A blog just for my writing on cycling. It means, literally, "bicycle man" in Malay.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Sinister Bars Prove Dexterous
Tom Martin of Velo Orange once told me that building your own bicycles often turns into a game of musical bike parts. How true. Recently I decided to sell my 52cm Surly Cross Check because I need a larger frame--either the whole bike, or sell just the frame and put the parts on a bigger one. I had someone interested in the whole bike, and I wanted to keep the Nitto 115 bars. I happened to have gotten a set of Modolo anatomic bars for nothing. Complete Cross Checks come with anatomic bars, so I decided to swap these for the Nittos. As someone who has resisted nearly every cycling innovation of the past 25 years, my take on anatomic bars has been that they exemplify the times we live in, all straight lines and gawky angles, instead of the graceful curves of a Maes bar. I figured they were just a fashionable look. To me, interesting bikes have toe clips and straps, friction shifters, and steel lugged frames with horizontal top tubes. Imagine my surprise at finding I actually liked these handlebars. They seem to suit the bike better, and they are more comfortable than the 115s. My hand positions seem to be better, especially reaching the brake levers from within the bar. I can have the ramp horizontal and still have a comfortable angle on the drops. These are also narrower than is currently recommended, but this also seems to work fine. I might have to use a set on the replacement for this bike.