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  1. #1
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Looking for a decently priced drop bar. I like the dirt drops because the drops flare out. Are there any that are not $60+?
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  2. #2
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    I just went with 31.8mm Nashbar road bars in the widest size. They don't flare out though.
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  3. #3
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    Take a look at the Soma Junebug. They should be less than $60.
    '15 Soma Wolverine '12 Soma Analog SS '10 Transition TransAM '07 Felt F1X '97 Schwinn Mesa SS '89 Fuji Saratoga '86 Fuji Club

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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Looking for a decently priced drop bar. I like the dirt drops because the drops flare out. Are there any that are not $60+?
    On-One Midge. $30, free shipping
    http://shop.titusti.com/product-p/hboomi.htm
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  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Re: Budget dirt drop bars

    Going with the midge. Thanks guys!
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  8. #8
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    Can anyone explain how different a dirtdrop bar would feel compared to a standard drop in a monstercross setup? I've never tried either, but I'd be using it for commuting and singletrack.

    Right now I run Carnegie and Mary alt-bars, but I've got the itch to mix up my ss 29er this spring.

    (and wow do I wish titus' Canadian shipping costs weren't so expensive. If I want the midge I'll have to go to the uk site again)

  9. #9
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Can anyone explain how different a dirtdrop bar would feel compared to a standard drop in a monstercross setup? I've never tried either, but I'd be using it for commuting and singletrack.

    Right now I run Carnegie and Mary alt-bars, but I've got the itch to mix up my ss 29er this spring.

    (and wow do I wish titus' Canadian shipping costs weren't so expensive. If I want the midge I'll have to go to the uk site again)
    A flared dropbar gives a bit more stability and increases wrist clearance.

    Hard to say more since you have no dropbar experience.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks Shiggy, I know it's a vague question.

    Have you tried a monstercross setup with normal drops? I guess I'm wondering how well that works on singletrack, or if it's more for novelty/challenge? I know commuterboy has been doing it for a long time.

  11. #11
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    Re: Budget dirt drop bars

    Just placed the order for a midge. Super stoked! Throwing it on my commuter roadie. My reach and drop on my stock bars is ridiculous. I have the shortest stem with 35* rise and my elbows still lock. I have t rex arms for my body. The frame size is correct.
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  12. #12
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Thanks Shiggy, I know it's a vague question.

    Have you tried a monstercross setup with normal drops? I guess I'm wondering how well that works on singletrack, or if it's more for novelty/challenge? I know commuterboy has been doing it for a long time.
    I hate the term "monstercross".

    I have been using flared dropbars on almost all of my bikes (road, mtb) since 1985. Road drops now feel like they angle inward and are very uncomfortable for me. Can not ride "straight" bars either.

    http://mtbtires.com/site2/features/3...-ride-dropbars
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I've had that link of yours bookmarked for years.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Thanks Shiggy, I know it's a vague question.

    Have you tried a monstercross setup with normal drops? I guess I'm wondering how well that works on singletrack, or if it's more for novelty/challenge? I know commuterboy has been doing it for a long time.
    On my commuter, yes. I ride it on trails...singletrack with switchbacks, some minor techy stuff, etc, but I don't ride it 'hard' on that stuff. Not much jumping/flicking the bike around kind of stuff. It totally works though. I have a dedicated mountain bike with flat/riser bars for "real" trail riding.

    It's pretty comfortable for me to ride it in the drops on the trail, but I have it set up primarily for riding on the hoods, which is what I do most of the time. Even on the trail, I'll ride the hoods, and reach one finger around to the brake lever (BB7 discs, so one finger is plenty)...but this is not as confidence-inspiring as riding in the drops. If I was going to ride standard drops on the trail, I'd want to bring up the bar position enough so that the hoods would feel way too upright.

