Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Changes for Mlle Moto

I was in pain after my last ride on Mlle Moto. From a couple of things. First, the stem shifters. I've never felt comfortable taking my hands off the bars to shift. So since the shifters were right there in thumbs reach I shifted with my thumb while still keeping ahold of the top of the bar. The next day I could barely move that joint for the pain!

Then there was the drop bars.

Even with the bars raised considerably higher than the saddle, and a short (60mm) stem, I ended up with a bad cramp in the base of my neck, almost between my shoulder blades. I spent the next week fiddling with small adjustments here and there. Nothing seemed to help. So I decided to try something completely different. Mustache bars.

Now, these aren't REAL mustache bars. Just some old north road-ish type bars that were banging around in storage. Flipped them upside down, used the brake levers from my poor old Hedwig (who has sadly gone the way of organ donor) and added some NOS Sun Tour bar end shifters.

I think I might be on the right track! I love the bar ends. They're brilliant. The brake levers... meh. The bars them selves are great, but just a little too wide. So here's the plan: get a Nitto mustache bar, which measures narrower than what I've got here and find some brake levers that I can mount out toward the curve, like they should be on mustache bars.

So, that's that. For now. I'm going to ride her like this until I can make those last couple of changes. Then I can move on to thinking about a new wheelset. :)


  1. Yes. I like where you're headed with this bike. Make it comfortable and I think it'll turn out to be a sweet looker too.

  2. That may be something I hadn't considered,but needed to on my CX bike...ditcing the drops. If you didn't (or,"as you know" if you did),the reason I'm the "disabled cyclist" is having broken a my neck in 2 spots back in 2001,and having "smushed" lots of what's beneath and between the pelvic...point? The drops keep me from longer rides too.

    I almost made it out with my kids to ride some of your trails (we're in Bristol,if you forgot) last week,but can't ditch this dang cold/flu fast enough,LOL!

    The Disabled Cyclist

  3. The 'new' bars look great! I love barend shifters, I've used them on my Surly for years and find them really comfy.

  4. DC - It might be worth trying in your case. I've never had a back injury, but I have had issues in the past with a pinched nerve. Don't know if that's the culprit or not, but they do seem to help.

    Where around JC were you guys planning to ride?