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Old 09-08-08, 08:30 PM   #1
dawes56
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A Fork in the Road

So, today I drove down to Annapolis and visited Velo Orange (it's actually in Parole, MD). I tried some Soma Sparrow bars on my bike and found them to be either too dropped when mounted upside down, or have too much rise when mounted upright. Plus, they were really too narrow and curvy to afford any comfy alternate hand positions. When I bought the Sparrow Bars, i was also looking at these bars on Velo Orange's website: http://www.velo-orange.com/milanbar.html

I wanted to see them in person and compare them with these: http://www.velo-orange.com/touristbar.html

For comparison, here are the Sparrow bars: http://www.somafab.com/barsparrow.html


Anyway, I ended up with the Milan bars and mounted them up as drops this afternoon. They are perfect. A little wider, less of a drop, longer "grip" area, and provide at least three comfortable positions for my hands. I only had time for 10 miles or so, but believe my handlebar quest is now over.

As for the fork in the road, as I was approaching my turn for home off the main road, there it was..a piece of stainless steel flatware, and I do mean flat.. and you were expecting some deep philosophical diatribe I bet.

Pics will follow when I can use my wife's camera and the sun returns, usually in the morning.

That is all

Pete
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Old 09-08-08, 08:32 PM   #2
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Interesting bar. If I haven't already noted it in my flat bar alternatives thread, I'll have to add it.

I like the sweep angles.
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Old 09-08-08, 08:36 PM   #3
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Okay, you already added them.

The Milan bars remind me of a modified Nitto Dove bar. The Dove bar has a bit more bend in it, creating more sweep.
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Old 09-08-08, 08:58 PM   #4
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Cool. I could spend a lot of money in a hurry in that place. Did you get to meet Chris?
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Old 09-08-08, 09:20 PM   #5
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Hey they have something that I will now put into one of my other threads.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:35 PM   #6
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At first, I thought "Sparrow Soma Bars" were some kind of energy bar.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Louis View Post
Cool. I could spend a lot of money in a hurry in that place. Did you get to meet Chris?
It was my first visit, but did not see Chris (have seen his pic on the Velo Orange Blog). It is mainly a web business so the "showroom" is maybe 12' by 12'. There were 4 or 5 Velo Orange bikes on display..nice classic frames, and a shelf with some interesting parts not on the website...just some odds and ends like bottom brackets, hubs, brake levers, shifters (friction DT style).

In the event I attempt to fix up my old Dawes (which incidentally is old enough to legally join this forum), I am sure I will be back. Thinking I would need to change the shifter/brake combo to separate items in an effort to gain handlebar space, I also bought some brake levers and some friction shifter thumbies.

http://www.velo-orange.com/tertbrle.html

http://www.velo-orange.com/fafrthsh.html

After installing the new bars and trying them out, it is not really necessary as there is plenty of room, and as an added bonus, with the exception of the front brake housing, all of the other cable housings are now the proper length so that there is no chance of cable rub on the head tube, and I can remove the tape protectors...if I get around to it. The front brake housing needs to be shortened a little.. a job for tomorrow.

Anyway, I am slowly building a collection of spare parts..I must have four sets of relatively new platform pedals (now using Shimano M324 clipless/platform combo...keeping my options open), a flat bar, two riser bars, the Sparrow bar, the Tektro brake levers, and the thumbies...

Anyway, Velo Orange is worth the trip just to look at classic framed bikes with "proper" tube proportions
and horizontal top tubes. As for me, I love them, but also love my fat-tubed aluminum Kona Dew Deluxe with the sloping top tube and the big,fat tires!

Pete
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Old 09-08-08, 10:02 PM   #8
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At first, I thought "Sparrow Soma Bars" were some kind of energy bar.

My cats try to catch those, so they must be good!
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Old 09-08-08, 10:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the report, Pete. I've purchased stuff from them online, but for me it's too far to drive. The online catalog makes me drool.
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Old 09-09-08, 05:47 AM   #10
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As for the fork in the road, as I was approaching my turn for home off the main road, there it was..a piece of stainless steel flatware, and I do mean flat.. and you were expecting some deep philosophical diatribe I bet.
I ran over a wooden handled steak knife yesterday.

Who has the spoon?
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Old 09-09-08, 05:58 AM   #11
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We had an interesting problem with forks on the road around here a few years (decades) ago. Picture a fork if you will.............now using the mid point of the handle as a fold line, picture the handle folded back over itself in a v shape. Now picture the tynes folded up at right angle to the flat v.

When these are thrown onto a road, most will land with the tynes pointing upright. After hitting one of these with my car, I called the police. I never heard the end result of their investigation...........
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Old 09-09-08, 09:11 AM   #12
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I ran over a wooden handled steak knife yesterday.

Who has the spoon?

From that old nursery rhyme, I believe the "dish ran away with the spoon".

Pete
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Old 09-09-08, 10:12 AM   #13
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Pix of the bike set up with the new bars, please....ooops just re-read your post. I see they're coming.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:14 AM   #14
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From that old nursery rhyme, I believe the "dish ran away with the spoon".
Dang. You know how hard it is to find crockery lying about in the street?
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Old 09-09-08, 03:12 PM   #15
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Pix of the bike set up with the new bars, please....ooops just re-read your post. I see they're coming.
While I am waiting for it to stop raining and be sunny (tomorrow I hope), here are pix of the Soma Sparrow bars mounted as drops. These proved to be too dropped, too narrow, and the bends too curvy. I flipped them over as risers and they were better, but still to narrow and curvy for me. Think they would be best on a single speed/fixie with inverse brake levers to free up all the limited space. Unfortunately, no pix of them mounted upright.

Almost riding time here, hope it clears a little.

Pete
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Old 09-09-08, 11:13 PM   #16
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I was on a group ride last year when the leader announced "There's a fork in the road". I looked down, and sure enough there was!
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