I seem to never be content with a single bike setup, always need to experiment with something. Biking for me is a never ending experiment, a never ending adventure, a way of exploring the world around me. So changing my bikes up is natural for me. Last week I decided to try a Salsa Woodchipper handlebar on my Lynskey Cooper cross bike. I had the parts laying around collecting dust plus I'm all about gaining more comfort on my bikes. I thought that the Woodchipper would provide a few more hand positions to enhance ride comfort.
However, I was not sure the Woodchipper would work well on this bike, but I had to find out since the idea came to me on a ride and it was already stuck in an endless loop in my non-stop brain. So after installing the bar I had to take it out for a spin (of course) to measure the perceived fit and comfort that I was dreaming of versus the reality in true use. Of course along the way I alway stop and enjoy some of the beauty I am riding past.
Dissappointed I am not. I'm not sure this bar looks so stylish (depending on your personal opinion of such things), but let me tell you that the bar is comfy both in and out of the drops. My hands are truly in heavenly comfort with this bar setup. I am amazed at how natural it feels no matter where I put my hands. I opted for barend shifters (a 1st for me) and I'm quickly getting use to them...I should have tried them years ago, but I was resistent because I wanted to be stylish and look like everyone else. I obviously have gotten over that and could care less about being one of "them" anymore.
I also layered extra bar tape in strategic areas to provide additional cushing. Doing this has become a habit of mine for any road-type bars. I'm still in the "experimental" stage here so nothing is completely permanent. When I'm satisfied then I will probably run a full cable housing setup with some higher quality housing. So far though this is a nice setup.
Of course any bike experimentation involves test riding over countless miles with huge elevation gains and every possible road condition...it seems that my new Idaho back yard is the perfect testing ground. Get out and ride your bike, do some exploring!