    I totally "get" the advantage to riding a shallow, flared drop bar on the trail over a standard drop bar, set up so that the drop position is in a comfortable spot... I could see getting used to this and even liking it, but I would never have this set-up as my primary mountain bike set-up. To me, it's about having a comfortable road position that's also manageable on the trails, which my set up achieves... but with all due respect to Shiggy, for me a dirt drop is not an advantage over a normal flat or riser bar for a MTB set up.

    I will probably put a flared drop bar on my commuter at some point. I don't see the standard drop as an 'advantage' on the trail by any means, and since I just use the drops as a wind weapon when I need to, I can probably get similar benefits from a flared drop, while making it a bit more comfortable on the trail.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks CB, that's a pretty great summary. The co-op that I volunteer at has a bunch of old road drops that I could play with, but it sounds like if I ever do this I'd be better off going straight to a dirt drop.

  16. #16
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    When I first began bicycle riding on the dirt, it was on my old Centurion 10 speed with drop bars in the 1970's, and I realized that with the vertical drops the top of the bar would bite my forearms when I pedaled hard sawing back and forth, and when cornering hard. I switched to flat bars. Not a racer.

    I have been riding on the On One Midge bar on my commuter bike for 8 years and I really like it. Although the bike rarely normally sees dirt, it has, in big miles over the years, and they are fine. Given the narrow tires and geometry, I can't open it up though. I prefer a riser bar and a mountain bike for trails.

    The Ragley Luxy bar looks really good. I'm thinking about making a dirt drop SS bike for single tracking.

    Anyway, on the Midge, I really like riding on the side-slanted hoods. I've got Cane Creek v-brake compatible levers with a Shimano CX-75 mechanical disc brake up front (Dean steel fork) and cantilevers on the back. I've replaced the hoods once. The hoods last quite a while, and it is great to be able to replace them. I've put in many long days with the Midge, riding with roadies, and they do fine.

    I also have Shimano brifters on a tandem, which gets long road miles. Even compared with ergo-flat-top bars, the Midge feels more comfortable.

    I run bar-con shifters. Without these shifters I think the Midge drop grip area would feel too short. This is why the Ragley Luxy or the Salsa Woodchipper interest me for a dirt drop SS bike.

    [edit...I've got Avid BB7 on this bike, not the Shimano (which is on an SS mtb).
    Last edited by Jack Burns; 12-31-2013 at 01:14 AM. Reason: BB7

  17. #17
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    photos of your Midge setup? I tried them once but I could not get into them. I could not find a way to set them up so that I could ride on the hoods like traditional drop bars. it was full in the hooks or nothing. there was nowhere else to put your hands except maybe right next to the stem. this is fine if you want a position riding in the hooks, but I put them on because I wanted a bar with multiple hand positions.

    I am riding Salsa Bell Laps on my road/commuter bike now. they fit like traditional drops but with flared ends for forearm clearance. buy them used, they are cheaper that way.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    photos of your Midge setup? I tried them once but I could not get into them. I could not find a way to set them up so that I could ride on the hoods like traditional drop bars. it was full in the hooks or nothing. there was nowhere else to put your hands except maybe right next to the stem. this is fine if you want a position riding in the hooks, but I put them on because I wanted a bar with multiple hand positions.

    I am riding Salsa Bell Laps on my road/commuter bike now. they fit like traditional drops but with flared ends for forearm clearance. buy them used, they are cheaper that way.
    I keep fiddling with the Midges I installed earlier this year, trying to get the hood comfort level where I want it. I do agree that the drops are so far the most comfortable spot on these bars, though. I'm going to keep tweaking them for a little while longer, trying to get the fit down, but I may wind up giving up, for something else.

  19. #19
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post
    When I first began bicycle riding on the dirt, it was on my old Centurion 10 speed with drop bars in the 1970's, and I realized that with the vertical drops the top of the bar would bite my forearms when I pedaled hard sawing back and forth, and when cornering hard. I switched to flat bars. Not a racer.

