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Salsa Woodchipper handlebars for gravel bike

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Salsa Woodchipper handlebars for gravel bike

Old 07-13-19, 07:51 AM
  #1  
Funnycarrot
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Salsa Woodchipper handlebars for gravel bike

Hello all..

Thinking about getting a set of Salsa Woodchipper bars for my Trek Ceckpoint ALR5. I like the idea of the flared design.

Can I put my 105 shifters/brakes back on the Woodchippers? I know the drops design is a little wierd and I dont want to find out during an install that I need to buy new brakes and shifters to fit.

Any and all comments are appreciated
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Old 07-13-19, 02:49 PM
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It's a normal drop bar so yes. It's also the best gravel bar ever haha. I have the widest one 46cm and I love it.
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Old 07-13-19, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Funnycarrot View Post
Hello all..

Thinking about getting a set of Salsa Woodchipper bars for my Trek Ceckpoint ALR5. I like the idea of the flared design.

Can I put my 105 shifters/brakes back on the Woodchippers? I know the drops design is a little wierd and I dont want to find out during an install that I need to buy new brakes and shifters to fit.

Any and all comments are appreciated
They will fit- yes. Given the extensive flare, you may not like the fit, but that won't be known till you try.
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Old 07-15-19, 09:07 AM
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They'll fit more conventionally on the less extreme Salsa Cowchipper . . . but they will fit on the Woodchipper.
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Old 07-15-19, 11:14 AM
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Yes! I have SRAM Rival on a set of Woodchippers, but they are made for road levers to fit on them. They are great bars, and definitely should be tried if your gravel tends more toward "drop bar mountain bike".

From my experience, my reccomentation is to set the woodchippers up with the flared end of the bar pointing downward at maybe a 30ish degree angle. It should be a comfortable place to grip while cruising the flats without your hand wanting to slide up or down the bar much. Extremely comfortable but also down and out of the wind to save energy. Definitely DO NOT set the flared part up level like is typical on road bars. You can then set up the brake levers to give you a level area across the top/hoods area but still reach the controls from the drops. I also angled the brake levers inward so that they were pointing in line with the flared part if you look down from above. Because your hands will be angling inward with the flare, this put the brake and shift levers at a very natural position.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:27 PM
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Yea don't go to the woodchipper unless you know ahead of time that is what you want. Its a pretty extreme position change. Cowchipper is a good middle ground and perfectly capable for single track unless you're on a monstercross bike with 50mm+ tires
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Old 07-15-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Yes! I have SRAM Rival on a set of Woodchippers, but they are made for road levers to fit on them. They are great bars, and definitely should be tried if your gravel tends more toward "drop bar mountain bike".

From my experience, my reccomentation is to set the woodchippers up with the flared end of the bar pointing downward at maybe a 30ish degree angle. It should be a comfortable place to grip while cruising the flats without your hand wanting to slide up or down the bar much. Extremely comfortable but also down and out of the wind to save energy. Definitely DO NOT set the flared part up level like is typical on road bars. You can then set up the brake levers to give you a level area across the top/hoods area but still reach the controls from the drops. I also angled the brake levers inward so that they were pointing in line with the flared part if you look down from above. Because your hands will be angling inward with the flare, this put the brake and shift levers at a very natural position.
What's really interesting about this setup recommendation is that it's a 180 from how the bars were originally designed to be used.
I'm not saying this setup is wrong at all, just commenting because it's interesting to me to see how products and style adjusts to users as time gives more a chance to try said products.

The extreme flare bars were designed to be ridden in the drops pretty much all the time, so the drops would be set level with the ground and higher up with more spacers.
But since current cyclists have a seemingly strong aversion to the drops and also because hoods are so comfortable, the bars are now often set so the ramps are more level which leaves the drops at a significant angle downward.
I'm guessing it limits how long the drops are ridden in, but makes the tops/ramps/hoods more comfortable.

Anyways, interesting how product use changes they time.
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Old 07-15-19, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What's really interesting about this setup recommendation is that it's a 180 from how the bars were originally designed to be used.
I'm not saying this setup is wrong at all, just commenting because it's interesting to me to see how products and style adjusts to users as time gives more a chance to try said products.

The extreme flare bars were designed to be ridden in the drops pretty much all the time, so the drops would be set level with the ground and higher up with more spacers.
But since current cyclists have a seemingly strong aversion to the drops and also because hoods are so comfortable, the bars are now often set so the ramps are more level which leaves the drops at a significant angle downward.
I'm guessing it limits how long the drops are ridden in, but makes the tops/ramps/hoods more comfortable.

