AATLT = All About The Little Things.
In my non-biking/blogging world, I work. A lot. And I drive. A lot.
To fit my biking in, I often bring a bike with me on my car. I have a reasonably nice hitch rack, an extensive locking protocol, and some good practices for bike/hitch visibility. But one thing that has really annoyed me is the flopping around of handlebars. Sure, you can bungee things in place, but that’s similarly annoying, floppy, and potentially mars your bikes. My hitch rack is a version that holds bikes by the frame, leaving the wheels flop loose. (I haven’t found a wheel-mount rack yet that is secure, sturdy, adjustable between 700x23c tires and 4.7″ Mukluk tires, and that folds out of the way when not in use or when accessing the cargo area of your car).
Enter the Feedback Sports Flop Stop Handlebar Holder.
Very simple. Just a plastic/aluminum telescoping bar with a set screw that adjusts the length (the piece on the left fits into the piece on the right; the set screw holds the length you set it at). The set screw has a big thumbwheel on it, so it’s adjustable by hand.
The ends have these little barbed rubber straps and a T shaped holder that they fit into.
So you loop one end around your handlebar, like so:
And you loop the other end around your seatpost. Since my Ridley has an integrated seatpost that is too big to fit around, I loop the other end around the saddle rails.
The little rubber strap is sufficiently long to fit around any standard seatpost and any standard handlebar (including my Jones Joops on the Big Dummy and Mukluk).
Adjust the length to get your bars where you want ’em, and you’re golden. I use this when my bike is on my hitch rack, and swap it between all of my bikes, depending on what I’m carrying. While it seems pretty light-duty, it’s proven sturdy enough to handle the wider profile wheels on the Ridley…and for that matter, the 4.7″ tires on the Mukluk. My bike rack holds the bikes perpendicular to the car. And the current RATG vehicle of choice is narrow enough that when the Mukluk is on the back, the tires protrude past the side of the vehicle. Nonetheless, the Flop Stop does what the name implies, and holds the bars perfectly still, at any speed I’ve yet encountered (including speeds legal only in certain parts of the US that were encountered en route to the Barry Roubaix). Because it is plastic, rubber and aluminum, it hasn’t corroded or deteriorated at all, notwithstanding several rainstorms. It has proven to be surprisingly sturdy. I was worried that it would break/bend/crack/the set screw would strip/etc. So far, after 3 months of usage, no problems.
I will admit that I don’t like using the Flop Stop to work on the bike. As shown in the first picture, it’s kind of intrusive. For that purpose, I far prefer Park’s simple handlebar holder…but the Park handlebar holder does not work well for transport, and the Flop Stop works very well in that capacity. If you do a lot of bike transport with a rack that doesn’t hold the wheels, I highly recommend it. I use one, and adjust it to fit all of my bikes.