    I have been riding on the On One Midge bar on my commuter bike for 8 years and I really like it. Although the bike rarely normally sees dirt, it has, in big miles over the years, and they are fine. Given the narrow tires and geometry, I can't open it up though. I prefer a riser bar and a mountain bike for trails.

    The Ragley Luxy bar looks really good. I'm thinking about making a dirt drop SS bike for single tracking.

    Anyway, on the Midge, I really like riding on the side-slanted hoods. I've got Cane Creek v-brake compatible levers with a Shimano CX-75 mechanical disc brake up front (Dean steel fork) and cantilevers on the back. I've replaced the hoods once. The hoods last quite a while, and it is great to be able to replace them. I've put in many long days with the Midge, riding with roadies, and they do fine.

    I also have Shimano brifters on a tandem, which gets long road miles. Even compared with ergo-flat-top bars, the Midge feels more comfortable.

    I run bar-con shifters. Without these shifters I think the Midge drop grip area would feel too short. This is why the Ragley Luxy or the Salsa Woodchipper interest me for a dirt drop SS bike.
    I use rubber chair leg tips (7/8") with a nickel inside as barend plugs on my Midge bars. Adds about 10mm to the length.
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  20. #20
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I keep fiddling with the Midges I installed earlier this year, trying to get the hood comfort level where I want it. I do agree that the drops are so far the most comfortable spot on these bars, though. I'm going to keep tweaking them for a little while longer, trying to get the fit down, but I may wind up giving up, for something else.
    I run my lever LOW on the bar. Comfy on the hoods, but the grip is not the same as with a road bar.
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  21. #21
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    photos of my Midge set up



    Here are some photos I took this evening. I actually wimped out and drove to work today, and when I saw your email from this thread, I had to go out and take pics, and of course sneak in a twilight ride. So thanks for the inspiration. I've been riding single speed on the dirt so much, it was a real treat.



    Of course these photos are poor, but at least you get an idea. I was in a hurry. A photo from in front of the bike might be helpful, but I didn't get one.

    While I wait for a couple more snapshots to upload - more comments.

    The ride started on street, then went along some railroad track-side. Along the tracks it's a good flat gravel grind. I was in the drops for this part, and very comfortable. My Conti Touring Plus 32mm tires were probably at 60 psi.

    The bike has a triple, with a low gear obtained with a 24t and a 32t, so it can pretty well go mountain biking. As well, it sports cross-top brake levers.



    Looking at it from the side, I was surprised at how closely the angle of the drops is to the down tube of the bike. This was not intentional in the set-up. Never noticed it before. The configuration we see here is the result of a lot of tweaking over time. It settled here, and has not been changed for more than a year.

    Yes, I've had the bar for a long time, but it wasn't until I got the current stem/spacer combination that I became satisfied. At first I tried stems that were high rise. Not only did it look whacked, but I didn't like it.

    I should probably get a Midge in 31.8 since the stem I have is 31.8 with a shim. Objection is white bars only available at the mo.

    The Cane Creek levers work great and were reasonably priced. I picked the gum look - posed "classic-retro".

    The hoods I have mounted very high up...I was aiming at horizontal. I had the bars rotated a bit lower originally, but on some extended uber-bumpy single track descent the bar rotated lower in the stem clamp once (around the shim) and I cinched it up at the end of the trail, adjusting it up, and higher, because I realized then that I wanted the hoods to be slightly angled up so that I did not feel like my hand was going to slip off the top of the hoods if I hit hard somewhere.

    The brakes work good on the hoods. But also the drops are good. Then if it is really seriously steep and I need to get behind the bike I go to the cross-tops.

    That said, this is no real mountain bike. I can get this bike through any trail that will support the narrow tires (I can run up to 38's in the back and 45 up front), but the set-up requires some real *****-footing around.

