Friday, October 24, 2008

A Dangerous Trend; or, from GB to G.B.

Oh dear. I ordered another part for Niles today. (Another possible dangerous trend: is this just a shopping diary blog? I really need to finish up my work and do some riding...)

This time it was handlebars. This is one of those most awful of situations: something that aesthetically is absolutely perfect but functionally is not great. The GB bars are incredibly good looking and follow the curves of my logo, etc., but they just don't allow for all that many hand positions. Their almost complete lack of a ramp, for instance, is a problem.

So I've ordered some of the Grand Bois "Parallel MARS" bars (photo lifted from their site). They look almost exactly like the bars from my "example" bike, the Rene Herse winter training bike. The long, flat ramps should make that my "go to" spot, and push the hoods out a bit further for a more stretched-out position. The one concern is that they won't work particularly well with my aero levers. Well, they're staying regardless, so that's that. (Shipping was about $30 Canadian, which isn't great, but they're large and coming EMS. So it's not bad, either.)

I do have one pair of handlebars in my house that are even cooler than these Grand Bois ones, and I may as well mention them now. They are destined for my Velo Orange Randonneur, expected before next riding reason. They are (apparently) extremely rare black Philippe Professionel randonneur bars. The ramps are more curved than on the Grand Bois bars I just ordered and the reach not as long, but they're otherwise fairly similar. Black bars would look pretty bad with anything other than a black bike, but luckily mine will be black. It will also have lots of shiny stuff on it, so don't worry. (Yes, they will be getting orange cloth tape. Lots of it!)

I got these bars from Chris of Velo Orange, who I thank very much for them. I also thank him for linking to a photo of Niles on his recent post about a possible VO fixed gear bike. Niles is very proud of himself.

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