BP4 Handlebars-What’s So F@$%ing Hard To Understand?

September 7, 2015

You know when you have something so special and so game changing, and frankly, so simple, that when you show it to people, one of two things happen. I have found that over the last 18 months that we have been riding, and testing, the BP4 Handlebar, there are  2 very different camps. Most riders I would say are in the “traditional” camp and are just in love with the way things have always been. Go ahead and make minor adjustments, but don’t you screw with history. This group looks at our design and their heads almost burst into flames. They cry out, “the hoods are too low!” “Oh my god, what have you done to my beloved hoods?” You know why you love your hoods sooooo much? The reason no one talks about is because the tops SUCK! Yep, I said it, the tops suck, and no one in 108 years did anything about it because it would change tradition. Well screw tradition. How about performing better in a position that never existed before. We took a crappy piece of real estate (tops if you were confused) and put the Taj Mahal in it’s place. I mean really, what is it about changing such an old and antiquated design that makes riders run in horror. Maybe it’s just me, but I am always looking for ways to improve comfort AND performance. When was the last time a road bar did that? Answer:never.

There is another camp here where the glimmer of hope for something new and innovative can find a place in the hearts and hands of riders not afraid to venture into uncharted waters, I mean roads. These are the riders that did say “yes” to change and have been reaping the benefits of improved comfort, increased performance, easier breathing, improved aerodynamics, and the climbing is unparalleled. We have quite a stable of riders we work with, and what we have found is the longer you ride them, the better they get. Don’t get me wrong, as soon as you get onto the BP4 position,  all the aforementioned benefits start right away. What does take time to adjust is how married you are to the old ways and tradition. You are now in a position you NEVER had before. May take a little while to warm up to the new thing. Take it out for a few rides. Hmmm, that feels pretty good, but I feel like I’m cheating on tradition. It’s OK, she wasn’t treating you that well anyway. What we also found was that the more you ride in a more upright biomechanically and anatomically correct position, the more power you can generate on the climbs without standing. Trying to to stay seated on standard tops for tough climbs is like trying to stuff 10 pounds of sausage into 5 pounds of casing, it’s awful! But wait, there’s more! We still give you everything you have always had. The hoods and the drops are where they have always been. All we did was give you more options, and if that’s wrong’ I don’t want to be right(insert song here).

I am also going to include an email conversation, unedited with Peter from Sweden. It is a perfect example of how it can take time to find you groove when it comes to the set up. Remember, you never had this before, so be patient.

Hi Rich
Here is the photos of my Bianchi with your Handle bar PB4 as promised.
The first picture is just on that bike and you can also see the setup with GPS and logging.
As I wrote before I have short legs and long torso. For me the compact frames is a blessing and your handlebar a solution.
The last group of photos you can se the compare between a LOOK frame size 53, 110 mm stem, Scud handle bar and a Bianchi T-cube frame size 57, 100 mm stem and your BP4 handle bar.
The LOOK is equipped for normal roads and the Bianchi for climbing hills. It is equipped with Ultegra Mid Compact 52/36, cassette 11-32 and of corse your handle bar for a possibility of more upright position.
Use the photos as you wish.
Last week in april I will go to Spain and Sierra Nevada. My English is not so god so it will probably take a few week after I’m back to wrote the review. It will come some time in May.

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, Peter wrote:

Hi Rich
I’m back after a week biking at the mountains in spain with your handlebar.
I promised you a review when I got back but…
I love the handle bar because the low drop. It works for me with long torso and short legs… but the the hand position that you marketing it for was nothing for me.
I have three positions that i favors. In the drop, at the STI and just behind the STI at the bend.
On the top it was two disadvantages for me. 1 Was not for me a relaxed position. Especially not for the wrists . 2 Was too narrow hand position to feel steady and best control. I favor a wider hand position.
Therefore i don’t think that a review from me will be best for you at marketing…
I wish you the best.
// Peter

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, Peter wrote:

Hi Rich.
I must inform you that I have changed my mind about the hand position that we have discussed on your BP4 handlebar. I have found out that in uphills with a gradient of 10-20% so with positioned extra far back on the saddle and the hands in the upper position of the handlebars, I get extra power. A clear noticeable difference in the legs.
I will next Sunday ride a race called “Three mountains”. You will get my review a week after.
I can also say that the handlebars has attracted many people’s interests during the summer here in Sweden.
// Peter
Great news Peter! Thank you for your feedback, yes we are finding in some of our set ups that adding stem length and/or seat position you mentioned is greatly improving leverage/power while climbing. Keep us posted on your rides and thank you again for your comments. Rich