|My Black Mountain Cycles MCD with the Kitchen Sink Handlebar.|
NOTE: The Redshift Sports components on my Black Mountain Cycles MCD being shown and discussed here on this post were sent at no charge for test and review to RidingGravel.com. See the initial post here.
This post was not paid for by, nor was a bribe from Redshift Sports, and they do not even know I am doing this. All opinions and comments here are my own.
I'm not going to get into weights and details on the features for this handlebar- click the link above for those sorts of details. In this article I am simply going to discuss the 'what this bar does' ideas and show a few views previously not shared on RidingGravel.com. With this post I hope to convey my initial thoughts on what the Kitchen Sink Bar does over that of ordinary flared drops, if there is such a thing as 'ordinary flared drop bars'.
And for those wondering- Yes. these are the handlebars I was supposed to wait to talk about due to some silly embargo. That's all off now, so here we go....
This bar has a healthy amount of flare, but no more than many out on the market now. It has some rise from where it clamps to the stem, but.......meh! You'd hardly know it unless someone pointed it out to you. It has a welded on 'loop' which serves the purposes of being an extra place for hands, a 'pseudo aero bar', and as a place to mount accessories or hang a bag from.
The loop section is welded, so you cannot remove it or reposition it. (There is a non-loop version of the Kitchen Sink Handlebar available though) Some may grouse about that, but honestly, it is a good thing. Yes- I said it was a good thing. Why? because it cannot slip, (if it were traditionally clamped on, it could), it cannot be over-torqued on, because- well obvious, right?, it is lighter overall, and it is on at an angle that makes sense for most. And again- if you don't agree, you can always buy another flared drop bar and clamp on whatever aero extensions you want. You've got tons of freedom and options that way.
The "Cruise Control Grip System", (upper and lowers available separately also), are really the story here. These are not for everyone, but if you do multiple hour long rides/events, these might be something to consider. Having done really long rides on gravel, and having put on a 300+ mile event for 14 straight years, hearing the tales of hundreds of riders, I know that hand issues are commonplace. Riders would complain about soreness, numbness, and nerve issues for months after Trans Iowa. I have had issues with hand numbness and soreness during long gravel rides for years. The Cruise Control grips are in existence to aid in reducing that sort of damage and fatigue to riders.
The "Top Grips" shown above are wrapped under the tape, but you can clearly see the Drop Grips here and they are fully adjustable as far as orientation on the bars. As with any ergonomic, paddle shaped grip, it is strongly recommended that one take care in finding the correct angle for the grip to realize the benefits. Being a bit 'off' can result in really bad experiences. Moving the grip slightly can result in unreal comfort. It is truly a matter of millimeters.
Comments: First off, the rise- 20mm- means nothing to me. I don't see that as a 'thing' with these handle bars. In fact, 'rise' in a handle bar is weird in my opinion. I mean, just get a steeper stem. Unless you already are running a 30° rise stem, a 20mm rise in a handlebar is just a fashion statement. Your mileage may vary. I'm not saying there isn't a place for a riser handlebar, but for most folks? Just adjust bar height with a stem. Because of this, buying this handlebar to get 20mm of rise is silly, in my opinion.
Now the grips are a thing. If they turn out to mitigate some vibrations and if they reduce hand fatigue and pain for me? I'm all for them. I see great potential here. Time will tell. I need to do some long rides on more typically gravel loaded Mid-Western roads than what we've seen so far this year. The roads are just too smooth right now. That'll change soon enough.
The loop? In terms of an aero benefit, I'm on the fence there. Maybe. On my bike the extension isn't quite long enough for true aero positioning. As a place to grip on climbs? Yes, I like that. Almost in the same vein as the original bar ends- the Moots 'Road Handles'. Those were climbing aids and the loop on the Kitchen Sink Handlebar can also work similarly. Obviously you can clamp on some accessory items at the end. It also makes a great platform for a handlebar roll. I may customize a cue sheet holder for the void created by the loop and the front of the handlebar. Another obvious option would be to put some sort of small bag right in there as well.
So, in my opinion what the Kitchen Sink Bar offers to a rider is the grip system, the loop, and a really wide (50cm) option if you want a wide bar. I'll have more to say on RidingGravel.com soon and I'll likely be yapping some more about it here as well. NOTE: Here is a competing bar with a similar idea ==> CLICK. I'm pointing that out as a comparison to the Redshift option. As of now, I am not reviewing that bar.
As always, feel free to comment and ask questions. Thanks for reading!