The first-place prize for Sim Works’ Social Reform Benefit Raffle is this Doppo ATB tourer, built by Shin in Japan, and decked out with a selection of Sim Works, Chris King, and Paul parts. Let’s check it out in detail in order to ramp up support of this great cause…
Just as mountain bikes experienced a widening of their bars from the 1990’s 580mm widths to the 2020’s 820mm widths, gravel bikes are too in the midst of a widening trend. Think about it, why should you have to ride the same width bars on your rim brake road bike and your gravel bike. Both bikes operate under different conditions. While many are hesitant and there is a lot to consider with this conversation, a lot of people have caught onto this ergonomic trend. Ride Farr recently worked with Nitto to make a new drop bar, the SUPA-WIDE GRVL in three sizes. These bars will be in their stock in May, so stay tuned.
-Available in 3 Sizes – 650 / 700 / 750mm
-31.8mm Bar Diameter
-20 Degree Flare
-Medium ( 650 ) – 385g
-Large ( 700 ) – 400g
-X-Large ( 750 ) – 415g
Crust Bikes gives the people what they want and that ranges from frames, to complete bikes, accessories, parts, and yeah, handlebars. Their small-time operation allows them to pivot easily to follow trends and in a lot of ways, set the trends themselves. With road bikes permuting into even more capable off-road machines, a lot of the ideologies of mountain bike design and technology have found its way onto drop-bar bicycles. Sure, the obvious moves are those shorter-travel suspension forks but something that not many people have touched on is bar width.
That’s where Crust Bikes and Ultra Romance have really influenced and inspired the question: what is the appropriate width for a drop-bar bicycle? We already looked at my Sklar with the Towel Rack Bars but after much demand – and my own curiosity – I decided to try out the Made in Japan by Nitto Shaka Bar.
For those not wanting to go into the full commitment into the even large at size small 615mm Towel Rack bars, Crust Bikes worked with Nitto to manufacture a 560mm wide Shaka Bar. There are a few more differentiators, too. Including bar clamp. Shaka Bars are 31.8mm, Towel Rack bars are 26.0 and can be shimmed. The shape of the Shaka Bar is more traditional as well. Got any questions? Head to Crust to see more information and to sign up for an alert when these are in stock!
When Jonny first rolled through the doors at Golden Saddle on this bike, I honed in on it. There was something familiar about the bike, yet I had never heard of the brand painted on the downtube. For some reason, it reminded me of an Eisentraut, or a Sachs. After talking to Jonny, he told me he works for Joe Bell, a literal living legend in the framebuilding world. Joe Bell, or JB as Jonny calls him, paints and has painted the frames of some of the most outstanding builders over the years.
Bicycles. They’re a work in progress, especially ones that are derivative of a particular activity which in itself is evolving. Take bikepacking and touring for example. It seems just about every month, a company makes a new product which therein makes the act of touring eaiser or at least more enjoyable. When I first began talks with Kris Henry of 44 Bikes for this rigid mountain tourer, which I’ve come to call my “Ute” – an Aussie term, short for a utility vehicle – I had a vision for what touring meant and means to me. Leaving pavement and accessing trail, both in double and single track variety, means a fully loaded bike needs to be stable, comfortable and still maneuverable. Since this bikes inception, I’ve been sold on the Jones Bar, mostly due to the amazing leverage, riding position and varying riding positions. The thing, however, that didn’t work so well for me was the very thing that makes the Jones so unique: the hoop design and lack of rise. Also, the Jones bar has proven to be problematic with bikepacking and touring bags, which was slightly evident on my Death Valley tour. That Fabio’s Chest wanted to sag a bit too much with that setup.
Check out more below.
Made from Chromoly by Nitto and available in two finishes: black or chrome, the SimWorks Potluck rack has everything you need in a touring or commuting rack. The large platform was designed with summer BBQs or potluck dinners in mind, specifically sized to hold a platter, a six pack of beer or to have a large Wald basket zip-tied to. Or you can use the rack for touring, with enough platform space to secure a randonneur bag and low-rider mounts for panniers.
