Soma Lauterwasser

Soma Lauterwasser

Soma just keeps cranking out interesting handlebars. Last month it was the 3-Speed II Moustache, and now we have the lovely Lauterwasser. From Soma:

It is with great pleasure we are releasing an updated version of the racing bars that Olympic cyclist and cycling engineer Jack Lauterwasser hand-made in the 1930’s. We received a few requests a couple of years ago to reproduce this bar design. We learned the originals were much sought after by collectors. With its unusual design, we knew right away if we wanted to do this right, we would need to find one of the original bars. So we plunked down a few hundred bucks to some stranger on the internet and soon it arrived (complete with an antique bike attached no less….seller would not sell the bar separately).

We tried to keep the design fairly close to the original with modern touches to make the bar more practical. Grip OD was changed to 22.2 to fit MTB grips and the drops were lengthened to accommadate levers. The stem clamp was widened to 25.4mm (Sorry 26.0mm fans – get a shim). There were suggestions to make it narrow like a modern drop bar, but that altered the look too much.

Width is 48cm (same as our sample). Drop is 90mm. This is the first bar we are producing in both aluminum and steel. Steel version will take bar end shifters and is a little stiffer of course.

How do they ride? Well this no upright townie bar. If you compare it to a Nitto Moustache bar, it has more drop, a more forward position, and narrower. It is very comfortable to get out of the seat and mash on the pedals with this bar. Definitely more comfortable than a full-on drop bar. You can also move your hands forward to get into a more aero position when desired. We recommend a short stem to preserve the original look, but do what you want. Handling is very stable on bikes with hybrid/CX geometry.

It’s really nice to have so many interesting and unusual handlebar options. Kudos to Soma.


14 Responses to “Soma Lauterwasser”

  • jdmitch says:

    So, this is a lot like the Some MTB Moustache but narrower and with drop. So you’ve got an area to tuck into more? I may have to look at these…

  • Nick W. says:

    I picked up the steel version of this for the old-style club bike I’m building – aluminum wasn’t out yet. Bikes not far enough along to know how they ride, but they Look perfect. Just like some of the bars on pre-war English club bikes.

    Nick W.

  • John says:

    Nick W.: Sounds cool. Hope you can share some pics when you finish the build.

  • dwainedibbly says:

    I know I’m going to Handlebar Hell for even asking this, but how would these do inverted on a city bike? I’m thinking they’d be too far forward, but perhaps ok for someone with long arms and a bike with a short top tube?

    I love all the creative (and rediscovered) bends that have been coming available.

  • Alan says:


    Blasphemy! Just kidding… :-)

    I think you’re correct – it seems they’d bee too far forward, and somehow, it seems they wouldn’t look right.

  • Nick W. says:

    dwainedibbly: Just for you, I turned mine upside down. To my eye, they looked really strange in that position. They are so narrow, and so curvy, that it seemed odd. It would get you some hight, but other than that I can’t see much advantage. But that could just be me.

    Nick W.

  • Brooklyn Bike Lanes » Cyclelicious says:

    […] Soma Lauterwasser, he says. “Gesundheit,” says I. […]

  • dwainedibbly says:

    Flipped & chopped, perhaps? :)

  • Nick W. says:

    dwainedibbly: Thing is, these have a lot of forward curve – most of the bar is in front of the clamp area. I suppose you could chop them, and get the worlds narrowest bull horns :.)

    Nick W.

  • kanishka new england (get me out of here!) says:

    a little off topic, but i thought my ultimate bars would be moustache bars. but after re-reading your various posts, i’m going back to civia aldrich, 50 deg probably. i think i can make 2 hand positions on it if i move the brake levers and shifters.

    i’m going against the moustache for me because i want rise, not drop on the upright portion. i might look into upside down moustache options eventually.

    i’ve been riding the civia loring’s for 2 months now (on a swift folder, which is strange enough in it of itself). i didn’t pick those bars, they just happened to be the ones in stock at the shop where i was.

    i love upright, but probably only for the first and last mile, when i’m in area where i like to take it slower and feel like a part of the downtown. in between, in suburban/rural stretches, i want to be able to get a little faster, more forward, while of course still taking in some view

  • dwainedibbly says:

    Kanishka: I have been using On-One Mary bars on my commuter for some time. You might want to take a look at them. They have probably the amount of bend you want and they keep the rider more forward than a lot of other bends.

    Nick W: I’m in Portland, so probably the 3rd pair to hit town will be flipped & chopped. :)

  • John L says:

    I know they lack in the asthetic dept, but I have fallen in love with the Origin 8 drop bar ends. They put my hands where I want them when I want them there, be it commuting in traffic, or touring on country roads.

  • jdmitch says:

    @John L,
    Huh! I’ve never seen those before… you’re right aesthetics aren’t they’re high point, but they could be handy on a flat bar… interesting…

  • Alan says:

    Here’s a link to the Origin 8 bar-ends John mentioned above:


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