Our 2-speed Cross Check recently got an upgrade in the form of Salsa Woodchipper handlebars. There are two versions of these bars, 42cm and 46cm where the measurement is basically the length of the straight top section. We are using the shorter 42cm version.
As we noted in earlier post the length of the drop section on On-One Midge bars was starting to become an issue with the Tectro RL740 interrupt lever which is clamped to the end of the bar and used in a reverse manner. Comparing the drop sections of these two bars the Woodchipper is almost 5cm longer so that clamping something to the end of the drop actually starts making sense. Regarding other measurements, the flare of the drops is somewhat bigger with Woodchippers and the tops with our 42cm version are roughly of same length.
Overall the bars are quite similar and the riding position with Woodchippers is not much different from Midges. The increased comfort riding from the drops is obvious as there is now plenty of room. Also the drop position is somewhat narrower than with the Midges. Both are nice bars but it seems a bit hard to justify the shortness of Midge drops.
One difference we noticed with the Woodchippers is that the bends with the tubing are somewhat sharper. It means that routing the cable for the reverse brake lever can’t be done as smoothly as with the Midge bars. As we are running the Sturmey Archer drum brake at the front the sharper bends in the cable run decrease the mediocre braking efficiency slightly more.
As a side note we reused the Brooks leather bar tape from the Midge bars. No problems doing that. In all honesty the Brooks leather tape is there more for the looks (and maybe durability but it remains to be seen) rather than anything else. There are others that offer more comfort and grip.
Overall the Woodchippers seem a great improvent with our setup. The longer drop section adds more comfort (especially with the reverse lever) and the slightly narrower drop position feels more natural and maybe even gives a slight aerodynamical advantage.