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!