Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My First Dates With Mary

A few days ago, I told you of how I traded various armaments for some cool On One Mary Bars. I think this worked out well for Brian too, since I don't believe Mary Bars are legal in Michigan. This particular bend violates some aesthetics law from what I understand. Everything but marijuana is legal in Nevada, so I decided to mount them on Kristy's 29er.

We've been meaning to cut down her tractor sized, 28 inch wide, On One Fleegle bars, but just haven't gotten around to it. At 25 inches across, the Mary Bars seemed like a good choice to demo on her bike. The effective width seemed to be a bit wider though because of the dramatic back sweep...more tubing, less width.

Ok, the real reason is that I just wanted to steal her 29er for the week (29ers are fun!). I threw on some Kona foam grips I had in the parts bin and called it done.

Time to ride. Visions of Miss Gulch entered my mind, and became my very first impression of the bars as I pedaled across town to the trails (please sing aloud the music that goes with this picture for full effect). It didn't even feel like a mountain bike anymore! Not to say it wasn't very comfortable though. Casual riding, commuting, and long distance riding would be great with this bend, as they naturally fit the bend of your wrist as you extend your arm.

We picked a hard hill climb that is pretty tough on any single speed no matter what bars you are running. I noticed right away that there was a different muscle group involved in pulling myself up the hill. I'm not sure if this is the wrong muscle group, or one that I just don't have developed. It seemed a bit more difficult though. Wide bars are best for climbing on a single speed in my opinion.

Descending was perhaps the strangest part of this bar test. Monday's descent wasn't that great; it felt like I was holding two ski poles! Today's descent was much better though. I used the bend to get my weight back a bit, and bend my arms like I do on my road bike. It is certainly a less aggressive stance on the bike...not the wide "Larry Craig" stance I'm used to with my 27 inch bars. I was having a blast today though. It felt like I was bombing the hill on a beach cruiser! I didn't have much courage on the final jump though, as it just didn't feel right to get airborne with these bars. Just a little bit o' air today...

Another thing you might consider with these bars, is to make sure you have an ironclad sense of humor. You will definitely get weird looks or comments from folks used to their humdrum, quotidian styled handlebars. On the "bad" side of the spectrum of comments I've received, "heinous", "retarded", "gay". On the "good" side was the comment, "They look great! But no, I would not like to try them, because uhhhh....I don't have the right shoes on."

I'll throw them on my 26er single speed for further testing. Stay tuned!

13 comments:

Marcus said...

That Jump at the end of jack rabbit is getting sketchy for some reason. I almost biffed on that last week. I think those bars look very comfortable. I would totally try them out. " Gay " could be seen as a complement in some social circles. Retarded? Like totally MR? Sheesh! I havent heard that in a long time. Thats funny!

Chris said...

Heinous, retarded and gay sum it up from here. I guess I am just a traditional guy.

oldmanandhisbike said...

Man, am I glad were not talking about beer anymore. That stuff will kill ya!
Nice of Chris to weigh in with his opinion. He's nothing if not consistant! Don't hold back; tell him what you really think of the bars.
Just wanted to let you know, if the experiment is a failure, you are welcome to return them. And you may keep the special gift as our way of thanking you for trying Mary Bars.
There will be, however, a slight restocking fee. I believe a 6 of Chocolate Stout should cover the difference!

Smudgemo said...

Hey, where'd the beer go?

Lester said...

Put a little basket there in the space between bends...fill the basket with that 6 of cool chocolaty stout and wallah...these bars are instantly the coolest thing around. Just watch out for riding buddies as the come by trying to steal a cold one.

Glad I could help.

Jeff said...

No returns will be necessary! I like them. They may not be the best for sport riding, but will be great for other applications like touring, commuting, or hauling beer as Lester suggests. I still need to try them on the 26er too...

Smudgemo will be a rich man if he sells his chocolate stout at the 2008 Tahoe Bloggers Ride...

oldmanandhisbike said...

Smudgemo brews Chocolate Stout? Dude! I didn't realize he was a beer guy.
That is so cool.
Completely changes my opinion of him! :^)

Smudgemo said...

Like my grandfather used to say, "They said you weren't fit to eat with the hogs. I stuck up for you and said you were."

Wolfy said...

Hmmm. I've not gotten that neg feedback. But people do laugh at me behind my back. I want to try the Fleegle's I think.

-M

Jeff said...

I've been using the Mary's all week, and I love them now! It just took a while to get used to. Next week I'll try them on my 26er.

Lunatic Biker said...

I have a set of Mary's on my 1 x 1 and just love them.

Jeff said...

Lunatic Biker! Thanks for visiting!

1st ride with the Mary's on the 26er today. Awesome. After a week of riding, they feel pretty natural, and I'm not afraid to be aggressive with them anymore. I think they're here to stay!

rigtenzin said...

I've wanted to try the Marys or the Misfit FUBARs. I don't care what the people say about the shape of my bars. They don't get to ride my bikes anyway. I've got a set of Garys on my commuter and they are great. I'd want to try them on an off-road bike next.