Monday, June 10, 2013
Mountain Bike Monday - The Watts Bar
Yesterday we headed out for a mid-day spin at the Battlefield. I had been dying to get out and try my new custom handlebar, the Watts bar, from Watson Cycles!
It was a little warm, so gravel grinding in the woods was definitely a better option than the road! Carytown Bikes had kindly been letting me borrow a handlebar until I could find the perfect fit for me and my Salsa Warbird. Dynamo had been doing lots of research to try to find me just what I wanted and needed! I don't like the curly bars (I call them 'horns') so I was looking for a flat bar type handlebar with an alternate hand position.
So, we discovered the Watts Bar by Watson Cycles. Watson Cycles is a local shop in the northeast! I was looking for a bar with a little sweep, not too much, to alleviate some pressure on my wrists and provide a little more of a natural hand position. The bar has a 26 degree bend and is made of titanium. Here's an excerpt from his site:
"The Titanium helps to dampen the ride quality and smooth out the terrain minimizing vibration and therefore, fatigue. I also use heavier gauge titanium than other bars on the market, this is for two reasons. The first is purely strength and longevity of the bar, the second reason is because turning your hands inward to a neutral position also gives you significantly more torque when climbing out of the saddle, a thicker wall helps to minimize excess flex so you get better power transfer."
Once Dynamo made the initial connection he told me to call Andrew at Watson and have a conversation about my needs and issues. Boy, do I have a lot! Ha! Andrew was so awesome. He was patient and very dedicated to finding me the right bar and making it special to fit my needs. I was super concerned about having to tell someone my weight and describe my shoulder width, build, etc. Only my doctor and I discuss that stuff! But, I felt totally comfortable talking with him. He was like an old friend. He said he builds bikes and bars for all shapes and sizes of people! He never rushed me or made me feel uncomfortable. Once we discussed my body type and my style of riding he suggested three design options for bars. After thinking about it, I chose the Watts bar with an extra loop welded to the front of the bar to give me another hand position. So, he got to work making me a special bar just for me. And, I know I made the right decision.
During the process Andrew emailed to say that he was starting over on a new bar because his first weld wasn't to his liking. What perfection! I was so excited to come home from vacation and find the bar waiting for me!
I brought the bike and bar to Braden at Carytown Bikes and he swapped out his borrowed bar for my new bar. He thought my bar was pretty cool! We talked about my setup and he got me all fixed up!
When I climb I like to move my hands to the center and get down a little bit. It seems to help me focus all of my energy on the hill.
The bars are the perfect width and feel like just the right fit. They seem to I am going to have to get an offset seatpost to push me back just a tad bit into a better position. Finding the perfect fit and feel is all about minor changes and tweaks. I mean millimeters!
I must say that if you're in the market for a bar that fits you just right, give Andrew a call! You won't be disappointed.
At some point I'll have to get another bar for my mountain bike just like this one!
Hope your weekend was lovely!