Does size matter?

This letter to cyclingnews.com caught my eye as I am planning to build another bike and my favourite bar is only available in 26mm which seems so yesterday. OK it is only one man’s opinion but it is good enough for me, I am sticking with standard bars.

Re: Oval bars

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; all Oval Concepts sponsored teams ARE riding 26.0mm “standard” sized bars and stems. My personal (and therefore our company) philosophy is that “Oversized = Fatter, Heavier, Slower”. There is no reason to add more weight or frontal area to your road bike and the Pros know it.

The Oversized 31.8mm “standard” is a bad Italian fashion developed when the Italians did not have the efficient butting and swedging technology to offer a safe, reasonably priced, 220 gram road bar. Now that everyone has high quality, reasonably price, triple butted alloy bars made in Asia, and good companies make good carbon fibre road bars in 26.0, O/S 31.8 should die – at least for road bikes.

The strange thing is that all our sponsored teams since the company was founded, including Silence-Lotto, Slipstream and even the old Liberty Seguros squad asked for 26.0. We make both sizes as the market right now demands both sizes but I did not ask nor demand that our teams use either size.

Big Magnus Backstedt is not afraid of breaking his Oval 26.0 bars and stems on his TT bike for the Tour or his road bike for Paris-Roubaix. Robbie McEwen demands bars that are super stiff for his incredible power sprints and he loves our R701 classic bend bars in 26.0. I repeat, there is no reason to add more weight or frontal area to your road bike and the Pros know it.

Thanks for the eagle eye.

Morgan Nicol

Oval Concepts, Switzerland Friday, June 13, 2008

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2 Comments »

  1. Wislon said

    Dear Greenjersey, while the bar diameter is not that important I wish to know will your new machine have any of that new fangled carbon fibre or even “titanium” componentry within the spec? Should you require them I have an old pair of Lyotard patform pedals you may be interested in?
    Yes Wislon, the “new” frame (unused) is indeed carbon fibre. A Look 241 c1995 in a rather fetching post office red. It has a threaded fork so it won’t be upto the minute but it will have SPD pedals. If memory serves you were a pioneer of skimpy carbon back in the day.

  2. Wislon said

    Yes, I was one of the first round here to recognise the benefits of aluminium alloy as frame material although the 1st examples were glued together and came appart (ie the Duralinox that was ridden to TDF stage success). These were soon superceded by the TVT carbon tubed frames that were glued (bonded) together with aluminium lugs and were far more robust. This was the start of the demise of steel when Degado, Indurain et al rode to TDF victories on badged carbon TVT’s. So yes I had a Duralinox and then a TVT and now a carbon 1 piece frame – no lugs. I am still keen to try a Titanium frame – they alledgely provide unrivalled comfort – whatever that is on a bike?

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