Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Setup for the New Year!

Well, since my last posting the holidays flew by and it is now 2011. I am not sure what happened to the last month! Whew!

With all the craziness over, I finally had a chance to try the "hamster" bar setup on the ICE B1.

I know there is a longish thread about the superman position versus the hamster bar setup, but now I have had a chance to try out both setups on the B1.

All I can say is that I expected to really dislike the hamster setup (for no apparent reason) but that was not the case. In fact, I think after a few initial rides - before even really dialing in the bars - I actually prefer the hamster over the wider superman bars.

Granted, on the B1 I have not done any really long milage rides - so I cannot say what setup wins the long distance comfort factor, but I was loving all of the following with the hamster:

No leg interference!
Easier to steer the bike around narrow doorways
Slick looking and clean
No "big bars" way up in front of me
Very easy to flip up the bars for entry and exit

The "superman bars" setup

The "hamster bars" setup

The biggest surprise to me though - very neutral handling at any speed - almost "self centering" in a way. I can not say the same for the U bar setup. With the U bars, the bike seems to get twitchier the more the speed drops - which in turn makes issues like leg interference a real hassle. This is the exact same experience I had always had on my old high racers that had U bars. (Corsa SS and RANS F5)

The Hamsters on the B1 are pretty close to the bars on my old Burley Django - which just about had the perfect handlebar setup IMHO. If I could get hold of some genuine Burley handlebars I would be tempted to try that setup out...

Now my final problem - it looks like a different mirror arrangement is in order if I stay hamster. I will need something with some long stalks as having direct bar mounted mirrors is pretty worthless.