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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?
    dang

  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
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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
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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.

  51. #51
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    Looks really similar to the "Dajia Far" that Velo-orange is selling (which is apparently a rebadged "Genesis Digest")

    Satori:
    WIDTH 440 / 480 mm
    DROP(D) 110 mm
    REACH(R) 76 mm
    FLARED 21˚
    WEIGHT 278 g


    Velo-orange:
    The Far Bars have a 21 deg swept back portion, and a drop of 110 mm. The reach is 76 mm...The listed width -44cm or 48 cm - is measured centre of the drops to centre of the drops...Weight is 292 gr.


    The bend radius looks more extreme on the Dajia/Genesis, so I don't think the Satori is the same bar (although photos of dirtdrops are always hard to interpret). But even if they're not the exact same bar, there's certainly a lot of similar stuff going on between them.

  52. #52
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    Hey Newf, I wasn't aware of the Velo-Orange bar. Satori has also a non-ergo model that looks like that, it is called the Yukon.

    I have the same issue with these kind of bars, on the hoods they are not very comfortable because they bend downwards and there is no horizontal part. I had a woodchipper that was too narrow for me on the hoods which I did not like. In addition, to have a somewhat acceptable position on the hoods I had to tilt the drops down at least 45° making the drops/hoods position practically impossible to ride in.

    With the the Midge I manage to have them in a position that works on the tops, hoods and drops. It could be even better with levers that have flat hoods, my tektro RL520 (with V-brake leverage) are kind of hollow on the hoods, so that the palm of my hand does not contact the hood. This creates uncomfortable pressure points on the outside of my hand.

    Now the midge angles outwards on the hood position so much, that the levers are angled about 45°. This enables me to lay my hand rather on the side, then on the upper side of the hoods, and this position is -very- comfortable for me. I have the midge on my bike now for about 11 months and together with cork bartape, I have decided to never ever touch a flatbar with those sweaty glitchy ergon grips ever again. So whatever bar I have on my bike, it will definitely be a drop bar of some kind (might make an exception for something similarly versatile such as Jones Loop Bar or so).

    Back to the Satori:
    What makes this one interesting to me is that the clamp area seems to be very narrow, this would enable me to mount my toplevers far inwards creating a large straight area for my hands. And the drops angle outwards way more than the Midge does, this would give me more control when I am riding with fully loaded panniers on the front.

  53. #53
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    ^ sounds like you and I have very similar feelings on the midge and woodchipper.

    With these bars, I think the ergo bend slightly fixes the big problem of the woodchipper, where the extensions are pointing way down at the ground, and there's no actual place to rest your hands.

    And like you're saying for the midge, I love the way the levers angle out and how comfortable that is as a handrest. It looks like these might do the same thing:



    In other news, Guitar Ted was saying that the latest news of the reborn Luxy was that it would be done by Alpkit. Nothing on their website yet, but they have recently added a dirtdrop that looks a lot like the Midge:


    And personally, I still love my Gary Sweep OS. I would totally order a second one, if they were available anywhere.
    Last edited by newfangled; 12-24-2015 at 08:39 PM.

  54. #54
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    Since this is the "budget" dirtdrop thread, I figure I might as well include this:



    9 speed indexed sunrace shifter that's $25 most places. It's sized for flat bars, so I had to file down the clamp and use a longer bolt to get it to fit on drops.

    It works really well, and is pretty tweakable. You kind of have to decide if you primarily want to be hoods or drops - so set it up to work well for one, and then in the other it's just ok.

    Not perfect, but cheaper than brifters, genevalle, and even barcons. Just wish the clamp was properly sized, or even that it was hinged so I could easily swap back and forth between geared and ss. (although as it is, I could probably just pull the shifter off and leave the clamp in place, since it's not very obtrusive)

  55. #55
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    I dispensed of dirt drops and went to upside down north road bars.

    The reason(s)? When I was using dirt drops the brake levers were slid so far down that the hoods were unridable. Then it dawned on me that I don't need hoods since I don't ride them. Then it dawned on me that if I used MTB brake levers then I could have hydraulic discs. I could have filed out some MTB brake levers to fit on a Woodchipper but instead I looked for a bar that was 22.2mm in diameter.

