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  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    Handlebars for mountainbikes, etc.

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    Thought about just adding to the 2.6" tire thread. But really, this is about bars.

    Hey, anyone who happens to know a lot about mountainbikes...

    What do you think about this review of offset bars? We've talked about it before, 45 degrees is too much if you want tight handling. But this review indicates Salsa Bend bars are a problem, too. And I have my eye on them for the future. I know they are available in 25 degree and a smaller offset. 17 degree maybe? I can't remember. That seems to preclude the 34 degree Moloku bars, and yet NWG likes them. And is one of the few who has those advanced MB skills.

    So, opinion on the articles, and bars in general?

    http://betterride.net/blog/2012/moun...bike-handling/

    I'm thinking of keeping my 45 degree bars for when I get a cruiser, or some such.

    And I'm going to avoid saying the brand for that bar since so many people like them. Bars that hit my knees are a problem.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-07-2018 at 02:38 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,081
    Thanks for the article. I read it and have some thoughts, of course.

    My main issue with the blog is the same issue I have about a lot of mountain biking blogs and articles. So many of these things are written as if mountain biking is some standardized biking sport when, in fact, mountain biking is a huge umbrella term for all kinds of riding and, most of all, a huge variety of trail types, not only in expertise required, but also physical demands. Bottom line: a blanket statement about mountain biking without any reference to the types of trails or level of expertise isn't worth much.

    Okay, rant over. In my experience, yes, a straight bar with no bend gives you max leverage and the quickest response when turning. It's the bar to use when you are riding right at the limit of your expertise, when tight turns and avoiding hazards requires split second timing. It will be a safer bar and the one to choose on a trail that challenges your skills. It's the bar you want if you are riding, aggressively and hard. Won't argue that. Bars with minimal bend are what I use on my fast trail bikes like the Log Lady or Gunnar.

    A bar with bend, though, reduces hand strain and numbness and is more comfortable to use over long rides. Hand numbness and arm fatigue are also a safety issues. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Reducing fatigue is one the functions of suspension on a mountain bike, right? On a long fairly straight trail on relatively level ground, a bar with some bend is plenty safe and it will get you to the end of your ride with more comfort. Riding gravel or a rails to trail or a park trail with not a single hairpin turn along the entire length and not a rock or boulder to dodge, anywhere? Why do you need a straight bar? Why not opt for comfort with some bend in the bar? Even on my same trails, when I ride them slow with one of the fat bikes, my response time is plenty fast enough with bend bars.

    What kind of trail are you riding? As always, match your bike setup to the trails you typically ride and the way you ride them.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 10-07-2018 at 02:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2010
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    6,698
    Thank you, NW's. I keep running into that article everytime I search for Salsa Bend Bars. Probably why I haven't bought any yet.

    But I do have new bars, so I'll try them for awhile and see. I haven't felt well since installing the bars, so have only ridden them around the neighborhood. I have no idea how they will work on the trail. There are some decent tree roots and turns. But hairpins? No. OTOH, I felt like a rookie trying to maneuver my bike with 45 degree offset. So somewhere in between sounds good.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-07-2018 at 04:46 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,081
    Hope you're feeling better, soon.

    Good old trail and error. Still tough to beat.

  5. #5
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    Ha ha: Trail and Error instead of Trial and Error. That works!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  6. #6
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
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    Yup, lots of errors out on those trails for me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Yup, lots of errors out on those trails for me.


