The right tool for the job
You’ve just started your week and maybe a don't want to work yet? Maybe trying to find a way to kill 5 minutes? Perfect, because this information isn’t necessarily riveting, but it is important.
A little background to start….In just about any industry there are voluntary and mandatory standards that products must be tested to in order to say something is “safe”. This is how we ensure our bikes and products maintain consitent quality and are safe to the end user. In many cases there are standards organizations that create the benchmarks of safety…..In the USA, bicycle product safety is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There are also voluntary standards organizations like ASTM and ISO that outline recommended testing protocol and intended use for consumer products. Here at Surly, we test all of our parts to the EN/ISO standard because it is the most rigorous, but we include ASTM use ratings as well. If you look at the instructions that come with that shiny new Surly bit (which if you’re like me you probably don’t and just use them for a fire starter, but if you do, you can always find them here) you will see one of the 5 ASTM use case ratings pictured below:
In a generic sense, these ratings tell you how a frame, or any component should be ridden. They vary from on road with no drops or irregular surfaces (condition 1) to full on DH blasting (condition 5).
We have ratings for all of our bikes and components, but I’m going to pick on one specific component today. The lovely Open Bar. I’m not talking about that hour before the dinner at a wedding where you guzzle as much free booze as you can, but rather, the tried and true swoopy handlebar designed by your friends here at Intergalactic HQ. We mention that this bar is “Equally suited to cruising, commuting, and even some singletrack…”
I can personally attest to that statement. I commute on this bar, ride this bar to the bar, and may even ride some secret singletrack while doing so. However, I don’t ride this bar when I’m up at Spirit Mountain, or riding the latest greatest flowy jump trail around town. Like many things in life, you need the right tool for the job.
The Open Bar is rated for use COndition 2 (See image above), which like we said may include some singletrack. There are many different opinions of what constitutes singletrack, but if it’s rough and has drops above six inches, you might want to let the open bar sit this one out.
Cruising for Ice cream with your dude or lady? Try not to get any ice cream on your Open bar
Want to do a little off-road touring on some 2-track and the occasional singletrack? Perfect scenario for the Open Bar
Want to bikepack the Kokopelli trail? Not the perfect scenario for the Open Bar
Want to ride the Whistler bike park?