Monday, June 13, 2011

Rabbit - Hat ...

Sometimes, you just have to pull a rabbit out of the hat and write a post. Sometimes. But not all the time. I had planned to write something about 29"ers and then just today saw a post that pretty much summed up what I was going to write. Also today, my copy of "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" showed up with a lead story on the same subject. I'll regroup and come up with something different but the same.

Instead, today, I'll pull a rabbit out of the hat. Basically, create something out of nothing. Heck Seinfeld did it for years and I'm not proud...or tired. I'm not usually one for posting something that isn't something I would want to read. Maybe this falls into that category, but it is interesting and it is helpful to the right person.

Here in Marin there are a lot of folks who have been riding their mountain bikes for many years. When they started riding, they may have been young. Now they're old. That position on the bike that felt good 20 years ago sometimes doesn't feel so good today. I feel lucky I'm still comfortable in my same position. But many people don't ride continuously for that many years so they bring their bikes to me and ask about a more comfortable (upright) position.

My number one, go-to, position refiner for these older mountain bikes is a new handlebar. The new bar is a riser bar with 40 degree of back sweep. It's not strong enough for serious off-road riding, but works just fine for light trail use and cruising to town. The shape puts the rider both up and back. Perfect. And every rider has dug the new position.



(What's playing: Texas Tornados Velma From Selma)

8 comments:

reverend dick said...

I see where you (and that other guy) are coming from with reference to 29" as simply a bike.

To my mind, 29" wheels are not a better or worse scenario, they are a proportion. For a tall(er) rider, on any but the tightest or droppiest trails, they are a good fit. For a short(er) rider, on any trail, they are ungainly.

It's rider-to-bike proportion; not a whole new type of bike, nor a magic bullet.

Adam said...

Have you looked into the Aherne/MAP bar?

http://www.ahearnecycles.com/ahearnemap-handlebar/

I've found it a good compromise, and can be run comfortably either flipped up or down. It's not quite as relaxed as the one in the photos you posted, but it is nice and wide and has plenty of room for brakes and shifters. You can see it on my homemade porteur here (flipped down for the retro scorcher look): http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5030/5558946768_8293142cb5_z.jpg

Adam (MontanoVelo, Oakland)

blackmountaincycles said...

Yes on the MAP bar. Have used those on a few builds. Neat bar.

Anonymous said...

aren't ya gonna tell us what that bar is? I want one! Dan

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

They do look comfortable. Reminiscent of a Harley, actually.

There ain't a dang thing wrong with such a set up for those who want it. Whatever keeps us riding. Maybe should have an accompanying saddle recommendation. Sitting up like that makes my butt hurt just thinking about it. But for my old Mongoose Alta SS neighborhood bike...

What's Playing: Chuck E's In Love on Pandora.

blackmountaincycles said...

The bar is a Dimension (Quality Bike Products house brand) 40 degree, 55mm rise bar.

The more upright you sit, the wider the seat. Rickie Lee...nice stuff.

rigtenzin said...

You said it's not strong enough for serious off-road riding. I'm riding a similar bar on my off-road bike and I don't want to have it snap off in my hands, as I consider my riding serious. I like this style, because the extra sweep has made my wrists comfortable again.

Which off-road bars with lots of sweep are strong enough?

Thanks.

blackmountaincycles said...

rigtenzin - without knowing which bar you have, it's hard to say if it's strong enough for off-road use. Manufacturers of bars will (or should) claim what the intended use of their bar is. In this case, the intended use of the bar I use is light duty, commuting, light trail use. There are a lot of bars with generous back sweep that are design and tested for more aggressive mountain bike use. The Jones bar, the Mary Bar and some new Salsa bars are among several.