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Are moustache bars any good?

Old 09-14-10, 07:05 PM
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Are moustache bars any good?

A guy I know at a bike shop that specializes in good old bikes told me that he loves moustache bars, because they allow him to sell a lot of conventional flat bars or drop bars. The says that people order moustache bars from Rivendell because they're so cool-looking and Granty, try them for awhile, realize that they can't be comfortable with them, then bring the bike to the shop and have him install something else.
Yeah, he's kind of a cynical guy, but does he have a point? Who here uses moustache bars and thinks they're just great? Who thinks they're not so great? I haven't ever tried them, but I admit that I'm curious. They DO look kind of cool.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:25 PM
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Used them, didn't really work for me. I have a set of nashbar moustache bars I need to put on CL pretty soon.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:38 PM
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I have a set, didn't care for the handling. It felt awkward, but I suppose if you only had one bike you'd get used to it. I can comfortably switch back and forth between flat bars and drop bars, but I couldn't get used to the moustache bars. YMMV.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:39 PM
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I'd only (and do) have them on a cruiser. Anything else is drops.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:42 PM
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Tall stems with short reach are the key to using moustache bars. It helps if you have a too-small frame.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:44 PM
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I had them on my XO-1.

They rocked, and I also have them on this:



Great fire road/fishing/winter bike.

My oldest son rides it constantly, and the bars are just fine he reports.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:46 PM
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They require a taller stem with shorter extension than you would use with drop bars. They work for me. These are Nittos.



This one is almost unrideable for me with a short stem with longer extension. These are steel cheapies from Nashbar. Maybe if I was 40 years younger.....

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Old 09-14-10, 07:55 PM
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I like them but they got horrible reviews from magazines back in the day as well so apparently it's a like em or hate em thing.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:58 PM
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I've never owned a set, so they must not be any good.
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Old 09-14-10, 09:15 PM
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I loved the fairly flat Nitto-made version. I hated the two inch-ish drop nashbar and origin8 ones. I suppose it really depends on the the bike. I'm in the process of setting up a set on on my '71 Raleigh GS, unfortunately the set I have are a set of XO-takeoff mtb shifter sized. I've played around with multiple locations for the thumbies and I still can't get anything quite as ergo as barcons.
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Old 09-14-10, 09:25 PM
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I really like them. I have the Dimension version. I wouldn't put them on a road bike, but for a more all-around type bike, they're great. No need for the drops when I'm getting groceries, but nearly as many hand positions as drops, the wide stance is nice for stability and accelerating from a stop. Just a good design in my opinion.

It probably also helps that I felt a little scrunched up when I had drops on my bike—the moustache bars let me stretch out to a perfect riding position. Could have also solved my problem with a longer stem (original plan), but decided on m-bars for all the reasons above.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:00 PM
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I may be silly, but I had a bike with flipped north roads and one with m-bars. I like the m-bars, but nothing has ever been as comfy and natural feeling as the flipped nort roads.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:22 PM
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I don't know if it makes any difference but I've spent most of my time on a BMX or mountain bike. I've recently gotten into cruisers and road bikes and put a good number of miles on both this summer. I would never put mustache bars on my road bike. Gotta have drops. However, I wouldn't want anything else on the vintage 3 speed that I use for casual rides with my girlfriend. They look cool and are really nice and relaxed and have a nice comfortable wide stable feel. I think it mostly depends on the application.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:22 PM
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no. they are awful.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:12 AM
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I've played around with multiple locations for the thumbies and I still can't get anything quite as ergo as barcons.
Try doing something like I did on my Legnano "Nocostalotti". These Barcons, work and, in my opinion, look great. The bike is comfortable and the bars work well for around town riding. I should add that the article on my Legnano does not have the final installment installed just yet.

Legnano_Consv_Ful.jpg Legnano_Consv_Han&.jpg Legnano_Consv_Han&.jpg

Legnano_Consv_Bra&.jpg Legnano_Consv_Han&.jpg

I have tried moustache bars on a few of my bikes but the jury is still out, for me. Why? Because every time I build up a bike with these bars, someone comes along and buys the bike from me. The M bars do add considerably to the vintage aesthetic appeal.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango
I had them on my XO-1.

They rocked, and I also have them on this:



Great fire road/fishing/winter bike.

