Pineapple Bob does the hybrid right.

Mustache Monster Mash

Mustache Monster Mash

by / / 98 posts

My first bicycle opened a new world to me, one where range was measured by will and pedal revolutions, not steps; the only objective was seeing how far out I could push my range. First, to the border of our community, then to the nearest gas station, and on it went. It was a big yellow contraption with 10 speeds – twelve if you count “crashed” and “out of control”, which were the two most commonly used of the lot.

I didn’t know I could customize it. I assumed all saddles were steel with a foam and plastic coating, just as I assumed all brakes were ornamental beyond producing a screech that served to deter dog attacks. When the seat became too low, I declared that the bike no longer fit; I had no idea I could raise the saddle.

That bike was a Sears Moonlight Special, and I am quite sure it was made of solid lead pipes and had steel wheels. The bars were possibly wrapped in asbestos. I don’t wish I still had it, but I wish I still had my second bike. She was a beauty; a Raleigh with a gorgeous Weinmann group and a stunning metallic paint of brown and black, a color combination that every tailor on Savile Row will tell you is the most beautiful. Fitting, then, that it was an English bike.

At first, all I wanted was to rid the bike of her unsightly brake cables that jutted from the brake levers in the traditional way. This was the late eighties, and all brake levers on modern bikes were “aero” (under the tape). So I bought some DiaCompe levers and set about changing them out. A friend at County Cycles in Saint Paul, Minnesota (famous for being the place where Johnny Cash met “Her“) convinced me to buy some Benotto bar tape, and I spent the next few days basking in the amazement of my ability to single-handedly alter the look of my machine so dramatically. (Indirectly, my test rides also taught me about tightening cable bolts enough.)

This experience opened me up to the notion that every bike can be adapted to serve our needs. Every bike has a soul, and every soul has a bike. It could be our #1, or it might just carry us to work, or down to the farmers market. But like a dog with it’s pack, it’s happy so long as it knows its purpose, its reason for being – and has the opportunity to fulfill that purpose. And whenever we help a bike find its purpose, it bonds to our soul and never leaves us.

You need vision to see a bike’s purpose, and Grant Peterson might be the greatest bicycle visionary; he lived La Vie Velominatus long before we put that term to paper. He sees opportunities in bicycles without judgement; it doesn’t have to be a racer, or a tourer, or a trail bike – it just has to ride well and be fun. He’s been an inspiration since I learned about Bridgestone bikes, and his vision continues with Rivendale Bicycle Works. When time came for him to design a hybrid bike, he chose mustache bars with race-inspired geometry in the belief that just because it’s hybrid doesn’t mean it shouldn’t ride well. I’m proud to walk in his footsteps.

The Nederaap CX-V may have served her run as my main CX/Graveur, but she lives on as the loyal steed carrying me to and from the grocery store, the markets, post office, pub, and any manner of fun and casual expeditions around town. I don’t kit up, I don’t pump up the tires (although I do thumb-check the pressure, I’m not a savage), I don’t plan the route. I just get on, and I ride. And she rides great, is fun, and gobbles up single track just the same as she does tarmac. It makes no difference to her, I just jump on and start pedaling like I did when I was a kid. That’s good old-fashioned fun.

Plus, now I can enter the Commuter Grand Prix.

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// Breaking The Rules // Cyclotourism // Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia // Technology // The Bikes

  1. @VeloVita

    @Ron

    @Ron

    Has anyone successfully paired V-brakes with full fenders? I guess you could cut a notch, but now that I put V-brakes on my cross bike, I’d kind of like them on my commuter too, instead of cantilevers, but I have full fenders.

    V-brakes or mini-v? I’ve seen photos of bikes with fenders and V-brakes so I assume it works (although I have no experience with it), but V-brakes won’t work with road levers unless you run a travel agent. Mini-vs on the other hand have shorter arms to match the cable pull of road levers (thereby doing away with the need for a travel agent) but as a result that means that there isn’t as much clearance (and not enough for fenders)

    I should say that my statement about mini-Vs is assuming a larger tire size – something like a 32mm. If you run narrower tires, you might be able to run a narrower fender that could work I suppose. You may have to play with the sizes a bit to see what you can fit. Some of it will also depend on how wide your rims are. Wider rims won’t require the pads to be set as close which could give you more a little more clearance on the arms.

