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Lauterwasser bars, expertise requested!

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Lauterwasser bars, expertise requested!

Old 01-04-15, 08:06 PM
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Lauterwasser bars, expertise requested!

I am considering Lauterwasser bars on my winter project bike. In addition to vintage models, there are a couple of contemporary options - SOMA, for instance, and Nitto has a similar (but not too similar) mustache bar. As with any component choice, I recall various people loving the bars, hating the bars, and everything in-between, so I'll try them out and form my own opinion about how they work for me.

To give them a fair shake though, I want to solicit advice from the list. Specifically, how did you adjust stem length/height to compensate for the difference in reach and shape from road bars?

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 01-04-15, 08:18 PM
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I have the Lauterwasser bars. I ended up not using them, they don't accept bar-end shifters and selecting brake levers would have been a challenge.

I did size them to the bike. I wouldn't immediately want to change the stem, the reach is somewhere between the position on the lever and the position on the drops. I would install them using your existing stem. I think you will find the reach to be easier on the back and shoulders than being on the drops, but more aero than being on the hoods. The angle of the flair is very well designed and comfortable.
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Old 01-04-15, 09:53 PM
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Barrettscv, are you using vintage bars or the SOMA bars, or something else entirely?
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Old 01-04-15, 09:59 PM
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The Soma made bars.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:04 PM
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There's also a variant and low cost Origin 8 Tiki. Typically cost $20-25. Haven't tried them yet but are set aside for a future build.

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Old 01-05-15, 12:11 PM
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Nashbar has a mustache bar for something absurdly cheap, like $12. That would be a pretty low investment way to try them out.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:24 PM
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I have a Nitto Moustache bar (25.4) you are welcome to.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I have a Nitto Moustache bar (25.4) you are welcome to.
Cool! PM sent.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Cool! PM sent.
Great! My experience with them is as follows:

Stem 2-3cm shorter than your "normal" road stem length
Bar height should be level or slightly above your saddle (below put too much pressue on my wrists)
Non-areo, brake levers look best (YMMV)
Levers should be abour 15cm/16cm apart from each other ( measured from the point where the cable exits, lever to lever)
You can install dummy levers (or old levers w/ the lever removed) to create an additional hand position. I put them close to the stem on the opposite side of the bar. This was a nice "resting/more upright" perch. It does take away usable space for computers/ lights etc.
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Old 01-05-15, 12:43 PM
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I have the Soma "Lauterwasser" bar on the Falcon that I commute on these days. Here's the cockpit:



For comparison, I have Frank the Welder's approximation of a Lauterwasser bar on my Fothergill. Frank's bar is a very close copy of the bar on his Raleigh Golden Arrow. Here's the cockpit of that one:



I like both these bikes and have ridden both well over a thousand miles in the setup shown. In both cases, I have the bar set up so the grips sit a little higher than the top tube, and a little forward of the steerer tube:



The shape of the two is pretty different. The grip area of the Soma bar is longer and farther back, so the Soma will take a longer stem. The old ones take a very short stem.

I should mention that the frame geometry of the two bikes is basically the same (though the Fothergill has an unusually long top tube and unusually slack seat tube, with the saddle mounted in front of the seat post as shown the frame geometry is very similar to the Falcon).

The Lauterwasser shape is basically a rather shallow drop bar that offers approximately one good riding position. Therefore you want to make that position exactly what you want.

A Lauterwasser bar has some similarities to a mustache bar, but they are not the same thing. I'm sure you could set up a mustache bar to give a similar ride, but I don't know how you'd do that. You'd probably want a smaller frame, since the Lauterwasser bar has a lot more drop than any mustache bar.

Note also, most mustache bars measure 15/16" (23.8 mm) like most drop bars, while the Lauterwasser bar measures 7/8" (22.2 mm). Mustache bars expect road style brake levers; a Lauterwasser bar takes levers made for upright style bars and will take IGH shifters.


But to further confuse things, I once took a Nashbar mustache bar, filled it with sand, and bent it around a bit more to make a shape like a Lauterwasser bar. Here's a photo of that bar mounted on an old Dawes belonging to @zaphodbeeblebrox

But I should add, he doesn't like them.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:25 PM
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Had to Look it up Lauterwasser Alloy Bar | SOMA Fabrications..

as Typical your Preferences are Your Own , I used Nitto's Mustache Bars , with Road Brake levers , and Bar ends ..

with them the drop is not as deep and the curve less severe so the front portion of the Bend is Useful..

People have used Nitto's Albatross bars as a flipped down install they bore out the ends of the aluminum,

to accept Bar ends , and The Chromoly ones use a High strength steel tube ,

so the tube wall is thin and needs no Machining to fit Bar Ends.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:38 PM
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I think the new Albatrosses are already sized to accept bar ends.
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Old 01-05-15, 01:54 PM
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I'm confused. Is this thread about Lauterwasser bars or mustache bars? They are not the same thing. They are not even similar.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:28 PM
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Sorry I'm ressurreting this.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I have the Lauterwasser bars. I ended up not using them, they don't accept bar-end shifters and selecting brake levers would have been a challenge.
Can someone explain why the aluminum ones don't accept bar-end shifters but the steel ones do?
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Old 03-10-21, 02:50 PM
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mounted the Lauterwasser on a brave volunteer ... used a tall stem on a too tall frame (for me)... going to sell this one at some point but wanted to give it a try. i think i like it! sorry for blurry cell phone pics.

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Old 03-11-21, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
mounted the Lauterwasser on a brave volunteer ... used a tall stem on a too tall frame (for me)... going to sell this one at some point but wanted to give it a try. i think i like it! sorry for blurry cell phone pics.
That's very comparable to how I set up my Univega Via Carisma with Nitto albatross bars back in late 2018. However at the time I was recovering from a shoulder injury and couldn't handle the flipped bar position. Since then it's been in the more conventional upright position. But I might try it flopped again this year. A couple of friends set up their hybrids with flipped swept bars -- I don't recall the specific bar types as one fellow has a collection of swept bars, ranging from North Roads to albatross to Lauterwasser and others.

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Old 03-11-21, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Special_k44 View Post
Can someone explain why the aluminum ones don't accept bar-end shifters but the steel ones do?
It depends on whether the aluminum bar was heat treated. My Nitto Albatross aluminum bar is okay for use with bar-end shifters. The manufacturers/distributors usually say whether the aluminum bars are heat treated for better strength. They'll cost more too.

I'm guessing the risk is installing the bar-end pods with excessive pressure in lower quality aluminum bars. It doesn't take much pressure to grip the bar-ends properly, and there may be some friction paste or something similar that would help ensure adequate tension without weakening the bars. Same challenge as installing carbon fiber handlebars, stems, etc.
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