    Climbing, the Midges are really wonderful. Later on the ride I got to enjoy a rare long set of steep stacked switchbacks, the steepest at the top, and cleaned it. In the granny, at first I was on the hoods - a good place to get forward on the rivet - and pedaled up fine - then towards the top where it got real steep, without thinking, I went to the drops and all the way to the front, and managed the last three sharp turns in good form.

    However, I think hours of this would probably kink my back.

    Interesting about extending the bars with crutch tips. I do think the bars are fine in length with the bar-con shifters adding a half an inch, but without that I'd be a hater.

    The Salsa Woodchipper looks nice and long. Not sure about the Soma Junebug.

    Anyway, after the ride tonight, I came back with some renewed perspective. Foremost, a traditional MTB bar is better for trail riding, and because of that I will may build my other old frame/new fork combo with a Soma Eagle bar (heavy) or some variant of the Jones H-bar. I need to run hydraulic disc brakes t really ride properly. I know I like a lot of sweep in the bars, and I like wide bars.

    Last edited by Jack Burns; 12-31-2013 at 01:03 AM. Reason: 32t not 34t

  22. #22
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    Yeah, the Bell Lap bars seem to be a really good alternative. My wife has them and has never uttered a word against them. It took me years to get the Midge where I like it now.

  23. #23
    jrm
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    Cani ask what rise stem youre using to get the drops seat level? Ive got a midge bar laying around but have been real happy with my cowbell/STI/trb disk set up to disrupt my world right now. HNY

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Cani ask what rise stem youre using to get the drops seat level? Ive got a midge bar laying around but have been real happy with my cowbell/STI/trb disk set up to disrupt my world right now. HNY
    I just noticed this 45deg stem mentioned in another thread:

    ergotec - Ahead Stem High-Charisma

    Currently I've got a midge with a $20 35deg/60mm stem:


    Before that I tried a $20 7deg/32mm stem:


    The 35deg/60mm stem has been working well for a few months now, but with the snow on the ground I do find that my shoulders get really fatigued after about 2 hours. So I'm debating whether to give the weird 45deg stem a try.

    And since this is about budget dirtdrops, here's my budget way to get 1x8 shifting for the winter:

  25. #25
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    So you want the bottom of the drop bar about level to were your old flat bar would have been? Thats the reason for the crazy up deg stem?

  26. #26
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    Budget dirt drop bars

    Quote Originally Posted by jhmeathead View Post
    So you want the bottom of the drop bar about level to were your old flat bar would have been? Thats the reason for the crazy up deg stem?
    http://mtbtires.com/features/bikes/why_dropbars.html
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Cani ask what rise stem youre using to get the drops seat level? Ive got a midge bar laying around but have been real happy with my cowbell/STI/trb disk set up to disrupt my world right now. HNY
    My stem is 100mm 90deg (roadie regular size), and I'd say the spacer stack is 60mm.

    The bike has a custom geometry and is "semi-compact", which is this case means the top tube is slightly lowered at the seat-tube junction. This set-up works for me. I tried high short stems at first, but it wasn't right on this bike. It's a touring cross-bike. As the photos show, the stem is lower than the saddle.

    BTW the stem I have now is a Control-Tech scandium job, which I got for only $20, so that sort of qualifies as budget. The Midges, though, I bought at nearly retail, when they were fairly new on the market.

    By spring I ought to have a project bike more in-line with the topic of this thread. But as I may have mentioned, I think I will not put drop bars on it.

  28. #28
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    Gary 2 bars on MTB for touring

    Enjoying the versatility of multiple hand positions with drops on a mountain bike for touring. Recently completed this build of Diamond Back Ascent EX like the clean cable routing and handling with stem.

    Budget dirt drop bars-5387422.jpg


    Origin8 Gary-2 Bar, Affordable Dirt Drop Bars, by Rideon - Bike Tourings

  29. #29
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    Beware of budget dirt drops bars!

    Two years ago I bought a midge for $20. On One had them on sale, and I thought it would be a cheap little experiment.

    And I liked them so much that just last weekend I built up a drop-bar specific gryphon:


    That midge bar might have been the most expensive $20 I've ever spent.