    Can’t say I agree; I see no reason you can’t fit them in. Might depend on your frame. On the rear of the Veloforma CCX, the chainstay design might make it harder, but there is plenty of clearance over the cable, as you can see on the front wheel here (don’t have a photo of the rear handy).

  2. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    I might read the article without posting but I never post anything without reading.

    I don’t use a Dutch bike. When I had one it served me well. It did exactly what it was design to do.

    How much shopping can you carry home from groceries on your commuter without taking a rucksack?

    I don’t commute to work. I ride to work. Always on a race bike. I usually do 35-40 km one way through East Flanders. But since I’m going to work does that make the pictured bike a commuter so I can flip the stem up now? You are comfortable on your race bike for 5-6 hours rides and yet you need to install the stem upwards on your commuter to get an extra comfort? For what – 15 mins ride down to groceries or post office? I get the fenders and bell idea but the stem up and the bars are just wrong. Classic bars and ‘normal’ stem and the bike is perfect.

    I’d have been disappointed with anything less of a response. As I mentioned to Chris, the stem is too much; flipping it over tonight. And yes, I’m 100% comfortable on my road bike, but on the commuter, I’m usually wearing a wool jacket, slacks, and other clothing that restricts motion. I just want to jump on and ride it, you know?

    The bars are super comfortable and fun – why use drop bars for this purpose? There’s no need to get low, and this is just a fun alternative to dutch bars.

    That bike of yours is a stunner. Its good to see someone else with the balls to show some decent post. I’m surprised to see you go to 11spd; I thought you were a major proponent of the old 10spd?

  3. Via Cosmo, of How the Race was Won fame.

    http://cyclocosm.tumblr.com/

  4. Ok. Unless I’m missing something, why do you have a bar end shifter on the left? It looks like you’re riding a single chainring. Other than that, it came out great!

  5. @DCR

    @VeloVita

    I run mustache bars on my 1984 Club Fuji, which serves as my around town bike, but that’s because the top tube is too short for me and the extra reach the bars gives makes the bike actually rideable. The bike still has most of the original components on it including the non-aero brake levers which look pretty good the bars since the cable routing makes smooth arcs in front of the headtube. I’m not sure how I feel about them on a bike without a quill stem though.

    I would like to see pictures of this. Sounds interesting and gives me an idea for an old japanese steel bike I have in the garage.

    UntitledUntitled

    I just snapped these quickly in the garage while my daughter was crying in her car seat. I took the time to line up the crank but didn’t bother to place the valve stems properly – feel free to criticize. Also I took the saddle off last night to polish it and didn’t install it quite level since it was hanging upsidedown. I’ll fix that before I ride it next ( which doesn’t seem like it will be soon since we were just hit with a snowstorm. It’s still October for fuck’s sake!

  6. @Ron

    Has anyone successfully paired V-brakes with full fenders? I guess you could cut a notch, but now that I put V-brakes on my cross bike, I’d kind of like them on my commuter too, instead of cantilevers, but I have full fenders.

    I converted my first bike, a Giant FCR3 flat bar “fitness” bike, to a commuter by replacing the flat bars with drop bars and the original shifters with a set of RSX 3×8 shifters.  I had to add Travel Agents to get the original V brakes to work with the new shifters, but work they do.  No problems with the SKS fenders it wears.  With 700×32 tires and V brakes, when you grab a handful, you stop now.

    That thing’s a tank, but it holds 30-35 kph nicely and the low-level derailleurs shift smoothly.

  7. @frank Judging by the lead photo it would seem that getting low isn’t too problematic. Is my back flat? The ‘stache are just shaped such that there’s really only one low option (as pictured) as they’re on a single horizontal plane.

    Cool bike. Having gotten rid of all my commuter type steeds I often find myself wishing I had a bike I could just throw a leg over and go without all the accouterment. Then I remember where I live and jump on the gravel bike with said accouterment. If needed a ‘muter though it would be similar to that one but understated like VeloVitas , now that’s a pretty bike.

