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In search of Handlebar Nirvana - the VO Crazy Bar?

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In search of Handlebar Nirvana - the VO Crazy Bar?

Old 04-13-15, 10:37 PM
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In search of Handlebar Nirvana - the VO Crazy Bar?

So I am in search of some new handlebars for my Surly LHT.

This bike basically does everything. (Except for moving quickly. But you can't have everything.)

Specifically, its duties involve -

1) Commuting along the coast, i.e. into a nasty headwind for an extended period of time, necessitating a relatively aero position;
2) Commuting through the crowded inner city, calling for an upright position with powerful brakes to avoid being hit by anything (or running over any pedestrians).
3) Doing fully laden multi-day camping trips, which involves a nice 'neutral' riding position and a range of different hand positions;
4) Lots of seated climbing, where I'd look for a position equivalent to riding on the tops of a drop bar.

Over the years I have experimented with flat bars, ergo extensions, drops and brifters, and drops with bar-end shifters. All are just sort of alright. My current setup is with European "butterfly bars". These were something of a revelation, as they allowed me to run my preferred groupset (a full SLX triple) and gave a nice variety of hand positions. Nevertheless they don't quite reach the heights of Platonic handlebar perfection that I am looking for. They have a variety of acceptable positions but no really comfortable ones.

I have also considered the Jones closed loop bar, but these would make it a bit trickier to mount a handlebar bag. (I know that there are workarounds here, but they are likely to result in mounting the bag well forward of the steering axis - I don't have space for a Thorn accessory mount). They are also very expensive, particularly down here in 'Straya, and the forward position looks a little cramped.

Which brings me, by a process of elimination, to the Velo Orange Crazy Bar. They look heavy and ugly and mean - but possibly just the thing.

Has anybody tried these bars? Any other thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 04-14-15, 08:56 AM
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I think the Jones bars have been a sweet spot for a lot of people on this forum. I can't see anything the Crazy bar does that the Jones Loop doesn't.
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Old 04-14-15, 09:24 AM
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Casey's Crazy Bar Interesting.. Try it and report .. Im OK with my Rohloff gripshifter-trekking bar set up, with 2 stems stacked (bar bag on the lower)

You need to get off the fence, particularly if the pickets are Pointed.
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Old 04-14-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by snafuspyramid
...I don't have space for a Thorn accessory mount). They are also very expensive, particularly down here in 'Straya, and the forward position looks a little cramped....
A second stem with a short piece of handlebar section or in my case a piece of plastic PVC pipe works well instead of the Thorn mount. And they come in many more lengths and angles.



You did not say why you do not have room. If there is no work around, then it won't happen.
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Old 04-14-15, 01:11 PM
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Jeff Jones' Loop Bar is pretty much the only non-drop-bar that I'll use.

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Old 04-14-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey
I think the Jones bars have been a sweet spot for a lot of people on this forum. I can't see anything the Crazy bar does that the Jones Loop doesn't.
What does a Jones bar do that a North Road bar doesn't do better. Haven't seen a loop or crazy version of a North Road though.

I think the crazy bar opens up the center of the bar as the OP mentioned, and it retains a wider hand stance for control in the forward position when using the aero. There is maybe a better possibility of a brake forward, which given the weight shift to get back, might be a good thing.

Plus given the reception of cyclists in Texas, the Go Longhorns look might be useful.

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Old 04-14-15, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
A second stem with a short piece of handlebar section or in my case a piece of plastic PVC pipe works well instead of the Thorn mount. And they come in many more lengths and angles.


I like this idea --a lot.
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Old 04-14-15, 01:54 PM
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you may be able to shove a set of bar ends on to the center of a straight-ish 22.2 -7/8" MTB Bar ,

then put the shifters, brake levers and grips on, and another set of Bar ends on the very Ends.
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Old 04-14-15, 02:37 PM
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The VO bars weigh around the same as the Jones but look, to me, to have a more useful forward position. The sweep and rise are very similar. So I suppose it is more that I can't see anything the Jones would do that the VO would not (possible flex issues aside). Of course, armchair analysis is only so useful which is why I'm looking for people's experience, either bar is a fair chunk of change down here.
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Old 04-14-15, 04:02 PM
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I switched to the Riv Bosco Bar and would be hard pressed to bother trying anything else. It offers a huge range of body and hand positions and I have not, in three years, experienced any numbness.


