Life After Bob Bars?

Why these riders are sticking with the classics

20 Jan 2015

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Article Courtesy of Daniel Niles / Fuck-nose

The history of the iconic 4pc Bob Scerbo bars has been well documented but as they are now discontinued, and are becoming harder to find, Dan Niles decided to ask a few riders that still run them in this era of over-sized bars, why they still obsessively stick with these classics.

Ralph SINISI WALLRIDE NYC 2008 RD

The Boss - NYC 2008 - Photo by Rob Dolecki

RALPH SINISI - "I think the new bigger bars make you ride the bars more than the bike"

How long have you been running them?

Since they dropped. Over 10 years now. Except for about 1 year about a year ago that I rode Rone’s Piff bars while I was riding a limited Dashop frame to really represent. I switched back though over the last year since I got back on another Skavenger.

Why do you still run them?

Control, handling, ride height, hop, peg control, going around fences, no flex, perfect angles, being closer to the ground when you fall, etc, etc.

How many spare pairs do you have?

Not enough, but I never have ever bent them and rarely have ever even changed my bars. I put on a new pair maybe every 3-4 years. Not even sure why I do it that often.

Which other bars might you run instead?

I always liked 4 piece bars. I used to run all the old school styles back in the day including GTs like Bob always rode before we made the Animal ones. Ours are still different and the best on a whole different level.

When Animal started manufacturing and selling Bob bars did you think they would have the impact they had?

I knew it. The first time I saw Bob jump over a fence that was taller than he was off a bank that was 2 ft high, I knew he and the bars had something special, the best recipe for hops I had ever seen. I still think they make the most sense for big hops since you can have that much more control for quick moves and quick landings being that much more at one with the bike. I think the new bigger bars make you ride the bars more than the bike. These bars give you a tighter connection with the whole bike and the way every bit of it performs.

Considering how the Bob bars came to be, how do you feel about a new generation of riders that are now struggling to have a back up stash of them?

I think it is an honor to him and the bars. We make a bigger version, but unfortunately the total demand didn’t make sense to keep the regular ones in production. I would definitely buy any ones you can find either way.

Jack Appleton - "if anyone’s selling some OG’s I’ll sure take some more backups"

Jack Appleton playground Eric Hesselbo

Jack Appleton - Tight playground hop - Photo by Eric Hesselbo

"So I think I’ve been running them for around three to four years. I can’t really get on with big bars: I also dig the look of Bobs... and they feel good!  I’ve got two at home and a set on my bike, but if anyone’s selling some OG’s I’ll sure take some more backups.  What else might I run? I always thought the Sway bars looked decent." - Jack Appleton

JEFF MARTIN - "I’ve always really just been into the feel"

Jeff MARTIN XUPRAIL NYC 2012 RD

Jeff Martin - NYC 2011 - Photo by Rob Dolecki

"I've been running them for about 7 years now that I think of it. The past year or so I’ve been running them and the big fours depending on how my back is feeling that day. I’ve always really just been into the feel. the upsweep and shallow back sweep has always felt really good especially when doing xup grinds  I used to have about three spare pairs but I’ve lent a couple out to friends to try out. I currently only have a set and there is another set I left at some girls house in new jersey when my car broke down. Like I said I’ve been switching off with the big fours from time to time, but genuinely Bob Bars will be my last set of handlebars." - Jeff Martin

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Marv keeping it tight in London town. Photo by James Cox

Marv - "I’m too proud to change"

“How long have I been running Bob Bars? Erm’ since about 2006/07 I think. I still run them because I like the way they look and feel. I think massive bars look gross. I’ve got 4 pairs (of Bobs) but most of them are lent out to friends. I’d maybe the big version instead or maybe Slam bars… but most likely none as I’m too proud to change.” - Marv

BOB SCERBO - "Obviously the politics with me and Animal goes a lot deeper than that"

BOB SCERBO GAP NJ 2008 RD 1

Bob Scerbo - NJ 2008 - Photo by Rob Dolecki

How long have you been running them?

I have been running them since the first prototypes. I ran the GT’s since 1995 I think, I never had anything else that I can remember except the bars that came on my Haro complete as a kid. I got a pair slam bars after and traded them to my brother that day for GT 4 piece.

Why do you still run them?

I run them because I have run them my whole life and I like the way my bike feels, I never felt the need to try anything else.

How many spare pairs do you have?

 I have 9 pairs stocked right now, I just put a fresh pair on when I built my new bike a few months ago.

Which other bars might you consider running instead?

 T-1 Salt City Bars

How do you feel about a generation of riders going through the same struggles you went through when you used to run GT bars?

I think it’s really funny how it came full circle. I was made fun of for my bars looking silly, for being too big, then too small, then copied by every company and now they are obsolete and off the market all together and the whole time they have remained the exact same dimensions. The bars are a great example of how retarded people are.

Thanks for answering my questions. Why did your bars get discontinued? I can’t ride any other bars they don’t feel the same.

The reason the bars got discontinued was that Animal wanted to do the bigger ones and they wanted to use my name on them and I said no, so when they got made I told them they can not do mine anymore, I thought the bars were fine the way they were. Just some bullshit really. I would like to remake them as Skapegoat bars but I don’t really want to go that route and be a bike company because it never seems to work out well for people who choose that. Obviously the politics with me and Animal goes a lot deeper than that but that is the simplest way I can explain it.

BOB SCERBO GAP AWH 2008 RD

Politics free tyre tap. Bob Scerbo, Animal warehouse 2008. Photo by Rob Dolecki

Matt Glover - "I got outbid by £1 on ebay and haven't slept since!"

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Matt Glover - Wall to wedge - Photo by Matty Lambert

“I’ve been riding the bars since around 2009 and riding 4pc pretty much since day one, so riding Scerbos is just natural. I’ve got one spare pair in white and nearly had a chrome pair of OG GT's off eBay but got outbid last second by a £1. Haven't slept since! With 2 pairs so I don't need to stress but I reckon if Newrick had a signature bar I'd have a go of them.” - Matt Glover

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Secret Bob stash photo courtesy of James Cox

Addy Snowdon - "I couldn’t barspin or X-up grind with anything else"

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Addy Snowdon - half cab bar - Photo by Matty Lambert

“I’ve been running them since 2010 I think. Over recent years, the street riding community have suffered an infiltration of no brakes/four pegs imposters, so I feel we need things like these bars as a new way to identify who’s genuine. How many spare pairs do I have? None. This is a constant source of anxiety for me. I couldn’t barspin or X-up grind with anything else.” - Addy Snowdon