Saturday, July 15, 2017

How far would you travel to buy a handlebar?

Dr Mike Khaw drooling and salivating over the original Jones H-Bar!

Having seen a Jones H-Bar on my friend Mike Khor's new Surly Troll, I have been rather smitten and the urge to get one seems to be growing. However, it is quite expensive and sells for S$200 and because it is too long for me, I would have to cut it shorter. When the Ergotec Space Bar was recommended to me, a quick research confirmed this was the bar for me. It sells for just 25% of the price of Jones Bar or 1250B and the smaller dimensions seem perfect for me.

Pic - Tyro Bike

Uncle John's Bike Shed has written a nice blog about the Space Bar here.

However, nobody seems to sell it in Singapore or Malaysia. Not even the renown tourer SK Lah who also runs the bicycle friendly hostel Tree in Lodge! After 3 days of searching and enquiring, I was elated when Tyro Bikes in Hat Yai responded that they stocked one and can order more if needed. This led to the perfect excuse to travel 1000km north to buy it and a hastily put together plan to visit the lovely coastal town of Songkhla as well. KC, my ever faithful cycling buddy, signed up for Mission Ergotec and we booked our bus for the 14 hr journey up north to the Land of Smiles.

The idea is to enjoy 2 nights in Songkhla, which itself is a fascinating town made up of a tapestry of Thai, Chinese, Malay cultures and sits between 2 seas. It used to be a coastal trading port where Arabs, Indian and Persian merchants did business and is historically rich. The Japanese Army also landed here in WW2 and began its invasion of the Peninsula all the way to Singapore so I look forward to discovering this historically rich town.

Pic from

My friends tell me we are crazy to go all the way up just to get a handlebar but I now have a deeper understanding of why the famous touring website is called Crazy Guy on A Bike.


Bike Friday Tikit - my foldy of choice thanks to its incredibly fast folding time, compact size for easing loading into the bus luggage and it rides well, very very well. It takes 2 Ortleib front packs on rear rack easily but I have learned to manage with just one.


Reflections on finding something valuable after a long search...

This experience of hunting high and far for the illusive handlebar and eventually finding it, resulting in great joy reminded me of a similar story told in the Bible about a woman and her lost coin. The message is that God loves all of us so much and goes through great lengths to find us. 

Luke 15:8-10The Message (MSG)

The Story of the Lost Coin

“Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”

Wiki has the story here. 


acid mustafa said...

Definitely a good option.
Veey affordable too.

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