    A big advantage of the north road bar is that I don't have to use a goofy high rise stem, I could use the stem that I already had.

    Another advantage is that MTB hydraulic discs are fraction of the price of road hydraulic discs and the are far more crashworthy, and, cable discs suck.

    The north road feels very similar to the Woodchipper with the hands in the drops.

    Soma now has the Gator bar that is 22.2mm in the grip area and 23.8mm farther forward.

    The Pyramid north road bars that I use are steel and cost $15.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Budget dirt drop bars-img_20151208_092009.jpg  

    Last edited by GeoKrpan; 12-26-2015 at 05:25 PM.

  56. #56
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    I actually ran an inverted Carnegie, and then an inverted Mary bar for a long time. Those are what put me on the path to dirtdrops. I will say though, that I had some pretty bad arm tendonitis for a few years, and the sweepy alt-bars helped it, but it didn't completely go away until I'd committed to drops.

    Drops are definitely more annoying though - taping and retaping, and parts are either hard to find or they don't exist, etc. But for me anyway, that's become part of the fun.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I actually ran an inverted Carnegie, and then an inverted Mary bar for a long time. Those are what put me on the path to dirtdrops. I will say though, that I had some pretty bad arm tendonitis for a few years, and the sweepy alt-bars helped it, but it didn't completely go away until I'd committed to drops.

    Drops are definitely more annoying though - taping and retaping, and parts are either hard to find or they don't exist, etc. But for me anyway, that's become part of the fun.
    Before I used the Pryamid north road bars I tried the Wald #8095. The Wald angles out at 45 degrees, about the same as Jeff Jones bars. In fact, the Jones Bend-H bar has an uncanny similarity to the Wald but the Wald costs $10. The Pryamid angles out at 30 degrees which I found to be much better on my hands, arms, and shoulders. Dirt drops typically angle out 20 degrees.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    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.
    On Facebook the 11th December Monstercross News says the Satori Boondocks is about 1" narrower than the On-One Midge at the brake levers and with more flare in the ends, but not as much as the Salsa Woodchipper. The technical drawing says 580mm at the ends, about 44 at the hoods wth a 110mm drop. They sell them for $45 +$15 for shipping and only a few left.

    Budget dirt drop bars-satori-boondocks-dirt-drop-bars.jpg

    Also in silver!

    Budget dirt drop bars-satori-boondocks-dirt-drop-bars-silver.jpg

    Read somewhere it's the same as the blue bars fitted as standard to the fierce looking Koga Beach Racer, but don't quote me on that!
    Just In : Koga Beach Racer | road.cc
    Koga // Bikes > Race > Collection 2016

    Budget dirt drop bars-koga-beach-racer-2014-w-satori-boondocks-bars.jpgName:  Koga Beach Racer - Onwards.jpg
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  59. #59
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    Satori Boondocks dirt drops

    Just found out the Boondocks looks and have the same measurements as the Satori Beach bars sold by Beachracer.nl!
    STUUR SATORI BEACH 31.8 ERGONOMISCH 44CM | Sturen |
    Budget dirt drop bars-satori-beach-bars-sold-beachracer.nl.jpg

    They also sell handlebars called Beachstuur Digest Bar and they are available in two different widths 44 and 48 at the hoods!
    Beachstuur Digest Bar 44cm | Sturen |
    Beachstuur Digest Bar 48cm | Sturen |
    Budget dirt drop bars-beachstuur-digest-bar-48cm-same-vo-daija-1.jpgBudget dirt drop bars-beachstuur-digest-bar-48cm-same-vo-daija-2.jpg

    Same measurements but slightly lower weight to the Daija Far Bar sold by Velo Orange. But my guess is they are the same shape and made by Satori.
    Dajia Far Bar Handlebar, Noir - Handlebars - Components
    Dajia Far Bar Handlebar, Silver - Handlebars - Components
    Budget dirt drop bars-dajia-far-bar-handlebar-silver-svart-44-48cm.jpg

    All very interesting indeed! :P
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  60. #60
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    ^ yup. That monstercross page you linked to is great.