My oldest son rides it constantly, and the bars are just fine he reports.
This is a work of art...one of my very favorite bikes on the site. Just needs a IGH!
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Old 09-15-10, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs
Tall stems with short reach are the key to using moustache bars. It helps if you have a too-small frame.
That's pretty much how mine are set up...I have a Surly Karate Monkey with mustache bars (though different from the Nittos) and I use it as a townie. Overall, I'm not wild about the bike...some of which are the bars and a lot of which is the frame. I' going to either be selling that bike or radically changing it to something more comfortable. What gomango did with that Miyata looks like it would be PERFECT for my 29r wheels.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
That's pretty much how mine are set up...I have a Surly Karate Monkey with mustache bars (though different from the Nittos) and I use it as a townie. Overall, I'm not wild about the bike...some of which are the bars and a lot of which is the frame. I' going to either be selling that bike or radically changing it to something more comfortable. What gomango did with that Miyata looks like it would be PERFECT for my 29r wheels.
Hi Aaron,

Thanks.

My kids give me grief about this bike when I ride it.

Probably referring to my grandpa like pace!

They are all legs, and wickedly fast.

Our oldest son led a group this summer on a 50+ mile Luce Line ride out to Watertown, and he toyed with us.

The bike works great on gravel roads and class 5 paths, not so red hot on paved roads.

That being said, it will be a blast to ride during the inevitable Minnesota winter.

Oh, we also have Blackburns for the front and rear, as well as Ortliebs, and seems to handle those well.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:45 AM
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I have 2 friends who ride with them and swear by them. They say they're so comfortable cause it keeps you seated in a pretty upright position.
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Old 09-15-10, 05:55 AM
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I had a really cool mustache bar on this bike I built up in the early 80's. The frame was too small for me but it was a nicely made racing frame from Argentina that the bike shop was tossing. With the seat up pretty high and the frame generally too small for me, the mustache bar was great. It was like having all the hand positions of a drop bar, but without the variety of postures that go with them. That bar, by the way, had no drop at all; on one plane it was perfectly flat. I think it was a St. Etienne or something.

More recently I got a Nitto, I think, to use on a bike I was building; and ran up against the problem of 7/8" diameter. All my recent builds involve IGH's, so I haven't been able to use the mustache bar at all.
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Old 09-15-10, 06:33 AM
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I have one bike with Nitto M-bars, a 70s French frameset of unknown origins:





On that bike I like them a lot, but I agree with the need for a short, tall stem, and a relatively short top tube is probably key, too.

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Old 09-15-10, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
I had a really cool mustache bar on this bike I built up in the early 80's. The frame was too small for me but it was a nicely made racing frame from Argentina that the bike shop was tossing. With the seat up pretty high and the frame generally too small for me, the mustache bar was great. It was like having all the hand positions of a drop bar, but without the variety of postures that go with them. That bar, by the way, had no drop at all; on one plane it was perfectly flat. I think it was a St. Etienne or something.

More recently I got a Nitto, I think, to use on a bike I was building; and ran up against the problem of 7/8" diameter. All my recent builds involve IGH's, so I haven't been able to use the mustache bar at all.
Hi RHM...I'm a little confused by this comment...I have a Sram 9sp IGH working with mustache bars. Wouldn't you also be able to use the older style SA shifters with them? Isn't it just a clamp? Granted the positioning would be odd.
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Old 09-15-10, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
Hi RHM...I'm a little confused by this comment...I have a Sram 9sp IGH working with mustache bars. Wouldn't you also be able to use the older style SA shifters with them? Isn't it just a clamp? Granted the positioning would be odd.
Yes, you are certainly right about an old SA trigger shifter; bend the clamp a bit, change the nut and bolt, and no problem. And now that bar-end shifters are available for modern Shimano and Sturmey Archer hubs, those too become an option. Aside from that, I believe there are 7/8" mustache bars out there somewhere, which would be a nice solution, I've just never found one. What's the shifter on your Sram?
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Old 09-15-10, 07:05 AM
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You can get them in both 22.2 MTB and 24 millimeter road diameters.
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Old 09-15-10, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
You can get them in both 22.2 MTB and 24 millimeter road diameters.
That is what I've heard, but not what I have experienced. Can you remind us who makes the 7/8" (=22.2 mm) one, or give a link to one for sale somewhere?
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