If your bars are only as wide as your hands

Then you are riding a plank. No, it’s not going to make any difference to how easy it is to glide through those gaps in traffic that you wish you were brave enough to take on.

At the weekend I managed to see some seriously ugly bikes and one seemingly mis-priced one. So, unless I mistook one cute Bianchi Milano town bike for another that price was 200 quid out. This is of course a trivial matter compared to the outbreak of ill-thought out bikes that plagued me.

Drop bars are a thing of true beauty, certainly in their classic form, with the smooth oval bend framing the front of any racing bike like the shoulder on a good wine bottle frames the neck. Dressed in white bar tape and attached to a quill stem there’s something almost chivalric about them in those pictures that define the sport.

In this age of four bolt solutions and ergonomic bends that look like dropped spaghetti my heart is always lifted to see a well-positioned classic bar: the drop parallel to the ground and shifters reaching out from the top of the arc like a bowsprit and with the top edge also parallel to the ground.

OK I’ll get to the point: I hate cut-down bars, be they flop’n’chop or shortened flat bars.

With the trendification of cycling in that hotbed of the ill-considered, Shoreditch, and increasing absorption of “messenger style” into the mainstream there’s signs that Bikesnob NYC may find himself a second source of wonderment in London.

I will never understand why someone would want to ride a bike with a handlebar that resembles the top of a track pump or a hacksawed drop bar that looks more suited to use as a candelabra than steering.



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