Normally when I make a cockpit adjustment, it takes a few rides for me to get used to the new position. That was not the case after I installed my carbon Jones H Bars (710mm).
It was immediately obvious that these bars offered the most comfortable positions for my hands. The way I counted, there are at least seven different ways to grip a Jones bar as you’re seated.
Widest grip, no brakes: good for flat gravel grinding.
Mid grip, one finger braking: downhill
Choked up, two/middle finger braking: steep singletrack climbs (longer lever principle, keeps front wheel weighted)
Hoods: road cruising
Middle of the bars: road, easy climbs
Aero (elbows on grips): pedalling while tucked
Aero (elbows on middle of the bar, gripping Gnarwhal): coasting while tucked
I quickly found the Gnarwhal was not worth the weight, price and real estate. By running my forearms along the grips,I could approximate the same position. In this configuration, my elbows are at comfortable angle that keeps my body position forward but also broadens my chest to allow for easier breathing. The Narwhal is surprisingly heavy aluminum and really functions best as a hikeabike lever and accessory mounting rail. I found myself hardly ever needing it for balance.
One of the joys of running H bars is the sheer volume of real estate you have for handlebar-mounted accessories. The forward rail is a great place to mount I like without it being obstructed. There’s plenty of room for all of the necessities: bell, phone, GPS, t-rex squeaky horn.
Jones makes a nice, simple ultralight pouch that fits inside of the handlebar space. It makes for easy access two small items, but is a little bit on the pricey side. Boutique frame bag cottage shops like Cleaveland Mountaineering could probably custom make them better.
The specialty Jones EVA foam grips, however, are worth the price; they are long enough to maximize the three hand positions that can be used with them. Wrapping the remainder of the bar with handlebar tape was an easy enough task.
Altogether, I couldn’t be happier with the Jones H bars. I haven’t ridden anything longer than 110 miles on them but I trust that they will be an invaluable piece of kit on neverending gravel rides like the Sancho 200 and Michigan Coast to Coast.