Mustache Handlebars Circa 1992

In the back of a shop, in lonely corner of a mechanic’s bench, I spotted a framed Mustache Handlebar page from the 1992 Bridgestone Catalog.


“Bring Bridgestone back!,” is what I say.


is that what you were doing in my corner? i purposefully make that corner messy to prevent that sort of thing.

as for Bridgestone, besides the idea that a Japanese-made bicycle is too expensive for a full-range manufacturer in the US, you have heard of Rivendell?

Bridgestone still very much exists in Japan, but the US distributor is long gone.  What was the marketing and design personality that most Americans connect with the name Bridgestone and their US-market bikes of the early 90’s is Grant Peterson, the head of Rivendell Bicycles.

When I think of Rivendell, I can’t help but wonder if they had only concentrated on delivering Rambuillet and Atlantis frameset/bikes that they may have been able to be successful.  Instead, they made every kind of weird 650B mixte whatsis, pushed beeswax as the greatest thing since Newton’s First Law, and couldn’t deliver product to dealers. 

Nowadays they sell beeswax and tires and sell custom frames directly with a 2-3 yr waiting list.  However, people outside the industry should not confuse a waiting list with profitability. 

But I have to give them props for stylistically have a large influence on the “artisan” side of the cycling industry.

Oh, and I think moustache bars suck.

One of our ongoing topics on Bike Hugger is how the industry continuously markets the old as new and lacks any real break-through innovation. Belt drives in 08! Whatever.

How ‘bout an internally-geared, 3-speed Cross drivetrain with 2 chainrings up front? That’s all the spread you need (fast, medium, climbing), make it light, and then a Commuter could use it. I’m riding around on the Team Conquest (very nice frame, btw), and wondering why in the world it has Compact Ultegra on it? Get some mud up in that drivetrain and it shifts like shit.

Nuvinci innovated, weight aside, and it’s remarkably good for cargo or comfort bikes.

Rivendell could also be doing nicely if Grant Petersen could give a little on the price and technology, and there’s a good head start on both if he could give up on threaded forks.

What is the lost advantage of threaded systems?  They *do* make adjustable threadless stems for height, not to mention *length*, and the overhead-handlebar riding position endorsed by Rivendell just requires a few more spacers.

With that said, I do endorse a few of their products for everyday cycling.  I’ve been turned on to Panaracer tires for commuting because they’ve been dependable and have a not-too-tight bead you can pry off the rim, even with the common cyclist’s shoulder injury.  Their “Grip King” platform pedals (available cheaper outside their catalog) are as good as platforms have ever been done for “normal people.”  You can just step on the pedals and go, no funny spikes, special shoes, clips, or pedal-flipping required.

I’m still waiting for a company to come up with the ultimate carbon fiber commuter bike complete with disc brakes, braze ons, carbon fenders, carbon bars and high end components… carbon fiber rack and kevlar panniers… all under 19lbs…

That would be a niche bike

Well, Giant already do hydraulic discs on carbon forks (see the CRX City Pro). Talk about not making much sense.

“Hi, I would like a fork that could fail without warning, and a brake that will subject that fork to intense and sudden pressure!”


The Bettie runs with Avid Juicys, which I think could fold the fork in half and are good enough for a light bicycle—makes total sense for a downhill bike cargo bike in a hilly locale, but overkill for anything else.

Also see [fixed gear]( on M bars

You are aware that Nitto still makes those, right? We don’t need Bridgestone to have them.

I agree with Mark that Rivendell has done some bizarre stuff, but somehow I don’t think Grant is in the business to make money hand over fist. He strikes me as the type of guy who loves his craft, makes just enough money to get by and enjoys riding and camping as much or more than working. Can’t fault him for that.

I’ve got a pair of Nittos on the Bettie.

DL, I LOVE your idea for the ultimate ‘cross/commuter platform.  Sign me up when one comes out!

Moustaches are “love ‘em or hate ‘em”, mostly…I don’t absolutely love mine, but I am firmly in the “yeah, these are pretty cool” camp, provided that stem length and rise have been optimized for them.  The climbing leverage a rider can get by gripping the ends of the bars is spectacular, and they give a decent semi-aero position in the hooks.

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