Picking a handlebar...followed by short note about bar tape
Picking a Handlebar
If you have more than one bike, 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.
The ALBATROSS is maybe our most popular bar. It's a basic. If you're new to non-flat and non-drop bars or are just sick of them, start your new life with an Albatross and you might not want any other. 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.
The LOSCO bar is a flatter version of the BOSCO and goes up to 54cm wide. Made by NITTO for our friends at BLUE LUG, in Tokyo, but we sell it, too.
The TOSCO bar is in between the BOSCO and TOSCO in rise, comes in the most widths, and is our cheapest bar, because rather than being made in Tokyo by NITTO, it's made in Taiwan by somebody you haven't heard of. It's a super nice bar, close to our most popular.
The NOODLE bar is as comfortable as a drop bar gets, which sounds like a knock on drops, but is intended as a compliment to the Noodle. 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.
The ALBASTACHE : Sixty-five percent of drop-bar riders would prefer an Albastache. It's like a squashed drop bar. The "drops" are an inch lower than the tops, the reach is shortened, it still fits drop bar brake levers, and has that "go get 'em, TIger!" look of drops.Spectacular on any road bike. It's called the Albastache because it's a cross between the Albatross and an older and much beloved bar, the Moustache.
The WAVIE: You like traditional flat bars but want something a little more ergonomic, classy, and better-looking. Doesn't fit bar-end shifters, but is excellent with thumbies and modern Shimano indexed shifters.
------------------------ Handlebar 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.
*Click* above for a revisit on some of these topics by Will