the saddle. Recently I have done just that, trying to figure out if these bars are Tour Divide friendly. Although the bars are pretty beautiful naked, I installed extra long ESI Chunky Grips and some red Lizard Skin Bar tape, which doubled as my bag stabilizer and bar protector.

Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars

Unless you purchase a custom bar, 45° of sweep is the most you are going to find for mountain biking. A normal bar will typically have about 9° of sweep. Some companies, like Salsa, have bars with more sweep (23° ). Either way, it’s no where close to what Jeff Jones is doing. By using so much sweep, the bars keep you more upright. It also keeps you more centered on your bike, rather than leaning forward which proved to be helpful on descents.

I have noticed the sweep does not hinder my riding performance, it actually gives me more confidence which was hard to believe before my first ride with them. The industry trend has gone towards shorter stems and wider bars. 710mm bars could be considered short now. But the H-bars actually feel much longer than what they really are creating a bar with stability and responsiveness. You don’t have to move the bar all that much to get your bike to do what you have ordered. The bar comfortably kept my hands, and shoulders in a position that I enjoyed being in. I am currently using a 90mm, 10mm rise Thompson stem.

Hand Positions
After I got off the White Rim last week, my next ride on my full suspension was rather interesting. I instantly moved my hand from the grips and tucked my hands in closer to the stem of my bars. My body understands comfort, and it instantly mimicked the upright position of my Jones Loop H-Bars. My standard position would be right over the brake clamp, it is a nice middle ground.

Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars

While pedaling out of the saddle or in more aggressive terrain my hands would sit at the ends of the bars, giving me full leverage to pull up or crank down. When I needed to have my hand on the brake for descents, I would align my hands with the brake, about 2 inches in from the end of the bars. When I was working against the wind I would lean over the bike, and reach my hands on the loop further away from me. This position makes you more aero while not sacrificing comfort all that much. I also found myself resting my forearms on the loop part of the bars mimicking aero bars.

A few things to note. When I plan on using the bars for more singletrack, I will likely roll with an 80mm stem. I did not notice too much reach out of the 90mm stem, I just want a little more comfort and control on the rough stuff. Your hands naturally want to be placed at the end of the bar when descending, this took some getting used to for me. I could always trim my ESI Grips a bit and move the brake clamp down the bar, but it would create a useless space on the bars, the opposite of what these are meant for.

Pros: Multiple hand positions, plenty of space for gadgets, comfortable sweep, flip bars for 13mm rise/drop

Cons: Have to move hands to brake, heavy, but carbon available soon

Overall
The Jones Loop H-Bars are the alternative to your standard flat or drop bars. The ability to have so many different hand positions, while creating so much extra space, without sacrificing function of steering is a huge bonus. I keep finding new comfortable positions, which is likley to alleviate the issues with numb hands. Jeff has found the sweet spot between sweep, rise, and length to make a fantastic product, especially for adventure cycling.

IMG_3677

Titanium 710 – $425.00
Aluminum 710 – $125.00
Carbon 710 – $295.00

For more options and to purchase, visit their website


37 Comments

  1. Got me from Banff to the Mexican border in supreme comfort. These bars are amazing!

  2. Tried an older H-bar on my SS years back .. now own 2 Jones bikes. Just a warning … : )

  3. Pingback: BIKPACKING review: The Interesting Jones H-Bar …. | Kitesurf Bike rambling

  4. Enjoyed your review. What handlebar bag are you using there?

  5. Has anyone found they have knee-overlap with the Jones H? I just built a Krampus with Jones H bars, and my knee and thigh hits the hb during turns. Scary. I can adjust my body, but feel this is a little dangerous. I do use a zero-offset seatpost for KOPS, which brings me forward, but still. It is a lot of overlap.

    • I’ve noticed this during U-turns. I compensate by pointing my knee out Moto style before making these turns. I run a 50mm stem with a layback seatpost on my Jones Spaceframe.

  6. Pingback: Bedrock Entrada Handlebar Bag with Pocket - Bikepackers Magazine

  7. Can you use this on a rocky mountain blizzard?

  8. Are these made in USA by Jeff still ? I read on some forum that they were sourced overseas, but couldnt confirm

  9. What is the red thingamajig on the front of your bars?

  10. Pingback: Fatback Corvus Review - Bikepackers Magazine

  11. Pingback: Tips from the Road |

  12. Pingback: 2015 Bikepackers Holiday Gift Guide - Bikepackers Magazine

  13. So due to pictures from the most recent GDMBR I’m guessing that you deemed the non-divide friendly. Can you elaborate on that a bit? And did you ever try and set them up with the Fred Bar at all?