    I'm curious about your experience with Salsa fit. In particular the Vaya or Fargo. I've always thought the reach would be too short for me. Well, the only Salsa shop within driving distance is a tiny, but very knowledgeable, shop in Charleston. I stopped by after my dental appointment, and they had one of the new Journeymans (inexpensive aluminum Vaya, basically) in size 55.5. Normally, I use approximately mens 52 in road bikes, 54 in womens road bikes, and size medium in mountainbikes. The 55.5 was tiny, and yet, I'm 170 cm tall, and it's recommended for people 173-183 cm tall. And the guy I spoke was 5'9", and could ride the 54 they also had sitting there. He mentioned his wife had the same problem I had with bikes, inseam was so long it gave outrageous saddle to bar drop. Wouldn't be such a problem on these Salsas as they have very high stacks, but the reach was so short I had no room in the cockpit back to front while standing on the ground. Which is something I really can't stand. Maybe that is just personal preference, but the bike felt two sizes too small. Anyway, I always thought these were nice bikes, but that the geometry wouldn't work for me, and now I have it confirmed. That was the Journeyman, and it's similar, but not identical to the Vaya in geometry. The Vaya is even smaller. And then the Fargo has a higher stack, not sure about the rest, though.

    You had a Fargo at one time, correct? How did it fit you? I think, based on the picture of your Krampus, you don't have to raise the saddle quite so high, so that would be an overall improvement as the bikes in that size aren't really designed for such a high seatpost, but what about the overall size, cockpit room, wheelbase, etc? I know the Fargo is different from the Vaya, but there are similarities. The steeply sloping top tube came up a lot higher than I'm accustomed, to as well. Seemed in the way, even though I had adequate standover. Maybe this is because my road bikes are traditional diamond framed, and Surlys have fairly low stack. Just seemed off to me.

    OTOH, I do think this is an ideal women's geometry bike in general, just not for me.

    And I'd still like a Timberjack, Mukluk, or Woodsmoke. But those have more traditional geometry.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-10-2018 at 06:18 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,081
    The Fargo was an okay fit, but, I still had to go with a shorter stem to get it. That's almost standard for me on any unisex bike, though, thanks to my short reach. Even so, yes, I did feel a bit cramped with the Fargo when riding on the hoods. The only time it felt right was when riding in the drops. Just never seemed to get it right. Constantly fiddling with adjustments. The Fargo was a nice stable ride, but the Apex shifting did not agree with me. Didn't help that the Apex shifter basically wore itself out in a few months. My shop took care of it, though, no questions asked. Never really bought in to the drop bar mountain bike thing with the Fargo, anyway. That drop bar shifting was okay on straight and level trails, but way, way too slow and awkward for serious technical trails.

    I also has an aluminum Salsa Warbird. Now that was a great bike! Fast and lively on the road, but still very capable on gravel. Made me feel like I could ride on, forever. The Warbird is the only drop bar bike I've ever missed. They're now making it in a 105 version for 2019. Very tempting.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 10-10-2018 at 07:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,698
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    The Fargo was an okay fit, but, I still had to go with a shorter stem to get it. That's almost standard for me on any unisex bike, though, thanks to my short reach. Even so, yes, I did feel a bit cramped with the Fargo when riding on the hoods. The only time it felt right was when riding in the drops. Just never seemed to get it right. Constantly fiddling with adjustments. The Fargo was a nice stable ride, but the Apex shifting did not agree with me. Didn't help that the Apex shifter basically wore itself out in a few months. My shop took care of it, though, no questions asked. Never really bought in to the drop bar mountain bike thing with the Fargo, anyway. That drop bar shifting was okay on straight and level trails, but way, way too slow and awkward for serious technical trails.

    I also has an aluminum Salsa Warbird. Now that was a great bike! Fast and lively on the road, but still very capable on gravel. Made me feel like I could ride on, forever. The Warbird is the only drop bar bike I've ever missed. They're now making it in a 105 version for 2019. Very tempting.
    I think Salsa changes their lineup yearly with that type of thing (Warbird).

    I don't think the Warbird has the same geometry as the Vaya/Fargo/Journeyman for high headtube and short reach. But they change frequently, so might by now.

    Glad I'm not the only one who thinks the geometry on those bikes is a little wacky. I've never heard that with anyone else. When I think about it, the geometry may be similar to Jones, which also doesn't fit me, but it very popular.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

 

 

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