  8. @frank

    @Ron

    Has anyone successfully paired V-brakes with full fenders? I guess you could cut a notch, but now that I put V-brakes on my cross bike, I’d kind of like them on my commuter too, instead of cantilevers, but I have full fenders.

    Every fender job requires lots of tweaking. No reason V-Brakes and fenders won’t work, you just might have to get creative. For instance, I had to cut mine down and fasten it with a zip tie.

    (Forgive the long cable; it was still in test mode when I took that shot.)

    You ain’t kiddin’! Goddamn, installing full fenders, what an intricate job requiring patience, tons of tweaking, and lots of patience. This isn’t quite right, that isn’t quite right, where is my third hand…where is my fourth hand?

    Thanks for the feedback. I will build courage this weekend on a fall beach vacation, then return next week with an adequate level of vim to tackle the job.

  9. Totally naïve question: are ‘stache bars comfortable? For a commuter/errands rig, I mean.

    They honestly don’t look it, to me, but I’ve never touched any so my assumptions are worth shit.

  10. @TommyTubolare

    Frank is off the path and joined Off The Path Keepers Club run by Brett and Gianni.

    Fair enough.

    I don’t commute to work. I ride to work. Always on a race bike. I usually do 35-40 km one way through East Flanders. But since I’m going to work does that make the pictured bike a commuter so I can flip the stem up now? You are comfortable on your race bike for 5-6 hours rides and yet you need to install the stem upwards on your commuter to get an extra comfort? For what – 15 mins ride down to groceries or post office? I get the fenders and bell idea but the stem up and the bars are just wrong. Classic bars and ‘normal’ stem and the bike is perfect.

    A voice of reason in an unreasonable world. Thank you. 

  11. @VeloVita class

  12. @VeloVita

    @DCR

    @VeloVita

    I run mustache bars on my 1984 Club Fuji, which serves as my around town bike, but that’s because the top tube is too short for me and the extra reach the bars gives makes the bike actually rideable. The bike still has most of the original components on it including the non-aero brake levers which look pretty good the bars since the cable routing makes smooth arcs in front of the headtube. I’m not sure how I feel about them on a bike without a quill stem though.

    I would like to see pictures of this. Sounds interesting and gives me an idea for an old japanese steel bike I have in the garage.

    UntitledUntitled

    I just snapped these quickly in the garage while my daughter was crying in her car seat. I took the time to line up the crank but didn’t bother to place the valve stems properly – feel free to criticize. Also I took the saddle off last night to polish it and didn’t install it quite level since it was hanging upsidedown. I’ll fix that before I ride it next ( which doesn’t seem like it will be soon since we were just hit with a snowstorm. It’s still October for fuck’s sake!

    Looks amazing compared to my grocery getter. I can’t fully say I am a fan of the mustache bars but your bike seems to pull them off better than most.

  13. @Frank, Pretty sure April isn’t for another six and a half months.

  14. 25mm – thats not a tyre,

    now THATS a tyre !

  15. Bugger, picture didnt upload. above post wasted without pic.

    Move along – nothing to see here

  16. Mustache bars, fenders and racks?

    I’m looking forward to my invitation to the Inaugural Velominati Tweed Ride Cogal.

  17. @Ken Ho

    Yes, I’m inclined to agree that I am increasingly confused about shit here. I admit that purists usually give me the shits, but I thought it was all a bit of a piss-take?

    You’ve got spirit, you’ll figure it out eventually. 

    If you taper down on all the assumptions and stop celebrating yourself, it will probably happen faster.

    @EricW

    @Frank, Pretty sure April isn’t for another six and a half months.

    CLASSIC.

  18. @scaler911

    Ok. Unless I’m missing something, why do you have a bar end shifter on the left? It looks like you’re riding a single chainring. Other than that, it came out great!

    Its still my CX setup from last year. 42/39.

    @VeloVita

    @DCR

    @VeloVita

    I run mustache bars on my 1984 Club Fuji, which serves as my around town bike, but that’s because the top tube is too short for me and the extra reach the bars gives makes the bike actually rideable. The bike still has most of the original components on it including the non-aero brake levers which look pretty good the bars since the cable routing makes smooth arcs in front of the headtube. I’m not sure how I feel about them on a bike without a quill stem though.

