Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Origin 8 Gary Sweep OS Bar: A New Alt Drop Bar

The off-road drop bar market has been a small, micro-niche of cycling for years. In the earlier days you had Charlie Cunningham bending Cinelli bars to his will, and then WTB and Nitto played along for awhile. With a gap of several years with no new off road drops available, On One kicked things off again with the Midge Bar, heavily influenced by the previous WTB offering. Then things got a little crazy. WTB released a revised, but not much-loved Dirt Drop, Origin 8 came out with a Midge-like knock off dubbed the Gary Bar, and Salsa Cycles introduced the Woodchipper. Finally, a briefly available but now coveted bar, dubbed the Luxy Bar, made its appearance. So, at one time there were five off road drop bar models out there recently.

That's contracted down to three until recently. Origin 8 quietly introduced another offering in their Winter catalog to dealers. It is dubbed the "Gary Sweep OS" bar. Of all of Origin 8's Gary Bar variants over the years, this bar, in my opinion, is by far their best effort. That said, let's take a closer look at it and then I'll make some observations.......

This, by my count, is the third of the Gary Bar variants- the Gary Sweep OS.

The "sweep" in the name of this bar refers to the 15 degree swept out extensions.
Nice length to the extensions and the hooks aren't too deep.
Specs: Origin 8 doesn't give too much here in the way of spec on the packaging, saying only that the bar is made from 6060 T6 alloy, has a "flared out" grip area, is 610mm wide, and has a 31.8mm clamp diameter. Here are the measurements I took from the bar using a tape measure and an angle finder app on my iPhone:
  • Tip-to-Tip across the ends of the swept portion of the bar, the Gary Sweep measures 636mm/25".
  • Tops measure 433mm/17" between the drops.
  • Flare: The hooks are flared out at 58° to the outside.
  • Sweep: The extensions are swept outwards at 15° from a typical road bar position.
  • Reach: Approximately 85mm
  • Drop: Approximately 105mm
  • Weight: 320 grams.
Observations: My initial impressions were that the Gary Sweep OS is like a cross between a Woodchipper and a Luxy Bar. The tops are wide, the bend to the ramps is about 90° to the top, and the radius of the hook is similar to a Woodchipper. The reach, drop, and flare are more akin to the Luxy though. Sweep of the extensions is not as radical, nor is the flare as radical as the Luxy Bar.

If you have to ride the hoods primarily and love a road bike's position, do not get this bar. The ramps and flare of the hooks will cant the hoods inward and you will not get the levers to set in anywhere near the same position as a road bike's. The Woodchipper is a much better bar to choose if you want the hoods like that. While the sweep and flare are not as radical as a Luxy Bar's were, the levers will "lean in" when properly mounted on the Gary Sweep OS. If the Luxy seemed just too radical to you, these may be your bar.

I like the drop and reach, which is reminiscent of the Luxy Bar's measurements, however, the radius is slightly more "open" than the Luxy Bar's was, and the ramps are slightly different as well. We'll see how that plays out once I set these up with some levers. I do miss the tops being 31.8mm across the entire length, which I thought was a brilliant idea that Brant Richards used when he designed the Luxy Bar. The Gary Sweep OS is bar end compatible and sells for about $50.00-$70.00, give or take. (As seen quoted on

I'll be mounting these up on a bike here real soon and after a ride or two I hope to come back with some impressions. Stay tuned......

Note: The Gary Sweep OS Bars were purchased with my own moolah and these opinions and viewpoints are mine alone. I am not being compensated for any of this. So there......


MMcG said...

I look forward to the review!!

Tyler Loewens said...

No love for the Soma Junebug eh? I think it is an excellent option for alt drop bars when you want a more narrow bar.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tyler Loewens: The June Bug is so much like a Midge Bar, (only narrower), that it really didn't bring anything new to the table. Plus- the trend is to go to wider bars for off-road, not narrower.

So no- I show no love to the June Bug when it comes to off-road applications. The Midge Bar is wider and otherwise everything the June Bug pretends to be.

youcancallmeAl said...

Loving your drop bar articles! Very detailed and easy to understand.

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl: Thank you!

Tyler Loewens said...

for off road I agree, the Junebug is not perfect. Ever try it on grsvel? Ide as l IMHO. If you want to try it I'll send it to you.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tyler: Thanks, but no- The Midge is almost too narrow for me, and so the June Bug would not be my cup of tea.