Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Off Road Drop Bar Comparison.

So this off road drop bar comparison is about to get going here soon. I've been measuring and taking some notes along with a few images which I will share soon.

Here is a good look at a quartet of off road drop bars. From top to bottom they are:

  1. The newest Gary Bar from Origin 8, dubbed the "Gary II"
  2. The "benchmark" bar, the On One Midge
  3. The "original" Gary Bar, which I am dubbing the "Gary Bar I" for purposes of this discussion.
  4. Finally, at the bottom we have the Ragley Bikes "Luxy Bar"
Observations: It is immediately apparent that the top three bars are much more closely related to each other than the bottom one. The Luxy Bar, as I have written before, seems to be closer in overall shape to a Salsa Woodchipper Bar, but there are some big differences between those two bars, and a stand-alone comparison between these two will be made later. For now, just know that the Woodchipper and the Luxy are in a different league when it comes to these off-road drop bars.

Note also that I have arranged the bars according to drop depth. This conveniently also happened to arrange them accordingly as to their sweep and width. Pure luck that. I hadn't planned it that way. You can also discern the slope or "flare" of the drop sections, with the Gary I bar having the most severe slope of all of these bars, and the Gary II having the least "outward slope". Extension length varies as well. The Luxy winning out there with the Gary II coming in next, (albeit at a full inch shorter than the Luxy!), and the Midge having the shortest extensions.

Forward reach is the least with the Midge and Gary I, the Luxy and the Gary II have quite a bit of forward reach, actually. (Approximately 105mm and 95mm respectively)

The Midge is the light-weight king, (not surprising due to it having the least material), at a weight of 270 grams for my sample.  The others are all within 10 grams of each other at 320-330 grams. Clamp diameter for the Luxy is 31.8mm only, but the rest shown are 25.4mm. Only the Gary I is not bar end compatible.

Finally, I'll add that the Gary I is no longer available. Although I added it here since many of them are out there and may get passed on. Having them at hand anyway, I figured, "why not?"

Okay, that's all for this post. Look for more details, a Woodchipper, and more coming in later posts.


Jon said...

And, if you have a Gary 1 that you'd like to "pass on", let me know. It's my all-time favorite!

Ben Bolin said...

I'm liking the Woodchipper on my new DK setup. I find my hands in different positions without thinking about it. I really think they got that bar right.

saddle up said...

How come the WTB Mountain/Road drop bar never gets a mention? Is it not considered a good enough design to be in the running. I have one on a KM and find it's the best bar I've ever used.

Guitar Ted said...

@saddle up: I know several folks that feel the same way about their WTB Drop bars. They certainly are a valid way to go.

I'm not a big fan of them due to their excessive amount of drop from the tops to the extensions. This makes them very difficult to set up correctly for off roading unless the frame is designed around them. (A Salsa Cycles Fargo would be a prime candidate, for instance) That said, I am looking at getting a pair for inclusion in this comparo I will be doing.

Tom said...

Curious to hear what you guys opinion would be on using a Jones H Loop bar on a gravel grinder bike. Seems like it might be a nice compromise between drops and a mtb style riser bar.


Guitar Ted said...

@Tom:H-Bars, or any Jones Bar is a great gravel grinding set up. I would encourage anyone to try that.