|Stock FSA bars on the Tamland Two|
However; secondly and more importantly, the brake lever was not reachable from the drop without letting loose of the drop section a bit. Not cool. Shifting from the drops was nigh unto impossible as well. Why are drop bars like this? That's easy- because you aren't supposed to use the drops anymore, silly! The drop section on road bars is a silly, unnecessary appendage only displayed so others can be sure of your "roadie-ness". I mean, otherwise you might be mistaken for a hipster with pursuit bars, right?
So anyway, something really had to be done since this wonky design was impeding the operation of the bicycle. The Cowbell 2 is a proven design, as I use it on the Black Mountain Cycles rig and have used various shifters with great results. So a 46cm bar showed up yesterday, which improved the width factor, and I got right to installing them.
|Cowbell. I need more Cowbell!|
There is a Cowbell 1, and the difference is only in the material used to make the bars. The "1" is a 6000 series aluminum and slightly heavier. It costs about $30.00 bucks less than a "2" which is made from 7000 series aluminum and weighs a bit less. Both are 31.8mm clamp diameter bars only and only come in black ano. MSRP is about $75.00 for the "2". I payed for mine and am glad I have them!
There is a hidden benefit in all of this as well, which I did not realize until I got out to ride yesterday. That is now I have another contact point which is familiar and the same as the BMC bike. Making a comparison to the BMC will now be easier, since handling and "feel" in the bars will not be colored by the inferior design of the FSA bar. (My words on the FSA bar, some may love those things.)
It was great riding the Tamland yesterday with the new bars. Much more comfortable, and obviously, easier to ride since I didn't have to contort my arms to operate basic functions. Braking was made so much better! Speaking of which, a lot of folks have been wondering about the TRP Spyre brakes on this Tamland.
The Spyre brakes have two moving pistons instead of one, like most mech brakes have, (including Avid BB-7's), so in that respect they are unique. This brake has a much better feel at the lever, especially with STI Shimano levers, which I've used with other mech disc brakes before and they were not easy to set up and didn't feel that great. Typically the Avid BB7's tend to feel too "mushy" and lack power with the STI levers, which tend to use up a lot of their travel to develop the kind of stopping power you may need. Not so with the Spyres, and this is the main difference. You get a great modulation feel, but you also do not have to pull the lever too far to get that. Power is great. Plenty of that on tap. The bonus here is that the Spyre brakes have been incredibly quiet as well.....so far. We'll see how long that goes on for.
Okay, so I have my Cowbell handle bars on the Tamland now and I think I'll be set for awhile. Bring on the training miles and the Gent's Race!