Tech Rant: What’s subsequent for the common-or-garden handlebar? Who is aware of, however Ed Hood has been inspecting the newest developments of the ‘cow horns’ on the entrance of the bike. Aero is the factor of the second and the ‘bars want to chop by the air like a knife, time for a handlebar rant.
As is my behavior, I used to be questioning round trying on the bikes right here on the Rotterdam Six Days, testing the handlebars. . .
Handlebars – they was once easy, when you appreciated ‘sq.’ bars then it was Cinelli 64 or the deeper 66, the ‘Merckx’ bend – when you didn’t like ‘sq.’ bars and most popular a ‘flared’ design you then went for the 63. There have been different bars out there, just like the very gentle TTT bends and Ambrosio made bars too with the Giro di Sicilia a well-liked form; however Eddy and Roger rode Cinelli in order that was that for many people for a very long time.
And among the older, extra conventional riders do nonetheless journey typical bars, Niki Terpstra for instance. And it’s true there have been some improvements again within the 80’s just like the ‘ergonomic’ bars which had a ‘flat’ on the drops and had been very snug – however the actual adjustments began with that Lemond dude.
‘Tri’ bars burst onto the stage once they had been largely answerable for Greg successful the ’89 Tour by eight seconds from a devastated Laurent Fignon.
However then issues acquired method loopy with Scott producing ever-more outlandish configurations of ‘bars which we purists might hardly metal ourselves to take a look at. Issues acquired even worse with corporations attempting to outdo one another on the, ‘aero factor’ with riders like Toni Rominger, Thierry Marie and Gianni Bugno showing on ever extra convoluted bends which might a give a plumber’s pipe bending machine a run for it’s cash.
Tri-bars now are a lot sleeker and aero having advanced to the place you possibly can pay £2,000 Sterling for the AeroCoach Vantaggio as utilized by Pippo Ganna to interrupt the world hour document.They’re handcrafted within the UK and made to swimsuit the person traits of the rider who orders them. 3D printing has entered the tri-bar frae now however not all the time with blissful outcomes – keep in mind what occurred to the Aussie staff pursuit squad in Tokyo?
One of many super-light 3D printed tri-bars snapped inflicting Alex Porter to crash into the boards, face first at 65 kph.
However the form of six day riders’ bends remained fairly constant – till Australia’s Cameron Meyer, who was one of many first to undertake the present ‘using on the tops’ model of using on the monitor, got here up along with his, ‘Sphinx’ bar in collaboration with the Italian TTT firm.
Just lately retired ‘King of Gent,’ Iljo Keisse was a devotee and Danish six day man, Marc Hester who rides right here, nonetheless makes use of them on his English, Dolan body – the identical marque as favoured by Messrs, Keisse and Mørkøv of their six day hey days. To an old-fashioned purist like me they don’t relaxation simple on the attention however then I’m not using 60 kph chases.
However the introduction of the Sphinx was the catalyst for a complete new era of ‘bars. Former World Madison Champion, Germany’s Theo Reinhardt rides these extraordinary ‘bars full with rubber pads and non-slip abrasive grips on his German Federation FES machine. The ‘seen weave’ on the FES is just not unattractive however I quite hanker for the outdated days when black was NOT the color of most frames.
The person Theo gained his world madison titles with, huge Roger Kluge can be one for radical bars, like Theo’s they’ve abrasive ‘gripper’ areas as an alternative of handlebar tape; he’s additionally astride an FES.
World Level Champion, Yoeri Havik is one other to go down the ‘rad’ bars route on his Dutch, Koga machine.
While European and World Elimination Champion, Elia Viviani rides Pinarello’s MOST ‘bars full with built-in extension. Very cool and light-weight however a rider will need to have his place 100% dialled earlier than happening the built-in bars and stem highway with 4 determine costs common you don’t wish to make a mistake.
The current seek for ‘final aero’ has led to ‘longer’ extra stretched positions on the bike and among the extension lengths on present right here would by no means have been seen even just a few years in the past, this on one of many Dutch Koga machines.
Our Czech sprinter, Thomas Babek rides an 18 cm. extension on his Argon, he’s a kind of whose place has ‘stretched’ searching for ‘extra aero.’
In the meantime the likes of the Malaysian sprinters – and GB riders have been going for ever narrower bars to enhance their CdA. But it surely’s acquired so out of hand that the UCi is introducing new guidelines from January 2023 which limits the minimal width of ‘bars.
And while the likes of Elia are very a lot into consideration to element not everybody has acquired, ‘the look’ proper – some aren’t simple on the attention, could be extra at house as a scaffold clamp and might’t presumably be slippery by the air.
Some of the radical ‘bars are the ASHAA 3D printed titanium bends which could be discovered on our personal Wojciech’s Argon machine, these come from TooT Engineering in Montichiari in Italy. Elia Viviani had a hand of their design and they’re maybe probably the most ‘totally different’ of all of the bars on present right here however give the riders 4 totally different hand positions.
The longer term?
Who is aware of?