As I try to 'figure out' what's different on those old bars, and the new ones, that's something I've noticed; that it's really hard to show the complex bends of bars in pictures!
Especially when they're not given as a series of direct side, direct, direct front... Those on that Herse look like 'regular old drops' (sensu lato
)from the side, but quite different in that other view - wider drops, etc.
I think that's maybe a little more like the Portola bars but not exact.
Soma makes (or do they have them made - need to check) some other bars in this general 'alternative drops' category (to put an artificial grouping on them) - gator
, etc. but as I only use 25-26mm quill stems and some of theirs are for wider clamps, e.g., threadless, I haven't looked into them.
I'm similarly puzzled by the Nitto B-825 butterfly bars, which in some views look 101& different from my Kalloys, in other views more similar...
And Nitto makes some of the bars for VO, Compass, and others, or versions of theirs, and the RM-3 name is re-used with a slightly different shape, plus they don't list all their bars in the PDF catalogue or website [ http://nitto-tokyo.sakura.ne.jp/index-E.html
] - the 825 is an example!
Still, it seems we may be in a sort of 'goldish age' of handlebar diversity
(another silly but handy term) with a lot to choose from. Despite the confusion, I really like Nittos the best but intrigued by the Lauterwassers, Portolas, and whatever may turn up that looks like the Marsh
, etc. bars I'm seeing in the old CTC Gazette ads and 30s-40s catalogues [ such as available at the V-CC archive ]. I guess the only way to find out is to give them a try...
I've just put Nitto 177 'noodle'
bars on a 1985 Woodrup that's not quite done yet to give them a try, too... But (though haven't tried) the 'albatross
' style bars, like drops with almost no drop, don't look as interesting to me, being apparently based on width of grip as the main difference. Who knows without trying though!?
My favo(u)rite overall remains a good 'randonneur' bar like the Nitto B-135
though, with Grab-Ob foam grips and a layer or two of cloth tape over, so keeping those on my main touring bike for now!.