Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
With only a few contact points on a bike, it's incredibly important to make sure those components are the perfect fit. Handlebars come in a variety of widths, sweep, and rise so knowing how those impact your position is key. Fellow rider, Mark Doolittle, recently picked up a new set of Deity Blacklabel bars and gives us his review. Check it out!
Bikes are great! Mountain bikes are REALLY great! Custom mountain bikes are the BEST! One way to customize your bike to your personal preferences is through the touchpoints and the parts that affect the way your bike fits you. The saddle, pedals, grips, bars and stem. There’s been a lot of talk on bike blogs about handlebars. What is the best material, the best width, the best clamp diameter, the best height? What kind of bars are more compliant? Can a more compliant bar reduce hand and arm fatigue?
I don’t know the answer to all those questions but I am going to give a quick review of the Deity Blacklabel bars. First of all, Deity’s products are awesome. They look great and they perform great. If you are going to customize your bike, Deity’s products are a great choice. I have numerous products from Deity and they all are up to a high standard of quality. With Deity components, you can coordinate the color accents and really create your own custom mountain bike.
Deity recently updated their product line to include 35mm clamp diameter carbon bars. I already have a 35 carbon bar on my other bike and I like those bars fine, but I wanted to try some new 31.8 clamp aluminum bars so I bought the Blacklabel bars in 800mm width and 38mm rise. The finish is beautiful with a combination of bead-blasted texture and smoother areas that create a design the looks awesome up close. This level of detail is not readily apparent in the pictures on their website. The size that I chose is perfect for me. The width of 800mm is ideal for someone my height, 6’2”. Just watch out for tight tree gaps and busted knuckles. The 38mm rise is nice to be able to get my riding position more upright and not so bent forward over a low front end.
Now for my opinion on handlebar material and clamp diameter. On long riding days I will put in 5-6 hours on the bike, so, to be honest, my hands get sore no matter what bars I’m holding on to. I have found the key is to stop and take a short break every so often and give your hands a chance to recover some circulation. Wrapping your hand around an ice-cold aluminum can is another option that sure seems to help. I pass other riders out on the trails and see older bikes with narrow bars and long stems and I think to myself there is someone who needs to explore the possibility of upgrading some parts.
Once you try and get comfortable with wider handlebars you cannot go back to narrow ones. The increased amount of control over the bike is tangible. I hope this review is helpful to anyone considering a parts upgrade to their bike.
Can't get enough about handlebars? Make sure to check out our complete buyers guide to everything MTB handlebars for a full download!