  30. #30
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    Now that is a wicked looking bike. Although the slack frame geometry with the stem flipped like that is giving my eyes mixed messages about how that would feel. How does that setup feel?
    i am basically just an organic pattern recognition algorithm

  31. #31
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    ^ It's tough to say. I've only got 4 commutes on it so far - no singletrack since things are still impassable from a bunch of fresh snow and -10F temperatures on the weekend.

    On my old frame I'd been running a 40deg stem and a bunch of spacers, which is pretty weird, but I liked it a lot. On this frame I've got a 80mm/8deg stem angled upwards, which is a lot more normal, so I'm sure I'll figure it out. Right now I'm just enjoying not being crazily stretched out like I was on the old frame. And people do seem to love the gryphon.

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    'DB Ascent EX

    Built with spare components stashed in shop, would like to upgrade some stuff later, rear der., etc. but a solid commuter that handles very well.


    Budget dirt drop bars-db-gary2-barsr.jpg
    Last edited by biketourings; 12-02-2014 at 10:23 PM. Reason: add text

  33. #33
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    Hi Folks,
    interested in using the drivetrain I got on my budget bike over on a kid hauler/commuter bike. I don't want to pay $100 for tiagra level flat bar shifters, so I was thinking of grabbing some cheapo dirt drops that might be as comfortable. Are people pretty happy with them?

  34. #34
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    ^ reach/height may be the issue?

    I've mentioned in this thread the struggle I had getting a comfortable drops position for offroad and general use with my 29er.

    But I haven't mentioned how comfy the midge's hoods are on my 26er fixie. That didn't really take any fiddling: I tried a couple of spare stems and 60cm is my favorite, and there's a 4cm spacer stack, and that's it. And I like it a lot.

  35. #35
    jrm
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    Bar con or my fav the sunrace friction shifters can be had for a lot less than $100. Ive had good results with the surly open bar and on-one mungo bars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    damn where'd the free shipping go? I was all ready to go for some midges, a new stem, and tektro rl520s until on one tacked on a 65 dollar shipping fee...anybody know where to get this stuff other than direct? A stem and the tektros won't be hard to find but there seem to be very few midge options.

  37. #37
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    Yeah, I see what you mean about the shipping. After I saw your post I browsed Planet X and was impressed with the new website, and generous discounts. I even started piling things into the shopping cart. Then I stopped when shipping was $65. May be it's a mistake?

    Good luck finding some. I really like the Midge Bars on my bike.

    I am wondering when alt bars will arrive in carbon.

  38. #38
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    Came across this bar:

    Soma Feed: The Gator Bar Can Swallow the Junebug Bar!

    Thought this was a decent thread to put it in for anyone interested. Not sure how "budget" it is.

  39. #39
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    Thanks Brian. That looks like it could be a lot like a midge bar but with longer extensions (short extensions are what everyone including myself tend to complain about with the midge bar)

  40. #40
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    Does no one ever use adjustable stems or stem raisers? I have an adjustable stem and found it rather useful to change reach and height when switching flat/drop bars and tweaking around with them.

    And the issue with the short drops on the midge can be solved with a pair of controltech terminators.

    I just switched from a midge to a 46cm woodchipper. The tops on the midge are too narrow for me, also too narrow on the hooks and the drops are too short....well I hope the like the woodchipper better. Will ride them for the first time tomorrow.

  41. #41
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    ^ shiggy has definitely recommended that people could add extensions to the midge. I still think that's backwards though, and it's better to have the really long extensions of the woodchipper/luxy/gator that people can shorten if they want to.

    Speaking of budget dirtdrop bars, Guitar Ted has done a couple of writeups on the new Origin8 Gary Sweep:

    Guitar Ted Productions: Origin 8 Gary Sweep OS Bar: A New Alt Drop Bar
    Origin 8 Gary Sweep OS Bars: Checkpoint |

    It looks promising, and at $50 is probably cheaper than the soma will be. I'm looking forward to his final review of that, but also the rerelease of the Luxy from Pactbikes.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Came across this bar:

    Soma Feed: The Gator Bar Can Swallow the Junebug Bar!

