Do you want handlebars, or don't you? The pythons that have been built have had more then two answers to this question! The choices that people came up with up to now:
- no handlebars. The python is completely steered using legs/hips. The brake/gear levers are attached somewhere to the frame of the bike. This is the python at its purest!
- handlebars attached to the front part. This python can be steered by both legs or hands. Because the leverage of the legs are so large, hands can only take an aiding role and not overtake the steering.
- handlebars attached to the rear part. You are still able to exert influence on the bike, by pulling on the handlebars, but the amount of control is little. Another effect of this is that steering is reversed: steering to the left makes the bike go to the right. Rather like the helm stock on a boat.
Attaching the handlebars at the front part has some pro/contras:
- you need a place to attach brake gear levers anyway
- give you a place to rest your arms
- turn more sharply at slow speed because of the extra leverage.
- your arms can act as a kind of life damper, stabilizing and smoothing out the ride.
- helps/(essential?) at high speed.
- more air resistance.
- less "clean look" of the bike.
- you may get confused being able to steer with legs and hands simultaneously
- low handlebars on very low lowracers might be prone to touch the ground in bends
- possible damage of the handlebars when falling
- more weight
- bike gets about 20 cm wider