Marc
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Old 04-14-15, 10:44 PM
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G'day Snafupyramid, don't forget the Jones copies made under license to Jones, like the Titec J-bar and Titec H-bar. I initially couldn't afford a genuine Jones bar but came across a Titec J-bar on E-bay for chump change. I've seen a few come up since. My J-bar has the same dimensions as the 660 Jones cut loop H bar. I've since bought a Jones bar but with a full loop. I'm keeping my J-bar for possible future bikes. From memory I paid around $30 Au delivered to Perth. Log onto eBay and save a search for Titec and roll the dice. Good luck!

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Old 06-23-17, 11:04 AM
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This is an old thread but I'm thinking of picking up the VO crazy bar as well to install on a vintage MTB that I'd like to use for adventure riding. The cheapest H bar is right around $80 and the crazy bar is $60. The crazy bar is 25.4, the Jones 31.8 which means that the crazy bar will be easier to set up on my bike.

The design of the crazy bar just makes sense to me. The swept back portion is good for cruising like the north bars that came stock on 3 speeds. The center portion flats is good for climbing much like the tops of drop bars. The bull horn section lets you get aero when going into a wind.
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Old 06-23-17, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
This is an old thread but I'm thinking of picking up the VO crazy bar as well to install on a vintage MTB that I'd like to use for adventure riding. The cheapest H bar is right around $80 and the crazy bar is $60. The crazy bar is 25.4, the Jones 31.8 which means that the crazy bar will be easier to set up on my bike.

The design of the crazy bar just makes sense to me. The swept back portion is good for cruising like the north bars that came stock on 3 speeds. The center portion flats is good for climbing much like the tops of drop bars. The bull horn section lets you get aero when going into a wind.
Been running the Crazy Bars on my Troll for over a year now. I like them, but I don't really get all the hand positions out of them that I thought I would. Originally I found them to be too wide, so I cut maybe 3 quarters of an inch off of either side -- as much as I could while still having room for my Ergon grips, my brakes, and my shifter. I liked them much better after that, but once I put them on and attached a few things to my handlebars, I found that I basically have two hand positions left: the Ergon grips or the bull horns. I rarely use the bull horns. They are okay, comfort-wise, but I can't access the brakes from there.

Recently took a week and half or so to go riding and I found that that was getting numbness, primarily in one hand, after riding for a couple of days. Probably do to the position of my grips. I adjusted them, and it seemed to not get worse, but two weeks after, and one of my fingers still has a little tingle to it. Of course I'm still riding every day for my commute, so that is likely a factor. On my trip, the bull horns were super useful for stashing stuff: my cable lock, a bag of groceries, the mesh stuff sack that I had put my soggy tarp in, my helmet, etc. Consequently, the horns were harder to actually use as a hand position.

I've tried to think of other bars that I might like better, but I've come up empty. Currently my other bike has butterfly/trekking bars, and I prefer the Crazy Bars. Still, the hand numbness was/is an issue, and I'll have to find a way to help that. It might be something that gets better by changing the bar position/height, too. But other than that, I really like these bars. I have considered something with a similar sweep, but no bull horns, since I use them so infrequently, but I do like that I have the option of using them, and they're not hurting anything being there, so I'll probably stay Crazy for the time being.
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Old 06-23-17, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E
Been running the Crazy Bars on my Troll for over a year now. I like them, but I don't really get all the hand positions out of them that I thought I would. Originally I found them to be too wide, so I cut maybe 3 quarters of an inch off of either side -- as much as I could while still having room for my Ergon grips, my brakes, and my shifter. I liked them much better after that, but once I put them on and attached a few things to my handlebars, I found that I basically have two hand positions left: the Ergon grips or the bull horns. I rarely use the bull horns. They are okay, comfort-wise, but I can't access the brakes from there.

Recently took a week and half or so to go riding and I found that that was getting numbness, primarily in one hand, after riding for a couple of days. Probably do to the position of my grips. I adjusted them, and it seemed to not get worse, but two weeks after, and one of my fingers still has a little tingle to it. Of course I'm still riding every day for my commute, so that is likely a factor. On my trip, the bull horns were super useful for stashing stuff: my cable lock, a bag of groceries, the mesh stuff sack that I had put my soggy tarp in, my helmet, etc. Consequently, the horns were harder to actually use as a hand position.