    I would like to see pictures of this. Sounds interesting and gives me an idea for an old japanese steel bike I have in the garage.

    UntitledUntitled

    I just snapped these quickly in the garage while my daughter was crying in her car seat. I took the time to line up the crank but didn’t bother to place the valve stems properly – feel free to criticize. Also I took the saddle off last night to polish it and didn’t install it quite level since it was hanging upsidedown. I’ll fix that before I ride it next ( which doesn’t seem like it will be soon since we were just hit with a snowstorm. It’s still October for fuck’s sake!

    That thing is totally rad.

  19. @PeakInTwoYears

    Totally naïve question: are ‘stache bars comfortable? For a commuter/errands rig, I mean.

    They honestly don’t look it, to me, but I’ve never touched any so my assumptions are worth shit.

    Yeah, you can get forward like the Pineapple if you want some leverage, but sitting on the ends feels a lot like a classic Dutch bike, if you’ve ridden one. Except the saddle doesn’t feel like a toilet seat.

  20. @frank

    Thanks!  I happened to be out for a walk with my girlfriend (now wife) and some guy was putting this bike along with a 1984 Schwinn something or other out on his tree lawn.  I asked what he wanted for them and he said I could have them if I just got them off his lawn. Both had flat tires and were in far less than pristine condition.  The Schwinn was something like a size 62-64 so I pushed that one and my girlfriend pushed this bike the 3k back to our apartment.  That’s when I knew she was a keeper!  I stripped it down completely, had the frame and fork powdercoated black since the paint wasn’t great and there was a little surface rust I wanted to take care of, got a new seatpost, saddle, bars, wheels/tires, cassette and chain and then added the toe clip straps and bottle cage.  The components were the same on both bikes so I just picked the best from each frame when putting this back together. I donated the other frame to the local bike co-op, where I learned to put this one together since it wasn’t in as good of shape and at the time I thought it was too large for me, but now I’m wishing I should have kept it since I wouldn’t have needed such a large saddle-bar drop and reach.

  21. @frank

    Your first bike was a 10 speed. My first10 speed was a long way from my first bike, and I thought it was the pinnacle.

    My first bike was a single speed Dragster. I was about 4 or five, I think.   It was too big for me and I could not touch the ground?  , I had to get an adult or older sibling to push start me. Once I was going, I could not stop.   Imenna really, I could not stop.   A little later, I learnt to prop it against teh clothes line, and get going that way. To stop, I learned to cruise in and dock at something else to prop myself up on. I don’t recall crashing it though. I was always  good on it.

    Later I got a flash new red Dragster, which I lived on. I leant to counter-steer on that one! Hammering down the side if an asphalt tennis court in our blistering summer sun, and pitching it into a turn at tHe last second, with teh pedals scraping the ground, even when in the correct position.   I crashed it a few times though, always testing the limits.  I never broke it though. Bikes were built to last back then.  I could not count the hours I spent riding in my childhood.

    When I got the 10 speed racer,  my horizons expanded even further. I don’t think my parents ever drove me anywhere again.   They split when I was 15, and I had left school and was working by then. I rode everywhere. I was living alone by 16 and that bike was my only transport.  I rode it 15km each way to work each day, did my shopping, and if I went anywhere, i rode.  I even used it to move my SCUBA gear around.  Imagine a full scuba rig piled on the rear carrier , and me, with spirit, riding 10 miles to and from a dive site.

    It never broke either, but I think I wore out a few bits and some tyres.

    Im glad, at 50, that you think there is hope for me to understand cycling.

    The only assumption that I make, is that Internet acquaintanceship’s are probably misleading.   I am under the disadvantage of living on a different continent, and have met none of you in person.

    I’m also an Anglo-Saxon, and more Saxon than Angle, and the Germans and Dutch have never gotten along.

    Im an inclusive, non-judgemental person, and am not a fiddler. I tend more to the “ride it like you stole it” style of thinking.   Still, I like your writing, and your passion, so I’ll keep reading.

    Auf Weidersein.