Anyways, interesting how product use changes they time.
For the woodchippers they are designed with the drops as the primary position and with the ends meant to be angled down. I've never seen anyone run them horizontal even when used in the drops 100% of the time. The design of the hooks and how much flare makes the ends more Jones bar than a traditional drop bar
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Old 07-16-19, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What's really interesting about this setup recommendation is that it's a 180 from how the bars were originally designed to be used.
I'm not saying this setup is wrong at all, just commenting because it's interesting to me to see how products and style adjusts to users as time gives more a chance to try said products.

The extreme flare bars were designed to be ridden in the drops pretty much all the time, so the drops would be set level with the ground and higher up with more spacers.
But since current cyclists have a seemingly strong aversion to the drops and also because hoods are so comfortable, the bars are now often set so the ramps are more level which leaves the drops at a significant angle downward.
I'm guessing it limits how long the drops are ridden in, but makes the tops/ramps/hoods more comfortable.

Anyways, interesting how product use changes they time.
No, I ride in the drops primarily with all my drop bars. Either down on the flares for cruising or forward like normal when I need to brake/shift more frequently. This does make the hoods available for a climbing position though which I notice many people do not set up their wood chippers to allow.

Check the Salsa website, they reccomended a similar angle on the bars. I've never technically put a protractor on mine.
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Old 07-16-19, 07:02 AM
  #10  
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Sorry for poor wording. Yes there is going to be angle on the drops due to the hook not being a full C bend. It was designed to be a relatively mild angle compared to how many now set the bars up. That was my point. It wasnt meant to be critical, it really was just an observation that how products are used arent always how they were designed.
This is 'flat' to me and represents how I have seen these bars originally set up and how I have read they were designed to be used.



This is not 'flat' to me and is what I see a good bit of time because it makes the hoods more usable which seems to be the preferred hand position. Since hoods are more comfortable than ever, I can see why some choose to set up their bars this way. If they are going to be in the drops only for a minute at a time and for a handful of times in an hour, then they can deal with the heavily canted drops while getting a the comfort of the hoods for the other 50-55min.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:11 AM
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https://salsacycles.com/culture/my_woodchipper_set_up
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Old 07-16-19, 03:43 PM
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@mstateglfr I see people setting up dirt drops as in the second setup that you have there and it makes no sense to me. I get that they want to use the hoods and tops primarily, but then the dirt drop bar makes no sense for two reasons:
1. With the bars angled up like that, using them on the tops and hoods doesn't offer any advantage over a regular drop bar. In fact, I find that a lot of dirt drop bars are narrower on the tops and hoods when set up that way than a traditional drop bar of the same width.
2. The other position (the drops/behind the brake hoods) is now almost useless because the angle is so extreme. It pushes that position way too far from the rider and at a bizarre angle.

The only way the dirt drop makes sense is set up the first way you have there - with the primary position being the drops/behind the brake levers. That's where the bar is actually wide and provides leverage for off-road handling and a greater amount of stability from gripping the entire bend of the bar and not just hoods.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
The only way the dirt drop makes sense is set up the first way you have there - with the primary position being the drops/behind the brake levers. That's where the bar is actually wide and provides leverage for off-road handling and a greater amount of stability from gripping the entire bend of the bar and not just hoods.
For sure- all that you mention makes sense to me, but I'm one who prefers use of the tops, hoods, hooks, and drops.
If someone wants the style of bar but prefers to stick to the hoods, then it seems best to angle the drops to point severely down since that let's the hoods be level.

It's an interesting adaption of design- both 'camps' making the same piece of equipment work for their style of riding.
I definitely don't want to push against the drops, which is how it would feel with the drops angles down a lot, but others seem to like that as a setup.

I've wondered if the difference is based on original dirt drop bars versus new gravel flare bars. They are different in shape(though most all these style bars are different from one another) and maybe that difference in shape is why people set them up differently?
Or maybe it's really just because some salsa blogger once mentioned years ago that he likes his bars at an angle, so that's how many set their bikes up(with even more angle) due to influence and direction?

I wish I could bend aluminum and make some killer gravel drop bars. Flat hoods, flat drops, and flare. I could steal Surly's FFF abbreviation then too.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
For sure- all that you mention makes sense to me, but I'm one who prefers use of the tops, hoods, hooks, and drops.
If someone wants the style of bar but prefers to stick to the hoods, then it seems best to angle the drops to point severely down since that let's the hoods be level.

It's an interesting adaption of design- both 'camps' making the same piece of equipment work for their style of riding.
I definitely don't want to push against the drops, which is how it would feel with the drops angles down a lot, but others seem to like that as a setup.

I've wondered if the difference is based on original dirt drop bars versus new gravel flare bars. They are different in shape(though most all these style bars are different from one another) and maybe that difference in shape is why people set them up differently?
Or maybe it's really just because some salsa blogger once mentioned years ago that he likes his bars at an angle, so that's how many set their bikes up(with even more angle) due to influence and direction?

