On one Midge bars and road bikes

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  • On one Midge bars and road bikes
  • shedbrewed

    A quick question as I ponder a winter build.
    Has anyone run the Midge bars and found them to be very wide on a road bike?
    I come from 44cm wide bars and the overall width at the ends is down as 55cm. Do you find yourself feeling spatchcocked?
    What about shifting? I’m in two minds to run a single NW ring up front and a bar end shifter for the back but if I don’t, is it comfy to shift with road shifters or plain weird?

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    They’re pretty wide, but I wanted that for occasional off-road. I went down the mtb pull drop levers and bar end shifter route, I’m happy with it.

    Because it’s an angled shape with 2 straight sections, rather than a curve, or set of angles, you’ve got a choice between setting them up with a horizontal drop section and having a compromised hood position, or setting them up with a good hood position and the drops pointing to the floor. Or a not so good compromise where nothing’s that great.

    I ended up changing for cowbells (46cm) because I wanted more useable hand positions for longer rides.

    If you go down the bar end shifter route and want a clutchy mech, I think the only option is 10 speed, SRAM type 2 mech and SRAM TT500 bar end levers. There might be other options I missed, but that’s what I’ve gone for now. I get the very occasional drop on Salsa/QBP/Dimension 48T single ring when I shift up (to smaller sprockets) too many gears too suddenly.

    Old: midges, Pauls Chainkeeper, Dura Ace 9 speed bar end shifter

    New: X9, TT500 10 spd, Cowbells. No decent pics!


    Got them on the crosscheck, set up so the drops are comfy. Still feel a bit wide, but I’m running a shorter stem than I would do for normal road drops which helps. For just road use I wouldn’t fit them. But for bridleway basing they are ideal. I’m running bar end shifters.


    Replying in turn to the questions.

    I had to look ‘spatchcocked’ up, but no – I find that kinda open posture to be much more comfortable / natural. 😉

    I run Midges on most of my road-going bikes, given how comfy I find them. I can’t get on with ‘normal’ drops, I find the lack of outwards angle puts my wrists / hands into a horrible position. I tend to run a higher angled stem than one might otherwise, but that’s [only] to help with an injured neck.

    Shifting is fine, but I run bar-end shifters on friction(as I run what probably looks like a randomly messy collection of 8/9/10 speed transmission picked from both road and MTB stuff).


    MBK HPF:

    I’ve got them on my Peregrine and my Gryphon too, but both those bikes are set up in a very similar way to those two ^.

    The Osprey just eats the miles, set up like that, I barely feel I’m on a bike.


    Some good posts, thanks all. Plenty of food for thought. I can see why a shorter stem is recommended. I would have to drop to a 70 or 80mm I think for midges.

    Ned, I also have some Cowbells, in 44cm flavour and find them wide but hey work well on the ‘cross bike. I’ve got some Bell Laps too so maybe they’re a better option than the midges.

    FWIW I’ve gone 38T NW ring on the ‘cross bike and am running a modified 105 rear DR with no chain drops so far.

    I will ponder on.


    I had them on a road/cx bike. The width wasn’t a problem and probably an asset off-road but I didn’t get on with them… riding on the hoods didn’t work for me (too far over from top of the bar), the gear changes were OK but the brake lever angle just felt wrong. I switched them for some conventional Ritchey drops and am much more comfortable – but glad I tried them. The Salsa Cowbells look like a good compromise.


    For the record, mine were set up like Nedrapiers not OCB’s. I do have a cheap pair of Midges if you want to try them tho!

    Premier Icon oxym0r0n

    Cowbells are great on my >X<, shifting is fine too – lots of confidence descending


    I’m running Midges on my Pompino and I’d like to go for the same on my road bike but not sure how they would run with Sram Rival shifters, anyone used this combo on the road?
    The road bike feels super twitchy compare to the Pomp.

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    I got the tape measure out this morning.

    Looking at the crook of the thumb and forefinger, the hands in the drops are about the same distance apart 49.5cms on the Midge, 49 on the 46cm Cowbells. The difference is in the flare, with the ends of the bars on the Midges (centre to centre) being 56 (M), and 52 (Cb)

    The flare also means the hoods are slightly narrower on the Midge (depending where you put them. ish = 45cm) than the Cb – 46cm


    Thanks Ned.
    Corroded how much for the midges and what size clamp please? Thintom a hotmail dot com

    Big Dave

    I run Midges on my Cross Check and On One Macinato. I love the wide flare when descending on steep hills.

    If you want a slightly narrower alternative to Midges you may want to try the Tange Alloy Road Bar from Hub Jub. I’m just about to try a pair on the Macinato to see how they compare. Similar sort of flare, just not as wide.


    Far prefer them to any other drops that I’ve used. Prefer mine with the drops horizontal as that’s where I spend most of the time on them.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/iLLtBj]Singlespeed Peregrine[/url] by paulfulford, on Flickr

    The drop portion is quite short which may bother some people. Not a problem for me and I only mention it because it often comes up when Midges are discussed 🙂


    i liked them but prefer normal drops. I pointed the end of the bar towards the rear axlwe; which gave the best comprimise of positions: comfy on the hoods/ or drops.

    However riding on the corners is akin to a track bar: slighly awkward. (bottom left position)


    Used them on my roughstuff bike for years. With Campag Ergos. Great in my opinion and feel really secure when descending on the drops. Wide enough to use the tops and on the hoods is fine. Mince are set up like the ones in the top pic, not the next few. Just off flat plus a tad more tilt.
    Haven’t put them on the CX bike used as a road bike as they spoil the looks. I do notice the extra drag though.

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