Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Garys

As I mentioned in my last post, Brad and I traded bars, yesterday.  I gave him my Nitto Rando bar, and he gave me his Gary bar.  I was very happy that I would be able to put the Gary bar on, raise my hand position, and maybe actually be able to use the original Specialized stem on the RockCombo.

Imagine my surprise when I put the bar on the bike, and my hand position turned out to be the same as it was with the Nitto bar.

I got the XO-2 down from the hooks, and made some comparisons:

The flat portion on top of the new bar is about 32cm versus the 26cm flat spot on the older bar.  The grip area is 125mm, versus 100mm on the older bar, and the drop is 110mm, rather than the 90mm of the old bar.  (All of these measurements are quick, tape-measure observations.  Official numbers may vary, somewhat.)

So, I mounted the bar, and rode the bike over to Cycle Analyst to buy another tall stem like I have on the XO-2.
Here are the two bars, side by side.  You can see that the grip area of each of the bars is at the same height, but the tops are at considerably different levels.

The new bars are slightly wider, also.  To me, the old Gary always seemed like a Mustache bar, with the ends slightly bent down.  The new bar is much more of a "Dirt Drop" style road bar.

You can see the relative extension of the two identical stems, here.  I don't particularly like having that much quill showing, but I'd rather be comfortable on the bike than have the exact stem extension I find attractive.  (I actually had to cut the bottom off of the quill of the XO-2 stem to get it low enough.  The stem in the RockCombo is at full-insertion.  I may trim it so that I can get a more aggressive position if I ride off-road.)

So, today, I got on the Origin-8 website and checked out the listing for handlebars.  Seems that the bar on the RockCombo is the Gary2.  Apparently, the changes were made in response to customer and reviewer feedback, since the new bar addresses all of the negative comments I ever read about the original Gary.  I, myself, had no complaints with the old bar...

Still,   I like the new bar, especially on the RockCombo.   It looks like the old Dirt Drops and matches up to the bike really well.  I can live with the stem extension (the battery for my headlight somewhat disguises it), and the width and angle of the drops are really comfortable.

But, a word of warning to those looking for an ultra-shallow drop, On-One Midge-style bar:  This is no longer that bar.  The Salsa Woodchipper appears to be the best choice for that type of bar, at this point. (Follow that link to a comparison between the old Gary and the Woodchipper on



At 5:33 PM , Blogger Big Oak said...

The wider top on the Gary bar looks like it would be more comfortable to ride on longer rides as well.

You've got a couple of great looking bikes there!

At 5:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did you mount the thumb shifters on the gary bars? do they just fit?

At 5:47 PM , Blogger Jon said...

I had to spread the clamps, slightly, and use a longer bolt to fasten them. Some thumb shifters will work, others (like the XT shifters with the cast perches) won't.


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