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.
A popular cross training activity for some mountain bikers is riding gravel bikes. Very similar to mountain biking as far as choices go for a good handlebar. Our friend Sean shares his thoughts on the PNW Coast Drop Handlebar. Check it out!
So first things first. I thought I'd never own a gravel bike. I didn't grow up road biking and it honestly terrifies me. People don't understand how I'm okay with bombing down a hill but get super sketched out whenever pedaling on a paved road with traffic. I just do. Drop bar bikes were not my jam, and I didn't think they ever would be. Then I got talked into signing up for a gravel race by some persuasive friends and the next thing you know I'm researching gravel bikes. I landed on the Ibis Hakka MX. I liked the color and read good things. But this isn't a review about the Hakka. This is a review about the PNW Components Coast Handlebar and PNW Coast Stem combo.
I'm 5'11" and got a size 58 Hakka, so I knew I was going to need to probably shorten up the stem some. About this time, PNW Components released their Coast drop bar components. I had always been a fan of PNW Components and really liked their Loam lever. They make rad mountain biking components, so I knew that their drop bar stuff was going to be good! I also liked the idea of a mountain biking company making drop bar components that ultimately feel more natural for a guy with a mountain biking background. I've read that for every couple of cm you go wider with the bars, you need to shorten the stem 10mm or so. I landed on the 48mm Coast bars paired with the 60mm Coast stem. I was coming from a 44mm handlebar with a 90mm stem.
I read a review on the handlebar and stem on Worldwide Cyclery, and decided to give them a go.
Upon putting the bar and stem on the Hakka I noticed a immediate increase in comfort and confidence. I really like those rides that have a little bit of gravel and singletrack, and I'm lucky enough to have both out my front door! The wider drop handlebars bring more stability and confidence when things get a little hairy on singletrack, and while I don't have a ton of experience on other drop bars, they feel pretty comfy just grinding out the gravel miles as well. It's also nice having more room to adjust your hand position on longer rides, and the shortened stem keeps me in a comfortable pedaling position whether I'm on trail or road.
All in all, I would highly recommend the PNW Components Coast Handlebar and Stem to those that are looking to try something different on their gravel rigs! It's a worthy upgrade, and will immediately give you more confidence especially if you take your gravel bike on singletrack. I'm OCD about my bars and stem matching, but if you can only get one, get the wider bars. The wider bars have made the most difference on my Hakka, and it's hard to imagine going back to narrower bars after riding them.
© 2021 Worldwide Cyclery