|The Whisky Parts Co. Winston Bar as seen on my T-6 Standard Rando v2|
This carbon fiber bar is a 'mustache bar' and will accept MTB or road controls. I decided to mount it up on my single speed Twin Six Standard Rando v2. So, I used road 'long pull' style levers only, since I have no shifty-bits on this rig.
Now I need to make something perfectly clear- I love the idea of a mustache bar and so I think the Winston Bar is rad. You may think the mustache bar is silly because it has very little drop to it so why bother? However; if you almost exclusively ride 'on the hoods' and wished that you had more hand positions, (I know, but I see this a LOT), then you would love a mustache bar. TONS of hand positions that alter your back posture and arm positions. You can definitely get a great position for climbing, cruising, getting aggressive, or you can even 'get aero' if you are so inclined.
I'll be honest, many recreational drop bar riders really should be on mustache bars. I can also tell you why they are not on mustache bars- Because all the cycling marketing you see shows racy drop bar set ups and this is what 'they' tell you is 'cool'. Mustache bars are seen then as weirdo bars for urban freaks that love oddball bikes. That's really a shame. If you've never tried mustache bars, and don't give a rip what people think about you if you were to show up on a group ride with mustache bars, well then.....step this way!
A look from up top.
The Winston Bar differs from the traditional mustache bars offered now in some pretty significant ways, which in my opinion, improves upon the classic shape and has better 'modern' adaptability. For starters, you can see from the image above here that the Winston Bar has extensions that sweep outward instead of pointing straight backward, as standard mustache bars do. This aligns better with how your hands and forearms align when relaxed. The other important details are harder to see, but make this a more versatile bar for modern bikes, mountain or road, or gravel. The bar clamp diameter here is 31.8mm, which covers a large swath of bicycles out there. Traditional mustache bars tend to be 26.0mm clamp diameter, (Old road standard), or 25.4mm (Old MTB standard). The bars diameter changes from the extensions where MTB controls would fit to road diameter standard where my levers are here. So, instead of buying one bar for MTB and another for road, you just get this bar for both. That means swapping the Winston around to different rides is a distinct option, and makes spending the money it takes to get one a bit less painful. Because, let's face it, these are expensive bars.
|A look from the front.|
The Winston bar, being carbon and having the length it does in the extensions has a definite comfort factor. You can feel it giving under your hands as you hit bigger bumps and it absorbs vibrations a bit as well. The fact that you have all those variances in hand positions makes the Winston even more comfortable. I chose to mount road levers and used a traditional mounting position. The laid-over hoods also provide a platform to rest your hands while cruising. The hoods protrusions add a nice grip for seated climbing. Getting to the lever tips to brake while your hands are back in the extensions is super easy.
Not everything is hunky-dory with the Winston Bar though. I found that my Tektro levers, which want to have the brake line exit kind of off to one side, makes for a difficult routing across either the top side of the bar or underneath, and neither is clean and smooth looking. It may have been nice for the bar to have had a molded channel for the brake and/or shift housings. I experimented with two different routes for my housings and neither was particularly satisfying to me.
The other bit that may or may not bother you is that the ends of the bar are supposedly capable of having bar end shifters inserted into them. Ah.......I'd not advise that. My bar end shifters end diameter is slightly over 19mm, (SunTour or Shimano, didn't matter), and the actual measured inside diameter of the bar measured slightly less than 19mm, meaning that my bar end shifters were too large to insert into the Winston Bar. Not that I want to run those, I never would, but the claim is there from Whisky Parts Co. and I am not seeing that as a possibility with the ones they sent me. I may have an odd set? I do not know. I have communicated this to Whisky Parts Co, but I have not had any feedback since then.
So, other than those few odd-ball nit-picks, I am completely enamored of the Winston Bar. I'm very glad that something like this is available. Perhaps a less expensive alloy version could be offered, and if that happens, perhaps a few different widths would be good to see offered as well. I feel these would make really awesome bars for many bikes. Bike packing, fat bikes, gravel rigs, or even road bikes. Mountain biking? Sure! They definitely are great for a single speed, I know that much.
So, there ya go. My take on the Winston Bar.
Note: Whisky Parts Co. sent over the Winston Bar for test and review at no charge. I was not paid nor was I bribed for this review and I always strive to give my honest thoughts and views throughout.