When Margadant was young and still an operator he had a number of bar classifications, the extremes being Fern Bars , which he had contempt for, and Bar Bars, which he loved not wisely but too well. I believe Reverend Dick of the Church of the Sweet Ride is speaking here of Bar Bars. I enjoy reading good writing. I like bicycles. I love it when they come together in a perfect union. Praise the Lord and pass the collection plate!
There are categories of bikes.
Within these categories are niches.
Within these niches are windowless dive bars peopled by shady lowlifes. It may happen that you need to lock your bike up here, and when it does happen you will count yourself fortunate to have prepared for this inevitability by building a bike to fit this particular seedy niche:
the bar bike.
The bar bike is your townie, stripped of all precious componentry.This is harder than it sounds. You think to yourself, "Whatevah!" (because that is how you talk ) "I have a huge booty bin of parts! I can whip something together in no time." But, before you know it, your beater has been turned out with that sweet high flange intricately cut-out Campy Record wheelset you have hanging up in the workroom. Or those undeniably comfortable yet slightly too narrow Ti 16*bend WTB handlebars. Or that rough around the edges and heavy as a boilermaker 3 sprung Brooks touring saddle, or that sweet 40spoke tandem front wheel... Etc.
Now you see.
Those are all parts you are not currently using, yes. But you would hate to lose them even so, and that is the complicating factor in this build. A true bar bike requires mechanical soundness (who can fix anything demanding more than a good kick when departing the 4th lube joint en route to the 5th?) and a modicum of comfort (seedy bars are not all gathered in one convenient neighborhood), yet also demands that the bike be subject to prolonged exposure in the most debauched of locales...yes, sometimes even overnight. Frankly, crashing is to be expected at some point, too.
There is the latest iteration of my bar bike. If you're out driving in your car and rekanize me, just roll up next to me and yell "FAGGOT!" or throw something...I'll know it's you.