  22. @frank

    @PeakInTwoYears

    Totally naïve question: are ‘stache bars comfortable? For a commuter/errands rig, I mean.

    They honestly don’t look it, to me, but I’ve never touched any so my assumptions are worth shit.

    Yeah, you can get forward like the Pineapple if you want some leverage, but sitting on the ends feels a lot like a classic Dutch bike, if you’ve ridden one. Except the saddle doesn’t feel like a toilet seat.

  23. @EricW

    @Frank, Pretty sure April isn’t for another six and a half months.

     

    JeeeZHUS!  This is GREAT!  I foresee this keeping up with the Assos woman posts in the future!

  24. @Ken Ho

    You’re misunderstanding what I’m trying to say; I’m not inferring or implying anything about what you know or understand about cycling – I’m saying that you seem unclear on the purpose of the site and The Rules. They’re about fostering passion and having fun and getting people out on their bike, so when you say something like “less rules, more riding”, you’re missing the point. Its about having fun and getting out doing the sport we love and if our approach works for you, then great. If not, then that’s also great so long as you still love the sport in your own way.

    You seem to have spirit and a good sense of humor, and those are the most important parts. It just seems you’re rushing to put people in boxes rather than taking your time to figure out what they’re about. Take your time, and enjoy the place. The Path will reveal itself to you.

    It doesn’t matter, I’m not here to manage your experience. Just an observation and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

  25. @DCR

    Damn that’s gross.

    @Frank: thanks. Your and @velovita’s ‘stache bikes are intriguing.

  26. @frank

    @Ken Ho

    It doesn’t matter, I’m not here to manage your experience. Just an observation and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

    I tried to manage your experience one time, and the neighbors (4 houses down and across the street) wondered what the fuck I was doing in my back yard at 2am with a dozen people. Which is funny, because there was only 3 of us.

  27. @scaler911

    I’m laughing and thinking you should have been at the hot tub on the Saturday night of the V-to-V cogal. We got chased out of there on multiple noise complaints. Which was probably a good thing, as we had another gazillion meters to climb Sunday.

  28. @Gianni

    @TommyTubolare

    Frank is off the path and joined Off The Path Keepers Club run by Brett and Gianni.

    Fair enough.

    I don’t commute to work. I ride to work. Always on a race bike. I usually do 35-40 km one way through East Flanders. But since I’m going to work does that make the pictured bike a commuter so I can flip the stem up now? You are comfortable on your race bike for 5-6 hours rides and yet you need to install the stem upwards on your commuter to get an extra comfort? For what – 15 mins ride down to groceries or post office? I get the fenders and bell idea but the stem up and the bars are just wrong. Classic bars and ‘normal’ stem and the bike is perfect.

    A voice of reason in an unreasonable world. Thank you.

    Thanks Gianni.

    And don’t take it too serious, as far as the rules go I give you a pass on everything just because of your awesome sense of humour. I’m not sure Frank does though.

  29. @frank

    Thanks mate.

    I am more for classic bars because of the looks, that’s all. I know it’s a commuter so you are not going to do your personal best on it however on classic bars you still get two comfortable positions-on tops and on the hoods. Plus if somebody overtakes you and you decide to chase on, you can always stretch the shirt on your back a little bit by falling into the drops.You don’t have to sit in them all the way back and forth from the groceries. On the other hand the bars you have at the moment have you pretty much locked in a place and on one level.

  30. @frank

    @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    I might read the article without posting but I never post anything without reading.

    I don’t use a Dutch bike. When I had one it served me well. It did exactly what it was design to do.

    How much shopping can you carry home from groceries on your commuter without taking a rucksack?

    I don’t commute to work. I ride to work. Always on a race bike. I usually do 35-40 km one way through East Flanders. But since I’m going to work does that make the pictured bike a commuter so I can flip the stem up now? You are comfortable on your race bike for 5-6 hours rides and yet you need to install the stem upwards on your commuter to get an extra comfort? For what – 15 mins ride down to groceries or post office? I get the fenders and bell idea but the stem up and the bars are just wrong. Classic bars and ‘normal’ stem and the bike is perfect.

