Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Moving on from Bosco Handlebars

Soma Oxford (upper, darker version) vs Rivendell Bosco. Comparison, using whatbars.com
I know I'm not the only one who dislikes Rivendell's bosco bars. While Miss Clementine is suited to upright riding, I've always felt that sitting like a queen with all my weight on the seat wasn't right for me, especially my intended purpose, which is for long rides, overnights, and touring. Also, though the grip position on the ends of the bars are quite comfortable - stellar, really - however, alternative hand positions on the bar are just awkward. The height and reach difference is too dramatic. After 3+ years of experimenting, I'm ready for a change.

I have long admired the svelte, sexy look of the Albatross bars. Soma's version, the Oxford, is a more affordable option.

The slightly wider Granola bars compared with Oxford and Bosco.
At the same time, I'd been advised online to try the VO Granola bars, which I'm also attracted to. I was all set to order both bars (I want options and may have a place for the unused one) because I want the nail down the perfect bar this summer. In addition, I have a shorter, removable faceplate stem, which might come in handy to get my desired body position.

But then I discovered both stem clamp diameters are 25.4 and the Granola bars require a 31.8. Ugh.

Bosco vs VO Curvy. Would this bar work with shorter stem?

Needless to say, I'm overwhelmed with bar options. I may need to go down the rabbit hole of searching RBW Google Group - someone must've posted a similar question. But I thought I'd also throw out the question to my readers: Does anyone have suggestions for an aluminum bar that can handle thumbshifters, brakes, plus give alternative hand positions without too much reach? And how wide is too wide for a bar on the Clementine?

10 comments:

  1. what do you think of the Albastache ?

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    1. Albastache look great, but again it's the clamp diameter that doesn't fit. I need 25.4. Possibly my removable faceplate stem might have some leeway, but I'd rather find bars with correct dimensions so I'll have options, using either stem. I do need to see how far the existing stem will raise also because I'll be loosing a couple inches moving to a bar with less rise.

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  2. Is the throne position on your bicycle caused by the back-sweep angle of the handlebars? That is my impression from riding bicycles with handlebars that have more than a 40 degrees of back-sweep. More than 40 degrees (give or take) makes it nearly impossible to pedal out of the saddle. This is why I have avoided most of the Rivendell handlebars, too much back-sweep.

    I have found a couple of upright handlebars that have been excellent and the price wasn’t a budget-buster. The Dimension High-Rise Alloy Riser Bar 660mm x 40 Rise x 25.4mm Clamp (Silver) is installed on my Riv mountain bicycle. This bar allows for an additional position for the hands. I do have Sun Race brake levers that occupy a small amount of real estate on the handlebars and the shifters are installed on the quill stem. I think the shifters placed on the bar would probably still allow for an additional position for the hands. Will the bars be too wide?

    I also have the Dimension Arc Bar 27 Deg Bend660mm x 27 Deg x 25.4mm Bar Clamp (Silver). I have this one in inventory. I have tested it a few times and it seems fine. My wife has the narrower 560mm bar and she loves it.

    Both bars are around $20 each.

    I have read good reviews about the Ahearne+MAP Handlebar but have never used it.

    I hope this is of some value…

    Joe

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    1. Joe, yes it's the back sweep that is over the top with Boscos, plus also the rise. it must be 6"! I don't worry too much about leverage and getting out of the saddle because Miss Clementine has optimal low gearing, but if a different bar allows me stand up more easily, I would welcome that change. Neither of your Dimension's bars would work, but the Ahearne+MAP bar is more what I'm thinking could work. The idea is bars with curvy bends allow more bar real estate, thus more hand position options.

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  3. Yeah, it seems like the newer VO options are leaning towards 31.8 clamp diameter, which is a deal-breaker for me too. I hope they don't forget about us oldsters with quill stems!

    As for Boscos, I still sorta like them on my Crested Butte. But I really should cut an inch or two off of them, that super backsweep is just too super. The raised height is just fine, though. I tried the Surly Open Bar on it before the Bosco, and the lack of backsweep plus width was just too much for me.

    Shawn
    http://urbanadventureleague.wordpress.com/

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    1. Shawn, Surly Open bar looks okay for style, but I'm searching for aluminum in chrome (wouldn't hurt to lighten up this bike though i don't have any idea if the Boscos are steel or chrome). I definitely need to be in a more aggressive posture on Clementine. I definitely will buy the Soma Oxford because I believe that will do the trick with existing stem, but also purchase the alternative more open style with curves (when I find the correct one) that may or may not work on the bike but will give me a back up on my Peugeot St. Laurent...been needing a little more bend in the bar lately. The less expensive Dimension Arc Bar might be a fun alternative also for the Peugeot commuter. So many options!

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  4. I had Boscos on my MB-5 when I bought it. My impression was the same as yours. The switch to albatross made a huge difference...less rise, more forward, plus the farthest forward bend is a position I use often. So I think the Oxford or albatross (which I think are compatible) is worth a try. BTW having the Ergon grips was also a game changer for me.

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    1. Chris, I was hoping you'd give me your impressions of the Albatross, so thanks for the confirmation on this style of bar. I may use the existing Selle Royal grip because they've performed well. Post below for reference:
      https://anniebikes.blogspot.com/2016/09/clementine-boscos-bedecked-and-welcome.html

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  5. I'm a fan of MTB-style flat bars myself. They're compatible with thumbshifters, and you can get grips with bar extensions for more hand positions. I use Ergon GP1s, but they have several models with different lengths of grips available.

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    1. I'm also a fan of Ergon Grips - I have the cork version on my commuter bike.

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