This is our fourth handlebar to the first three: Drops (Noodle and Mark’s), Moustache H’bar, Albatross. I/Grant am totally against massive selection and the confusion and choice paralysis it leads to, so for us to enter a new bar, it has to complement, not hugely overlap the others. In a selection of four good handlebars, some overlap is inevitable, but a new bar has to have something unique that, not always, but sometimes, makes tons of sense.
Here’s how it’s different:
Higher rise even than Albatross bar. Grip is about four inches above the grip—almost twice as high as the Albatross grip. If you find the Albatross grip plenty high enough, don’t give the Bosco Bar points for being even higher.
It comes back a lot. Way back. So far back that it’s probably too much retreat for a normal road bike, but could be ideal for a mountain bike.
It’s straight on each side of the stem, so you get a good, natural time-trial position (also good for fast riding anywhere). The Bullmoose version has its own built-in stem, but the V-part still allows a good grip.
Here’s its best use:
– Longish top tube bikes and upright riding. Mountain bike conversions to supa-comfee cruisers.
– Making too-small bikes fit and feel better. Know somebody—maybe your girlfriend or wife—who (like my wife used to) still “holds” the handlebar with her fingertips? The Bosco Bar will fix that instantly.
– If you have one of those iBert child seats and you find yourself awkwardly reaching about the child, this bar will fix that, too.
Here are some set-up tips:
Start with the grip part angled slightly down. Hey, about seven degrees or so. Don’t measure it. Try that, and raise or lower to suit.
If you like the height and straight part but don’t like or need or want the grand amount of retreat, then cut off some. If you want to cut off some bar and use bar-end shifters, get the cromo 55cm, that one has a constant bar-end compatible diameter. Keep enough room for a grip, brake lever, shifter, bell—whatever you want to fit onto the straight part.
Consider shortening the grip to hand-size, then shifting the brake lever back to butt against the grip. This lengthens the upper grip area in front of the brake lever (or shifter, too, if you have that there). Even with a non-shortened grip, you have a really good second hand position. But a shortened grip makes it true “full hand”, and you may like that.
If you have cork grips, you have at least two shortening options:
Knife way: Slide grips onto handlebar. Grab with hand, mark where to cut, and cut with a sharp knife. You won’t do a perfect job, but it’ll be good enough. Mark the cut-off area with tape first? As you wish.
Grinding wheel way: Yep, grind away the cork on a wheel.
The Bosco Bar is a wonderful bar. It makes even the most uncomfortable bikes comfortable—really. It’s transforming. It’s not magic, it’s not the material, it’s not design genius, it’s just the higher, close grip. It’s the most multi-position handlebar we’ve used. The wide one has 39 inches of USABLE & EXCELLENT hand space. Every grip is natural (err…gonomic).
And like all of our bars (except the Dove), it’s bar-end shifter compatible.
Here’s how you decide which variant, if any:
If you are a woman or city rider, go for the cromo 55 or alu 52. It’s wide enough and fits between parked cars and traffic with 3cm more clearance than the 58cm. The 55 is only 1.5cm narrower per side. Sounds like a little, but it’s more than half an inch, and that’s big enough for something to hurt. Besides, the 1.5cm narrower per side is noticeable. A narrower bar slows steering, a wider one speeds it up, and the diff btw 55 and 58 is noticeable, but not enough to make one good and the other bad.
If you’re a guy or an open roads and trails rider, get the 58. The extra width is something you might not notice if all we had was the 55, but since we have the 58, go for it—-if you’re a trails-riding, open road-ridin’ guy.
Get the aluminum 58 if you are tempted to ask the weight difference. Get the 55 CrMo if you don’t care about the few-ounces weight difference, and want o save a few $ or so.
Get the Moosey if you want style and stiffness and extra strength and don’t need a 55cm bar, and trust us to have spec’d this non-adjustable handlebar to suit pretty much anybody.
Context: Each of these passes EN Mtn handlebar tests, which are the strictest, most ridiculous handlebar tests out there. Some carbon bars do, too, but a metal bar maintains way more of its strength as it ages, and certainly suffers wear and cuts better. You can get roughly the same shape handlebar cheaper. Nitto’s Promenade bar is a mini-one of these. It is a city bike bar for light riders, NOT a long-termer for all-around use, including hard stuff. WALD makes a similar bar, steel and all, but it’s not CrMo, and certainly wouldn’t pass EN tests. And there are, no doubt, others. Nitto makes the best handlebars in the world. And, from an importer/wholesaler’s point of view, also the most expensive. Bosco bars “enjoy” a minimal margin, because at some point they have to be price-competitive with bars that aren’t as good and don’t cost as much from the manufacturer. Once you have one, though, you really, honestly, no BS—do have the best.