    I’d have been disappointed with anything less of a response. As I mentioned to Chris, the stem is too much; flipping it over tonight. And yes, I’m 100% comfortable on my road bike, but on the commuter, I’m usually wearing a wool jacket, slacks, and other clothing that restricts motion. I just want to jump on and ride it, you know?

    The bars are super comfortable and fun – why use drop bars for this purpose? There’s no need to get low, and this is just a fun alternative to dutch bars.

    That bike of yours is a stunner. Its good to see someone else with the balls to show some decent post. I’m surprised to see you go to 11spd; I thought you were a major proponent of the old 10spd?

    I still am. I use Record 10 on my red/black soloist carbon. I have 11 speed on S3 since 2010 and it’s the first Super Record edition. I really like the look and finish on the derailleurs and brakes- all black with white letters. I replaced the crank with Rotor 3D + with noQ rings 53/39. Cassette,chain and shifters are Chorus 11.

    The major difference for me are the shifters- 10 speed shifters are less comfortable but as far as changing a gear or inner cable goes they are much better IMO. The click on them is also stiffer and I prefer it- some hate it and I can’t understand why.

    I’m not sure if you care but you can use 10 speed Ergos paired with 11 speed derailleurs and the shifting is absolutely flawless. All you have to do is to use 10 speed cassette. You can keep 11 speed chain and it’s the quietest chain you can use on a 10 speed cassette. The inner links measurement of both 10 and 11 speed chain is almost identical however 11 speed chain being slightly narrower, if you measure outer plates, so it runs really smooth  between the sprockets.The wear is almost identical too.

    If I decide to run the same shifters on both bikes to have identical bar/shifters set up I will simply install a spare record 10 shifters and a 10 speed cassette but so far I have been very comfortable switching between both bikes.

  31. @TommyTubolare

    Fantastic stuff.  Yet another reason to love Campagnolo.  In anticipating the migration from 10 to 11, they engineered compatibility rather than planned obsolescence.  Love that mindset.  My n1 is 11, while n2 is 10.  As you, I’ve found switching between them to be no problem.  Even the freehub is interchangeable, which makes swapping wheels as easy as changing the cassette.

  32. @TommyTubolare

    @Gianni

    @TommyTubolare

    Frank is off the path and joined Off The Path Keepers Club run by Brett and Gianni.

    Fair enough.

    I don’t commute to work. I ride to work. Always on a race bike. I usually do 35-40 km one way through East Flanders. But since I’m going to work does that make the pictured bike a commuter so I can flip the stem up now? You are comfortable on your race bike for 5-6 hours rides and yet you need to install the stem upwards on your commuter to get an extra comfort? For what – 15 mins ride down to groceries or post office? I get the fenders and bell idea but the stem up and the bars are just wrong. Classic bars and ‘normal’ stem and the bike is perfect.

    A voice of reason in an unreasonable world. Thank you.

    Thanks Gianni.

    And don’t take it too serious…

    For fuck’s sake don’t take it too seriously because if Frank, Gianni, and Brett are off the path that leaves Jim and I as the only shepherds. If that were to be the case, Velominati, hell, cycling itself, would cease to exist.

  33. @VeloVita

    @Ron

    Has anyone successfully paired V-brakes with full fenders? I guess you could cut a notch, but now that I put V-brakes on my cross bike, I’d kind of like them on my commuter too, instead of cantilevers, but I have full fenders.

    V-brakes or mini-v? I’ve seen photos of bikes with fenders and V-brakes so I assume it works (although I have no experience with it), but V-brakes won’t work with road levers unless you run a travel agent. Mini-vs on the other hand have shorter arms to match the cable pull of road levers (thereby doing away with the need for a travel agent) but as a result that means that there isn’t as much clearance (and not enough for fenders)

    V-brake with fender? check. V-brake with road lever(withOUT travel agent? check.(Tektro RL-520 levers)

    Oh, and a basket for six packs.

  34. Straight Mustache and some big arse feet

  35. @scotjonscot

    ok then, I stand corrected! Cool bike.

  36. @VeloVita

    What saddle is that?

    @TommyTubolare

    Frank is off the path and joined Off The Path Keepers Club run by Brett and Gianni.

