In the world of carbon mountain bike handlebars, not all are created equal. While they are all made out of carbon, the intentions for each handlebar are different. Race Face decided to create one of the lightest carbon handlebars on the market aimed towards the cross country and light trail rider. The Race Face Next SL handlebar is claimed to be the lightest in its category at only 167g.
The Next SL bar has been completely redone for 2021. With a strong and durable carbon layup, these handlebars are optimized for rider compliance and comfort. Using an asymmetric carbon layup as these bars do, allows them to have better vertical compliance while having a stiffer fore-aft to keep handling and steering consistent how you need it. There are plenty of carbon bars that look to create compliance on trail. In fact, we did a full review on carbon handlebar compliance, so check out that video. We were able to get a few weeks of riding on this bar, so check out further details below on how it rides.
The Race Face Next SL handlebar only comes in one clamp, one rise width and color so far, so check out below, and see if these fit what you are looking for.
When you first pick up the Race Face Next SL handlebar it really does feel feather light. It's pretty incredible that this light piece of carbon can handle some serious hard riding. I was able to get this bar on my Revel Ranger a few weeks ago. I normally ride a 750mm bar, so the 740mm bar was a bit more narrow but not too much. These bars are a perfect fit for my Revel Ranger, that aggressive trail bike, downcountry bike, xc+ bike, or I just call it my go to trail bike, light, low rise and should feel good with the compliance they have.
"Light enough for XC racing, tough enough for hard trail abuse"
Once I got out riding, more than anything I noticed how precise my steering felt. It was a change up from my previous bar that was also carbon, but these had a more solid feel to them, giving me confidence that they are not too light or fragile to get after it on the downhills. While I only have a few weeks on the bars, I got about 15 hours or so with a few 4-5 hour rides with the handlebars on. First impressions are solid, the bars do their job as you would expect, with the benefit of shaving weight off your bike as well as a tuned ride with compliance in mind.
If you are out chasing grams on your bike and looking to upgrade that handlebar of yours, this Race Face Next SL is a really good option! At just 167g, this is one of the lightest bars on the market and as Race Face claims, the lightest in its category. With a tuned carbon layup to have vertical compliance as well as having a stiff fore-aft design for precise handling. If the 10mm rise, 740mm wide and 35m clamp works for you, this is a great bar to save some weight and perfect for that down-country bike category.
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