As one of the most important touch points on a bike, the right handlebar can make or break a build. In this rider review, our friend and fellow rider Brian Gonzales gives us his thoughts on one of his latest purchases and the advantages of a carbon bar on his hardtail race rig. Check it out below.
I am 46 years old, have been an avid shredder (at least in my mind...) of trails for three years now. My previous background was in road cycling/triathlon (since 2010). I live in Maryland so we have a decent variety of trails from fast single track with twists and turns to more technical terrain with lots of rocks and roots. I have competed in a few Olympic distance bike races as well but really enjoy the 3-5hr days in the saddle. Our little group also plans one or two multi-day trips a year to Bravard/Pisgah, N.C. to find more gnar.
So I recently purchased an aluminum hard-tail that I wanted to strictly use for winter riding/training that I have built up exclusively as a single speed racer. The two things I immediately upgraded were the wheels and bars. I am considering using my new single speed rig at the Baker's Dozen 13hr mountain bike race in Leesburg, VA at the end of April. Since my other bike is a full suspension trail bike, I wanted to soften up the ride of the hardtail as much as possible (and to really add some bling...)....did I mention Leesburg has a lot of rocks and roots... Upon researching Worldwide Cyclery, I decided to go with the Race Face Next 35 riser carbon bars. I have been nothing but very pleased and excited!
I feel like the Race Face Next 35 carbon bars have provided superior vibration dampening compared to the standard bars that came stock with the winter beater hardtail. They are worth it just for the overall weight reduction alone (I believe 175 grams) if you are a weight weenie. Bottom line, they are the perfect length for me at 760mm, they are comfortable, and they didn't break the bank! Previously, I have used stock aluminum Giant bars, the standard Race Face Evolve bars, carbon Easton bars (which cracked too easily with a light crash), and the Renthal Carbon bars which are currently on my Yeti SB5.
As the season gets going I might buy a second pair to replace the Renthal Carbon bars on my full suspension rig. I can say that these are my favorite so far!
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