Fun with Albatross Bars

Nitto “Albatross” bars are special upright city bars that allow for bar-end shifters or inverse brake levers. They are wide, and if set up high on a quill stem, can get up there pretty good, which is why a lot of folks with back problems swear by them. They go well with the Rivendell style of rambling and ambling riding. If set up high, you’ll be exercising your quads mostly (that’s how it feels to me), and not getting the efficiency that you would with drops even or below the saddle. The higher they are, the more likely you’ll need a wide sprung saddle like a Brooks B66 or 67. Slide ‘da bars down, and they become better over distance. Great for touring.

Also… pretty fun on dirt? For sure.

Photo by Nathan



  1. somervillain

    nice (and timely) post! coincidentally, i just converted a touring bike with randonneur drop bars to an upright city bike with albatross bars w/bar end shifters. what a transformation! the bike is really comfy around town, and is still capable of dirt road rambling:

    From Randonneur to Citaden:  Conversion of a touring bike to city kid and cargo hauler

    From Randonneur to Citaden:  Conversion of a touring bike to city kid and cargo hauler

  2. Alejandro A.

    Nice post, I’ve follow your blog a couple of months now,i’m a bike commuter looking to build a bike for long distance.
    I commute (hardcore fulltime) in a brompton M bars now, it’s an almost upright ride but i’ve angled the bars a little forward what makes me use a B17 pretty confortably.
    So in my build up I was looking throught stuff I can get to mexico throught a really nice shop, and i fell in love with nitto right away, and wondered if the albatross would be the right bar for me, i’ve no experience with drop bars, and as I tell you i’m aiming to long distances (have done 100kms in the brompton, nicely but i feel stuck in one position and head winds can be pretty anoying) but in my head, drop bars can be pretty strange for what I’m currently using.

    So what’s your opinion? Any comment from you would be very valuable.

    • Esteban

      Ah – you sound like you’re in for some fun stuff. If you’ve been riding a lot on the Brompton, I’d certainly start with Albatross bars – they’ll be more comfortable for you, at least initially. I’d recommend trying different heights – but like I said in the post, do try them low. That will give you more efficiency while riding over distance. The cro-mo Albatross bars are very wide – maybe too wide. I’d go with the alum. ones.

      I love drop bars myself – and you may too eventually. Have fun and post photos!

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