Words by April Drage & Steve Marsh
A friend of mine (who also happens to be one of Australia’s all time most awesome mountain bike legends) Steve Marsh and his mates at Whippets Workshop in Adelaide have spent a lot of time helping me get my bikes set up for big adventures. Not only has Steve been shredding for decades, he has also been a bike mechanic for much of this time. What this guy doesn’t know about bikes probably isn’t worth knowing.Steve and his wife Alice bought a pair of GMX+ framesets a while back and have been experimenting with different bars and set ups, including the Curve REMLAW Bars.
I asked Steve what he thought about them.
“When I built up the bike (Curve GMX+), I have to say I didn’t dig ‘em (the REMLAW Bars) at first. It felt pretty foreign to me, coming from mountain bike. I’m used to a different sweep and different style of bars so they felt really weird!” Almost immediately Steve took the bars off….
Some time later, he felt “the REMLAW Bar were calling” and he put them back on to experiment further. He decided that at 800 wide, they were too wide for him. Fortunately, the bars come marked with 5mm increments to facilitate customising the width to suit the rider. Steve decided to “chop those puppies down to 750” and fell in love with how the bars transformed his ride.
“Awesome for my commute to work. They fit my Skingrowsback handlebar bag on them for everyday stuff. And when we get out and get going (on adventures), they fit my Restrap bag on there that carries my tent and sleeping gear and there are still spots to put my lights.”
The next phase of Steve’s REMLAW test involved a trip to the Grampians; taking loaded bikes on what he described as “ugly climbs”. “I was getting traction up steep loose stuff and I found them quite impressive.” But what he liked most about the bars was that they helped to resolve some ongoing issues with hand aches and pins and needles.
Buoyed by the surprising benefits of the bars, Steve continued experimenting. Seeking a wider range of hand positions for longer rides, he installed Ergon GP3 Grips. Steve acknowledged that the grips aren’t the coolest thing he’s seen but, when it comes to adventure riding, comfort IS cool.
“The comfort was there, the ergonomic part of the grips felt soft and I love having extra places to put my hands. I took a risk and cut the bars down again, to 720 and that nailed it. This set-up is just awesome for me. Total control descending. The bull horns on the grips are the perfect setup, it has changed the whole bike for me. The only other thing I might toy with is TT bars. Stay tuned for that!”
Steve and the REMLAW Bar have been a slow burn of a relationship, but I think most great love stories are like that.