The Crazy Bar has been in Velo Orange’s lineup for eight years now and has received numerous updates along the way. This iteration features the most significant changes yet and has been developed following community feedback and extensive in-house testing.
What’s new with the Velo Orange Crazy Bar?
The Crazy Bar has grown in width from 666mm to 780mm. This will appeal to the mountain bike-y end of the bikepacking spectrum, where the additional control and comfort a wider bar can offer is well-documented. If you prefer a narrower bar, it is, of course, possible to cut it down.
The sweep of the bar has also been reduced from 45 degrees to a more neutral 35 degrees. This should also improve off-road control and still provide a comfortable and natural position for wrists.
The Crazy Bars’ signature feature is its extensions, or horns if you prefer.
These were more like time-trial extensions on the previous generation of the bar, with a pronounced flat section that kicked up towards the end.
The extensions have also been shortened to 110mm overall on the latest generation. Velo Orange says it has done this because it “allows significantly easier access to all of the positions without having to reach to the extremes of the bars”.
It is still possible to fit bar-end shifters to the horns, which sit 42cm apart centre-to-centre.
The pre-production sample of the bar I have here features shorter extensions than those that will ship to consumers. Refer to Velo Orange’s own photos and specs for an accurate idea of what to expect.
The bar now also features 40mm of rise. As it is nominally designed as a touring handlebar, where an upright and comfortable ride position is usually favoured, this makes sense.
Despite its touring focus, the handlebar is rated as a mountain bike handlebar, so you could fit it to your enduro rig if you really wanted.
The bar is available in a bead-blasted silver or an anodised black finish. It’s only available in a 31.8mm clamp.
Production has been delayed slightly, but the bar will be in stock at Velo Orange around June, and a pre-order period will likely open up before this date.
Pricing is TBC. Full details are available on the Velo Orange blog.
Who are Velo Orange’s Crazy bars for?
A flat bar with a bit of sweep, a bit of rise and… aero-ish extensions? Just who the heck is this handlebar for?
While nominally designed as a touring bar, a handlebar of this style could make sense for a huge number of bikes.
For gravel bikes that sit at the gnarlier end of the shred spectrum, I reckon these could work well, if not better than standard drop bars. With the Crazy Bar, you’re getting all the control a flat bar offers and the added hand positions and aero benefits that come with the extensions.
Though the horns are a little widely spaced to adopt a truly aero position, they could even be useful for ultra-distance races on mixed terrain, though these riders may be better-served by typical bolt-on extensions and a normal flat bar.
The extensions also provide a useful area to secure luggage for any rider that likes to use a handlebar bag.
Of course, any rider will have to be comfortable with the not insignificant aesthetic challenge the bars present – no matter what bike you fit them to, these will be the standout feature, and you’ll have to be prepared to fend off questions from interested parties.
However, for those that favour practicality and comfort over all else, I think these could be a hit.