a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2010
Strengths: Perfect for general purpose riding / light trail duty.
Weaknesses: Too funky for some. Generally requires some tweakage for most mtn bikes (shorter / higher stem).
I've used these for all day road / dirt road rides and mild single track. As an all-around bar they are fantastic. A bit hard on the back if you don't get them high enough. Very secure riding in the hooks on bumpy descents. Multiple hand positions are welcome on long rides.
Bike Setup: Karate Monkey (SS and geared w/ barcons).
a Cross Country Rider
from Cupertino CA USA
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2009
Strengths: Mounted on my Ti cyclocross bike they are good for all around riding, on the roads, fireroads, and mild singletrack, and great for climbing steep trail and steep road, standing and seated. All of this with comfortable ergonomics. Ridgid. Comfy width. Good on a cross bike, commuter, or touring bike. The width shines when you are doing weird movements on the trail in tight turns climbing and on switchbacks where the knees do not hit the drops like they would with traditional drop bars, and also when sawing the bike side too side climbing out of the seat on a steep grade. The last point makes them good for a single-speed cross/touring bike config. My bike is set-up for mixed touring.
Weaknesses: Not legal for cross racing. On the heavy side. Width makes them awkward in some riding situations (such as narrow gates, doors etc.), some bike rack problems, hook stuff in the small garage, and so on. The 25.4 dia standard mine came in is good, but imposes on the build. Not as aero as a regular road drop bar. Make the bar-cons stick out and scuff on things.
These Midge bars by On One are exactly what I was hoping for. I did not anticipate all of the negatives listed, but they are small things compared to the comfort. I am a mountain biker really and I would not recommend the Midge for mountain biking. For light trail usage on a cross bike, this is great. To make them work on gnarlier trails, with a long travel susp. fork you would need to raise these bars so high they would look wrong and the center bar and hood position would be ludicrous for trail riding if you asked me. These are not bars for weight weenies. If I were to go touring on dirt roads, like the Continental Divide, I wouldn't use these either. These are for long day rides where you are going to connect pavement with dirt along the way. I have to say that traditional drop bars are probably better for me for pure road riding, with parallel grips in the drops. This conclusion is from many miles on a tandem riding in mountains. If regular drops work on a tandem, the Midge would be overkill, and the width would make the tandem even more awkward around tight situations. Bottom line, these are very comfortable to ride with in moderate trail conditions, and I found I needed to mount them slightly higher than regular drops and a slightly shorter steem, 1-2 cm. each direction.
Similar Products Used: Pretty much all sorts of bars. Here my application is a cross bike. If I were cross racing I would use a Salsa Bell Lap or something from Nitto (for strength). Been road riding a lot in my life and have used many traditional drop bars.
Bike Setup: 9 speed Shimano bar con shifters. 850 mm TTT 20. Dean steel ridgid cross-fork. Avid road BB7 disc brake. Tires usually slicks, but often narrow knobbies. King HS. Performance cross-top levers (chicken brakes. Bontrager select wheels. Custom DEAN Ti frame. Cantilver rear brake (may eventually put on a V-brake to make wheel change easier).
Weaknesses: 25.4 clamp diameter means you need to use shims to fit a road stem. Maybe just a touch too flared out, will be too wide for some.
A great example of thinking outside the proverbial. They look strange to eyes accustomed to regular handlebars but all it takes is a quick ride to realise what a great idea these are. The bend places the hoods and bar in great position for comfort, with the contact area for your hands being spread across a larger area plus good leverage on the brake levers.
The short drops are nice for descending and keep the levers nice and close to the bar too.
They might be a little wide and flared out for some folk used to traditional drops or flats but if you can get past the odd looks then these are a extremely practical solution
Bike Setup: Planet-X Kaffenback, Ultegra 27 spd build
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 1, 2006
Strengths: Wide diameter for stability and balance on the trails. Narrower flat for aerodynamics at speed. Ability to generate bliss in rider.
Weaknesses: Not UCI legal width for cyclocross, they don't offer a clamp diameter for road stems. a little scary on steep downhills if drops are set too low.
I initially bought these bars when toying around with my bike as a commuter, and was skeptical about their utility on the trails. Despite the snide looks of XC bikers on the trails, these bars provide fantastic stability and confidence on the trails, especially for climbing - forget those lame bar ends. The only issue is on steep downhills: you don't want to ride the hoods or flats since those positions are too narrow, so you need to decide whether to raise the bars to make the drops position at a comparable height to a standard flat bar. If you are comfortable on narrower flats you should consider some interruptor levers (a la 'cross).
Similar Products Used: standard flat bar and various road bars
Bike Setup: 1999 Cannondale F3000 with XTR, Selle Italia carbonio saddle, eggbeaters, Diacompe 287V brake levers, avid mech brakes, dura ace drop bar shifters
a Cross Country Rider
from Budapest, Hungary
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2006
Strengths: - Unbelievably comfortable after using dummy flat bars, especially during climbs. - Combined with the (in)famous Diacompe 287V, you get a superb climbing machine with 2 distinct hand positions, and both are - I cannot stress this enough - awesome. And the best thing is that you have access to the brake levers in both positions. And you also get three other hand positions (thats the biggest advantage of drop bars over flat bars). You've got to try it to believe it!
Weaknesses: - The diameter of the bars is road standard, which means you are in trouble if you need to put your MTB brake levers / shifters on. This doesn't apply to the SS crowd though :-) - Also grips are hard to find, but you can always use your roadie tape spares...
This is it - this is the bar I've been looking for ever since I started my cycling "career". Order it today - it's like a religion, it will change your life forever :-) There is only one catch, and it's the geometry - you will very likely need to change your stem, and / or rise it a few inches. It's a shallow drop bar indeed, but it still has about 100mm drop. You may even need a stem riser.
I've been riding On-One Midge handlebars for a few years and am not happy enough with the hand positions/angles to keep using them. They're mounted on a high rise, short reach stem. Recently I saw photos of a Jones "Loop" handlebar and it really looks cool. Seems like it might be a good swap for ... Read More »
Im wondering if you can help me out. Do any of you know where I could order a set of Midge bars in canada? or somewhere in the states that will ship to canada? a quick google shesh didnt help me out :(
THANKSRead More »
Sure you could still buy them from overseas, but recently was sent by a "USA Rep" of On-One a Midge to try out. Was asked if I had tried a Midge, said haven't been able to buy one in 3 years from a local shop so I just went with the Origin 8 and spun around on the WTB. Well....I just got it installe ... Read More »