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  1. #1
    The Other White Meat BroMax's Avatar
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    albatross or moustache?

    I know I'll use my Motobecane Grand Touring more when I make it more comfortable. Perhaps those of us in the age category understand better than most that drop bars are not the best when one is old and fat--not you, of course but you must have some friends who fit this description.

    I take leisurely day trips and make a nine mile each way commute to the pool. My preference for an upright position is not just comfort but also safety and my being able to take in the scenery without pushing my neck into a position that causes it to protest for hours after a longer ride is over.

    Has anyone here experience with both the Albatross and the Moustache handlebars? If so, would you please compare/contrast your experience?

    Anyone with opinions of either of these (or others), please share you experience here. I have bar-end shifters, so anything I consider must accommodate them. I'm prepared to change out brake levers if necessary.
    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

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  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I have Albatross bars on my commuter. I think you have more different hand positions than moustache bars since the bars sweep back quite a bit. You can keep them low like moustache bars or you can flip them so they are pretty much English 3-speed (Northroad) type, which is nice for a relaxed, upright position.

    That said, I prefer drop bars unless you really need that upright positioning.

  3. #3
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroMax
    ...If so, would you please compare/contrast your experience?...
    I've used both bars and strongly favor the Albatross. The moustache, on my bikes, was never quite comfortable, no matter how I adjusted (several stems, several tilts). The Albatross was instantly "right."

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    We're into the world of personal perception and taste. I've ridden lots on moustaches and 20 miles on the albatross. Personally, I found the moustache more comfortable for riding on the open road and generally riding at pace as well as zipping off to the store. The albatross seemed better suited by its shape and and rearwards sweep for a short commuter, errand runner, neighborhood bike...good for upright riding...the English 3spd someone mentioned above.

    Also, I believe the albatross is designed for mtn. bike shifters, brake levers-- and the moustache is suited for road style levers and bar-ends.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    BroMax, If you are wanting a more relaxed and upright position, the Albatross or a North Road is going to do that more than a Moustache bar. The Moustache position is not so different from a drop bar position except for the ends being higher and great for climbing.
    I don't agree with the idea that drop bars are unsafe or uncomfortable if setup right on a frame that fits. But from what you've said, I think you'd be happiest with the Albatross or similar. Harris has a Nitto aluminum North Road for less than Riv's steel Albatross. Not sure if it will take bar-ends, but you could ask them.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
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    Just my perception perhaps, but both albatross and moustache come in square at the end of the bars, ie, they are parallel to your line of sight. I found this, well not uncomfortable, but a little more stressful on the wrists as opposed to the old cruiser handle bars that come off an an angle. I have two old Schwinns that feel almost perfect angle wise in this regard. They just seem to set at the same angle my hands come down to the bar with, no flex necessary to get a good grip...YMMV...

  7. #7
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Baggsy +1. I put some serious miles on my moustaches. I used the end of the bars for climbing (which felt good), but cruised on the brake hoods and the front curves. I also put on an aero bar which clamped right beside the stem where the sleeve is a little wider. Even then i had to shim it with some strips of thin rubber. Having said that....I found the moustache great for sight-seeing, commutes, zipping about, but For more "serious" road riding, regular drop bars are by far my preference.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Before I retired I commuted for years. I rode both drop bars & North Road types & eventually came to prefer drop bars with a longer stem to get them up within 1" or less of saddle height. This works best with a "French" type fit (larger frame with only a fistful of seatpost showing). The semi upright position from this combination is a good compromise & gives good visibility with some aerodynamic advantage over a fully upright position & is still pretty comfortable on long rides. A stem change is less expensive. Don
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  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    FWIW....my money says Albatross or North Roads COMBINED with
    an adjustable stem will allow anyone to dial in exactly the right
    posture for comfort. I use NR & Adj stem on my city bike for
    supeme comfort. My trails bike is Nashbar Moustash (they're
    more Alba when flipped) with a Adj stem.

    Whatever you try don't forget the Adjustable stem to get the most
    from the bars.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    The steel Albatross and the Moustache bars will accept bar end shifters. A North Road bar will not. The Moustache bars will accept road brake levers and the other two will not. I have all three and I like all three. If you go with the Moustache bars, you'll want a stem that's taller but has less extension.

