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  1. #1
    Yen
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    North Road/On-One Mary/?? bars and climbing

    Can anyone comment on the climbing or standing ability using North Road, On-One Mary, or Jones-style bars? These bars (especially the NR) appear to offer the most ergonomic, natural wrist position. In addition, I've read that the On-One Mary is a good all-arounder which sounds ideal for my LHT.
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    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    It depends on more than the bars. I use the NR on my homebuilt longtail and like them a lot. The front is a Everest 90`s MTB. I think normally this bike is to long to be comfortable for me but the setup now is fine.

    Put the same bars on my Mixte, and is not all that happy. Bars is to close to the seat (shorter cockpit). I am thinking of getting a much longer (long from steerer tube and forwards) to mowe them forward. Also thinking of cutting off some of the end of the bars, but not sure if that is enough. For this bike I`we been thinking of buying the Mustache bars. Same angel for hands, but more "swept forwards".

    So: The bars are fine, but the whole setup is ipotant.

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    Yen
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    Actually, the angle for the hands is not the same on the moustache bars as on the North Road bars. I have moustache bars on my LHT and my hands are nearly parallel to the frame, whereas the grips on the NR bars have an angle sweep for a more natural hand position.

    When you said the bars were too close to the seat for you on the Mixte -- do you prefer to be more stretched out? I do not want to be stretched out on the LHT (my all-around bike including commuting); therefore, I might prefer a shorter cockpit than your preference.
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I like the On-One Mary bar. Note that it was designed so that the hand position is only slightly back of where the stem attaches to the bar, not extended way back past the stem toward the seat, as are many hybrid and cruiser bars. So it is not designed to maximize upright seating position. However since it is also not forward of the stem, it isn't designed for a low aero body position either.

    Rather it has a steep sweep forward on each side from the stem, so it can then have a long, moderate back sweep to put your hands close to where a flat bar would have them, but now with a more comfortable wrist position.

    Obviously you can alter your ultimate hand position by the length and angle of your stem.

    I also like the more moderate sweep angle of the Mary bar as opposed to Albatross or even North Road bars. But that is a personal choice. I find a moderate sweep angle (40 degrees in this case) to be "more natural" than a 70-80 degree angle in terms of positioning my wrist to bear weight in a comfortable position.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 01-16-09 at 08:47 PM.
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I provided a fair amount of information and pics on Mary bars in my Flat Bar Alternative thread, if anyone is interested in them.

    I should also note that the Mary bar is used by a number of mountain bike riders. One of its design characteristics is to be good for hill climbing.
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Yen, are your handlebar components compatible with mountain bike bars? The Mary bar has MTB-sizing, so components like brifters won't fit without shims and can be difficult to mount into an easily usable position.
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    Yen
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    On the Moustache bars (on the LHT), I have MTB levers and Shimano bar-end shifters. I want bars compatible with those components. At most, I'd be willing to add Paul's Thumbies to mount the bar-end shifters on bars that don't support them, but that's my last resort. I really like the bar-end shifters and want to continue using them. I ditched the brifters when I switched from the drop bars.
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    My partner has the Mary bar with Ergo grips and grip shifters on her Cannondale T-2000. She could not use the stock brifters on the T-2000. We invested a lot of time fiddling with fit, position and components to get the set up perfect. She can ride for hours without any discomfort. We live in a pretty hilly area, she claims climbing isn't her strongest event; it is not because of the handlebar.

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    There aren't many MTB-compatible handlebars, like the Mary bar, which are compatible with bar-end shifters. Usually the ends of the bars are too narrow to accommodate those shifters. And if the ends were modified to accept them, then none of the MTB-type bar ends would fit. Most of these handlebars are fitted with thumb shifters.

    Me, I like twist/grip-shifters. I have them on three of my bikes. Although the higher end Shimano thumb shifters that I have on my Fuji are nice.

    Whereas I can understand why bar-end shifters were preferred over downtube and stem-mounted levers on road bikes, they don't provide much utility over a good thumb-shifter, therefore they are almost non-existent on mountain bikes.

    I have seen them on a couple of trikes, where they work nicely on underseat steering setups.
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    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    On the Moustache bars (on the LHT), I have MTB levers and Shimano bar-end shifters. I want bars compatible with those components.
    Soma Sparrows

    http://www.somafab.com/barsparrow.html

    are advertised to be compatible with MTB levers and bar-end shifters.

    HTH,
    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Soma Sparrows

    http://www.somafab.com/barsparrow.html

    are advertised to be compatible with MTB levers and bar-end shifters.

    HTH,
    tcs
    Thanks, but the site says that bar is compatible with MTB shifters, not bar-ends.
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    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Thanks, but the site says that bar is compatible with MTB shifters, not bar-ends.
    The site says "Designed to fit Soma reverse levers and bar end shifters...", but have it your way.

