Friday, May 11, 2012

New Handlebars for the Ross, Take Three

The bag of clamps arrived from eBay. It's a pity there is only one that fits, but that's all I need.

The double-ringed gadget is what broke.

I squeezed the brake lever. The best tool to remove the inset screw is a ratchet.

Voila. I could barely see this break when the lever was all together, but as I said I'd heard an audible crack and thereafter the clamp wouldn't tighten, well, it became obvious, especially after I slid the clamp from the bar and peered inside.

It was an easy repair, really. I gingerly tighten the brake lever back in place. As this replacement piece was difficult to locate, I'm erring on the side of caution. As a matter of fact I backed off a turn on the left hand brake mount, just in case that one's stability is on the edge. I presume I may never locate another one of these specialized clamps.

It's looking good. I took the Ross for a spin around the block. Braking and shifting worked reasonably well. Oh heck, I went ahead and put on the leather grips. This time I placed them in water so twisting the grips in place was a breeze.

Using the mustache handle bars sits me more upright on the bike. A bit too much. I lowered the stem as far as possible. And angled the seat differently. This feels better. I presume there will be more adjustments as I get used to the changes.

Ready for a test ride, I installed the bell and mirror. I've never put a mirror in this position, but it turned out to provide more visibility. On the other hand the bell is more awkward. But I'll leave it for now as it's functional. I routed the right hand brake wire under the bar and cinched it with a green zip-tie to another wire. This provides adequate room for a front bag.

At first I didn't like the spider web of black wires, but I'm getting used to it, especially with the addition of mirror and bell.

I'll eventually adjust the braking power as it's a bit soft. But all the gears seem to work. That's amazing. It's an adjustment getting used to braking with two fingers as it's rather uncomfortable gripping with my whole hand. Another reason to fine tune the braking system.

I'm happy I made these adjustments to the Ross. It's better suited to the way I use this bike. It'll never be the Pilen or the Betty Foy, but it's uniquely, distinctly mine.


  1. Good job!

    "...but it's uniquely, distinctly mine. " and that,my friend,makes it all worth any efforts to get it the way you want :)

    Wishing you a great weekend!
    The DC

  2. Nice work...and photos. :-)

  3. Nice work. They look good, I'll be interested to hear more about how you find them. I nearly got a set of these for my Bennett, but picked up a bargain pair that is a bit different, but I may switch to moustaches yet.

    1. I'm sure I'll like them, especially after using this type on my Miyata for a year. It's not that other bars aren't great. For my situation, which was to position my reach further forward, my only solution was these bars. I looked into many others... I admit that squeezing the brakes may be slightly uncomfortable, but that's because the bars are flipped opposite from the the way I use them on the Miyata. The Miyata's brakes feel very comfortable and intuitive. I'll be waiting to see your solution on the Bennett.

  4. Bit of lateral thinking on the mirror positioning, I would never have thought of that. Who wants a Betty Foy when you can revamp much loved 'family' to fit your needs? Well done on completing the job successfully (I would still be sat on the lounge room floor, surrounded by parts, scratching my head and retreating to make another cup of tea).


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