    After poking around for awhile I found this drawing of the Genetic Digest, which is an exact match for the Satori:


    So I guess the Satori/Digest/Dajia/Koga are all identical. Just depends who's selling them the cheapest.

  61. #61
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    I was going through the Monstercross News pictures, and back in June there was this:

    Budget dirt drop bars-10353277_10153392944124190_22706682046058894_o.jpg

    No mentions of what bar that is. I know it's not a Midge, Woodchipper, Luxy or Gary.

    It might be one of the bars from Soma, but I'm almost wondering if it's one of these Satori/Digest/etc with the ergo end bits chopped off?

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I was going through the Monstercross News pictures, and back in June there was this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	10353277_10153392944124190_22706682046058894_o.jpg 
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    No mentions of what bar that is. I know it's not a Midge, Woodchipper, Luxy or Gary.

    It might be one of the bars from Soma, but I'm almost wondering if it's one of these Satori/Digest/etc with the ergo end bits chopped off?
    More likely a Soma, the grip area looks too long for Satori/Digest. Could be a Soma Gator but I don't know if they were available last June. The hoods are unridable in that setup.

  63. #63
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    Yeah, I was thinking it might be the gator...although in that case I think the extensions are too short.

    As for the hoods, most people aren't really going to use them. But that's pretty similar to how I've got my midge set up. And I ride this bike 99% on the hoods, and it's extremely comfortable:

  64. #64
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    +1 on the Midge. I too ride with my hands on the hoods most of the time with Midge bar. It is very comfortable, secure, and great for brake modulation. But when things get hectic I get into the drops for a stronger grip.

    On another aspect of bars, shifting mechanisms, if you are running gears, are really important aspects of bars. I use 9 speed bar cons. These work as good as can be, no complaint. However I go through cables fast...Perhaps it's because it shifts so well I shift a lot, and since my bike is mostly a commuter, there is a lot of start and stop shifting.

    I have replaced the hood covers 3 times over 7 years riding this bike. I am glad they are available for the long pull CaneCreek levers I have.

    My bike is not ideal. It suffers from toe overlap with anything 41 and bigger in front, and the rear fits a 34 maximum. Plus it is cantilever brake in the rear.

    Old fashioned. Oh well. I throw more attention into the wide handle bar mountain bikes I ride.

    Anyway, I think the Midge is an excellent bar for monster cross. It will be hard to pry me away from it. There is no way I could ride a cross bike like my mountain bikes. I would crash.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Yeah, I was thinking it might be the gator...although in that case I think the extensions are too short.

    As for the hoods, most people aren't really going to use them. But that's pretty similar to how I've got my midge set up. And I ride this bike 99% on the hoods, and it's extremely comfortable:
    Early on, when I had hoods, I rode them or tried. I used them less and less and then not at all. Don't need 'em if they're not being used. Made it easy to go to upside down north road. The bonus is hydraulic brakes.

    It's been an interesting process going from dirt drops and cable discs, gasp, to north roads and hydraulic, a process that took years. I had to dump a lot of my long held beliefs. I have totally severed my ties to drops and hoods. I'm open to the Gator but I balk at it's 655mm width. The 57cm north roads seem just about right. Maybe I'll try the Gator on my no suspension 29+.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    +1 on the Midge. I too ride with my hands on the hoods most of the time with Midge bar. It is very comfortable, secure, and great for brake modulation. But when things get hectic I get into the drops for a stronger grip.

    On another aspect of bars, shifting mechanisms, if you are running gears, are really important aspects of bars. I use 9 speed bar cons. These work as good as can be, no complaint. However I go through cables fast...Perhaps it's because it shifts so well I shift a lot, and since my bike is mostly a commuter, there is a lot of start and stop shifting.

    I have replaced the hood covers 3 times over 7 years riding this bike. I am glad they are available for the long pull CaneCreek levers I have.

    My bike is not ideal. It suffers from toe overlap with anything 41 and bigger in front, and the rear fits a 34 maximum. Plus it is cantilever brake in the rear.

    Old fashioned. Oh well. I throw more attention into the wide handle bar mountain bikes I ride.

