Much better

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Lots of old bikes can be easily improved.  Older road bikes are often best suited to casual riding around town, rather then the fast riding suggested by drop bars.  WIth bigger tires and wide-range gearing, older mountain bikes make even better town bikes and touring bikes, but narrow straight bars aren’t the most comfortable way to see the city.  In either case, an upright bar with some rise and sweep can help.

For bikes like this Bridgestone MB-5, the VO Tourist handlebar helps.  Many similar bars are available these days.  Comfort is close at hand.

The Tourist is 57cm wide, with 75mm of rise and a 60° sweep.


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This classy grey bike on the VO blog depicting a Tourist handlebar is mounted to a 1984 Univega Alpina, purchased off Craigslist for about $100.  I built this bike for Katie, a friend and co-worker.

6 thoughts on “Much better

    • Shawn, Certainly mtbs from the early 90’s are the worst offenders, with narrow flat bars and long stems. Actually the riser bars on my 1985 Stumpjumper are wide and comfortable, with a generous rise. But then, the bars that came on the 1985 High Sierra were absurdly wide with tons of rise and the single 22.2mm clamp made for an extremely flexible system.

      Lots of old drop bars are unintelligent (they look like “racing” bars though), and some are quite narrow, and possibly made of very heavy steel. A simple upgrade can help. and brake levers only cost about $15-$20 dollars, or less if used.

      I like the VO Tourist bars a lot, but there are some good Sunlite bars available through J&B (most shops also order from them) with as even longer grip area. There are other options as well.

      A flyering campaign for sure. I suggest “Sit UP! and enjoy the ride.”

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