    Thought this was a decent thread to put it in for anyone interested. Not sure how "budget" it is.
    I'm giving some thought to picking some of these up for a commuter/asphalt trail bike and putting straight bar brakes/shifters on it on the lower portion. I'm not sure if I like the idea, though. I guess it wont hurt to try it then switch to road-style brake levers if I don't like it?

  43. #43
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    ^ I can see why people would want this for gripshift, since it's nice to have another option besides brifters/barcons/retroshift. I think it will be weird for brakelevers though.

    It's sortof like an inverted northroad bar, which people have been doing forever:
    Inverted North Road bars by OwlBoogie, on Flickr

    I did that with a mary bar for awhile, and it was cool, giving a nice faux-drop position.

    But with an actual dropbar those levers are going to be really low.

    Poking around a bit I did find someone with a dirtdrop bar with roadlevers set way, way down:


    But that's definitely pretty unusual. With my dirtdrops I like using the ends of the drops for climbing, but the rest of the time I'm higher up and further forward. And if I run levers too low, I end up cramping-up my shoulders.

    But it's certainly worth a shot.

  44. #44
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    2 other interesting new choices:

    Misfit FME Bars: FME Bar Handlebar - PSYCLESTORE

    Soma Gator Bars: Gator Handlebar | SOMA Fabrications

  45. #45
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    Just an update:

    I got an Origin8 Gary Sweep OS (I have a problem) this week, and I love it.




    Comfortable drops, nice wide top, useable hoods, useable ramps, nice long drop extensions - it's great.

    It's replacing my woodchipper - I like the woodchipper quite a bit, but the Origin8 is just better.

    It does have a pretty long reach, so it might not work well for dropbar conversions.

  46. #46
    Deadrise & Derailleurs
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    With less than a week of riding a CX bike under my belt, I'm looking to trade to a more flared drop bar. After reading the above, I might be sold putting one on my MTB.
    Deadrise & Derailleurs

  47. #47
    z1r
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    I picked up a NOS Origin 8 Gary bar for $20 that I put on my commuter/Gravel bike. Second ride on those bars was the Pedal 50 in Monument. Loved it. My first ride was bombing down my favorite single track downhill. Oddly enough, my time was faster than on my suspended 29'er.

    Loving them!

    I will definitely be mounting something similar when I finish up my Macho Man disc build!

  48. #48
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    Well after a summer I am still loving the Gary Sweep OS - just a fantastic bar. I put it on in june, and really haven't had to fuss with is since.

    On my other bike I've been flipping back and forth between the midge and woodchipper all summer. I really want to like the woodchipper, but I think it's just too odd and finicky, so currently the midge is winning that battle.

  49. #49
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    Merry Xmas everyone

    I just stumbled over this one here:
    SATORI - Riding fueled innovation

    Anyone know something about it? Here in germany it is available for about 30 euros, should be able to stay below 30$.

    I am seriously thinking of ordering one after the holidays, if nobody has big complains about it. A comparison with the woodchipper and/or on one midge would be ideal.

  50. #50
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    Looks interesting, first "ergo" dirt drop I've seen. I've been disappointed with running dirt drops (origin8 Gary 2) on my commuter/gravel grinder for a few reasons. One, the frame is on the big side for me so the reach to the drops is too far to ride a lot in them. As such, I tend to ride more on the hoods, but with the flare of the bend, the hoods are not straight so they are not that comfy. Since it's SS, I need to stand and mash on the hoods, but they are narrower than normal because the bar flares out and therefore bends further in than a traditional bar. Anyway, these are some factors that I had not considered before trying them and I'm sharing here so hopefully folks consider these factors before trying them.

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