The bicycle industry has many layers within the realm of the maker. There are framebuilders, wheel, and component manufacturers, and yes, bar makers. When I moved to New Mexico, I was eager to get to know some of the local metal alchemists. Then the pandemic really hit, so I began to scroll around Instagram, looking for signs of steel and brass. That’s when I found Doom Bars, a small, solo operation based in Albuquerque.
When I saw the bars they were listing for sale on their account, I sprung on a pair of nickel-plated bars, which I just installed on my Retrotec. Let’s take a closer look…
These bars are dubbed the Legal Drinker, due to their 21º of back sweep. They have 15mm of rise and are 820mm wide. When I installed my Ergon grips, the widest point from end to end measured 840mm. YES!
What makes the Legal Drinker so nice is the 120mm wide stem clamp area. This makes for a great spot to mount lights, bells, drink holsters, baskets, or handlebar bags. You can only cut these bars down to 790mm wide to maintain the 185mm wide grip area but why on Earth would you cut them down?!
Why nickel-plating you might ask? Chrome plating is horrible for the environment. Nickel-plating is way less toxic and more durable. Chrome has the tendency to pit over time as well and to dull, whereas nickel looks better with use over time, ATMO.
Since these bars reduce the bike’s overall reach by 15mm, I had to put the original stem back on the Retrotec. I had been running a 30mm long stem but I love how it changed the look of this bike.
Doom Bars are made for BMX stems but are all sold with these shims that allow you to run them in a 31.8mm clamp stem. The biggest thing to remember is to space the shim equally on the top and bottom, much like the faceplate stem, and to torque the bolts to spec.
So far, I’ve had no issues with them slipping or moving and really love the overall width on my Retrotec singlespeed. The extra width makes it easier to torque it up climbs and allows for more control when jumping and cornering. Wide bars aren’t for everyone but for those that benefit from the added width, these are a great, no-nonsense, option.
These bars were $150 plus shipping. Doom Bars make wide-ass metal bars one-at-a-time and has a number of models, including some with fillet brazed crossbars. Right now, the best way to holler at them is to message Doom Bars on Instagram. Now go listen to some doom metal! Here’s my recommendation.