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I am in the process of building up a rigid 29'er and want to place mustache bars on it. Does anyone have any experience on them off road? If so what are your thoughts?
 

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TN29'er said:
I am in the process of building up a rigid 29'er and want to place mustache bars on it. Does anyone have any experience on them off road? If so what are your thoughts?
While I do like moustache bars on my commuter, I am less than thrilled with them off-road. For an alternative off-road bar, I prefer drops. I've got bikes set up with old Ibis drops and Wilderness Trail Bikes drops and my 'cross bike has Salsa Moto Ace bars. All work great for me.

That being said, there's plenty of folks who dig moustache bars in the dirt - Travis Brown being one. I say try the moustache bars on your new project. Experiment with stem position so you get the position that feels best to you. There are plenty of threads on the single speed, 29" and vintage forums that discuss position for both moustach and drop bars. Check 'em out and make yourself an informed decision. That sounds like it will be a cool looking rig you're building. Here's a link to a photo of my bike with moustache bars. The position is perfect for commuting, but a bit on the low/stretched out side for serious off-road riding. Salsa Moustache
 

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ssmike said:
While I do like moustache bars on my commuter, I am less than thrilled with them off-road. For an alternative off-road bar, I prefer drops. I've got bikes set up with old Ibis drops and Wilderness Trail Bikes drops and my 'cross bike has Salsa Moto Ace bars. All work great for me.
I'd have to agree. I don't have tons of miles on moustache bars, but I do have one bike that has them. I mostly commute with them on generally flat unpaved roads, and they work well for that. I find it a bit harder to loft the front end for some reason. There's lots of hand positions, but the brake levers are only accessible from the far-forward position (with my set up), which is fine for commuting, but less good for serious off-road.

Like Mike, I think that traditional drops work better for off-road. I found after adding a 2nd set of brake levers to my CX bike (these can be reached from the flats of the bar) that drop bars work even better. Riding on the flats allows me to get my weight rearward by several more inches than I can in the drops or hoods, and downhills become much easier. I don't ride there tons, but when I need to it's great.

I'm not a fan of flared drops though (i.e. Salsa Bell Lap), but it's likely due to me using S himano combo levers - the odd angle makes shifting awkward. With barcons I think the flare would be better (additional clearance for the knees, which I occassionally bash into the drops).
 

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a less complex solution

[
Like Mike, I think that traditional drops work better for off-road. I found after adding a 2nd set of brake levers to my CX bike (these can be reached from the flats of the bar) that drop bars work even better.

THAT'S the hot setup these days for CX and I'm thinking of adding a pair to mine. But for MTBing, dirtdrops work best -- actually as they were conceived to be used -- if you use a very tall stem of short extension, so you can ride exclusively in the drops, never on the hoods as you would with a CX bike or road bike. The second part of the equation is to locate the brake levers down much lower on the curve of the bar than you would with any other setup, so you got easy 1-finger braking from the drops without having to reach with your wrists. The levers are just right there. Then no additional brake levers or anything are needed.

About 18 years ago I briefly toyed with a second pair of dummy brake hoods higher on the curve than the actual brake levers, so I could rest on the dummy hoods at times, yet have the actual brakes where I could reach them in the drops. Then I got an LD stem, the bar got nice and high and I didn't need the dummies anymore.l

Riding on the flats allows me to get my weight rearward by several more inches than I can in the drops or hoods, and downhills become much easier.
AH GRASSHOPPER, while that is true, your hands on the tops are closer together than they would be in the drops, so you have less leverage on the bar, just the opposite of what you'd want on downhills. And your hands aren't braced as well on the tops as they would be down in the drops. Same arguments that pretty much killed off "safety levers" on road bikes in the 80s.

I don't ride there tons, but when I need to it's great.

I'm not a fan of flared drops though (i.e. Salsa Bell Lap), but it's likely due to me using S himano combo levers - the odd angle makes shifting awkward. With barcons I think the flare would be better (additional clearance for the knees, which I occassionally bash into the drops).[/QUOTE]

I GOT 46cm (at the curves, wider at the ends) on an LD stem on a bike right now and love it enough not to swap out for the WTB I got on a frame that recently broke. The Salsas flex more, a good thing with a rigid fork. I hate shitmano shift/brakers and would never use them on road or off. But especially off. Bad with cantis. Bad with dirt getting inside. Bad wrist angle for shifting. Brake levers that move sideways when I'm resting a finger on them so it's ready to brake drive me crazy. And the hood shape (a purely roadie complaint) I find terribly uncomfortable vs nice comfy Campy Ergo. Plus they're f'ugly. And the company that 20 years ago was publishing charts showing the aero benefit of wrapping brake cables under the bar tape now has shifters with big honkin loops of f'ugly housing looping every which way sticking out in front of the handlebar, like now it's 20 years later and the air got thinner. bunchof chainsmokin monkeys the whole lot of em.
 

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bulC said:
AH GRASSHOPPER, while that is true, your hands on the tops are closer together than they would be in the drops, so you have less leverage on the bar, just the opposite of what you'd want on downhills. And your hands aren't braced as well on the tops as they would be down in the drops. Same arguments that pretty much killed off "safety levers" on road bikes in the 80s.
With a wide bar and levers that mount further out (i.e. not on the bulge) my hands are pretty far out. When I normally like them in on long extended downhills that are not super technical. There's a great trail near me that drops about 2000 feet on single track and is never super steep or technical. Riding the flats is nice.
 

