A while back I introduced the test for the newest off road drop bar out there, the Ragley Bikes Luxy Bar. This is the bar that sprung from the drawing board of Brant Richards, who also designed the Midge Bar. But don’t think the Luxy Bar is similar to a Midge Bar because of that. It is very different, in fact.
The Specs: The Luxy Bar is available in silver or black, but only in one width, which is best described as “really wide”. In fact, measured from the widest point of the extensions, the Luxy is 27.5″ wide, and beats the previous widest off road drop bar, (The Salsa Cycles Woodchipper, tested here), by about an inch. That is quite a bit wider than a Midge Bar, (58cm vs the Luxy at 69.5cm), and it has a lot of sweep to the extensions. At least in this respect it is quite similar to the Woodchipper. In one area, the Luxy is very Midge-like, and that is in the way the drops “flare” outwards from vertical. (Click the image at the right to see a bigger image for an example.) This “flare” lays the brake levers slightly sideways, which I find to be okay with regular brake levers or with the STI levers I am using. However; some may find it slightly annoying when trying to use the hoods as a hand position in a more traditional, road bike sort of way. The Woodchipper is closer to a traditional road set up in this regard. In the weight category, the Woodchipper in the 46cm size and the Luxy are both at 330 grams. The Luxy is also different in that it has a 31.8mm clamp diameter interface and continues this dimension all the way out to the drop’s ramps where it tapers down to accept brake/shift levers.
Here is a look at how the transition from the tops to the extensions differs on a Luxy in comparison to a Woodchipper. The Luxy is silver here. You can easily see that the Luxy has a departure from vertical whereas the Woodchipper stays closer to straight up and down as it transitions to the drop extensions. Notice also how the Woodchipper has a longer top because of this.
First Impressions: As the climate transitions from winter to spring here, I have no opportunities to run the Luxy Bar off road yet. But I have had several longer rides on them using the bar as a single speed bar, and as part of a geared set up. Both were easy to get dialed in, and the ultra-shallow drop of the Luxy, with it’s more parallel look to the extension in relationship to the tops, keeps your positions well within reason for off roading. Still, it will be tested off road before I can give it any confirmation in that area.
While the Luxy Bar is a 31.8mm bar all the way across the tops, it isn’t all that stiff. Not as stiff as you might think it would be going in to it. I was surprised by the amount of give, easily felt even on the gravel road rides I have done. Will this be a detriment to its off road capabilities? That will have to wait until spring before I can answer that.
The width of those extensions is also going to be felt in tight single track, if the trees are tight, anyway. Good news is that the Luxy can be cut down a bit, and still have ample hand positions. I’ll leave things be until I can answer the width question though.
Stay tuned for more after the weather breaks and when I will have more single track to ride again. Then I’ll chime back in with a final review.
Note: Ragley Bikes submitted these bars at no cost for evaluation. We are not being bribed nor paid for this review. We will strive to give our honest opinions throughout.