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      Hey Luke,

      Yes I ended up going with the 12 Degree Thompson Bar. I wanted a Ti bar to take away from the stiff Whisky carbon fork and my ENVE wheels. The Jones Ti Bar is nearly twice the price and is pretty heavy over the Thompson Bar. I also really like the feel of the aero bars after I customized them to fit with my Thompson Bar. I also noticed that my wrists were bent on the Jones bars, not as natural my hand placement on a normal bar. I love the jones bars for bikepacking, as it does keep you a bit more upright, but for a long ride like the GDMBR, I was hesitant to use them. I also found a bar end, in the Cane Creek Ergo II that I really enjoy. Yes, you can make aero bars fit just fine on Jones Bars. I have finally figured out my system that prevents my hands from going numb, and I really did not want to change it up last minute. I will be rocking my jones bars all winter, they hold gear much better, and are perfect on snow. I hope this helps.

      • Most definitely. I’m in the (very) early stages of planning for the divide. And I’m just curious as to what drives certain setups. I personally love my Loop bar, but I’ve never done century+ century+ on it day after day. I have a Fred bar showing up soon, due in part to your review. So the experiments will soon begin! Awesome job this year man. Yinz guys are beasts!

  14. Pingback: Pogies - Bikepackers Magazine

  15. Pingback: 3 Jones Loop H-Bar Bags - Bikepackers Magazine

  16. Any thoughts on the Surly Open Bar for bikepacking? I’m looking at it as an oldie who has shoulder problems and would like a more upright position than a normal straight bar offers (teamed up with 25.4mm clamp on Nitto Dirt Drop stem).

  17. Pingback: Fat Pursuit Kit Overview - Bikepackers Magazine

  18. Nice review, I can echo much of what you found. I started the loop bar journey with a Surly Ogre, loved the bike, the stock 710 h loop bars really made it even sweeter. Got on my Pug with a shorter and straighter riser bar soon after and couldn’t figure out why more fatbikes didn’t sport h loops. In a few months I corrected that and not have 710 loops on my Pug …. they totally rock!! No cons, all pros. To make them work I’ve tried various tilt angles, different length/rise stems; those choices all seem to depend on how you fit on the bike, the position on the saddle on the post, and what you line. I have extra chunky Jones grips on the Pug, and have tried various ergon grips on the Ogre, and the latter work well, but I’m leaning towards switching the Ogre’s grips to another set of extra chunky – simple and comfy. What you said, lots of options for handlebar bags, lights, etc. I have had no knee overlap issues with any of the bikes I’ve ridden with Jones bars … Suryl Troll, Ogre, and now my Pug. I found a 660 h loop used for great price and I’m putting on my sons Fatboy 24 …

  19. Hi Neil, Just doing some last minute experimenting with my setup for the Great Divide in 2 months. Sub ideal timing, but on a recent shakedown, I was getting some numbness, so trying a Jones next week and borrowed some aerobars to check out that scene. Just wondering if you have any reflections post-divide on the aero bar/ bar end setup versus the Jones bar? Were there aspects of the Jones bar you missed on the divide or other thoughts you have in retrospect? I know a lot of this is personal preference and I just need to get out there and tinker, but since you have this unique perspective, I thought I would inquire. Many thanks.

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      Hey Sarita, Good question. It’s all personal preference. I had a pretty bad experience with Jones bars on a long bikepacking trip this winter. Mainly because the bar has too much sweep, which actually gave me numbness on my palms. I used Fred Bars last year along with my aeros, it was the most comfortable set up. see this link…http://bikepacker.wpengine.com/review-fred-bar/

      I did not miss them at all, I had plenty of hand position and my hands really did not have any hand numbness. If I was doing it again this year, I would not change a thing:)

  20. PS- I’m touring the divide, not racing

  21. Pingback: Jones Plus Review: Different by Design - Bikepacker

  22. I’m seriously going to be looking at these.

    Love innovation 🙂

  23. With using the Jones H Bar.. I have found that bar height is critical to comfort. On each attempt to utilize these bars with the height lower than the seat.. I have had numb palms and fingers. As soon as I raise the bar to seat height and a bit greater.. the bar becomes extremely comfortable with no hand issues. I also find that I use a 70mm stem instead of my usual 90 with the HBar.. and that brings my hands/arms in a natural position to the front of the bar and brake placement. The set-up is definitely different and a bit tricky compared to using a flat bar.. but once you get it dialed in.. it is total worth it IMO. Also.. the ESI Xtra Chunky Grips that Jones recommends are a perfect combo to the bar.

    • I’m now trying out the two bars: Jones H Bar and the Jones Loop H Bar.

      Ron, interesting you mention the stem length. I was thinking just the same. I presently use a 100mm stem and may now look at a 90 or 80mm. Did it really make a difference for you?

      I also have the ESI X chunky. I haven’t used a normal round grip for many years, as have always had an Ergon palm grip. So may need some convincing to keep with the ESI.

      Nigel

  24. Nick Kovacs

    Riding a Salsa Vaya and do not like the stock bars. I’d love to try these on the gravel/tour bike but not sure how to, or if I need to change the shift/brake levers. Any suggestions welcomed.

  25. The Bend Bar looks an awful lot like the North Road bar that I’m riding. I think I’ll keep them.

  26. Did you have to change out your stem to get the handle bar to fit? Just got my h bar and it is too big.

Leave a Comment

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