    Anyway, I think the Midge is an excellent bar for monster cross. It will be hard to pry me away from it. There is no way I could ride a cross bike like my mountain bikes. I would crash.
    I have barend shifters but now use MTB trigger shifters. I hardly have to move my hands at all to shift and I get fewer unintentional shifts that I commonly got with barends.

    I use an upside down north road bar on my no suspension 29+ MTB and I find I am much smoother over the bumps than with a riser bar.

  67. #67
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    http://www.jbi.bike/web/advanced_sea...ords=Gary+ergo
    Origin8 Gary ERGO sweep os is made by satori and stamped boondocks picked it up at LBS for just over $50 after tax.

  68. #68
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    Guitar Ted recently did a review of the Soma Gator: Guitar Ted Productions: Soma Gator Bar Review

    It's not very positive. I haven't ridden one, although I can see that I probably wouldn't like it either. Too woodchipper-y, although I think I'd probably prefer it to my woodchipper since the levers flare out a bit more.

    He also explained what he looks for in a dirtdrop: Guitar Ted Productions: Off Road Drop Bars 101: Why Radius Matters

    And I'm pretty much onboard with that. Or at least, the weird radius of the woodchipper is why I don't like it.

    And my favorite dirtdrop the Gary Sweep OS is back in stock after being unavailable for more than a year (it's different from the Gary Ergo Sweep OS that oldandintheway posted...Origin8 has some real problems with their naming)

    I like the midge, but I love the Gary Sweep OS, and I might just order a second one even though I don't have a bike to put it on.
    Last edited by newfangled; 05-24-2016 at 03:51 PM.

  69. #69
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    A heads-up: Per the blog at Soma Fabrications they are working with Nitto on an off-road capable version of the Grand Randonneur bar. I guess the request was for something beefier than the road-focused bar but with the same bend, the blog posting stated Nitto produced prototypes with the tubing used for the Nitto track bars.

    No release date set yet but if you are looking for a bar that does not have the angles/flare usually seen in an off-road drop bar but is burly enough for off-road this may be for you.

    This type of bend:

    Budget dirt drop bars-rando.jpg

    as opposed to this type:

    Budget dirt drop bars-gator.jpg

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  70. #70
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    I'm actually in the market for such a bar. Wonder what the release date is going to be?

  71. #71
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    Definitely going to have to check out some of these other bar options. I used to love my Midges on my Jake but sold them with the bike. Now that On-One has just about killed all sales to the US due to shipping costs I have been looking for something similar to them sweep, drop and whatnot.

    Actually I just landed a Redline Monocog steel fork from ebay for $50 shipped that will be replacing the Manitou Tower on my hardtail. Conversion to the true gravel bike/commuter is continuing. Once I get that installed it will be finishing the conversion for the rest of the bike; move to 1x9, find drops I like, find barcon shifter for back, find better commuter/gravel type tires (currently running Schwalbe Rocket Ron's while the trail bike is down), etc.

    Question for the group, and I know the info is out there but just have to dig for it, I need to go with a specific Tektro or Cane Creek lever to work with my old Avid BB7 MTB calipers correct? Think that it was the Tektro RL520 or something like that but cant remember. Currently running something similar to the FSA Metropolis and while I like them I really would like to switch back to the dirt drops. Just don't quite like the angles that my hands are at and where it places the brake levers (running standard Avid mechanical pull for the BB7).

  72. #72
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    ^ yup. RL520 is the cheaper of the options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy View Post
    No release date set yet but if you are looking for a bar that does not have the angles/flare usually seen in an off-road drop bar but is burly enough for off-road this may be for you.

    This type of bend:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks snazzy.

    I assume it would be a lot like the cowchipper? But that extra little randonneur bend should be a great way to help a little bit with reach and height, which are frequent issues with dirtdrops.

  73. #73
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    I always used the rl520 but you can use any long pull lever. I ended up snapping up the dual pull gevenalle integrated shifters.

  74. #74
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    ^ I can't believe Tektro doesn't just sell dual-pulls as an actual product. I'd love to get a set.

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    Damn, I thought that they did. Tektro makes the gx2 levers for gevenalle and assumed that they would make them for themselves.

