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  1. #1
    jcm
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    Mustache Bars For Touring?

    Drops don't work for me because of arthritis in the neck and collarbones. I need to sit up a little more than most of the stock touring sets I've seen. The Trek 520 I just bought came with a set of Modolo 'Brevatatto' drop bars (sounds like ordering a coffee in Seattle). It has good brake levers that I want to keep and they will work with mustache bars.

    Anyone had experience with longer rides using these things? Thanks.

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    I've commuted with moustache bars for about 1000 miles,and have yet to get comfortable on them.my hands always go numb.I've tried different stems but no luck.I recently ditched them for a "brahma" type mtb bar and am very happy with them.no numbness yet,

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Drops don't work for me because of arthritis in the neck and collarbones. I need to sit up a little more than most of the stock touring sets I've seen. The Trek 520 I just bought came with a set of Modolo 'Brevatatto' drop bars (sounds like ordering a coffee in Seattle). It has good brake levers that I want to keep and they will work with mustache bars.

    Anyone had experience with longer rides using these things? Thanks.
    I love 'em. I find that I don't use the lower drop bar when touring, and not that often even when on a road bike. My favorite hand position is riding the brake lever hoods. I mounted the moustache bars with the ends angled down just a bit and the brake levers just a little higher than usual, making them very comfortable (for me). The result is a riding position much like riding the top of the drop bars, and even the hoods, with plenty of hand positions available. I've used them on two touring bikes now and I like them a lot.

    Here are some pics to illustrate.

    I hope this helps,

    Ted Phelps
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  4. #4
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgilman
    I've commuted with moustache bars for about 1000 miles,and have yet to get comfortable on them.my hands always go numb.I've tried different stems but no luck.I recently ditched them for a "brahma" type mtb bar and am very happy with them.no numbness yet,
    Thanks,
    I have a carpal thing that really bugged me with numbness. So, I switched the seat to a comfort type and started riding more up-right. Got rid of the straight MB bars and went to North Roads. Problem solved.

    Note: If you read my sage advice in the Fender Length/Position thread, you'll see that I don't care about cool. been that most of my life, figure I can relax now.

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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by tphelps
    I love 'em. I find that I don't use the lower drop bar when touring, and not that often even when on a road bike. My favorite hand position is riding the brake lever hoods. I mounted the moustache bars with the ends angled down just a bit and the brake levers just a little higher than usual, making them very comfortable (for me). The result is a riding position much like riding the top of the drop bars, and even the hoods, with plenty of hand positions available. I've used them on two touring bikes now and I like them a lot.

    Here are some pics to illustrate.

    I hope this helps,

    Ted Phelps
    Central Valley, California
    What a beautiful bike! Now that's what I'm talking about. I would even go higher with the bars because of physical posture problems. Thanks. I need to get started on this bike soon. I plan to ride the Seattle/Portland Classic this summer on it. A few centuries will have to done first and I'm looking for a good comfortable set-up. I plan top start those in March. I think the 520 will do nicely. I'm also switching to a Brooks B-67 instead of the B-17 because of the more upright style. I'll get there eventually.

  6. #6
    Vegan Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Note: If you read my sage advice in the Fender Length/Position thread, you'll see that I don't care about cool. been that most of my life, figure I can relax now.
    Isn't that the truth!

    I hope you get that riding position all figured out in time for all the great summer rides.

    Best,

    Ted
    If we don't change our direction
    we will likely end up where we are heading.

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  7. #7
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by tphelps
    Isn't that the truth!

    I hope you get that riding position all figured out in time for all the great summer rides.

    Best,

    Ted
    Oh yeah. I know what's most comfortable for me - an English 3-speed! I've turned my old 830 into one, only with 18 rings.

    I think if I can replicate the height of my North Roads (on my FrankenTrek) I'll be fine. For me, it's getting the pressure off my neck, collarbones and hands. My hands are shot, period.

  8. #8
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
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    I've been researching various bars for a new bike. Drops don't work for me due to back problems. Someone mentioned the Jones H-bar (www.jonesbikes.com). I got a chance to ride one recently and I will almost definitely being put a set on the upcoming build. The give several good positions and provide what I think will be enough variety for longer rides. They're pricey, but I think will be worth it for me, not to mention the weight savings.

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    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson
    I've been researching various bars for a new bike. Drops don't work for me due to back problems. Someone mentioned the Jones H-bar (www.jonesbikes.com). I got a chance to ride one recently and I will almost definitely being put a set on the upcoming build. The give several good positions and provide what I think will be enough variety for longer rides. They're pricey, but I think will be worth it for me, not to mention the weight savings.

    Many people have been very happy with the Nitto Albatross bars, my wife included. They are versatile, and are easier to set up for upright riding than moustache bars. My wife uses them for her touring mountain bike/Xtracycle. They really solve some of the problems people have with drops.

    At first, I thought they wouldn't be comfortable for long rides, but the reports from young and old riders affirm that they work well for touring.