    Ooh! I loves me a good schism. This should be fun!

  37. @Marko Off the path? That’s putting it mildly. Anyway, I thought we were supposed to be on the road, not the path (didn’t there used to be a rule about that?)

    Give me a shout when people start posting stuff about bike racing and cobbles again. I’m off to the garage to sniff Mastik One.

  38. @scotjonscot

    @VeloVita

    @Ron

    Has anyone successfully paired V-brakes with full fenders? I guess you could cut a notch, but now that I put V-brakes on my cross bike, I’d kind of like them on my commuter too, instead of cantilevers, but I have full fenders.

    V-brakes or mini-v? I’ve seen photos of bikes with fenders and V-brakes so I assume it works (although I have no experience with it), but V-brakes won’t work with road levers unless you run a travel agent. Mini-vs on the other hand have shorter arms to match the cable pull of road levers (thereby doing away with the need for a travel agent) but as a result that means that there isn’t as much clearance (and not enough for fenders)

    V-brake with fender? check. V-brake with road lever(withOUT travel agent? check.(Tektro RL-520 levers)

    Oh, and a basket for six packs.

    I’m thinking about doing the Rift Valley Odyssey in a next couple years; I’d probably build up a standard hardtail 29er and mount some drop bars on it, Tomac-style.

    http://www.riftvalleyodyssey.com/

  39. Just found this. I don’t have the little reverse nubbies, but that’s kind of a cool idea.

  40. @Steampunk

    @VeloVita

    What saddle is that?

    It’s the VS-6 model Velo Orange released several years ago – basically a Brooks Swallow copy. It’s got a bonded fabric layer on the underside that’s supposed to prevent sagging but either it clearly doesn’t work or I’m too heavy to ride it. VO no longer offers this model and I’m not surprised – the dye didn’t seem to be very deep into the leather and has worn off in quite a few places (not in a nice ‘patina’ way either).

  41. @frank I love the idea of a dropped bar MTB, but I wouldnt do it on my primary MTB. for one thing road bars are way more narrow than modern MTB bars. BTW, this reminds me to find a Tomac poster to put up on my wall.

  42. @RedRanger

    @frank I love the idea of a dropped bar MTB, but I wouldnt do it on my primary MTB. for one thing road bars are way more narrow than modern MTB bars. BTW, this reminds me to find a Tomac poster to put up on my wall.

    The Odyssey has century stages over not super technical terrain. I imagine you pretty much want a road bike that can chew up some seriously rough roads.

  43. @frank so a gravel bike?

  44. @frank

    @RedRanger

    @frank I love the idea of a dropped bar MTB, but I wouldnt do it on my primary MTB. for one thing road bars are way more narrow than modern MTB bars. BTW, this reminds me to find a Tomac poster to put up on my wall.

    The Odyssey has century stages over not super technical terrain. I imagine you pretty much want a road bike that can chew up some seriously rough roads.

    The Salsa Woodchipper is pretty darn wide, way wider than a normal road bar. Still, not as wide as a normal mtb bar. I use the On One Midge, which isn’t quite as wide.

  45. @RedRanger

    @frank so a gravel bike?

    No, a mountain bike with drop bars. Are you paying attention?

  46. Crap, I take a couple of days off of work (and the computer and I missed this.  Given the nomenclature of the frame

    I think its present role is perfect.

  47. Let me be very clear.

    Do whatever you want with the bike, bars, wheels, saddle, brakes, pedals, drivetrain, tires, fenders, racks, pink baskets with flowers on the front to carry your frou-frou dog.

    But for Merckxs sake,  

    Lose.  The.  Fucking.  Bell.

    That is all.

  48. @Barracuda

    I saw a guy at the Door Co (WI) century riding one of these. I thought to myself “there’s no fucking way he’s doing 160k on that thing!” Mind you, that judgement may have been based on the hipster riding it. (not to say you are anything like a hipster!)

  49. @frank I found them to be super comfortable! due to the more forward position, you may want a higher, shorter stem (Nitto-name escapes me at this second but Rivendell sells them). I tend to cruise on hoods (forward-old non-aero levers actually better braking response BTW) and muscle up climbs on outer ends.

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