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.