Gallery: Mike Ko’s Iron Horse Warrior Expert

I thought I’d share some updated photos of my commuter bike (“before” photos here).

In addition to being my commuter bike, it’s also my experiment bike. It’s been through 4 handlebars, and three front/rack configurations I can’t believe I am saying this, but I think this bike is finally “DONE” ;-). Commuting wise, my favorite changes are the additions of the:

  • Carradice Nelson Lowflap – It’s a Bike trunk. Store lots of stuff and comes in handy picking up groceries.
  • B&M Ixon IQ light – Great light with good runtimes. The focused beam makes this light very bright
  • Platform pedals with VO Half clips – Switched to these so I could wear winter boots during our colder than normal Washington, DC weather.
  • Brooks B17 – Need I say more…just one thing. Short rails don’t allow for enough backward adjustment so I added the VO seatpost w/ extra setback and shim to fit post.

The handlebars are Humbert Contest trekking bars. The control area provides a nice swept back area (or is it swept forward in this bar’s case) and combined with the Ergon grips, provide a comfortable position for my wrists. The handlebar is also double-wrapped with gel tape and cork tape.

In addition, I love the Paul’s thumbies. Something about thumb shifters that I really love.

This bike is a comfortable, all-day bike. I just need to work on adding things so I can hold more water….I guess I am not finished modding this bike ;). I think a couple of Two-fish bottle cages with solve the problem.


10 Responses to “Gallery: Mike Ko’s Iron Horse Warrior Expert”

  • Jeff says:

    I have a similar setup with Novara Safari bars on my LHT. My brake levers are in the same position as yours but I run cheapo Sunrace thumbies on the front part of the bar more or less directly across from the brake levers. I also like my Safari bar level. It’s a great setup and I find it perfect for commuting and errands. Thanks for sharing.

    – Jeff

  • Alex Moll says:

    Well done. Looks comfortable, and highly functional. Where did you find the handle bars?

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for the kind words

    @ Alex – I ordered the bars from a shop in England, Bunneys Bikes (


  • Scott Wayland says:

    Great! I love the unusual bar setup. Looks like the perfect commuter/touring setup. I, too, love the Thumbies. I’ve got them on two bikes.


  • Don says:

    I’ve been using the Carradice seat bags, (I have them on three bikes) for over ten years. They have been perfect for my commutes. They have no problem holding my clothes, lunch and other items and keeping them dry (I live in Portland so that’s an issue). I still use my original on a regular basis and it only gets better looking and is still totally functional.

  • Mike says:

    @ Scott, it really is a comfortable bike. Only thing(s) more comfortable are my recumbents.

    @ Don, I know what you mean. I too, have two ;) and looking to buy one more. I just “discovered” them this year and i think they are awesome.

  • Scott Wayland says:

    A bent rider, eh? Me, too. My commuter is somewhat like yours–mtb no squish with Ergon’s, Avid discs, and Paul Thumbies. My ride is so short (2–3 miles each way) I can’t really justify the Brooks, but I may get one nonetheless! I’m riding an IBex, which is currently under reorganization.

    Keep the rubber on the road.


  • Chris says:

    Mike, nice forks too. The ones to rule them all. price wise are the Kona Project 2s. Have yet to try Paul’s thumbies, but I can’t seem to wear out my XT thumbshifters from the late 80s. Cheers !

  • Kevin says:

    Thanks for the inspiration on the use of a 29er rigid fork. After looking at your pics I installed a suspension-adjusted 29er fork on my commuter as well. It maintains the same ride geometry as the suspension fork and weighs next to nothing. How are your SpeedEZ fenders working out? Living in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been running a set of Planet Bike ATB fenders (The type that mount to the seatpost and inside the bottom of the fork crown) but my feet and calves are still getting covered in mud & water during my commute. Do your SpeedEZ fenders keep you pretty clean on the rainy days?

  • Mike says:


    The Speed-EZ fenders work pretty well The fender mounts are not super secure but are secure enough. The rear fender moves / vibrates but it works and I’ve never had to re-adjust it since I’ve installed it. The front fender moves vibrates also. However, I purchased another rear fender plastic clip,, and installed with zip ties to secure the front fender to the fork and is now very solid.

    For someone who rides in the rain / mud a lot, I think the only drawback is that the front mudflap is not long enough – I can see some road grime, on the bottom bracket shell(?) and cranks after riding on wet roads. I think adding some longer mudflaps, like the cascadia mudflaps ( will) should take care of it. I’ve procrastinated installing longer mudflaps, but your post has inspired me to order them. Thanks!


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