When I saw the Surly Ogre for the first time, one of the first things that drew my attention were the handlebars. No ordinary mtb handlebar, the Jones 710 Loop H-Bar are swept back, but with a loop at the front which makes them very distinctive. Not to every one’s tastes though, more on that later. I loved the look of them. I realised straight away how these would offer a good variety of hand positions to one’s ride.
Getting to grips
When I took my Ogre out for it’s maiden spin, at first I wasn’t sure if I had done the right thing. These loopy bars were wide. I felt like I was riding a Harley rather than a Surly. Before I was even warmed up, I knew these bad-boy bars were right for me. It’s a very comfy position. Not racy, but I felt open. With my hands on my kinky Ergon GC1 grips, I felt like my arms were in a bit of a ‘ward off’ position. A powerful circular curve, a staple Tai Chi stance. Good stuff. I like to ride in quite an upright position compared to most. I like to enjoy the scenery rather than focus on my heart rate or stare at the tarmac. I haven’t ridden an Ogre without the Jones Loops, so can’t compare how better, or worse they are in terms of reducing vibration from the solid front fork. But I find them very comfy.
It’s Dick Van Bike
So now I am riding along, I like to imagine, like some sort of a Bruce Lee/Peter Fonda hybrid. Enter the Dragon meets Easy Rider. Pretty damn cool, huh? Well, no. Not every one see’s it that way. My so-called ‘mates’ thought I was more like Mary Poppins. I just needed a wicker shopping basket. But what do they know? I didn’t buy the bike as a fashion accessory. No gold looped earrings for me thanks.
Hands on the H-Bar Loops
Now, I could explain just how many different hand positions you can rock with the Jones Loops. But I couldn’t do that nowhere near as well as Jeff Jones:
- DH/Upright – hands on grips
- XC/Honk – hands on main bar where it meets the loop bar
- Rest/Climb – hands on main bar close together
- Aero – hands on loop bar close together
I must admit, I didn’t know what ‘honk’ was until I saw this video and looked it up. For the record, it means out of the saddle riding.
The 710 in the name means it is 710mm wide. The original H-Bars are 660 wide. They are noticeably wider than normal MTB bars, winding through tight twisting tracks surrounded by trees means you need to be a tad more accurate with your steering.
Surly Bikes contacted me several months ago asking about the possibility of getting custom Jones H-Bars made for some of their bikes. They wanted a Loop H-bar but with a longer grip section and more overall width. We made the samples and I have been riding with them for a few months now. I really like the extra width and grip length for long rides.
If you are obsessed with weight, or have a healthy bank balance you could always get the titanium version. They look great but a little out of my price range. There is also a carbon version which is a little cheaper than the titanium.
Jones H-Bar Loop Conclusion
I love these bars. I could have bought a 2013 Ogre for a lot less, but they didn’t have the Jones Loop fitted. Very glad I stumped up the extra wonga for the 2014 model. Some people might give you odd looks or snide comments but these bars are wonderful. I haven’t taped my bars up yet. I might do so in the future. But coupled with the Ergon grips I couldn’t be happier right now.