Touring - Moustache Bars
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03-11-07, 04:10 AM
I'm buying a Long Haul Trucker in the next few weeks. It's gonna be my child mover/grocery getting (fully loaded)/utility bike. Occassionally getting some use touring (already planning Sydney to Byron Bay).
Anyhow, I'm wondering about bar options. I ride a fixie with track drops or bullhorns and a ss mtb with risers. I'm keen to try something new and so am wondering about moustache bars, albatross or north roads?
Any insights or experiences would be gratefully recieved.
Moustache bars are mostly about a particular look, if you compare them with North Roads or Albatross, except there is less bar available on the outside. They do not offer as many useful hand positions. I used them a while but switched to a x-large Nitto Noodle and have not wanted to switch back. If I were going again for upright bars, I would do the North Road/ Albatross. More versatile IMO.
03-11-07, 10:11 AM
I have two mustache bars on bikes. One on a 70's vintage Motobecane Grand Touring, and another on a Nashbar road Fra-may I built over the past few years. I love them in terms of versatility and comfort. Most people with drops do not ride them on on the drop part. I did when I was 30 years younger, more flexible, and without some old geezer arthritis. However, as I got older, I found I was using mostly the tops. A friend turned me onto MB. They give more hand positions, one can get aero, and they give you the option of being more upright for either urban riding or comfort. I have done centuries with them without problems. The secret to setting them up is to have the MB higher then the saddle, and use a shorter stem. Rivendell web site will explane more. I have used the dirt drop stem on both bikes with great success, since it does get the bars up with a shorter stem. My Moto have downtube shifter, and my NB has bar end shifters. I highly advise using the barends due to comfort and ease of reach. One thing you will find among those who have tried mustache bars, they either love them or hate them.. There never seems to be a middle ground. Another thing about these bars is that they are quite the conservation piece. I rode a century last year, and I was the only one with these bars. I got so many questions about them, with people either thinking I was totally nuts, or the bars were "real cool". I bet on a LHT they would be great. If I ever build up a LHT, mustache bars would be my first choice.
I have an old bike setup for Café riding. It came with a 52/40 Strong light crank with an integrated chain guard. A nice option as I can wear regular street clothing when biking to and from stores and of course, Cafés! Mustache bars are an absolute (fashion) necessity with this style of bike! Here is a photo of my setup using thumb shifters in place of Bar-end shifters, which I find more convent as they stick out the side of the bar instead of in-line with it so I can palm the shift levers.
Note the use of cork plugs in the bar ends for that old school look.
03-11-07, 12:55 PM
Yeah-- it's love or hare with Moustache bars.
Trekking or butterfly style bars are another option. what shifters and brakes are you going to use?
If you go for moustache bars, get the cheap steel ones. They won't bend as easy if the bike falls over.
Moustache bars have worked well for over ten years on my town bikes-a 1965 Moulton Stowaway and a 1980 Le Juene Track bike both with a F&S Duomatic 2 speed coaster brake hub. On rides longer than 25 miles I sometimes wish for more hand positions but around town shopping and commuting they are great.
You can also reverse them for a more upright position which worked well when I tried it briefly.
You can also reverse North Roads and still retain the wrist angle. Some of the clubmen did this back in the day if they couldn't afford racing bars. This is extremely comfortable and you can hold the slopes like aero bars with a long enough stem. The first pic is right after a century. Although the bike is leaning against a fence, I was heading for the couch...:o
03-11-07, 10:51 PM
i have a moustache bar on my 1990's bridgestone cb0 zipp city bike. i love em. i've toured across the country twice on that bike. they offer several different hand positions, all the advatages of a drop bar or flat bar. i have mine set up with dia-compe road brake levers with suntour ratchet bar ends.
there is a decent knock-off bar available now, it's the "tiki bar", it has the same width and angles has the nitto. it's made by origin-8. i think they retail for arround $28 +/-. i recieved some for demo but have not installed them on anything yet. i'll probably put them on my single speed townie. i have a schwinn varsity converted to use an english b.b., it makes a bomb proof arround single speed/fixie.
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