    Here is a picture:






    They can be used with barend shifters at the ends, or mountain bike shifters, and if you want brakes can be inserted backwards into the ends for another set-up.

    Visit this link to see a bike set-up with Moustache bars and also in Albatross bars. It will give you an idea of the differences.

    http://home.earthlink.net/%7Erivpics/paul/riv.htm


    Here is my wife's second bike with the bars:





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    Quote Originally Posted by tphelps
    Wow! What a gorgeous pair of bikes! Those racks on the Specialized are beautiful, and I love the Allen head hardware. Looks like stainless steel, maybe? And I'm no roadie, but the Pinarello could convert me. . .

  11. #11
    jcm
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    To: SteelCommuter :
    Yes, I've seen those Albatross bars on several nice bikes, and now yours. ANT bikes sets up their tourers in a similar way. Very good looking rigs. That's really what I have on my Trek 830 MB (1988), except they are North Road, which is slightly different. It's definitely my riding style and I have no problems going 60+ miles before stopping for more than 15 minutes or so. Wind? Well, if it doesn't kill you, it can only make you stronger. Besides, it usually doesn't last that long.

    I would go with something like that on the 520 except it has very nice Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers that will fit the mustachios. Otherwise, I'd have to hassle with a trade or a sale for MB levers.

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    my nitto mustache bars are comfy for commuting, but i find that on longer rides i don't have enough hand positions. i'm switching to drops asap.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    To: SteelCommuter :
    Yes, I've seen those Albatross bars on several nice bikes, and now yours. ANT bikes sets up their tourers in a similar way. Very good looking rigs. That's really what I have on my Trek 830 MB (1988), except they are North Road, which is slightly different. It's definitely my riding style and I have no problems going 60+ miles before stopping for more than 15 minutes or so. Wind? Well, if it doesn't kill you, it can only make you stronger. Besides, it usually doesn't last that long.

    I would go with something like that on the 520 except it has very nice Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers that will fit the mustachios. Otherwise, I'd have to hassle with a trade or a sale for MB levers.

    One thing to consider is that with moustache bars, you will need a different stem then with drops. It needs a shorter stem, especially if you have any back issues and don't want to stretch. That could be a problem. I have a pair of M-bars and I haven't really used them because I don't have extra stems lying around.

    North Roads are cool, too. I think someone mentioned the Jones bar, but several people have complained about them on multi-day tour trips, notably one of the competitors in the Great Divide off road race last year.

    You know, I just love the growing variety of bars out there!

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srrs
    my nitto mustache bars are comfy for commuting, but i find that on longer rides i don't have enough hand positions. i'm switching to drops asap.
    Exactly my experience. This bike was a great commuter but grabbing those bars for 6 hours at a time was another story.....
    I've since built up a LHT with drop bars...
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    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCommuter
    One thing to consider is that with moustache bars, you will need a different stem then with drops. It needs a shorter stem, especially if you have any back issues and don't want to stretch. That could be a problem. I have a pair of M-bars and I haven't really used them because I don't have extra stems lying around.

    North Roads are cool, too. I think someone mentioned the Jones bar, but several people have complained about them on multi-day tour trips, notably one of the competitors in the Great Divide off road race last year.

    You know, I just love the growing variety of bars out there!
    Well, after being out in the bike shops today, I have almost settled on the North Roads. They are half the price of mustache bars and will accept the bar-end shifters. Besides, since finding so comfortable a position as on my old Trek, I'm hesitant to switch to an unknown at this point. We have a Bike Swap coming up in Feb around here. I'll see if I can trade my Cane Creek levers for some decent MB type. I have an adjustable stem around here somewhere...

    Thanks to all for the great input. I just needed some reinforcement on something I already was pretty sure of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCommuter
    One thing to consider is that with moustache bars, you will need a different stem then with drops. It needs a shorter stem, especially if you have any back issues and don't want to stretch. That could be a problem. I have a pair of M-bars and I haven't really used them because I don't have extra stems lying around.

    North Roads are cool, too. I think someone mentioned the Jones bar, but several people have complained about them on multi-day tour trips, notably one of the competitors in the Great Divide off road race last year.

    You know, I just love the growing variety of bars out there!
    not to hijack, but is it really necessary to switch stems between moustache bars and drops? i'm switching to drops for touring, and have no idea how to choose a stem - was kind of hoping to keep the stem i have now for a slightly more upright ride. but i could see how the positioning might be wrong.

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    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srrs
    not to hijack, but is it really necessary to switch stems between moustache bars and drops? i'm switching to drops for touring, and have no idea how to choose a stem - was kind of hoping to keep the stem i have now for a slightly more upright ride. but i could see how the positioning might be wrong.
    Well, the Nitto M-bar is a Grant Petersen-modified design of a Japanese bar. On the Riv site, he wrote this:

    "Tip: Most people, switching from drops to Moustache H'bars, prefer a stem about 2cm to 4cm shorter in the extension."
    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/handl...ape/16027.html

    Everyone I know who has one has done this. If you have a stem in which m-bars are set-up well for you, and then you want to switch to drops, you will want to consider a new/used stem 2-4 cm longer.

