Sunday, February 12, 2006

Midge On A Monkey

I got a comment about my running the Midge bar on a single speed the other day, ( thanks Adam!) so I thought I'd post some pictures for the curious. Especially since I just did a series on handlebars.

The trick to stting up these off road drop bars is to get the hook portion of the bar right about where your grips would be on a conventional flat bar.

As you can see here, the Midge bars flare out. That puts your hands and wrists in alot more natural posistion

The other trick is to set up your brake levers alot lower on the bend to the drop than you would think. It should end up so that you can reach the tip of the lever by just extending out your index finger while in the drops.

Also, you want the tips of the bar to point more towards your rear axle. Don't set them up horizontally with the ground. The palms of your hands will thank you! I had to tweak on mine, making minute changes, to find the sweet spot. You'll notice that the angle is slightly different in the picture where the grass is green. I ended up with the angle shown where there is snow on the ground.

Finally, your stem choice is going to be critical. You shouldn't have any problem as long as you get a 40 degree rise stem. Dimension branded stems are pretty cheap, light, and available through any shop that carries a QBP account. (Like- about 95% of all shops probably do!) Or, you could go a little more upscale and use a Salsa Moto Ace stem with the Stiff Upper Lip feature, like I did. Salsa has a wide array of stem options available, again through QBP/ your local bike shop!

The actual Midge bar itself is available through WebCyclery, I think. Anyway, it's an awesome set up! I like the varying hand posistions, (on top, hoods, drops, and hooks) and that they have given me more control in rough terrain. The biggest surprise was how much better I can climb out of the saddle while gripping the bar in the drops! Easier transistion from a seated posistion, and great leverage. You can really get that side to side single speed climbing dance going on with these bars!

You can even customize the grips in alot of ways with these, as well. Regular cork tape, foam grips, gel backed tape, Fizik bar gel, or double wrapped......whatever! A great tip to those who have trouble keeping bar tape wrapped on their drops. Contact cement, or rubber cement before taping. Keeps it all in place, but it is messier when changing out tape! WD-40 kind of helps there! Antway, try out a drop bar on the dirt. You may really like it! I do.

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