    You can lead a horse to water, etc, etc.
    tcs
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The Soma Sparrow might take bar-end shifters. This is one of the narrowest MTB-compatible handlebars that one can buy. As they say on their site, so narrow that it can be difficult to fit a typical compliment of grips, shifters, and brakes. So they may have made it compatible with bar-end shifters in order to relieve the "congestion."

    Narrow MTB-compatible / flat bar alternates are usually used for urban commuting, so that bikes can squeeze through tight spaces.

    I have a pair of these too ... picked them up late last fall from an LBS clearing out older gear. Paid $12-$13 for them. Haven't tried them on anything as yet. Mine is the wider 520mm size.
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    jcm
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    Wald #8095 bars (North Road) and #815 (Mary, or All-rounder) will fit MTB brakes and typical bar-end shifters. Here is a pic of NR's on my Trek 520 with the stock shifters and Avid SD-7 levers.

    On climbing: Marys would be better than NR's, but I find that hills don't happen on a continual basis, so I went with NR's. For geography with lots of long, steep hills, I don't think anything beats drop bars, as you can really pull against the bike in the drops.

    The Soma look like NR's upside down. Here is another pic of NR's on a couple of my rides - upside down. very good for hills in this config BTW. This is how many of the boys in the old English cycling clubs (ala North Road club) back in the '30's set theirs up.

    http://waldsports.com/index.cfm/handlebars.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jcm; 01-17-09 at 10:25 AM.

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    The site says "Designed to fit Soma reverse levers and bar end shifters...", but have it your way.

    You can lead a horse to water, etc, etc.
    tcs
    I'm sorry... I appreciated your advice. I saw the line that says "Compatible with MTB grips and shifters." and missed the one you just pointed out. Actually, I'm a very teachable horse.
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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    Wald #8095 bars (North Road) and #815 (Mary, or All-rounder) will fit MTB brakes and typical bar-end shifters. Here is a pic of NR's on my Trek 520 with the stock shifters and Avid SD-7 levers.

    On climbing: Marys would be better than NR's, but I find that hills don't happen on a continual basis, so I went with NR's. For geography with lots of long, steep hills, I don't think anything beats drop bars, as you can really pull against the bike in the drops.

    The Soma look like NR's upside down. Here is another pic of NR's on a couple of my rides - upside down. very good for hills in this config BTW. This is how many of the boys in the old English cycling clubs (ala North Road club) back in the '30's set theirs up.
    jcm, thanks for the great pics. The NRs in your photos appear to have a wider sweep than others I've seen on-line. In some photos, the grips appear to be almost parallel to the frame, very similar to moustache bars. I'm looking for a wider sweep exactly like the one shown in your photos. There seems to be many versions of the NR, or perhaps one true NR and many imposters.

    Unfortunately, I cannot ride with drop bars. I used them for several months on my road bike before switching to bullhorns, and my wrists could not be happier. For me, the problem has nothing to do with bike fit or handlebar/brifter set-up. I have a prosthesis in one wrist that prohibits full range of motion and strength; squeezing the brake levers from the hoods was difficult for my wrist even with short-reach levers and a smaller bar on a bike that fits me well. I also have pain and range-of-motion issues while driving, putting on shoes, pulling up pants, etc.... and all of those fit me very well.

    Where did you buy your NRs? I saw the Wald #8095 bars at the Wald site but with only one photo it was difficult to see the different angles.

    EDIT: I also like the grips shown in your pics....
    Last edited by Yen; 01-17-09 at 10:40 AM.
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    jcm
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    Yen,
    Mine are pretty typical NR's. (Who was it that photographed some great shots of comparisons? I get lost in all these threads.)

    By "wider sweep" do you mean lesser or greater angle? I define that as starting with a straight bar, then measuring the angle from 0 degrees as they sweep back. Some may start at parallel to the frame. Just trying to get the nomenclature right, here.

    NR's are around 45 to maybe 50 degrees or so. Mary's alot less, maybe around 30 degrees. I did a rough sketch on these things from my workbench. I think you saw it a couple years ago and made a recent comment here.

    Just remember that on modern bikes, you usually get a signifigantle longer top tube. So, if you go with a Mary, you'll lean forward a bit more than with a NR. In any case, you won't be bolt upright like an old 3-speed.

    EDIT: The Wald site has been updated. You should have seen the old catalog. It looked like old monochromed pics, where a painter hand painted over the negatives to bring out the "live" details, like in the old Sears Mercantile Catalogue. At least the new layout shows one good angle - from the front. It would be nice to have a second "top view."