    If you put the drops into the stem and tighten the clamp bolt, get on the bike and lean against a wall, testing the position, you'll probably find it less than ideal with the same stem.

  18. #18
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    Another bar that you might want to try is the On-One Midge. Seems like this bar is getting rave reviews from tourers, all-rounders, and dirt people. I haven't gotten my pair yet, but the really comfortable position on this Swedish? guy sold me. http://snabelslash.com/bo/one-less-c...15&article=120
    You just have to keep them high since the drops are the primary position (I hate riding on the hoods).

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    I was JUST thinking about Mustache bars yesterday.

    Exactly what are they?

    Well, in the 50's and 60's and probably into the 70's as well we had "cow horns" on most bikes sold in the USA. That was common in the rest of the world as well. The most common Dutch bicycles have them, English Bobby bikes as well and the Japanese had them on their bicycles.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html

    The problem with them is that they sit you back on the saddle and almost completely upright. That means that "comfortable saddle" takes on an entirely different meaning because even short rides can really kill you.

    What we saw on those bicycles was large padded saddles often with heavy springing.

    The drop bar crowd were sort of looked down on as hotrodders were. And in Japan, the land of conformity for conformity's sake school children were ordered not to bring bicycles with drop bars to school.

    In with the Mustache bar which looked like a drop bar but didn't have the drops. And on the practical side was little more than cow horns constructed so that they would move you a little forward and place a little more weight on the bars and a little less on your tail end.

    I suppose there's nothing wrong with Mustache bars but then I suppose there's nothing intrinsically wrong with cow horn bars either. The real problem is that they put your wrists at a somewhat odd angle onto which to place weight. This works fine when you're sitting upright but not too hot when you're leaning onto your hands.

    So position is everything when setting up these sorts of bars. The forward position, the lean, the saddle - everything needs to be perfect before you can ride this setup for long periods of time.

  20. #20
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    I just bought the moustache this weekend so I 'm not exactly sure how they will feel. I also bought (months ago) an adjustable stem from another BF member. I bought this to play around with on all of my bikes. Ifigure I will put in on the bikes and find the perfect stem angle, height and length. Once found, I'll get the appropriate stem. Another thing to keep in mind about moustache bars is TT length. I bought an old cromo steel frame with a shorter TT for just this purpose. We'll see if my calculation are right.
    The problem with a more upright position is 'butt pressure'. While in drops your weight is spread out to hands, feet and butt. More upright position: the weight goes more to your bottom. I think people get wrist/hand problems from laying out too far. This happened to me when I commuted on a mnt bike that was too long for me.
    Another handlebar that I like is the trekking bar from nashbar. Lots of hand positions. I commute with one everyday. I like this bar as it allows you to change the angle of your back without getting too low. Check it out. As we age we need to change our body position more often. I think the handlebars you chose will be fine for knocking around town but for long multiday tours I think your butt will hate you. Later Charlie
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?s...6&srccode=1067

  21. #21
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I just recently got the Nitto M'Bar a couple months ago, and I really love it better than any drop bar I've ever owned, and yes, it is a great bar to do a lot of climbing on. I run it wrapped like a drop bar, but then have rubber grips on the very end, seeing as how I do a lot of climbing on my commute, so I keep my hands there most of the time.

    That being said, from everything I've read about them on Bikeforums, people either love them, love them except on long rides, or hate them. It's sort of one of those things like Brooks saddles or fixed gear you just have to try to find out....

  22. #22
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Fixed, Brooks, Moustache. (grin)

    The front wheel is raised and spinning for slightly kooky "speedblend" effect and almost irrational saddle angle.



    I really should have a bit shorter stem since the frame is too big (mostly long) for me.

    It's been recently fendered, and will soon have a rear rack. Gearing is 52/17 right now and will drop down to 42/17 for a Gainesville - St Augustine trip a few of us will be taking in a couple weekends.

    The bars are spectacular for fixed/non-track purposes, and this bike will eventually become a fixed commuter and light/flat tourer.



    Also does track! = )

    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  23. #23
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
    Fixed, Brooks, Moustache. (grin)
    I have a bike that fits that description also...
    I use this bike to get away from the family for a few hours.....
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    lovely bikes!

  25. #25
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I recently bought a Bianchi Avenue hybrid as a commuter. It came with mountain bike bars that I found very painful for longer rides, so I replaced the bars with a Nitto handlebar called the "All Rounder" which can be flipped to provide either a slight rise(3-speed style) or drop (moustache style).

    With grip tape on the rounds parts, I find these bars provide lots of hand positions. Very useful on trips longer than 10 miles!

    One of the problems I found is that these bars aren't easy to find. I found a close match at Rivendell (the Albatross) and eventually bought these off an eBay shop called Ben's Bicycle.
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