Over the past several months, I've had a few individuals contact me with various questions about the handlebars on the Sam Hillborne, so I thought perhaps a post was in order. I did write about them briefly when changes were made several months ago, but because I've had time to ride with them now, I feel a little better equipped to evaluate how they are working for me. The most common inquiry asks if they are Nitto Mustache handlebars. To put this misconception to rest, they are not. I did briefly try mustache bars, but found the stretch on a bike that's bordering on being too large for me was just too much. The handlebars are in fact Nitto Albatross bars. Before I get into it too much, if you are looking for these particular handlebars, I would advise doing some research for the lowest cost. Depending on your preference for aluminum or chromoly, I've seen price differences of up to $45 (just on new handlebars - I imagine it would be even greater on used), so there is some savings to be had if you look around.
shim to make up the size difference. I have these handlebars on two bikes (the Hillborne and the Surly) which both take 26.0 bars. On the Surly, the shim was needed to make the handlebars secure, however, the Hillborne was barely able to squeeze the bars in to the stem. I don't know if it's the difference in stem types, or if I just happened to get a handlebar that was a bit larger, but I was warned that it isn't safe to ride without the shim because of the size difference, so I pass along the same to you.