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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-22-08, 09:18 AM   #1
nightfly
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Stem for Midge Bars

I'm going to try some Midge bars on my old Rockhopper single speed conversion. Right now I'm running risers on a Thomson 90mm 105 degree stem.

I know I need a stem with more angle, around 45 degrees to get the bars up to seat height, so I'm going to get a Salsa 130 degree. Do I want to keep it at 90mm or get a longer reach stem for Midge bars. Not sure how I would want it to be.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:27 AM   #2
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I have tried midge bars on a few set ups and have yet to get them right. for me, if they work in the drops they kill the hands on the hoods. i am lazy and gave up trying...my advice is that the very best thing to do would be to try a whole bunch of stems - for both height and reach - and ride each. that might not be possible, but they are tough to get working, though when they do work they are great...apparently, like i said, i have not found the lucky spot. try the cyclocross forum as they have some tips about where to point the end of the bar end (to the rear hub or something). also check out the matt chester blog, since he had some pics of his set ups with them on, oh and maybe 63x or whatever that blog (now defunct but still up) is...it was for offroad fixed...and good luck...let us know what you figure...i still love the look of mine and dream of a happy ride with them!
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Old 12-23-08, 11:45 AM   #3
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A few things about midge/dirtdrops. They are ment to be setup with the drops at the same height as where your hands would be on mtb bars. The ends should be pointed towards the dropouts. They are ment to be riden in the drops and not on the hoods or tops with the levers more towards the drops. If the levers are set up to be riden on the hoods it basically removes the ability to quickly finger the brakes while in the drops. I ride mine so I can keep my hands on the drops, or just tucked into the bend and have 1 finger on the lever without having to shift my hands at all. Great bars for offroad, I have them on my s/s mtb and absolutly love them. For the street, not so good, although they can be set so you ride on the hoods, the angle of the bars makes it uncomfortable after 10 minutes.

Here is how I set them for my geared mtb.

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Old 12-23-08, 06:25 PM   #4
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Bummer that they don't work well for street. My idea was to use them for longer rides on my SS on the street when I wanted more hand positions than risers.

I'll give them a shot and see what happens. Otherwise I guess they'll be for sale soon. I ordered a Salsa 130 degree 90mm stem to try them with.
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Old 12-23-08, 07:08 PM   #5
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You could move the brake levers further up and ride the hoods like a moustache bar setup. I did use them to commute on for about 3 months and for for rides upto 3 hours. They were set up for offroadiing and I rode in the drops 90% of the time. The only reason they are not on the bike now is I tried some moustache bars and liked them more for long rides, and really, really love the drops for offroading. Give it shot. One more thing, they are wide, awesome for climbing, not so good for traffic.
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Old 12-24-08, 07:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pyze-guy View Post
They are ment to be riden in the drops and not on the hoods or tops with the levers more towards the drops. If the levers are set up to be riden on the hoods it basically removes the ability to quickly finger the brakes while in the drops. I ride mine so I can keep my hands on the drops, or just tucked into the bend and have 1 finger on the lever without having to shift my hands at all
Sorry, going to have to disagree. Properly set up the Midge bars are comfortable on the flats, hoods and drops.




Note the change in stem length. It was a Salsa Moto SUL 130 / 120mm, dropped it to 130 / 100mm

I've done many miles touring with them



While the rule of thumb is that as you raise the bar your effective reach becomes shorter, I found that I needed to shorten the stem to get the all round comfort I was seeking.
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Old 12-24-08, 09:47 AM   #7
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Umm, your dirtdrops are not setup correctly, more like the moustache bar style I mentioned. The bars are ment to be ridden in the drops, with the levers in the middle to bottom of the bend, and not the hoods or tops, good luck trying to ride offroad on the tops of midge bars. The brake levers are not supposed to be above the stem, nor are the drops to be that upright.

Actually never seen someone set them up quite like that before, but hey if it's comfy for you.
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Old 12-24-08, 05:17 PM   #8
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Umm, your dirtdrops are not setup correctly, more like the moustache bar style I mentioned. The bars are ment to be ridden in the drops, with the levers in the middle to bottom of the bend, and not the hoods or tops, good luck trying to ride offroad on the tops of midge bars. The brake levers are not supposed to be above the stem, nor are the drops to be that upright.

Actually never seen someone set them up quite like that before, but hey if it's comfy for you.
Really? I must have dropped the documentation.

And I have ridden off-road, 40 mile round-trip trail rides. On the flats, on the hoods, in the drops.
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