This is hands down my favorite item I brought back from Japan and I can’t wait to install it on my touring bike. You can order one now through SimWorks USA but do so fast, these aren’t going to be in stock for long!
Finding a strong, lightweight, chromoly rack ain’t easy. Especially one that has the light mount on the correct (for US riders) side. That’s why Compass went straight to the source: Japan’s Nitto to fabricate their new rack. It’s got a 22lb carrying capacity, comes in at 167g and yes, has the light mount on the road side, not the shoulder side.
After vigorous testing, a full run at PBP and seeking out Japan’s Nitto for production, the Compass Randonneur handlebars are now available. These Extralight bars are light. More light than any of Nitto’s current offerings, yet strong enough to take on fire roads, cobbles or whatever you can throw at them. They are available in widths of 400, 420, 440 mm and are in stock now at Compass.
Nitto’s newest offerings are now in stock at Blue Lug in Japan. The MCR65 Stem and RM-3 Dirt Drop are for 1 1/8″ bikes looking to be run with a high position dirt drop but in a classic design. These new shapes are available in black or silver and as evident in the photo above, add a different feel to a bike like the Surly Crosscheck.
Japanese artist Kosuke Masuda first made an appearance on this site years ago with his delicately engraved Nitto bars and stems. He’s back at it with a few new projects, including a Cinelli XA and various other components. Head over to Kosuke’s Portfolio site to see more.
Nitto has been making handlebars for a very long time. To give you some perspective, back in the ’80s, there were dozens of handlebar manufacturers, then Taiwanese factories shut down all but one: Nitto.
Over the past few years, the Japanese handlebar manufacturer has lent American framebuilders a hand. Sycip cycles, being one of the more recent ones.
Now in stock, at Sycip’s online shop are the heat-treated aluminum JJ Bars and the CroMo steel JB bars. Both come in black or silver and are in stock now at Sycip.
The Hunqapillar. A touring bike with massive clearances for mountain bike tires, tubing spec’d for off-road ripping (fully loaded) and a gorgeous green and cream paint job. Branded as a “Wooly Mammoth Bicycle”, this machine is meant to rip wakki 1-trakk and still make it to Poppi’s Pizza in time for a cold pint or a toke from the wizard’s pipe.
When I launched the Radavist, one intention was to give some of my best friends a platform to share their photography. Kyle Kelley is an exceptional photographer and his bike shop, Golden Saddle Cyclery, needs no introduction here. A lot of insane rides come through the shop and I miss out on photographing them. I had an idea… and passed it off to Kyle.
Golden Saddle Rides is a series, showcasing the many bikes that roll through the doors of the shop, beginning with this early 2000’s Nagasawa road. Coincidentally, this bike is FOR SALE and will be at the Super Swap Portland at the GSC booth…
Santa Cruz, I think I’m in love and while it may be an infatuation with the trails, the wood or just the people, every time I go there, my heart palpitates. On Wednesday, Vernor scooped me up and we headed south from SF, along the coastal roads. We met up with Garrett from Strawfoot and it was a pleasant surprise.
Strawfoot is one of those companies that I never would have known about if it weren’t for Vernor, so to finally see the operation and bags in person, solidified my expectations. More on that to come but for now, a little on Garrett’s new Hunter disc cross bike.
Bicycle camping in Santa Cruz is something I’ve yet to experience but with its endless amount of fire, frontage and park roads, any weekend can turn into some solitary time in the ‘wood. When Garrett approached Rick Hunter about a bike, Rick wanted to try something a little different.
Discs, a rather unique cable routing style and Sim Works by Nitto components are simply accents to Rick’s excellent craftsmanship and engineering prowess. Ok, I’m done sugar coating the work of Mr. Hunter. This bike rules. It’s going to look better with age, after chips and dings but right now, it’s so easy on the eyes…
Sim Works visits a factory that just about everyone has owned a component from. This is a must watch!
If my new touring bike was going to use a 25.4 clamp, these would be the bars I’d be buying. The Nitto B-105 have a great bend and now, Ben’s has the exclusive on the black ano. Blackened like my Germanic thrash metal and of course, my soul. Scoop here.