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i just did 24 hours solo on two different rigid singlespeeds, a rivendell with m-staches and a 1985 ibis with drops.

as for your question re; the m-staches . . . .they were enjoyable. i have modified them with a small piece of PVC pipe mitre cut and epoxied up in the hooks of the m-staches at say the 2:00 and 10:00 position. this makes a very nice little ergo shelf. this course was not hilly, but very twisty with rock gardens and at no time did i feel the m-staches were any sort of detriment. on the contrary the multiple hand positions were just the ticket for those long hours. they work good, is what i am saying, for xc use. they look cool, too. they are a little weird in that you tend to get a sense of not really going all that fast on them - they just are sorta leisurely feeling - till you realize that that you are, in fact, humming along just fine. if you desire a more " aggro' feel these are not gonna give you that. they feel more sedate, or perhaps stately. :)

the drops are nice, too, with top mounts as the others said. i was using the nitto dirt drop on the old ibis and that is a fine bar. i ride these most of the time, do shorter xc races on them. they are better than anything, i think.
 

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mon t said:
i just did 24 hours solo on two different rigid singlespeeds, a rivendell with m-staches and a 1985 ibis with drops.

as for your question re; the m-staches . . . .they were enjoyable. i have modified them with a small piece of PVC pipe mitre cut and epoxied up in the hooks of the m-staches at say the 2:00 and 10:00 position. this makes a very nice little ergo shelf. this course was not hilly, but very twisty with rock gardens and at no time did i feel the m-staches were any sort of detriment. on the contrary the multiple hand positions were just the ticket for those long hours. they work good, is what i am saying, for xc use. they look cool, too. they are a little weird in that you tend to get a sense of not really going all that fast on them - they just are sorta leisurely feeling - till you realize that that you are, in fact, humming along just fine. if you desire a more " aggro' feel these are not gonna give you that. they feel more sedate, or perhaps stately. :)

the drops are nice, too, with top mounts as the others said. i was using the nitto dirt drop on the old ibis and that is a fine bar. i ride these most of the time, do shorter xc races on them. they are better than anything, i think.
Ya, I think moustaches could be good offroad as long as you used a shorter stem to compensate for the forward extension of the moustaches. What kind of shifters did you use? I have been wanting to set a bike up with these for a while now. Even have the bars ready to go. Can I use STI or should I use bar ends?
 

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well like i say, in this case i rode them as a singlespeed, so no shifters. :)

normally i use bar-ends on there.

a shorter stem is certainly the ticket. quite a bit shorter, i would say. really short. i have used them on our off-road tandem with a longer stem and that was OK, but for lifting the front wheel and stuff on a single a really short stem is it.
 

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mon t said:
well like i say, in this case i rode them as a singlespeed, so no shifters. :)

Oh ya.

Would STI shifters work ok do you think? Dont have any index bar cons, might have to go old school friction...
 

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you know, that sti idea is an interesting one. could be they work alright !! be like those ultra new-school xtr's !!!
 

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mon t said:
you know, that sti idea is an interesting one. could be they work alright !! be like those ultra new-school xtr's !!!
I think F-B's referring to road STI levers as with the moustache bars being road sized tubing, mountain levers won't fit. But I think road STI levers would work okay with the inward/downward movement of the shifting lever. The only issues I could imagine is STI shift levers don't work if the brake lever is being used. The mechanics of the shifting motion might induce slight braking motion on a moustache bar. Maybe, maybe not.

An interesting alternative to the moustache bar is the Jeff Jones' H-Bar. Similar hand position to the moustache bar (as well as a hand position similar to Wilderness Trail's drop bar). The H-Bar would allow XTR STI levers - not sure about the function of them after looking more closely at the H-Bars
https://www.jonesbikes.com/images/hbar1.jpg
https://www.jonesbikes.com/gallery/default.asp
 

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yeah man, i know.

i was just speculating that the action of the road sti lever on the m-stache would be somewhat similar to the new skool xtr lever. that being, the brake lever moves up and down to shift, as well as inward to brake, ya know?

i think it would *****in' to try out. :)
 

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Fillet-brazed said:
Would STI shifters work ok do you think? Dont have any index bar cons, might have to go old school friction...
Seems to me that it would be a little awkward, although I've not tried it. Shifting would go from a side-to-side movement to a downward movement (a la new XTR). It's worth a try though just to see.

I have barcons on my bike and they work fine.
 

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mon t said:
they are a little weird in that you tend to get a sense of not really going all that fast on them - they just are sorta leisurely feeling - till you realize that that you are, in fact, humming along just fine.
Interesting... I definitely have that "leisurely feeling" when I'm on pavement. On dirt it pretty much goes away. I don't have a bike computer on the bike and never ride the bikes with groups, so really don't know how fast I'm going. I might need to look into that.

The gearing on the bike is different from other bikes that I have so it's hard to make a direct comparision between bikes, and I'm much too lazy to use Excel to actually calculate gear inches for comparsion. :)
 
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