What About Them Crazy Bars?

It’s been a month now since I installed the Velo Orange Casey’s Crazy Bars on the Trucker.  Other than the S24O shakedown ride, I’ve only taken a few shorter rides on this bike since then.  Still, at this point, I can say that I have a pretty favorable opinion of them.

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I’ll start with the downside right up front:  They just don’t have the classic styling that the Albatross bars brought to the bike.  The MTBish look is better suited to a…MTB.  Still, touring is about comfort, and as much as I enjoy both the look and feel of the “collegiate” style, these bars are better.  FWIW; I am thinking about putting together another frame around a lightweight Oxford roadster setup.

So about these bars… Firstly, I prefer the less severe angle at the grip position.  If I’m riding and just let my hands lay on top of the bars, this is the angle that they assume.  Having bars with the grips at this angle suits me better.  To complement that, the bars have a pair of fancy ergonomic cork grips.  Note how they are tilted up in order to keep the wrists straight – it really does work.

Next are the additional hand positions.  I find myself gripping the “corners” where the “horns” are welded in, the straight flats on either side of the stem, and periodically leaning in and stretching out over the frame by gripping the ends of the horns.  That’s four distinct positions compared to the Albas, which had two at best.

If I could improve them…I might make them a little narrower.  I realize that goes against the current trend with Jones and Surly to have wide bars for leverage, but I just don’t see it for touring.  I’m used to 46cm drop bars and a similar width on the Albas – these are way wider.

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Other than that, its still taking some time to get used to shifter pods.  I have to admit that there is an aspect about them that I like, but I’ve been using barcons for so long that I miss them on this bike.  I’m thinking a better made pair of shifting pods might help since these can be finicky at times.

I’m hoping to get in some longer rides towards the end of the month with these, so I’ll report back.

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