I've tried to think of other bars that I might like better, but I've come up empty. Currently my other bike has butterfly/trekking bars, and I prefer the Crazy Bars. Still, the hand numbness was/is an issue, and I'll have to find a way to help that. It might be something that gets better by changing the bar position/height, too. But other than that, I really like these bars. I have considered something with a similar sweep, but no bull horns, since I use them so infrequently, but I do like that I have the option of using them, and they're not hurting anything being there, so I'll probably stay Crazy for the time being.
Thanks @Rob_E, great report! Yeah hand numbness is my greatest concern as well. That has always been the downside I think of straight mtb bars and I hope that the curve back would help solve that problem.

In terms of places to mount stuff, that's one advantage that the Jones H bar has since it has that 2d loop up top that you can use to mount stuff and keep the lower one as a hand position.

Won't a bar extender help you use that straight part of the crazy bar for your hands? I'd hate to give that up as that is I think useful esp. for climbing much like the tops of drop bars.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...09-barxtender-
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Old 06-23-17, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
Thanks @Rob_E, great report! Yeah hand numbness is my greatest concern as well. That has always been the downside I think of straight mtb bars and I hope that the curve back would help solve that problem.

In terms of places to mount stuff, that's one advantage that the Jones H bar has since it has that 2d loop up top that you can use to mount stuff and keep the lower one as a hand position.

Won't a bar extender help you use that straight part of the crazy bar for your hands? I'd hate to give that up as that is I think useful esp. for climbing much like the tops of drop bars.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...09-barxtender-
Might work for you. Wouldn't work for me. The things that I have in that space are the button to turn on my headlight and the connectors for my handlebar bag. Neither of those could be relocated. Also, I feel like that space is barely big enough to grip, and you're hands are right of either side of the stem. it's like riding a fixie with a ridiculously short bar. Of course if you're used to/comfortable riding that way, you may be fine.
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Old 06-23-17, 01:21 PM
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Yeah it's like 16 inches (400 mm) between the "bullhorns." That's not a lot. I reckon if don't cut down the swept back portion, you'll have space above the brake levers to wrap your hands on the outside of those 2 horns.
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Old 06-23-17, 07:23 PM
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I tried the VO Crazy Bar (steel version) for a few hundred miles of pavement, dirt roads and singletrack. Although the main outward position was ok, the "bullhorns" were useless, for me. I just couldn't find them comfortable in any kind of position. I tried a couple different stems, but in the end, having them at a fixed angle and width, just didn't work. That doesn't mean they wouldn't be great bars for someone else though.
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Old 06-27-17, 08:33 AM
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Surly's Moloko Bar is another option. It looks like the bastard child of the VO Crazy Bar and the Jones Loop Bar.
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Old 06-27-17, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey
I think the Jones bars have been a sweet spot for a lot of people on this forum. I can't see anything the Crazy bar does that the Jones Loop doesn't.
Those weird forward projections on the crazy bar allow a hand position that mimics the brake hoods position on a drop bar with the wrists in a more or less vertical plane rather than horizontal. The Jones bar does not do that.
I have both bars on different bikes and I prefer the crazy bar. The moloko bar also looks interesting,as others have noted.
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Old 06-27-17, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MileHighMark
Jeff Jones' Loop Bar is pretty much the only non-drop-bar that I'll use.

Me too.
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Old 06-27-17, 03:49 PM
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Snafu,

Satori (Taiwan) Falcon Aero could be an option, if you can find them for sale.

CyclingDeal (Aust) has a few Satori bars (good prices), but not that one.
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Old 06-27-17, 04:25 PM
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I kinda like them. They're a combo of my two favorite rides, although I'd sweep them back for a more upright alternative:

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Old 06-28-17, 12:40 PM
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Looked at the Soma osprey? Got one on my commuter now. My touring rigs see a wide riser mt bar with sweep, plus bar ends, works well for me.
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Old 06-28-17, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Looked at the Soma osprey? Got one on my commuter now. My touring rigs see a wide riser mt bar with sweep, plus bar ends, works well for me.
They look mtn-bike-straight-ish. pics of your rig?
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Old 07-10-17, 12:40 AM
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Which make is the frame on the white bike? Also, which make the handlebars on the black one?
Originally Posted by BigAura
I kinda like them. They're a combo of my two favorite rides, although I'd sweep them back for a more upright alternative:

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