6am thunderstorm pretty much decided the rare morning ride is not gonna happen. Just sitting around bumming after Crank came and collected the tires I finally got off my rump to head out for a spin.
Thought it would be good to try and settle in on yet another new bar, a Nitto Jitensha. Quite sure the VO Porteur will come in handy somewhere in the future... but its binned for the time being in my pirate chest of bike spares.
Things just didn't feel right with the Jitensha after it was installed. Felt a little stretched sitting on the bike, wasn't unbearable or overly uncomfortable but... In fact it felt like most of my other bikes... mountain bikes and fat bikes where the body is angled down in a slight attack-position, weight distribution is definitely off set a little towards the front but I don't really sit all that much on those bikes for the kind of riding done. Problem is I wanted this to be comfortable and upright, fully seated on the saddle with minimal pressure points on the wrists kind of build.
Should have gone with gut feeling to replace the VO Porteur with a Nitto Albatross or North Road but the sleek "Singlespeed-look" of the Jit was a little too tempting to pass. The Porteur was almost perfect for an upright posture, just a tad too narrow and I wished for another couple centimeters more of rise in there. As it is, the 48cm c-c Porteur bar makes for a little twitchy handling during those out of the saddle moments. Yea, yea, yea, its a SS townie for casual rides but well... some habits die hard ;)
Was reading a nice article on the Albatross vs North Road on EcoVelo. From the description, the Albatross would seem perfect. Another 5-6 cm wider and similar sweep, ie almost parallel but with a more rise. It says 6cm which would be 4.5cm over the VO Porteur's 15mm.
So much for a late afternoon of quiet Zen-ish solitude!
Sometimes I'm just too obsessed with getting the perfect fit for every build. On the way back after punching up a little incline, I realized most of the discomfort seem to be from the the wrist arcing out and downwards in a weird angle. In a bid to get a little "rise" from the flat Jitensha, it's been tilted up causing pronation of the wrists.
The Jitensha 41 deg backsweep is a lot less than the VO Porteur almost parallel backsweep. With the initial setup it made the shoulder felt "cambered" upwards as well.
"Oh what the hell, you never try, you never know eh..."
It was counter-intuitive but then I remembered something common about all the funny SS bars in my collection, from the Nitto 666-Torsion, the H-Bar to the Fleegle and recent Odin and Clarence--- all with much more backsweep from 11-45 degrees than normal handlebars, slight rotation make huge differences in the wrist position.
Got down and gave it maybe a 5-7mm turn down. Whaddaya know! Ok I didn't get anymore upright for sure but everything pans out nicely.. shoulders no more having that awkward feel. Wrists are a little more dropped in and natural... and I found myself whistling all the way back for the last 3 klicks...
The Albatross? I'll probably still get it but no hurry now.
Oh and I discovered Tumbler.. last nite. Yes I still hate Instagram.