Everyone remembers Greg LeMond bursting back to his best to win the 1989 Tour de France, thanks, in part, to his clip-on aerodynamic 'tri' bars. These, found on eBay, were the second iteration of the Scott clip-on handlebars, and were used by LeMond in the final time trial to win the 1990 Tour.
Besides being a three-time Tour de France winner, American Greg LeMond also became somewhat of a handlebar connoisseur on the back of his second, 1989 Tour victory. Those tri bars had become an integral – if only clip-on – part of his race-winning prowess, and he turned up at the 1990 race with plenty of new handlebar-hardware.
LeMond had started the 1990 Tour in Futuroscope – a 6.3km prologue time trial – on a TT bike with a Scott all-in-one handlebar that was similar to the clip-on bar's inventor Boone Lennon's earlier all-in-one Scott DH bar, used so successfully by triathletes in the mid-late 1980s. Lennon had been the US Alpine Ski Team coach between 1984 and 1986, and applied the science of his skiers' downhill tucks to bicycle bars.
LeMond finished second, four seconds behind prologue specialist Thierry Marie, and, for the following road stages, LeMond used Scott's radical Drop-In road handlebar, with its additional grips that extended inwards at 90-degrees from the ends of each side, and which he'd already used at various races earlier in the season.
For the 1990 Tour's first long time trial, on stage 7 – 61.5km from Vittel to Epinal – LeMond used his road bike with the same, or very similar, U-shaped clip-on bars that he'd used in the final time trial in Paris the year before, this time clipped on to the tops of his Drop-In bars.
Only on stage 20's final time trial around Lac de Vassivière, when LeMond was still in second place overall, five seconds down on race leader Claudio Chiappucci, did LeMond wheel out the new clip-on bars for sale here. Due to the hilly nature of the 45.5km route, LeMond again used his road bike, but with these bars – which may well have been called the Scott Clip-On II – attached to some standard road bars.
LeMond didn't win the stage – that went to Dutchman Erik Breukink, and LeMond in fact finished down in fifth place 57 seconds off the pace – but he did overhaul the Italian race leader by 2:21 to take a 2:16 race lead into Paris on the final road stage the next day, winning what was his third and final Tour de France.
In 1991, and the years that followed, LeMond continued to use the same clip-on bars for sale here, albeit with a modification to the plastic bridge connecting the two 'skis', which allowed the mounting of gear levers. He continued using his Drop-In bars on the road, too, and even Lance Armstrong used them when he rode for US team Subaru-Montgomery in 1991.
LeMond graduated to the Drop-In 2 bars at times during the 1991 season, including at that year's Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. Using the same plastic bridge as the clip-on bar featured on eBay here, the Drop-In 2 model was about as radical as handlebars have ever got: a road bar that joined the two 'extra' grips of the original Drop-In together. When used at the 1991 Tour, they even had extra rods leading down to the fork, to presumably make them more rigid.
Scott also made the lesser-known Rakes – a quite different kind of handlebar extension, which fitted in on either side of the stem clamp, in the middle of the tops of the drop bars, curling down beneath them. They were basically drops, but in the middle of the bar, putting riders in a position akin to when – even today – they hang their hands over the top of the middle of the bars.
LeMond seemingly never used Rakes in competition, although we're happy to be corrected if he did. No doubt he gave them at least a try at some point, such was the interest in all things aero of Greg LeMond: cyclist extraordinaire and handlebar maestro.
The clamps of these Scott Clip-On II bars fit 'old' style 26mm diameter drop handlebars – as opposed to today's more common 31.8mm bars – and the Australia-based seller is asking AU$50 (£27) for them, and is willing to ship to most countries.
We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.
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