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Thread: Drop bars

  1. #1
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    Drop bars

    Have some Salsa Bell Laps but looking for a shorter drop. Any opinions on the Salsa Cowbell 2 or 3?

  2. #2
    shut up legs
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    like the cowbells better than Bell Laps...less reach easy to go down if needed
    '15 Salsa Bucksaw | '15 Advocate Lorax | '15 Advocate Watchman | '15 Advocate Hayduke | '93 Giant ATX 760

  3. #3
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    I have the cowbell 2's and love them

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomzat View Post
    Have some Salsa Bell Laps but looking for a shorter drop. Any opinions on the Salsa Cowbell 2 or 3?
    I was where you were about a year ago. Loved teh Bell laps on the road but couldnt stand them on dirt so I swapped them for the cowbells and havent looked back.

  5. #5
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    Anyone try something like the On-One Midge for CX?

  6. #6
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    I also went from Bell Laps to Cowbells and love'em. Great bars!

  7. #7
    hispanic mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Anyone try something like the On-One Midge for CX?
    That's what I'm using on my Nature Boy. I love them off road, and I'm liking them all around actually.

    Los
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  8. #8
    jrm
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    Midge vs. Cowbell

    The flare of the midges combined with the angle of the brake/hood really reeked havoc with my wrists. The arm pump was really bad b/c i was having to use alot more hand strength to keep my hands on the brake/hoods which made braking really tough as my hands fatiqued. With less flare then the midges the cowbells angle of the brake/hoods has really improved my comfort level riding and braking from the brake/hoods. Id love the midge if the flare was reduced but it retained the same drop.

  9. #9
    hispanic mechanic
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    I can see where that could happen. That's why it's best to try stuff out prior to race season!

    Los
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  10. #10
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    I bought an $800 Focus CX bike, because I wanted a road bike that could take non-racer width tires. I hated the stock bar, and just switched it out for a Cowbell 3 (also went up to a 46cm). Love the new bar.

  11. #11
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    The flare of the midges combined with the angle of the brake/hood really reeked havoc with my wrists. The arm pump was really bad b/c i was having to use alot more hand strength to keep my hands on the brake/hoods which made braking really tough as my hands fatiqued. With less flare then the midges the cowbells angle of the brake/hoods has really improved my comfort level riding and braking from the brake/hoods. Id love the midge if the flare was reduced but it retained the same drop.
    Midge bars are designed to be ridden in the drops as the main "power" position. I do ride on the hoods but not for anything too rough or aggressive.
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  12. #12
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    Hmmm, just marking my place. Carry on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Midge bars are designed to be ridden in the drops as the main "power" position. I do ride on the hoods but not for anything too rough or aggressive.
    Ok so the angle of the drops is meant to be the main position while riding. I am debating on whether to get the Midge or the Cowbell as my next upgrade to my Jake. I ride on the hoods for most of my commuting and for the road rides we do but I find as I get a bit more tired my wrists tend to want to flex outward in what I would assume would be the angle of the hoods for the Midge. I really have only been in the drops when I get a long stretch of road where I am pulling a pretty good clip.

    Suggestions?

    So looking comparatively the Bell Lap says they have 12degrees of flare at the drops and the Midge says 113degrees of flare at the ends.. So if my thoughts and "minds-eye" are correct then the Midge has quite a bit more flare at the drops than the Bell Lap 3?

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Your handlebars might be a bit wide for you, if I read you right.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    jrm
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    If you, like me ride the hoods

    most of time i say run with the cowbells. You can always adjust the levers position on the bar to find the comfort zone. What size are you considering? i ride 46s b/c i like um roomy

  16. #16
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    I am still new to road biking and my Jake currently runs 42cm bars stock on my Jake. I could see going to something a slight bit wider, so might try the 44 or 46.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Ok so the angle of the drops is meant to be the main position while riding. I am debating on whether to get the Midge or the Cowbell as my next upgrade to my Jake. I ride on the hoods for most of my commuting and for the road rides we do but I find as I get a bit more tired my wrists tend to want to flex outward in what I would assume would be the angle of the hoods for the Midge. I really have only been in the drops when I get a long stretch of road where I am pulling a pretty good clip.

    Suggestions?

    So looking comparatively the Bell Lap says they have 12degrees of flare at the drops and the Midge says 113degrees of flare at the ends.. So if my thoughts and "minds-eye" are correct then the Midge has quite a bit more flare at the drops than the Bell Lap 3?
    Commuting I spend most of my time on the hoods, too (Midge bars).
    I have the palm of my hands on the sides of the brake lever body. Feels totally natural to me. May be because of the many years I have used flared drops. Road dropbars now look and feel like they have negative flare to me. Can barely ride on them.
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  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    I could never get the Jake's stock bars to work that well for me. When I bent them, it was the excuse I needed to put on something I like better. On my bike, the FSA Compact. I have a Wing on one bike and an Omega on the Jake.

