Deacon Patrick

Bullmoose Bars, Initial Impressions

Rivendell’s Bullmoose bars are an updated version of the classic bars from the 1980’s, ubiquitous to every mountain bike, back when mountain biking wasn’t about racing, but about getting out and having a blast in nature, experiencing nature rather than conquering (or deluding one’s self into believing they conquered) her.

Wow! are they beautiful! They ride as beautifully as they look. Grin.

What’s an AllWays Adventure? You may have heard the burgeoning term AllRoad bike. I want that, and then singletrack too. AllWays. Roadways and Pathways and Trailways. Think Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail (which is mostly backroads) but turn off any trail you like along the way. Grin. Wanna ride the Colorado Trail but also ride to the Colorado Trail? Yup. Me too.

This is a perfect time of year to test new bars on a short ride while still getting a good idea how they will do over a wide array of terrain and conditions. Brisk conditions, at around 15-20˚F up top, 30’s down in the lowlands of me house, winds steady at 20mph, gusting to 40mph.

Initial verdict for paved and dirt roads: I’m impressed. I semi-expected these to be trail focused bars at the expense of smoother terrain. Not at all. I can see these being excellent allpath adventure bars.

Bullmoose bars are wide, measuring 66cm across. I’ve positioned the brake levers so they work well in the two outer positions. Technical single track is the outer position, with the brakes available to my inner two fingers. Powerful climbing, smooth descents, all in a back and semi-upright position that puts me in the sweet spot. Oh, and terrain steer is greatly deminished compared with the Albastache bars I’ve been using. Up snug to the lever mount at the bar is the main position, with full access to the brakes. Inward, index finger flush to the triangle is a forward into the wind tuck position, great for smooth descents.

Overall, compared with the Albastache bars on 5cm stem these replace, the bullmoose are higher and closer and wider, yet with a great tuck position.

On the 7 miles to the trail I was uncertain I’d like the outbound position, much prefering the middle position as my default. Then came the trail, with its steeper grade, icy footprint divits, rocks, roots, jouncy snowpack, and a now 5” rail of snow packed enough I don’t sink into 18-24” of unpacked snow. The bullmoose are forward enough that I’m not bolt upright (not a great thing when biking with vertigo), yet back and high enough to hit the sweet spot of weight more rearward so the front wheel floats over obsticles, yet is weighted enough for traction. Holding a line, regardless of most terrain “input”? Easy. Far easier than with the Albastache.

Descents were equally confident, with me feeling sure enough of riding the 5” rail that I went faster down in the snow than I ever have, and that’s just the first ride. And there is a solidity to the bullmoose bars, as they are intigrated through triangulation, to the stem. Delightful! If it’s possible to grin more foolishly and joyously than I did before, I was doing it. Grin.

The rearward climbing position is easily seen here. It significantly engages the core. It also gave me increased power when climbing, so I could stay seated, giving my rear wheel greater traction and allowing me to climb hills that would have been too slick/steep with the Albastache bars. Brilliant!

Shadowfax in stealth mode, with camoflaged headbadge, specially formulated to coordinate with the bell. I’ve left the bars unwrapped and am surprised how well wool grips steel. I may leave the bars naked. They didn’t shiver once, despite the temp and wind.

I noticed my shoulders were more relaxed more easily and my chest more open as well.

Parting shot. Grin. May God startle you with joy!