  76. #76
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    ^ nope. And while gevenalle also sells plain levers, I think they're just unmodded tektros.

    It's annoying, because I've got a 26/700c conversion that I'd love to be able to flip back and forth, but I don't know of any adjustable-pull drop levers, other than the genevalles with the shifty bits.

  77. #77
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    Sorry to be obtuse I knew that the GX2 had the shifty bits. I assumed that if Tektro made it for gevenalle that it would be available under their name.

  78. #78
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    Those genevalle are nice, bit pricey and only seem to work with Shimano stuff. I am currently running 9spd SRAM X9 rear. Was looking at doing either barcons or friction shifter like one of the guys did with the clamp just below the hoods.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ nope. And while gevenalle also sells plain levers, I think they're just unmodded tektros.

    It's annoying, because I've got a 26/700c conversion that I'd love to be able to flip back and forth, but I don't know of any adjustable-pull drop levers, other than the genevalles with the shifty bits.
    We get much made for us by Tektro (brake levers) and Microshift (shift levers) but we do alot of modifying. Basically we don't like to put our name on something unless we can add performance to it.

    The RL520 levers for the GX shifters are all disassembled here in PDX and additional brake pivot points are machined and then units are re-assembled with slightly better bushings. We also disassemble the regular RL520 long pull and R200 short pull levers and re-build with the thicker bushings (makes levers just a little more solid side to side (less wiggle).

    Last time we visited Tektro we left them a set of 'dual pull' levers so who knows they might make something similar. We do sell a fair number of single speed levers (brake levers only) and have talked about offering these in a dual pull.

    Cheers all!

    Goats

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    ^ funny, I was just debating sending you guys a suggestion through your site.

    If you ever did offer the single speed levers as the dual-pulls, you've got me as a guaranteed customer. (I might even buy 3 sets for all my bikes, if that helps the business case )

    Thanks for the response though.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ funny, I was just debating sending you guys a suggestion through your site.

    If you ever did offer the single speed levers as the dual-pulls, you've got me as a guaranteed customer. (I might even buy 3 sets for all my bikes, if that helps the business case )

    Thanks for the response though.
    Working on it...

  82. #82
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    When.you improve/modifying the tektro rl520, make sure to solve the hood issue as well. I described it here:

    How was your commute today?

    And when you are at it, it would be nice to have the top area of the hoods flat instead of hollow. For these reasons I have replaced them with sram s500 brake levers. Better in all the points I described.

    And maybe invent a corresponding pair of topmounted, dual pull brake levers too? For 31.8mm area and shims to fit 26 / 25.4 / 23.8 mm . These suggestions are totally free ;-)

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    When.you improve/modifying the tektro rl520, make sure to solve the hood issue as well. I described it here:

    How was your commute today?

    And when you are at it, it would be nice to have the top area of the hoods flat instead of hollow. For these reasons I have replaced them with sram s500 brake levers. Better in all the points I described.

    And maybe invent a corresponding pair of topmounted, dual pull brake levers too? For 31.8mm area and shims to fit 26 / 25.4 / 23.8 mm . These suggestions are totally free ;-)
    Thx for reply. Looked at your thread pertaining to hood issue. Looks like your forum group sussed it out. Pin needs to sit fully out to engage on hood side. We could make pin longer to make sure this never happened but it would take away quick release function which is pretty useful. We have only seen one other issue with this pin and it was due to a customers hand position (they tended to push pin with thumb when braking which allowed lever to move to release position.

    The RL520 (long pull) levers do have a more pointed top section than the short pull R200's. People's hands come in lots of shapes as guessing from feedback that about 40% prefer the RL520 shape. That said the trend of bars with more and more flair being used might play into it. When an RL520 is used on a bar with flair the rider ends up getting a much larger flatter side profile of the brake body to rest hand on. For CX we generally recommend the flatter top R200 with matching brakes.

    If we do move towards designing a brake lever from scratch we will be very sure to make sure it is a shape the majority love!

    Top mounted dual pull? You mean for a flat bar or to use in conjunction with drop brakes?

