Friday, June 9, 2006 9:01 AM
Big Dipper at Geauga Lake :)

~Rob Willi

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Friday, June 9, 2006 9:04 AM
Swamp Fox at Myrtle Beach has em!
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Friday, June 9, 2006 9:29 AM

Charles Nungester said:
Lets not forget the NAD's

Of course, the NADs don't buzz, those lapbars are strictly mechanical, which is why I have always objected to the term "buzz bar."

And as others have pointed out, there are buzz bars that are also individual ratcheting lapbars--another reason why the whole term should be forever discarded.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 9:58 AM

gomez said:
What are buzz bars?

That is a good question. Many people around here use the term to describe a single lapbar that secures both riders. The bar would lock in the up position until released by a ride attendant, then once pulled down, would lock in a single down position. There were only two locked positions, up or down, not the many possible positions you get from a single ratcheting lapbar. This type of bar used to be standard on wood coaster trains from PTC (and NAD). PTC used to use an electrical solenoid to release the bars and when that solenoid was out of alignment it would make a buzzing sound. Sometime in the late 80s to early 90s Denise Dinn used the term "buzzbar" to describe that dual position lapbar and for some unknown reason the term caught on.

However as others have pointed out there are individual ratcheting lapbars that also use that buzzing solenoid, and there are several trains with single lapbars that do not use the buzzing solenoids (mostly from NAD). I also know of at least one steel looping coaster that also uses solenoid released bars. (Is that a buzzbar?)

As you can see the term is quite nebulous, and I really wish enthusiasts would stop using it.

*** Edited 6/9/2006 2:43:33 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

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Friday, June 9, 2006 10:39 AM
Here's an example of dual position bar (buzzbar)
www.rcdb.com/ig741.htm?picture=3

versus individual lap bar
http://www.rcdb.com/ig2451.htm?picture=24

The dual-position bar is either up or down. When down, it'd basically horizontal, so it doesn't necessarily even touch your legs. Individual lap bars are usually closed down to your thighs.

The difference is relevant when going over airtime hills. With the dual-position bar, you aren't held to your seat, so you can actually float up off the seat. With individual bars, your insides might feel the airtime, but you won't really float in your seat.

Of course, the individual ones are safer, since there's less chance a rider might get thrown from the coach. Personally, I find the individual ones, especially on PTC trains to be fairly uncomfortable, but what the hey... I'd rather not be flung from the coach! *** Edited 6/9/2006 2:41:36 PM UTC by Gravitationally Challenged***

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Friday, June 9, 2006 10:52 AM
Actually there is NOT less of a chance a rider might get thrown from the coach. As a matter of fact, to the best of my knowledge, all of the rider ejections from wood coasters that have happened in the past fifteen years happened on rides equipped with ratcheting lap bars.

(Surely I am not the only person who has noticed that??)

I'm lucky in that I am just fat enough that I can only pull the PTC ratchet bar down to its third position, which is roughly equal to the location of the end of the handlebar on the more traditional train. When you ride certain older coasters, one of the things you discover is that with the bar in the higher position, when you go through the airtime elements, you NEVER TOUCH THE BAR. But if you cram the bar down into your lap, you'll be wrapped around it on every hill.

Oh, I'm with Jeffrey Seifert on the nomenclature thing. The term "buzz bar" is something that got printed in an ACE News interview about ten years ago, and I think that is the only time I have ever heard of anybody "in the business" using the term.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 11:46 AM
IMHO and this is just my view, Unless the ratcheting bar is physically in your lap, It's no safer than a single position bar.

As I stated before, The single position bar is always above your thighs no matter what size you are. The ratches allow for submarineing if it is not in your lap.

You'll rise under a single possition bar but while submarining it will hit your thighs, Submarine under a ratcheting bar and your going straight out the back.

Again, I can't state this as fact but I can probably prove it. *** Edited 6/9/2006 4:24:55 PM UTC by Charles Nungester***

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Friday, June 9, 2006 11:49 AM
I suppose what I should have wrote is that individual bars are 'perceived' to be safer. I don't know any accident stats, so you may be right about incidents for each type.