    Edit: Relevant because the FSA Compact bend has a little bit of flare, which I really like.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    meh
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    another option is the salsa woodchipper, somewhere in between the midge and cowbell
    run these on a fargo and they are great on single track

  20. #20
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    I have the Easton EA70 bar on my CX bike, which I bought for width (46cm) and short drop. The reach and drop are nearly identical to the Cowbell 2.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Ok so the angle of the drops is meant to be the main position while riding. I am debating on whether to get the Midge or the Cowbell as my next upgrade to my Jake. I ride on the hoods for most of my commuting and for the road rides we do but I find as I get a bit more tired my wrists tend to want to flex outward in what I would assume would be the angle of the hoods for the Midge. I really have only been in the drops when I get a long stretch of road where I am pulling a pretty good clip.

    Suggestions?
    I ride with the hoods as the main position.

    When I install drop bars I do the following to get a good fit:
    1. Make sure I like the stem reach/height
    2. Adjust the angle of the bars with my hands in the drops so it is comfy for an aero tuck as well as descending
    3. Adjust the position of the brake levers so I have a comfy hood position as well as an easy to reach brake lever from the drops. This is an up/down the bar as well as in/out angle of the levers.
    4. Tape the housing to the bars and wrap them with my favorite bar tape.

    I pretty much ride with the hoods as far forward as is comfortable for descending with my hands on the hoods. Too far forward and I feel like I might lose my grip.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    I ride with the hoods as the main position.

    I pretty much ride with the hoods as far forward as is comfortable for descending with my hands on the hoods. Too far forward and I feel like I might lose my grip.
    So you are talking about the position of the hoods/brifters in relation to the bend in the bars correct?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So you are talking about the position of the hoods/brifters in relation to the bend in the bars correct?
    Yep. Too far back/up and I get wrist pain, too far forward and I feel like my hands will slip up and over the shifter bump when descending. Plus too high up pulls the brake lever farther away while in the drops.

  24. #24
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    will take good vibrrations

  25. #25
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    Big fan of flared, "off road" drops. In the right place, they are trés comfy in all hand places

  26. #26
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    For me, the key to liking my Midge bars was to measure the bar distance to the ground of my normal flat bar set-up, and horizontal cockpit length (back of saddle to handgrip) and then to find a stem that put the "hooks" of the Midge bar where my normal hand position would be on a flat bar. I have mine set so the hoods are pretty low, meaning I don't ride on top of the bar very often...only if I need to sit up and stretch. IMHO, the Midge provides great comfort, control, and security for offroad riding, but is not very comfortable for longer distances.
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  27. #27
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    Yeah I am thinking after I pay taxes I am going to invest in the On-One Midge bars with some new tape.

  28. #28
    conjoinicorned
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    with some careful setup and maybe a couple stems (i use and adjustable stem to find the right place) midge bars can be setup to run comfortably on the road and on the dirt. the flare and much wider bar feels great and works on all riding including very technical MTB!
    the drops are definitely where the bars were meant to be run...but with slight adjustments in angle and a spacer or two they can be made for the hoods...i've also found positions that compromise and are decent in both drops and hoods. they are harder to set up than straight up road bars because of the flare and sensitivity to angle...but worth it for me!
    i really love riding in the drops and the midges are perfect for me. if you really prefer the hoods maybe look elsewhere, like the cowbell
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    ... they are harder to set up than straight up road bars because of the flare and sensitivity to angle...but worth it for me!
    i really love riding in the drops and the midges are perfect for me. if you really prefer the hoods maybe look elsewhere, like the cowbell
    :LOL: After many years (20+) of riding flared dropbars I find it impossible to setup standard road bars to be comfortable.

    I use all of the possible hand positions on Midge bars. The hoods are just as comfortable for me as the drops. The tops the least useable (too straight). I do run my levers VERY low.

    I find the best angle for the bar to be related to the bar height, and you need to experiment with what works for you. Same goes for the lever position.
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  30. #30
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    Hi all:

    I feel like I have some good experience with both the On-One Midge and the Salsa Cowbell. I am currently running the Cowbell 2 on both my Surly CC and my recent purchase of a Kona JTS. I am 6' 2", so the wide flare on the Midge bars is great. And I chose to ride the 46cm Cowbell. IMHO the the Midge bars are awesome, and can be set up to work on a cross or rode bike, but I think they are best suited to a bike that is designed to run a "dirt drop bar" such as the On-One Midge, Salsa Woodchipper, or and other of the similar designed bars out there. I rode many thousands of miles with the Midge on my Surly. To get the bars posititoned properly so that I felt comfortable riding the drops primarily, I was forced to keep the steer tube very long and use a +45 degree stem. It worked fine, but I think that sitting on and cruising around the parking lot on a few of the Salsa adventure touring machines tells me that you are better off using a dirt drop bar with a bike that is designed for that type of bar. I guess others may disagree.

    As for the Salsa Cowbell. This bar is great. Very comfy. My primary position is riding the hoods, but because the drop is more shallow and there is a nice roomy flat drop section I am comfortable riding the drops as well.

    Overall IMHO the Salsa Cowbell is a middle ground between a dirt drop and a road racer bar. And I like the idea of the Cowbell more than say the Nitto Rando bars.

    Anyways...hope that helps.

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