I’ve been hampered by some bad weather recently around these parts, (Temps 20 degrees below normal and lots of rain!), but I have spent some time on both bar options for the Elgokse stem and have the following impressions on these unusual set ups.

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The Elgokse Standard Set Up: The standard Elgokse comes with the swept flat bar in the box. I set my custom Pofahl single speed up with this set up to start things out with. The installation was easy, and everything fit quite well. I liked that the bar can have the ends pointing downward slightly, level, or slightly upwards. I personally prefer a slight downward tilt, so this is how I set the bar up and popped on some new Ergon grips which fit perfectly.

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The ride was about average for any quality handle bar set up. Rigid, and stiffer than some, but still nothing out of the ordinary. I liked the amount of sweep on this particular bar. The width was fine for me, but as stated in the first post on these, the bars are laser etched with hash marks for cutting them down if so desired. All in all, a great modern take on the retro “Bull Moose” type bar.

Some have made note of the braze ons for the fastening hardware- how they stick out. I didn’t notice that while riding, but perhaps in a “fancy dismount” on the single track, you might become intimate with one of the protuberances. Perhaps in a future update this could be addressed. As for now, I don’t see this as a big negative, but I will admit the risk for injury is there off road.

The Antler/Elgokse Set Up: After the more “standard” looking Elgokse stock look, (if a Bull Moose style bar could ever be referred to as “standard”), I swapped out the bar for the Antler Bar. Okay….there is no getting around this. This bar looks odd, goofy, and well……..like it is an answer without a question. However goofy it may appear to be, it does function well in use.

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The Antler Bar is a take off on the traditional “mustache bar” idea and I think has a distinct drop bar feel while riding. The big difference between the Antler Bar and the more traditional mustache and off road drop bars is that the Antler accepts mountain bike controls, not road bike controls. This is a smart move away from traditional design for mountain bikers and commuters. Plus, it allows for more freedom in positioning the controls, and makes the preferred ends position a safe usable one since the brakes can be positioned here.

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The one negative in the design of the Antler Bar is that you will need extra cable and housing lengths over a standard set up. I had just enough extra that I made it work, but if you are converting over from another bar, plan on getting cables and housings as well. Also, your hydraulic brake lines may not be long enough, so be aware. After the installation, I decided to use the same Ergon grips and I taped the “hooks” with road bar tape to further extend my hand position options. Again, riders can also tilt the Antler Bar slightly downward for a different feel. Or you could go with a more “mustache bar” type level set up. I think the slight angle I set the Antler Bar up with gives them a bit of a drop bar feel.

Looks and options aside, the combination of the Antler bar and the Ergon grips just might be the perfect long distance gravel, back roads, or fire roading type set up I have ever tried. Add in the ability to stretch out into the forward hook area, and the usable inner part of the bar, and you can see that several options for altering your position while riding exist. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a multi-hour ride yet, but I look forward to doing it on the Antler Bar. I think it will be a great set up for the longer distance type ride.

That’s it for now. I’ll report back with a final review coming up in a while, depending on how kind the weather is in the late Fall!