I discovered the Origin-8 "Adventure Touring" bar while flipping through a catalog at work yesterday. I immediately started building a bike around them in my head. To be fair to myself though, they do look pretty cool. I've been liking the swept flat bars on the Quickbeam, feel like they give that "upright yet speedy" thing on that bike that I was searching for, and now seem to have found. But being a well-heeled touring cyclist, I'm naturally wary of putting flat bars on a bike that I'm going to ride more than a few miles "But, but, I need multiple hand positions!!!" my mind says. Never mind the endurance mountain bikers that do this kind of stuff on flat or riser bars. I'm not riding as long as them.
|Grant Petersen's famous illustration of Moustache bar hand positions from the 1993 Bridgestone Catalog|
|Me riding Midge bars in the Olympic Mountains|
I was attracted to flared drop bars, and rode the On-One Midge for a long time, I think, in theory because they in their very description were all-rounder bars, drop bars that could be used offroad. But they are something different it turns out, and while I now have the tools to fit them correctly (I probably had the reach right on the last iteration of the trek, but not the balance), they aren't really what I'm looking for. Is it just aesthetics? No, it's a fit thing too----flared drops need a very specialized reach setup, something that won't work for me on a lot of bikes.
|An old Peugeot "PX-3" of Sheldon Brown's, with what he describes as "GB All Rounder handlebars"|
I keep coming back to the IDEA of all-rounder bars as what I'm looking for...the ideal handlebar I'm searching for, for the to-be-built custom, whatever it may be. They are flat so they don't need tons of rise to be comfortable for me. They are swept back in the primary (braking) grip area so the reach is manageable for me with ~60cm top tubes and level 100-120mm stems.
Writing this now, I look on my last couple of years of hard-core roadie-dom a bit more generously. Yes, I was a bit more "serious" about it, but being "serious" about it allowed me a couple of things to focus on: first off, it got me off of the flared drop kick, which was making things more complicated fit-and-aesthetics wise, and it allowed me to focus on normal-ish drop bars, just getting fit right on them as a starting point. Secondly, it allowed me "get serious" about bike fit, and delve into the subject more deeply, which I think overall has had positive consequences. So taking the Casseroll "seriously" as a road bike was a way to teach myself some things. And now, I feel like I'm getting a handle on those things, so naturally my mind is wandering on to the next things. I guess this is what learning feels like.