    EDIT EDIT: Oh yeah, sorry. I bought mine at a local, tiny MTB shop. They were lying on the floor in back of the counter. My second set was purchased at a larger LBS. When I described what I wanted, not knowing the model # or type, the kids there went pale, then turned green. I thought I would have to hand one of them a paper bag to breathe into. It was very funny, watching them yard out the various books and catalogs, showing pics of "cruiser bars" and other clownish devices. After a few minutes, an older guy came in and said, "try Wald." You could have heard a pin drop. Absolute silence from the 20-something crew. "What? Wald??? Don't they make tank parts for Worksman Cycles. Baskets and kickstands and, and junk like that??" very , very funny.
    Last edited by jcm; 01-17-09 at 11:03 AM.

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    Yen,
    Mine are pretty typical NR's. (Who was it that photographed some great shots of comparisons? I get lost in all these threads.)

    By "wider sweep" do you mean lesser or greater angle? I define that as starting with a straight bar, then measuring the angle from ) degrees as they sweep back. Some may start at parallel to the frame. Just trying to get the nomenclature right, here.

    NR's are around 45 to maybe 50 degrees or so. Mary's alot less, maybe around 30 degrees. I did a rough sketch on these things from my workbench. I think you saw it a couple years ago and made a recent comment here.

    Just remember that on modern bikes, you usually get a signifigantle longer top tube. So, if you go with a Mary, you'll lean forward a bit more than with a NR. In any case, you won't be bolt upright like an old 3-speed.
    By "wider sweep" I meant lesser angle. I like the wide angle shown in your pics. But I don't want very wide bars either, with bar-end shifters that stick out even further. Anyway whatever is on your bike -- I want THAT and want to know where to buy it.
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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    By "wider sweep" I meant lesser angle. I like the wide angle shown in your pics. But I don't want very wide bars either, with bar-end shifters that stick out even further. Anyway whatever is on your bike -- I want THAT and want to know where to buy it.
    Okay, those bars would be Wald #8095. The ones that are being called On-One Mary bars have less sweep, by your definition. Wald sells that bar, too. That's the #815. It's so close to the Mary that I doubt anyone's wrists could tell the difference.

    Remember that wider bars will give you better turning control. The 8095's are about 21" to 22" wide. It's not that wide. They're nothing like cruiser bars at all. You can hang your laundry on those...

    Typical drop bars are in the range of 44cm, or about 17+ inches. So, the NR's are going to be wider, certainly, but I have had no bad experiences with them.

    Any bike shop should be able to order them for you, or you can do it yourself. I'm going out to my shop right now to measure the tube diameter..........

  20. #20
    jcm
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    .......the bar outside dia is 7/8" (.875") so typical MTB brakes and shifters will work, like on mine. If your bars are the same, you're home free. I thought about the barcons getting banged up out there on the ends but that never happens to extent that I'd reconsider their use. I suppose it certainly could be a problem, but they are so functional, right there at my hand.

    The other bikes that wear NR's have the original Deore thumb shifters up on top, along with the original brake levers. That old Deore stuff never seems to wear out. These days, the Deore level is at the bottom of the MTB hierachy. I wonder how good it is.

    You may have to install longer cables to accommodate the higher/wider bars.

  21. #21
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    Okay, those bars would be Wald #8095. The ones that are being called On-One Mary bars have less sweep, by your definition. Wald sells that bar, too. That's the #815. It's so close to the Mary that I doubt anyone's wrists could tell the difference.
    You can tell the difference alright ... the 815 is much narrower, by about 5". The sweep is less too.

    I own both.
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    jcm
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    I was refering to the sweep when I said that there is little difference between Mary's and Wald #815. Yes, the Marys are 25+ inches end to end, and the Wald is 20+

    Both have about the same rise - about 2+ inches.

    I think one of the OP's stipulations was that she wanted a bar that isn't too wide for her. Maybe I got that wrong.

  23. #23
    Yen
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    jcm, you got it right. Thanks for all the information you've shared.
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    As I noted above, I have a Wald 815, but I find it so tiny that I will never use it. No room for handlebar components and I'm uncomfortable on it due to the hand positions being too close to the center. I could live with it if it were closer to 23".

    You can get them pretty cheap. Niagara Cycle sells them for $7.43.

    I should round up some of these parts that I will never use and haul them to one of the small swap meets, maybe just give them away to get rid of them.
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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I got up enough energy to go out into my cold garage and pull out a few of my handlebars. I have Wald #867, #815, and #8095, along with the Origin8 clone of the On One Mary. I have about 4 more out there.

    The sweep on the #815 is definitely less than the Origin8 / Mary bar. At least 10 degrees less.

    Inside diameters are a bit different, the #815 is a little wider, at 3/4" vs 11/16" on the Mary clone.

    The length of the area available for bar components, that is the straight pipe before you get to the bend, is 7" on the Mary, a bit less than 4.5" on the 815. The #8095 also has 7".

    I see that both my 815 and 8095 are rusting on the insides - I've only had them for 18 months.

    I like the 8095 much better than the 815. It's very similar to the stock handlebar that came on my Bridgestone CB-1. It's only $6.78 from Niagara. You can get both for $14 plus shipping.
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