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Trendy Bars

| Blog, Mountain Biking Uk | 31/01/2011 12:30pm

Why I can’t get on with flat DH bars by Ric McLaughlin (age 26 1/2)

Have you ever tried something on in a flash clothes shop thinking “This is a bit of a gamble…”?

You dander across the shop with aforementioned item in your hand, locate the hard to find changing rooms and get one of those big plastic tags from the most trendily-dressed yet bored sixteen year-old muppet in Britain. Nervously you head to the changing rooms.

There’s a tingle of excitement as you pull on the new t-shirt/shirt/jeans/quilted jacket thing which seem to be all the rage these days. Then you look at yourself in the brightly-lit full-length mirror and it hits you – this new, fashionable and apparently cool thing is not meant for you.

This deflated sense of ‘almost’ (although told in an admittedly long-winded and slightly camp analogy) is how I feel about flat DH bars.

I’ve been contimplating trying a set for a while now and when my new Morewood Izimu DH bike arrived fitted with a pair of Spank Spike 777 Evo flat bars, it seemed like fate had stepped in and said “Go on Ric, give it a crack.”

I’d had a few car-park roll arounds and the bike along with the bars felt spot-on. The front-end felt ultra-low but having spent a year riding an Iron Horse Sunday, I liked that. Getting over the front is one of the secrets to going fast in corners and I very much enjoy going fast in corners – this should do the job rightly.

Strangely though, I threw my leg over the bike at the top of the Forest of Dean’s Ski Run and something had changed, my face did a weird thing. It’s the sane ‘weird thing’ it does on first seeing yourself in the changing room mirror – a sort of deflated rumple of concern.

To be fair, in the corners, the flat bars felt ok. The right width and plenty of room (as you’d expect) to get right over it. On the way out though on the pedals I just couldn’t get used to them. My hands felt like they were on the floor and under braking I had more than a couple ‘I’m going over the front here’ weight transfer moments.

I wasn’t too upset – the gamble may not have paid off but the Izimu as a whole felt superb. With the softer (400×3.25) of my new springs from Mojo fitted the angles were spot on, it pedalled well and carried speed well over the roots.

Just like dejectedly handing the fashion faux-pas back to the muppet I was disapointed with the bars. At the same time though, there was that sense of ‘stick to what you know and do it well’. Some new bars are on their way… Stay tuned.

Snapper; Steve Behr

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