New Outside Column! (And More Bar-Hopping.)

To Whom It May Concern,

Firstly, I’ve got a new column in the Outside, and it’s about how to manage all your bike crap:

As someone who regularly buys bike parts only to later discover I already had the part I needed sitting under a pile somewhere, there is probably nobody less qualified than me to give you advice in this area. In fact, this morning I spent about a half hour rummaging through all my own bike crap looking for a single bolt–and failed, through I did find about a million other bolts, all of which turned out to be useless for the task at hand. Still, if you need someone to give you permission to throw away your old inner tubes instead of patching them, I’m your guy:

Speaking of spare bike parts, my latest fit of cockpit tinkering left me with a disembodied Tosco bar:

So over the Thanksgiving holiday, emboldened by turkey and spirits, I threw convention to the wind and put it on the Jones:

Until someone presents me with evidence to the contrary I’m going to go ahead and declare I’m the only person in the world riding a Jones bike without some kind of Jones bar:

I love the Jones Loop Bar, and have been using various versions since 2017 when Jeff Jones himself sent me one. (Jones is of course a major operative in the cycling industry’s small but disproportionately powerful anti-suspension cabal, and he reached out to me after reading this.) However, I also love the generous sweep of the Tosco, and since it would be an easy swap (and since I’d already partially Riv-ified it with a friction shifter), I figured I might as well give it a try:

My first impression upon hitting the trail was that the Tosco bar is quite well-suited to the bike’s rambling nature. As you can see, it has much more sweep than the Jones bar, and even with the longer stem it comes back quite a bit further:

As such, it is supremely comfortable, while also offering lots of leverage to hoist the ample rear end of the bike over obstacles. Jeff Jones designs his bikes to be ridden in an upright position, and in this respect the Tosco complements it nicely. However, the fact the Tosco comes so far back is a bit of a liability once the trail gets steeper and the turns get tighter…

…though to some extent this might jut be a matter of getting used to it and adapting my “technique,” to the extent I have a technique. (An even longer stem might also help, of course, though at that point it probably makes more sense to go back to the bar for which the bike was designed.)

Regardless, so far I’m enjoying the Tosco on this bike enough that I have no immediate plans to uninstall it–though I may very well return to the Jones bar eventually, so I’m not doing anything drastic like cutting the steerer tube:

Instead, I’ve installed a single crabon spacer to offset the excess weight.

When you’re riding a bike with a gallon of sealant in each tire, every gram counts.

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