Rainy day projects….or the bar saga continues

I know I’ve been posting obsessively about my new albatross bars, but I really did want to show a different way to set up your bike. That’s the beauty of bicycles, with little money (compared to any motorized vehicle) you can totally change the way your bike feels and looks.

I’ve been riding on my flipped and shellacked bars for a few days and have found that I really like riding in the hooks. The downside is, when you’re in the hooks, you have poor access to brake levers. So to alleviate that problem, I added another set of brake levers! I know this looks like something out of the movie Quadrophenia, but it is super comfy and practical.

In this setup I’m using some Tektro cross levers, they are meant for road bars and they work by splicing and pulling the brake cable housing to actuate the brakes. Pretty ingenious. My set up is a bit of a hack. They don’t make cross levers in mountain bar diameters so I had to shim it.

So as a shim, I simply took an exacto knife to where I wanted to put the levers on and left a layer of the shellacked bar tape. This provided enough thickness so I could clamp down the cross levers securely. I then tied off the parts of the bar tape that I had cut with hemp twine to keep them from unravelling. In the photos I haven’t shellacked the twine yet. I think it provides a nice little color contrast.

In addition to these new handlebar upgrades I also mounted a Nashbar front mini rack (costs a princely $8 at the time of my purchase). It attaches at three points, the two brake bosses (for V or center pull brakes) and at the fender hole in the fork. It is certainly not as nice or adjustable as more expensive nitto or Velo-Orange racks, but hey for $8, how can you go wrong?

The rack is strong enough to support a six pack of your favorite bike juice. It also makes a great attachment point for a light. In the picture, I have an InoLED dynamo powered light mounted to the Nashbar rack. It would also make a great bag support for any number of handlebar bags from Rivendell or Velo-Orange.

Also, last week, I got a few requests for a detail shot of the shifter and cork combo. Here’s a closer look. First, I had to cut out a hole that would fit the bar-end shifter (exacto-knife). Second, I had to cut a little channel where the cabling would run through, which I did by slowly cutting away some cork with a blade then using some sandpaper wrapped around a pencil to deepen and finesse the cable channel.