Written by Ethan Magoon Friday, 27 April 2007 00:00
I've read previous reviews about these bars. I've seen all of the 'net ramblings about the extra brake housing, etc... but since I had a little extra housing length on my SS Santa Cruz Chameleon, I thought I was all set. Mounting these bars also means procuring new housing and cables. Darcy at the shop was nice enough to not laugh in my face when I told here the story. (Although, I did see a little smirk. I don't blame her at all.) Before installing these bars, be sure to buy new housing and cables. Strike one..
The first ride, as many of you probably do after installing something new, was up the street and back. Many say these bars are comfortable. And sure, for some maybe they are, but the hand position just felt too awkward for stability. How was I going to feel riding single track if I felt unstable on pavement?.
The Test Ride.
Trying to keep an open mind, I headed to my in-laws' house in Charlton, MA. They live on a quiet little lake there in town, and are a stone's throw away from Buffumville Reservoir. The trails around the reservoir are designed for hiking and skiing, but also make surprisingly challenging single track. On this ride - after all the rain - the trails were flooded. No worries, I was here to test the HBars – a little water wasn't going to stop me. I mentioned we had rain, but wind really hammered the area and blow downs were everywhere. Attempting bunny hops or even just wheelie-up-and-overs with HBars feels weird and forces you to ride like a weenie. I think I heard my inner 8-year-old laughing at me. On the fourth bunny hop I bashed my knee on the Hbars. Strike two..
I tried all of the "different hand positions" as claimed by other reviewers. Let me break down all of the "positions" for you. First position: Hands on the grips. Second position: Hands on the ends above the brake levers. Done. That's it folks, 2 positions. Whoop-de-doo! If any one says there are more than two positions for these bars... "Punch them in the arm. Really hard!" as Anders would say..
I mentioned my SS Chameleon for a reason. I ride SS. That means, on any given ride I am up out of the saddle, pulling on the bars and mashing on the pedals. The second I stood up I found the real reason why the Hbars are 100% crap. Zero leverage. For those of you who haven't ridden single speed (SS), handle bar leverage is a big deal. Since single-speeders can't rely on changing gears to climb a hill, we need more pulling leverage from the bars - thus allowing for increased cranking power into the pedals, yadda, yadda, yadda - it's simple Physics 101. The HBars force the rider to stand up, almost vertically, in order to achieve the same leverage as regular bars. With my center of gravity as high as the people who designed these bars, cranking up hills, bunny hopping and agile handling proved to be cumbersome and exhausting at best. I suppose a longer stem could be installed to offset the length of the backward sway, but that seems to defeat the purpose and might also add extra weight. Not my brand of vodka – my SS is already a cow. Strike three..
Pick any two of the following to describe the Titec Hbars: Retarded. Awkward. Dangerous. If those sound like words to describe your riding style, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, spend your hard earned cash-money on some decent riser bars. You'll ride less like a weenie for sure.
|Titec H-Bar: 25.4mm Mountain Bar, Black. Titec H-Bar handlebar designed with Jeff Jones. Unconventional design allows for multiple hand and body positions for better handling and greater comfort....|
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