Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Still Obsessing Over Handlebars

This past week one of the original Gary Bars came up for auction on eBay, and I won it.  It is one of my favorite handlebars, and I was disappointed when it got redesigned into the Gary II.  I have tried to find a new bar which is comparable, but nothing out there has the shallow drop of the original Gary or the old On-One Midge bar (which seems to be discontinued).

 For comparison's sake, I set the bars on the table, and measured from the table top to the top of the clamp area, on each bar.  The original Gary measures about 4-3/4 inches.

The new Gary II, at 6-1/2 inches has 1-3/4 inches more drop.  It might not sound like a lot, but, looking at it from the side:

The difference is pretty noticeable, in use.  That much more drop means that you have to have 1-3/4 inches more of your stem quill showing (on my bikes) or a really severe upward angle on a threadless stem.  This is why I took the Gary II off of the RockCombo, and went with a mustache bar.  The quill was out so far with the Gary II that it would flex as I stood and climbed the hill on Dahlia, every morning.

The Woodchipper falls between the two Gary Bars, drop-wise.  At 5-3/4 inches, it has one inch more than the Gary, and 3/4 inches less than the Gary II.  On my old 29er frame, this bar was pretty usable. That bike has a pretty high head-tube, so I was able to use a reasonable number of spacers under the threadless-style stem.  But, it is pretty wide:

The Woodchipper is in the background, the Gary is in the foreground.  And, the original Gary is wider than the Gary II:

The Gary II seems more like a road bar, to me, than an off-road drop bar.

Speaking of which, I find it odd that none of the three bars, each advertised as being designed for off-road use, will accept mountain bike shifters or brake levers (without modification).  I've managed to shoehorn thumbshifters and v-brake levers on each of these, but it takes some doing.  And, forget it if you want to use GripShift gear changers.

I am happy to have another pair of the original Gary Bars, though.  I have liked them a lot on the XO-2, and I am glad to have a spare.  In fact, if I ever see more come up on eBay, I'll be bidding on them.



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