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Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?(17 posts)

Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?damon
Nov 21, 2003 10:45 PM
Currently, on my Bianchi, i have a set of WTB dirt drops. They do indeed work well off-road, and are 1/2 perfect, imo. The only thing i don't really like about them is the flare of the drops (how the ends point away from you)... i'd preferr the normal straight back style the same width at the end of the hook (or slightly wider). What i really love about these bars is how the hoods are kicked over a couple degrees, giving an exceptionally comfortable hand position. I think of these as more of an off-road only kind of bar, and i want something a little more pave' friendly.

I know i am getting somewhat esoteric here, but do any of you smart kids out there know of a bar that is dirt-drop-ish everywhere until the drops? Nice and wide, flared at the hooks, but straight back at the drops? That would really be my ideal bar.

re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?terminaut
Nov 22, 2003 12:05 AM
I too was a little dissatisfied with extreme flare of the WTB Dirt Drops and went on a hunt for a replacement. After lots of scouring of the web I ended up with a bunch of bars and found a set that feels *perfect*. Unfortunately I have no idea who makes them but at least you know they exist.

Here's how my bike looked with the WTB Dirt Drops:

And here's how the new bars look:

...and finally a couple of shots of how the bars inspire me. :-)

re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?damon
Nov 22, 2003 12:13 AM
Well, sh*t! Fat lotta good THAT does me! :-) Freakin' dangle that carrot out there far enough so i juuuuuust can't reach it. No logos, no markings, nothing? Not sure everyone has your multi-Ti bike budget to experiment with all sorts of bars...

Those do look really nice, though, and it is good to hear something like that is actually made. Now can we get everyone to play "name that bar"?

Thanks term,
aka GMF on the SS forum of mtbr...
re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?terminaut
Nov 22, 2003 8:33 AM
Heheh. Sorry... There are no markings, other than that they look like they were made by the same people who made the WTBs. I posted on the singlespeed forum a while back to see if anyone could ID the bars but no luck.

They're in the middle in the below pic. You can see they are very similar to the WTBs (bottom).

re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?damon
Nov 22, 2003 9:50 AM
Nice... thank you for the comparison picture. Could you do me a favor and measure the width of the bar between drops? Also, your WTB bar seems to have different markings than mine does, although the shape seems the same. I think the WTB bar was made by Nitto, too (at least the later model ones).

When snooping around, the Nitto 135 Randonneur bar seems pretty close to what you have, but has an upsweep on the flats, and i think is too narrow (comes in a 42, but i *think* you can get it in a 45).

On my wtb bar, where the hoods are mounted is about 36cm wide, and where the hooks end is about 48cm wide. Total width is about 58cm.

Thanks term,
re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?terminaut
Nov 22, 2003 11:45 AM
Interesting... My WTBs are about 42cm (ctc) at the lever-mount area and are just a hair over 60cm outside-to-outside at the end of the bars. One thing that might be different about my WTBs is that there's a WTB logo on one side, but there's alos a Specialized logo engraved on the other so perhaps these are Specialized variants.

Here's a picture of my WTBs compared to my 46cm Salsa Bell Laps...

nice pics! (nm)laffeaux
Nov 22, 2003 9:48 AM
Term, are they Nitto Randonne's?unclefuzzy_ss
Nov 24, 2003 2:42 PM
Or however you spell it? I'm willing to bet that the kind folks at Rivendell would be able to tell you what they are. In fact, I'm betting that you could even find a set there to purchase! I'd definitely give them a ring or look.
how about salsa bell laps?philippec
Nov 22, 2003 7:49 AM
muted flare and straight back drops -- sounds like what you are looking for:


how about salsa bell laps?damon
Nov 22, 2003 9:52 AM
I'm not sure those have enough flare for what i am looking for, but i'll definitely check them out. Thanks for the suggestion.

I Second the Salsa Bell Laps!haystack
Nov 22, 2003 10:26 AM
I have 46cm Salsa Moto-Ace Bell Lap bars (6061-T6 Al)and these things are great. They're the cheaper of the two Salsa CX bars. The regular BLs are 7075 Aluminum. They aren't as flared as your WTB Dirt Bars, but they too give your brake lever/shifters that natural inward placement that you (and I) like. I read that CX bars should be 2cm wider than road bars, so consider that. Here's a link to Alfred E. Bike and the best price I could find Bell Laps online. Good Luck!
how about salsa bell laps?happycx
Nov 22, 2003 7:26 PM
Absolutely! I have the Salsas and love them! I went with the 46's, which are WIDE, so be careful how you size them. Reasonable price and provide great control, but still give you the "road feel" when you're goin pavement.
re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?hummu
Nov 22, 2003 11:19 AM
The bars that terminaut found may be either Nitto Dirt Drops or Specialized Dirt Drops made by Nitto. Nitto also made the WTB Dirt Drops. Check at for the Nitto Dirt Drops. Check ebay for the Specialized.

One tip for liking your WTBs a little better is to raise your stem so that the default position is in the drops. I put the WTB bars on my trailer/trail-a-bike towing bike and I don't like how narrow the bars are on the tops. I'm all squirlley when towing my girls, and I can't raise the stem any more. I'm going to switch out those bars for something like the Bell Lap which I have on my cross bikes.

While you are at Rivendell, you might want to check out the Noodle bar. It has a slight flare at the hooks, but it also is swept back on the top like the old Randonneur bars, 3T Morphes, and Ritchey Biomax. And I have heard there is a new wider Randonneur bar with a wide top. Search the Quality Catalogue at . Look under road bars 25.4 clamp.

Good luck.
re: Handlebars... between dirt drop and roadie?damon
Nov 22, 2003 12:13 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, but the nitto dirt drops on the rivendell site do entirely the opposite thing. I want the hooks flared out, but the drops straight back. I'll also look at raising the bars a bit, but it is really comfy everywhere except the drops right now, and only because of the wrist position. The Randonneur bar on the harris cyclery site is the closest i've seen to what i want, so far, but i don't have any "disposable" income to experiment right now :-(

can someone post a front pic of their salsa bell laps?damon
Nov 24, 2003 5:24 PM
I've been cruising around the net, and around town trying to get a good front-on view of the bell laps to look at the flare of the hooks, but all i get is the same damn 3/4 view QBP picture that doesn't really show anything...

Anybody have a front view of their salsa bell laps?

This may workSpecialTater
Nov 25, 2003 7:33 AM
an ebay closed auction for some bell laps.

They don't look as flared as you would like.
This may workdamon
Nov 25, 2003 11:47 AM
Thanks for the link... and no, they don't. :-( The search continues!