Adventure into new handlebars: begin!

So after reading Zinn, I bought a torque wrench and swapped out the mountain-bullhorn handlebars and suspension stem on the Xtracycle and put on a rigid quill stem and some comfort touring bars. I set the stem at max height and tilted the bars up pretty high. These have a 59-degree bend, which almost looks like what you’d find on a three-speed. I put ergo grips and bar-ends with grips on there, and it’s the weirdest set of handlebar angles I’ve seen yet.

But fun! I really feel a better upright position now. I bent the brake levers up higher than I usually have them, but that’s clearly due to the change in my position. I’ll try them out with the boys and see if they are wide and high enough for to suit a triple tandem.

Tonight made up for my somewhat disappointing engagement with the Bike Swap last weekend. I put in a lot of work cleaning and tweaking the mountain bikes–which didn’t sell. This was a refreshing opportunity to focus on a bike I actually do use now. I’ll be posting those mountain bikes on Craigslist soon. Not appropriate to take pictures of them at midnight.

I also found a CD at the library of one of my favorites–Stevie Ray Vaughn. Every day the last two weeks I’ve bike past the llama farm on Northwest — and there’s that SRV banner hanging on the fence. I haven’t listened to SRV since my CD collection was stolen in 2000. I was a very happy mechanic tonight.

Another reason to be happy–and I have to credit Anthony with this one–I’m must now be a Nurd Bike Mechanic because I worked all night in unlaced tennis shoes and blue M-Safe solvent-proof gloves. I got really tired of having mechanic’s hands last weekend. Took me a week of washing my hands to get all that black grease worked out of my fingerprints. Tonight I didn’t even need to use the citrus hand cleaner.

I’m looking forward to biking around for a week with these handlebars. I can tell they’re already better. Next weekend I look forward to trying out my 3″ risers. This is like an ergonomic adventure for me. Standing workstation…ergo keyboards…trippy handlebars…uh–am I a dweeb, a geek or a nerd? (Or just AWESOME.)

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