This Space for Rent

mustache bars, good or bad? I’m not sure yet.

Twine looks better, but only if I can find it

I’ve now been riding with mustache bars for two days, and it looks like they’re going to remain mysteriously unclassifiable for quite some time.

On the positive side, they’re quite comfortable in the drops and the hook equivalents. Not quite so good riding on the hoods (mainly because it’s difficult to get braking leverage when I’m on the side of the hoods, but also because they’re so far out there than when I stand to stomp away from a start or up a ramp they wiggle the dickens out of the front end.) They don’t rise up at all so the drops are almost as far down as the theoretically deeper drops on my old Nitto B135 rando bars (the B135s rise up from the stem, then drop down. The mustache bars are all downhill, and they’re a bit wider to boot) so when I’m riding in the drops I’m stretched out much more than I usually ride on drop handlebars, so the mlcm feels really fast even when I’m plugging along pretty slowly.

On the negative side, when I ride slowly I tend to lean on the handlebars (this is a problem with conventional drops, too) and after a few miles parts of my hands start to hurt. And (also as a side-effect of riding slowly, which I’ve been doing a lot of in the last months due to a pair of crashes) they’re really harsh on the gravelled parts of my commute. And, worst of all, they don’t really have usable ramps – when I’m riding slowly, I want to ride on the ramps, and there’s really no way to do that on these bars.

I don’t know if the last problem is merely a matter of learned behavior or not, but I need to ride these bars in for about 2-300 more miles before I can decide. I do like the widely flared drops, so if these mustache bars don’t work out I could always switch to something like the On-One Midge bars (or the near-clone Origin-8 Gary bars) which are more conventional drop bars except that they’re shallow and widely flared. Those bars would have the brake levers tilted sharply inwards, but they’ve at least got a more conventional ramp leading down to them.

I’ll know for certain sometime in 2011. I’ll probably ride the mlcm up to Sandy sometime soon (after brazing the front rack – The ~12"×12" rack I fabricated is a little too deep for the high-trail fork on the mlcm, so I need to bend up a smaller (8"×8", perhaps) platform and use that instead) for donuts, and that’s a long enough ride to give me an idea of how the mustache bars work on reasonably long loops.