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.


  1. Jimbo

    That is a great little rack I have three of them I also have the bag. I really like it as I can hold all the tools I need tubes etc. in one side. Spare gloves and hat in the other. Rain gear in the top. Always packed and ready to go. I also mount my light the same way. The bars I use a the on one midge very comfy for me. Like the look of your set up.


  2. Ghost Rider

    Looking good…those inline levers are really something — nice to have multiple braking positions. I got so used to riding with them on my dedicated commuter that I feel naked without them on other bikes!

  3. Marrock

    Hey, I have two of those front racks.

    I ordered the rack and the bag they made for it and, for some reason, they sent me two of the racks, even marked it on the invoice as costing $0.00.

    I’m still looking for a use for the bloody thing.

  4. Justin

    I’ll buy your extra rack off of you, Marrock!

  5. Marrock

    The shipping would probably cost more than it’s worth.

  6. Justin

    hmm… True.

    What I really want is something classier than my Wald Basket, but less than the 150 dollars that the cheapest nicely made front basket/rack seems to cost.

  7. Taylor

    Which Tektro levers are those? What is the bar diameter ? I think they make one’s for 31.8 bars (way too big) and 24mm as well, which I’m wondering if they would fit without a shim. Thanks.

  8. Pingback: Albatross bars

  9. Moses

    So, the pictures seem to be gone. Any chance of bringing them back to life, or anywhere else they can be seen?

  10. Ghost Rider

    These photos (and many others in 2007-08) were the victims of a hacker who disabled our site. We lost a lot of content.

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