Picking a handlebar...followed by short note about bar tape
Picking a Handlebar
If you have more than one bike, it's fun to have a different style handlebar on each. It's the most radical way of changing the feeling of any bike.
Handlebars are relatively inexpensive, and even if you pick a bar that isn't your life bar, you'll still gain something from the experience, and won't go broke doing it. However, none of the following bars is a loser.
Get the ALBATROSS if you want a guilty amount of comfort, but don't want to be limited to an upright position. By grabbing the forward portion of the bar, you can tackle 18-percent hills in much the same body position as you'd have with a drop bar or a Moustache H'bar. Rule out an Albatross before considering any other bar.
The CHOCO Bar has more hand positions than the Albatross, without as much rise. If you think you love drop bars and can't bring yourself to get a clearly upright bar like the Albatross of Bosco, get a Choco. If it were the only bar we offered, that would be OK. Fits mountain grips, shifters, brake levers, bar-end shifters (all our bars do).
The BOSCO bar is the most upright and comfortable bar we offer. When comfort is a priority and you don't want to mess around, get it. It's a multiposition bar, too. Grab near the ends for standard cruising, in front of the brake lever for off-the-seat climbing, and down near the stem for pretending to race, or to cheat the wind. After a BOSCO, every other bar seems like torture.
Get the NOODLE bar if you want the most comfortable drop bar made. It has a flattish ramp for great hand support behind the brake levers. The top angles back 15-deg for a more ergo grip. All's well with the Noodle.
Get the ALBASTACHE if: You want the upright position and immediate access to the brakes that a flat bar provides, but want a bar that offers you multiple hand positions. The Abastache H'bar is a fine all-around shape, but get it higher than the saddle. Takes the same fittngs as a drop bar. It's called the Albastache because it's a cross between the Albatross and an older and much beloved bar, the Moustache.
------------------------ our "anti-flat bar" note ---------------
We don't sell flat handlebars because they offer just one hand position, and it's a wrist-down, non-ergonomic one at that. With limited space and money, we might as well sell only bars we like.
Handle Bar Tape
Bar tape is cheap and easily changed and visible, and you feel it all the time. Therefore, make it a color that looks good with the rest of your bike, and get something that feels good to you. Don't rely on puffy tape to cushion your hands---it's 100x more effective to take weight OFF your hands by raising the handlebar.
We prefer organic materials, because they just feel better, and they look better to start off with, and they age better. Cloth bar tape is king in the Looks Department. Plus, you can shellac it to make it look & feel even better, and to make it last longer. Then, as the shellac gets worn away, the tape ages beautifully and gracefully until you think to yourself, "Hey, maybe it's time for another coat of shellac." Or another roll of tape, or whatever.
You can make grips out of tape. Just layer it to length and shape.