Just a few years ago you would have been hard pressed to find any new four-piece bars in BMX shops besides the popular signature Bob Scerbo bars from Animal. This has all changed with many companies offering their own take on the handlebar that Robbie Morales affectionately told Taj Mihelich were "disgusting" in Props' "Road Fools One." Just recently, Austin, Texas based brand Terrible One worked with team rider Shawn "Elf" Waters to create their take on the four-piece handlebar, the Salt City Bars.
WHAT IT IS:
The Salt City Bars are four-piece handlebars with an 8.2" rise, 9 degree backs weep, 4 degree upsweep and a width of 28". The handlebars weigh in at 1lb. 12 oz. and are available in black, raw, and rust red. The bars are made of chromoly and are multi-butted.
WHY IT RULES:
Like so many of their products, the "Salt Lake" bars were born out of a team member's need. While content with the Bob Scerbo bars he was previously running, Elf wanted to try his own hand at a design and run his longtime sponsor's own product. The final design, while referencing classics like Redline Forklifters and Haro Kneesavers, offers a new approach to the four-piece bars on the market and may be just the cure for a boring bike. In addition, they feature a classic T-1 logo die-cut and a cool salt shaker graphic.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Terrible One products are available at finer bike shops and select mailorders, such as Empire BMX.
Shawn "Elf" Waters and Joe Rich were kind enough to answer some more questions regarding the handlebars.
ESPN.com: What was the impetus for the bars?
Shawn "ELF" Walters: Joe (Rich) has always told me that if I had any ideas for T-1 to let him know. So a few years ago I mentioned that I would like to do some four-piece bars. I tried to draw some ideas but nothing seemed to look good enough to go ahead with the project. Then recently, emailing back and forth with Ed (Docherty) and Joe the idea came up again. I had a good idea of what I was looking for but was having a hard time coming up with any type of actual drawing. Ed really played a huge part in helping me figure out how to make our ideas come to life. He sent me more technical drawings of every idea we thought of which made it much easier to visualize. Eventually we came up with something we were all happy with. Joe printed me out full scale drawing from the final drawing. It gave me an exact idea of what the bars were going to look like. After that I knew I was happy with everything!
Was there any direct inspiration for them? (I see some kneesavers in them)
Elf: Before I rode for T-1, I always rode (S&M) Castillo bars (later AD bars). Then when I started to ride for T-1, I started to use their bars. I always really liked the look and feel of four-piece so I eventually started running Animal Bob Scerbo bars and loved them. Having the opportunity to create my own got me really excited. I knew from the get go that I wanted them to feel somewhat like my old bars. but I did not want to be copying them.
Is Elf the only team rider on T-1 riding the bars?
Joe Rich: As of right now, he is. That could easily change. I know bars are something that people love to stick with once they find a pair that they like. I'm quite guilty of that one. However, despite what I thought I knew about myself, I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I took ELF's bike for a few runs on the ramp. Though they vary quite a bit from our other bars, they felt right. I love it when that can happen.
Finally, how has the response been so far?
Elf: A lot better than I ever thought. In Salt Lake City a bunch of my friends are really interested and want to get a pair. I could not help but worry a little bit when the bars were finished that nobody would like them and T-1 would have wasted their money, but Joe has always been amazing with how he runs things and only wants us to do what makes us happy. So the fact that there are some riders that like them makes me really excited for everyone involved.
Joe: I actually had a lot of people throw me warning signs when they heard we were doing four-piece bars, but the response has been far from that. I think that Elf's design is different enough from what people might usually assume that four-piece bars are. I'm just stoked that Elf was able to do these in a way that made him happy.