Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Origin 8 "Gary" Bar

I recieved these new off road "dirt drop" bars for testing/ review just yesterday. These are from "Origin 8", which is a house brand of J&B Importers, a nationwide distributor of bicycle parts with headquarters in Miami, Florida.

The bars are part of the "Propulsion" series, which also includes a couple of other bars, like a mustache type bar, and a "funky" riser bar for off roading.

You should be able to find these bars at most local bike shops that have a J&B Importers account, or order them through those bike shops. Gary Bars are in stock and ready for delivery now, according to my contact.

The specs on the bar are as follows: 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, 580mm center to center width, 25.4mm handlebar clamp diameter, Shot peened surface finish that is annodized black, laser etched graphics, and weight is claimed at 310 grams. The retail price should be somewhere around $30.00- $40.00 for these, depending upon your retailer. Street price may be even less.

Obviously, the comparisons to On One's Midge bar are inescapable. Since I own a Midge, I checked out the bars shapes against each other.

First, let me say that they are more similar than different. The length of the drop section is identical, as is the curvature of the drop. The reach and drop measurements seem very close to identical.

The differences are really only two things. One: the overall width of the Gary is maybe a centimeter wider than a Midge, and Two: the slope of the Gary bar is flatter. (Check out my picture here of the Gary) The Midge bar has a more vertical cant to the drops. Therefore, the flat, upper section of the Gary is narrower than the Midge bar's upper section.

I want to take the Midge off the Karate Monkey and get some comparison shots and weight comparisons too.

These Gary bars look to be of good make, reasonable weight for off roading, and have a nice feel, as well they should since the "business end" is exactly like a Midge bar. The sloping, flared out drops on the Gary are the most radical of all the off roadable drop bars and is quite reminiscent of early modified Cinelli "dirt drops" from the early 80's.

Look for a first impression after I get them mounted up on the Karate Monkey later this week. I'll put in a long gravel grinder, and maybe get off road with them before I post again on these. Stay tuned!

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