  11. #11
    jcm
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    I'm biased towards North Roads. They have the flared angle that matches the wrist rotation. I ride moderate-to-long distances and have no issues except for the occasional headwind. Using an adjustable stem with the pop-top, I sometimes quickly flip them upside down when I'm going long on week-ends.

    The Albatross and Mustache bars are very classy looking, tho. For your Motobecane, I think the Mustache bars would look better, and, you aren't riding very far so the distance comfort issue probably won't apply. I say that because lots of people find them a little lacking over long rides, preferring drops.

    chicyclist has a neat Albatross setup on her city/utility bike. She's in here somewhere...

  12. #12
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
    The steel Albatross and the Moustache bars will accept bar end shifters. A North Road bar will not. The Moustache bars will accept road brake levers and the other two will not. I have all three and I like all three. If you go with the Moustache bars, you'll want a stem that's taller but has less extension.
    Au Contrair, mon amee:
    Bar-ends on North Roads, Trek 520.
    http://i8.tinypic.com/25ja915.jpg

  13. #13
    The Other White Meat BroMax's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who answered. It's an individual thing, of course, but if everyone agreed that one is wonderful and the other(s) is terrible, it would be an easy choice. BTW I didn't intend my remark about safety to apply to the drop bars but rather to me using drop bars around a lot of motor traffic. I prefer a heads-up position that I can maintain without discomfort at such times.

    The moustache bars get the highest marks for appearance but comfort favors the albatross type and comfort wins. Maybe after more miles and less fat, I'll decide I'd like a more aerodynamically efficient position and change to moustache bars.

    On the other hand, it might depend on what is or is not in stock.
    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.

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  14. #14
    Junior Member tiger474's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Baggsy +1. I put some serious miles on my moustaches. I used the end of the bars for climbing (which felt good), but cruised on the brake hoods and the front curves. I also put on an aero bar which clamped right beside the stem where the sleeve is a little wider. Even then i had to shim it with some strips of thin rubber. Having said that....I found the moustache great for sight-seeing, commutes, zipping about, but For more "serious" road riding, regular drop bars are by far my preference.
    sounds like a good idea. Do you have a pic of the setup?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    This is my somewhat unique solution to the comfortable bar question.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I tried both & found they are OK for rides of no more than 1-2 hours, but I really prefer drop bars even on short rides.
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    One more opinion: When my back was hurting I put mustache bars on an old bike--and really jacked up the stem with an extender. I found it to be a very pleasant and comfortable ride.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  18. #18
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    I have those on two bikes right now, the 'Stache on my singlespeed and the 'Tross on an old mountain bike I use for grocery runs, trips with non-cycling friends and sometimes a 25-mile round trip commute.
    Of the two, I think I'd pick the Albatross for the riding you've described. You can get really upright when you want to, but if you want to get a little more aero, you can hold the lower, flat portion of the bar near the stem (I have mine taped there because I use it all the time).
    I've had the Mustache for several years, on two different road bikes before I put it on the SS. It's great for shorter rides, but on anything longer than half an hour or so, I miss the equivalent of a "riding on the tops" position. I might be able to address that by fiddling with the stem, but I went back to drop bars on my main road bikes and moved the mustache to the SS.

  19. #19
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy
    Just my perception perhaps, but both albatross and moustache come in square at the end of the bars, ie, they are parallel to your line of sight. I found this, well not uncomfortable, but a little more stressful on the wrists as opposed to the old cruiser handle bars that come off an an angle. I have two old Schwinns that feel almost perfect angle wise in this regard. They just seem to set at the same angle my hands come down to the bar with, no flex necessary to get a good grip...YMMV...
    Sounds like your Schwinns may have had North Road bars. The sweep on most North Roads is significantly less than on an Albatross. Usually a North Road will have a sweep of around 25-30 degrees. Mosts mountain bike bars or comfort flat bars will have at most around 8-12 degrees. While both the Moustache and Albatross are up around 70-80 degrees.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  20. #20
    Senior Member MichiganMike's Avatar
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    Only to slightly change the subject, but has anyone used trekking bars before? I am considering them. They are ugly, but look like they'd give me more hand positions that are comfortable (the way I like to ride) than drops.

  21. #21
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    I've tried using every manner of bar you can think of. I always come back to drop bars. They simply offer more choices for had positioning. The trick, however, is to get the right drop bars. I've got three sets of bars not in use, because they weren't just what I was looking for.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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