Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit
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I recall that Rafael got his bike from Wav. If so, he has a suspension handlebar post which would raise the straight bar relative to where the standard riser bar intersects with the handlebar post.
Long story short, if you put a straight bar in a regular Brompton/Merc, the bar will be quite low. Search for a while and find a picture with the two bikes next to each other. You will see what I mean. Note that a lot of this depends on how tall you are. On my regular ride, the handlebar and seat are approximately the same height. On the Merc/Brompton, I have the seat extended as high as it can go. So an additional drop of an inch or so is a lot.
If you are going to do any modifications, you should really search the yahoo group Bromptontalk. If you are looking for the modification that Rafael has on his bike, then the best person to talk to is Steve Parry in the UK. There is a Dutch guy that does something similar; I assume there are others that do the modification but don't advertise on the web.
Note that Wasson--the main distributer here in the US--does not do the handlebar modification.
If you want to see a trick bike with some unique modifications, check out this guy.