    Cheers,

    Goats

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Goats View Post
    The RL520 (long pull) levers do have a more pointed top section than the short pull R200's. People's hands come in lots of shapes as guessing from feedback that about 40% prefer the RL520 shape.
    More for general discussion than for the goats, but it is a little disappointing that the tetkro and cane creek long-pull levers both use the same body - which is pretty pointy and has narrow hoods. Sometimes I'd like to try a flatter, chunkier hood, like most other new levers.

    I realize it's a super small market, but the fact that the two options that are available happen to be exactly the same is annoying. (I think there's actually a 3rd out there, but it's even pointier and narrower)

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    And maybe invent a corresponding pair of topmounted, dual pull brake levers too? For 31.8mm area and shims to fit 26 / 25.4 / 23.8 mm . These suggestions are totally free ;-)
    No no no, what someone REALLY needs to produce is longpull (or dualpull) reverse levers, so I can finally try mountain biking with a bullhorn bar.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
    I have barend shifters but now use MTB trigger shifters. I hardly have to move my hands at all to shift and I get fewer unintentional shifts that I commonly got with barends.

    I use an upside down north road bar on my no suspension 29+ MTB and I find I am much smoother over the bumps than with a riser bar.
    Hi it sounds like a good idea to change shifters, but it ain't happening for me mate.

    I have been away from maybe for a long time...another story...

    But I did change my fork and stem. I found a great NOS hinged Cattlehead stem with 20 degree rise at 110mm length and a Salsa Fargo disc fork with 51mm offset.

    The 51mm offset did not cure toe overlap running a 40+ front tire, but it helps. However I can now run the 35s I prefer very nicely. The change in handling seems negligible. It is probably an improvement if anything.

    The stem is longer but with a tad more rise and it didn't change things drastically either. My bike was more twitchy before these changes is my judgement. I like the feel. However I haven't done any centuries on the new set up to see how it fares on long days (prefer mountain biking on long days).

    Made other changes to the Drivetrain but that is not pertinent.

    Hence overall I have stretched and lowered my position incrementally over the decade I have had this bike with Midge bars, and have enjoyed the changes along the way.

    Fork choice and stem height do affect handlebar preferences. And of course, so do the brakes and shifters. I have never seen bikes for sale new the way my bike's end up being most comfortable over the years.

  87. #87
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    Budget dirt drop bars-image.jpeg
    My monster cross set up. I have wondered about switching bars to something flared. Thoughts?
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  88. #88
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    ^ It depends how you want to ride it.

    I've got my "monstercross" bike that I ride on the hoods, with a normal dropbar mounted pretty low.

    And I've got my "dirtdrop" bike that I ride in the drops, with a really flared drop mounted pretty high.

    The monstercross is kindof terrifying, because the hoods are a pretty sketchy position for tackling technical terrain. But honestly, sometimes terrifying is good.

    In comparison, the dirtdrop bike is a genuine mountainbike and feels 100% secure.

    I ride all the same trails on both bikes, but on the monstercross/hoods I need to be a lot slower and a lot more careful, just because the grip is so iffy. But sometimes that's part of the fun.

    And all that being said, if I had to rank them for singletrack: the drops on a dirtdrop feel amazing; the hoods on a normaldrop are surprisingly effective if a little scary; but I don't like riding the drops on a normaldrop.

  89. #89
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    Thanks newfangled. I do ride all the trails we have in the black hills with this set up
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  90. #90
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    I forgot that I was also going to say that if you do ride the hoods, the really flared bars - midge, junebug, gary sweep - give nice access to the brakelevers, and allow index-finger braking.

    On my monstercross with the normal bar, I can't get enough leverage on singeltrack with the index finger (even with discs and big rotors) so I have to use my middlefinger too. And so then for grip I'm left with just the ringfinger and pinky, which is why things can be a little sketchy. Even with the woodchipper the levers are pretty vertical, so I find I have to use the middle finger there too.

    But with the flared bars the hoods position is pretty different, and I can get a nice "lock" with just my index finger. At this point it's kindof a neither-here-nor-there-for me, since I enjoy the challenge of the sketchy bar.

  91. #91
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    Thanks looking at the salsa cowbell. Looks like it has a just a little flare.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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