However, I will also say that it seems logical that it would be easier for a person to get out from under a dual-position bar, which doesn't touch many riders legs and often there is not seat divider, than an individual bar which closes to each riders legs, and has seat dividers.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 11:57 AM

RideMan said:
Actually there is NOT less of a chance a rider might get thrown from the coach. As a matter of fact, to the best of my knowledge, all of the rider ejections from wood coasters that have happened in the past fifteen years happened on rides equipped with ratcheting lap bars.

(Surely I am not the only person who has noticed that??)


I thought about that too, but I'm pretty sure the 1995 Timberwolf incident was with a single lapbar.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 12:20 PM
What kind of lap bar does Cypress Garden's Tripple Hurricane use? Looks like it from the pictures.
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Friday, June 9, 2006 12:26 PM
Honestly, I think the individual lapbar came about with the seat divider or shortly after. I remember Beast having duel possitions untill it's third season when the entire trains were shortened to three benchers but it always had dividers.
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Friday, June 9, 2006 1:11 PM
The Triple Hurricane uses a "junior" train, so while it has the full-width up-or-down handlebar, it also has a smaller car than the larger rides.

Charles, The Beast didn't get its ratchet bars until the mid-1990's. I started visiting Kings Island in about '91 and at that time the Racer already had ratchet bars, but The Beast still had the old yellow handlebars.

Actually, the only full-size PTC trains I can recall having ridden in without seat dividers are the Cedar Point Blue Streak and the Lakemont Skyliner. In fact my introduction to seat dividers was on the Knoebels Phoenix, then later on Geauga Lake's Raging Wolf Bobs.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 2:26 PM

YoshiFan said:
Comet at Hersheypark and Thunderhawk at Dorney have them as well

But Comet unfortunately also has the seat belts, one end of which barely protrudes above the seat. So most riders find themselves fidgeting all over the seat trying to find where the hell they're supposed to latch the other end of the belt. Meanwhile, the other train sits in the brake run and waits... and waits...

And I always manage to get the car that Barbie with her 16" waist was just on-- and she usually manages to leave it tangled anyway. So it's yank that belt out aaaaaaall the way.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 4:16 PM

Gravitationally Challenged said:
Here's an example of dual position bar (buzzbar)
www.rcdb.com/ig741.htm?picture=3

versus individual lap bar
http://www.rcdb.com/ig2451.htm?picture=24

The dual-position bar is either up or down. When down, it'd basically horizontal, so it doesn't necessarily even touch your legs. Individual lap bars are usually closed down to your thighs.

The difference is relevant when going over airtime hills. With the dual-position bar, you aren't held to your seat, so you can actually float up off the seat. With individual bars, your insides might feel the airtime, but you won't really float in your seat.

Of course, the individual ones are safer, since there's less chance a rider might get thrown from the coach. Personally, I find the individual ones, especially on PTC trains to be fairly uncomfortable, but what the hey... I'd rather not be flung from the coach! *** Edited 6/9/2006 2:41:36 PM UTC by Gravitationally Challenged***


You must be prtetty pro indivdual lap bars, because thats an unfair example. Im pretty sure that we all agree that the MF trains are the best things to hit wood since the golden age, with the exception of the few trains still running without a seat divider they are the most confertable train I have ever been in. Should have put a PTC invidual lap bar for comparision (which suck.) *** Edited 6/9/2006 8:17:46 PM UTC by Touchdown***

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Saturday, June 10, 2006 12:01 AM
I actually don't like the MF trains. The return spring to restraint weight is too weak. I really prefer the buzzbar trains in general.
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Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:54 AM
^ What I find somewhat odd about those return springs, Andy, is that GCII coasters don't tend to feature *extreme air* anyway...

If I could make a *trade-off*, I'd go forstrong return springs and accept retractable seatbelts (those things seem to allow the trains to load in half the time).

Of course, I'd PREFER CI Cyclone trains on everythingwell, everything wooden.... ;)

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