Back in 2014, we reviewed a product known as Togs – they're bolt-on levers that allow mountain bikers to maintain a grip when riding with their thumbs on top of the handlebars. Now, reportedly in response to user demand, Togs' creators have come out with a version for drop bars.
Known as Road Togs, the new model is intended to be mounted pointing inwards, on the curving transitional section of the bars between the flats and the bottoms. Installing the levers requires taking the handlebar tape off the bars, then simply using an Allen key to tighten down their stainless steel mounting bands.
Once the levers are in place and the bars are rewrapped, the idea is that riders can rest their thumbs on top of them when riding in the aero position, as opposed to clenching the bar with their thumbs.
Why is this a good thing? According to Togs company own Neil Harvey, the thumb support allows riders to lighten their grip – he says that this saves energy, increases comfort, and reduces the chances of the hand slipping against the bar. Additionally, the setup is claimed to help keep the hands stable and in place when going over rough terrain.
The levers themselves are made of molded plastic, with a complete set of Road Togs tipping the scales at 18 grams. They're said to fit any make or model of drop bars.
If you're interested in getting a set, they're currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$35 is required for a pair (planned retail $55), with shipping estimated for August if they reach production.
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