I wish I could bend aluminum and make some killer gravel drop bars. Flat hoods, flat drops, and flare. I could steal Surly's FFF abbreviation then too.
Might want to check out the cowchippers, mine are rotated about 3 degrees up from flat, but you could easily get the hoods flat and the drops depending where you mount the levers and which ones you are using
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Old 07-16-19, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I've wondered if the difference is based on original dirt drop bars versus new gravel flare bars. They are different in shape(though most all these style bars are different from one another) and maybe that difference in shape is why people set them up differently?
Or maybe it's really just because some salsa blogger once mentioned years ago that he likes his bars at an angle, so that's how many set their bikes up(with even more angle) due to influence and direction?
The original dirt drop bars (made by Nitto, rebranded by WTB and Specialized with slight variations) were invented before the STI shifter era, meaning before brake lever bodies became wide enough that people started riding on the hoods as a primary position. They were designed to be set up like the pic below for a wider stance, more grip area on the bars, and more leverage on the brake levers. I think when the design made a comeback a few years later thanks to Salsa and others, riders were so used to riding on STI levers on the hoods that they just started setting up the bar to be able to do that, even though it totally kills the brilliance of the original design.

https://www.cxmagazine.com/wp-conten...ic-rumpf_1.jpg

I'd say a better design for modern brake levers is something like the Soma Condor bars. The Soma design allows you to ride in any of the positions (tops, hoods, drops) comfortably and doesn't stretch the rider out just to reach one of them.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Might want to check out the cowchippers, mine are rotated about 3 degrees up from flat, but you could easily get the hoods flat and the drops depending where you mount the levers and which ones you are using
Great minds think alike and whatnot. Best flared bar I have used so far- extended comfort on the tops, ramps, hoods, hooks, and drops.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I definitely don't want to push against the drops, which is how it would feel with the drops angles down a lot, but others seem to like that as a setup.

You need to try it then, because it doesn't. Having the bottom of the bars level is how I started with Woodchippers because I set them up like a normal drop bar. The thing is, the curve in the Woodchipper is a smaller radius than normal drops so your hand really doesn't fit there like on road drop bars. With Woodchippers, in the drops your hand does better residing on the extended flat behind the curve so you'll want it angled up to duplicate the type of angle your hand is resting at when riding in the drops on a traditional road bar. As I said above, the right angle results in your hands neither wanting to slide up or down the bar. It's a very neutral position with a good grip for bumpy stuff. You then bring the levers forward around the curve so the controls stay in reach when in the drops and the byproduct is a useable hood position as well. Yes, it looks really weird at first but after a few rides the bars will win you over because the drops are very comfortable for most riding plus you have hoods for climbing.


Your pic of the Cutthroat above looks set up about right (aside from the poor wrap job).
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Old 07-18-19, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
You need to try it then, because it doesn't. Having the bottom of the bars level is how I started with Woodchippers because I set them up like a normal drop bar. The thing is, the curve in the Woodchipper is a smaller radius than normal drops so your hand really doesn't fit there like on road drop bars. With Woodchippers, in the drops your hand does better residing on the extended flat behind the curve so you'll want it angled up to duplicate the type of angle your hand is resting at when riding in the drops on a traditional road bar. As I said above, the right angle results in your hands neither wanting to slide up or down the bar. It's a very neutral position with a good grip for bumpy stuff. You then bring the levers forward around the curve so the controls stay in reach when in the drops and the byproduct is a useable hood position as well. Yes, it looks really weird at first but after a few rides the bars will win you over because the drops are very comfortable for most riding plus you have hoods for climbing.


Your pic of the Cutthroat above looks set up about right (aside from the poor wrap job).
Can you reach the levers to brake and shift with them set up like that? I know I wouldn't be able to with the levers mounted that high from the extended flat section of the drops
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Old 07-18-19, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Can you reach the levers to brake and shift with them set up like that? I know I wouldn't be able to with the levers mounted that high from the extended flat section of the drops
Let's see if I can post a pic from my bike fit notes... Excuse the setting.

Yes, this works for me. My levers may be a bit further down than the pic above, but close. Drops are my primary position.



Pardon the kitchen, its a mess...

Last edited by Caliper; 07-18-19 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Edits, spelling, etc.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Let's see if I can post a pic from my bike fit notes... Excuse the setting.

Yes, this works for me. My levers may be a bit further down than the pic above, but close. Drops are my primary position.



Pardon the kitchen, its a mess...
Ah I would still consider that in the hooks. Was more picturing completely on the straight section
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Old 07-20-19, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Ah I would still consider that in the hooks. Was more picturing completely on the straight section
I guess "hooks" just isn't in my vocabulary as a hand position, I've only heard that term on BikeForums. Either way, I will slide my hand further down to the flats behind/below the drops on long stretches, but you are right that the levers are out of reach then. Of course, the equivalent hand position on a road bike would also put the levers out of reach so no change really.
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