Soma Fabrications “Junebug” Bar: Quick Review:
In the world of handle bars, there are road drop bars, mountain bike bars of several various types, and a few strange, “alternative bars”. Some of those bars, like “TT” bars, “bull horns”, and the like are well known bars for specific purposes. Then there is the dark and nefarious world of off-road drop bars. This review concerns itself with one of the few flared drop bars for off-road that you can get your hands on easily- the Soma Fabrications Junebug Bar.
I’m going to avoid falling into a long dissertation on the “why” of off-road drop bars, and cut to the chase, so here are the particulars on the Junebug Bar from Soma’s site linked above.
– 6061-T6 aluminum
– Width 56cm
– Drop: 112mm
– Reach: 65mm
– Stem Clamp Size: 31.8mm
– Width of flats on top: 340mm
– ID at ends: 20.0mm
– Grip area has a slight flare
– Weight: 300g
A review of the Junebug is not complete without a mention of its striking similarities to the On One Midge Bar. The Midge Bar was a collaboration of sorts to help find a replacement for the “grand daddy” of off road drop bars, the WTB Drop Bar. That bar, which went out of production in the late 90’s, was coveted by devotees of drop bar mountain biking with used examples fetching well over $100.00. The Midge Bar can arguably be dubbed as the “Renaissance Bar” when it comes to off-road drop bars, but its availability Stateside has been spotty. In comes the Junebug Bar, which, if you didn’t have the Midge Bar sitting right next to it, looks like a dead ringer for a Midge Bar. It is ever so slightly different though. Slightly narrower, with a slightly different flare and sweep, the Junebug is its own bar, but just barely.
At The Finish: The Junebug has a 31.8mm bar clamp and fits road levers just like a good drop bar should. It also happens to have a good feel on gravel with a slight amount of give. I felt that the drops and the geometry of the Junebug, while slightly different than the Midge, was barely any different in real world riding. The extensions are slightly longer on the Junebug, which is a good thing. As described before, the Junebug is slightly narrower, which isn’t such a good thing for bigger folks. I was fine with this, but I also felt that I wouldn’t want it to be any narrower either. Also, there is the common theme with bars like this in regards to width in that there is only one choice. Love it or leave it.
The Junebug is a good approximation of the Midge and rides well. It looks good, feels nice on gravel, and you can actually get it for $59.99 from Soma’s site. If the width is good for you, I can recommend it as a good choice for off-road, adventures, or gravel rides.
Note: the Junebug was provided for this review by Soma Fabrications at no charge. We were not bribed, nor paid for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.