Saturday, June 29, 2019

Minus Ten Review 2009-26

The Woodchipper Bar was officially released at Interbike 2009.
Ten tears ago this week on the blog I released details for the fourth annual Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational. The ride was going to be held in a completely different area and as it turned out, it was one of my classic courses. One of my all time favorites, and also one of the hardest 100-ish mile courses I have ever ridden.

I also was pointing out that a new drop bar for off road was finally coming. It was in addition to the two basic bars we'd only had a choice of for several years. those would be the classic Midge Bar and the Gary Bar v1 by Origin 8.

Back story: The original prototype for what would become the Woodchipper was shown to several of us Fargo riders at a Fargo Adventure Ride earlier in the year. I remember seeing it and being a bit taken aback by the weird bend to the drop section and the extra long extensions. It wasn't at all what I had been hoping for in an off-road drop bar.

My first impressions of what became the Woodchipper were spot on. While I held out with some enthusiasm and hope that I'd eventually come around to love it, I just never got on with that design. I tried it on different bikes with different levers in different ways, but to no avail. I have come to the conclusion that my first impression was correct. It wasn't what I would have done for a dirt drop.

But that said, the Woodchipper was popular, and still is, with many riders. Then Salsa came out with the Cowbell, a slightly flared (12°) degree drop bar with a very comfy radius. At Frostbike one year, one of the Salsa product managers tasked with coming up with a potential redesign of the Woodchipper, asked myself and Ben Witt for our input on what Salsa should do for a Woodchipper v2. We both heartily asked for a more flared, more swept version of the Cowbell. The product manager was pleased and stated that this idea could become a new bar and that perhaps the Woodchipper didn't have to go away after all. That new bar, of course, is the Cowchipper. Now maybe you can see why it got its name.


Michael said...

I’m a big fan of the Cow ChippersI have on my Surly Straggler, they’re easy to stay on the hoods in fairly steep stuff, easy to reach the brakes while you’re in the drops, and have a comfy wrist angle and solid grip in the extensions.

The one thing I liked about Wood Chipper that isn’t present in the Cow Chipper is a little bit of flex in the extensions, which I found helpful when I occasionally find myself in really rough stuff.

Chilly Willy said...

I love me my Cowchipper on my Cutthroat. Thanks for your input to help make that great bar.