RaceFace Era & Turbine Handlebars - Tuned Compliance for Every Rider

Compliance is certainly a buzz word in the mountain biking world as of late, and RaceFace has taken a unique approach to it with the creation of their Era and Turbine handlebars. They've tuned each rise, width and material to appropriately suit each rider and found some interesting things during their research and development process.

RaceFace Era Bar


When RaceFace engineers were tasked with creating a new mountain bike handlebar, they didn't just grab a bar of the shelf and call it a day. They have been developing the Era bar for over 5 years now, and have gone through many iterations in order to find the perfect balance of compliance and stiffness for every rider. That sweet spot of compliance they were able to find is called the GL tune, short for Goldilocks. Not only did they find the perfect level of compliance for their carbon layup for this new Era bar, all of their research and development taught them that a one size fits all approach just doesn't work for handlebars. The engineers found that when you cut a bar down to your desired width, you end up making your bars much stiffer than they were designed. This lead the team to create handlebars with sizes and rises that had the desired levels of compliance for all riders.  The Era bar comes in 760mm, 780mm and 800mm widths and 10mm, 20mm and 40mm rises with an 8° bend and 5° upsweep. 

RaceFace Era Handlebar

RaceFace engineers could have just stopped after creating the Era handlebar, yet they decided that they were leaving alloy handlebar riders out of the picture, so they also created an all new Turbine alloy handlebar also with compliance engineered into it. They found that alloy bar riders were underserved in this regard - why should carbon bar riders have all the compliance and all the fun? The new Turbine bar also features the GL tune and utilizes an internal butting process that creates a very strong, yet light bar. All of this adds up to a lightweight, strong and compliant alloy handlebar that, like it's carbon counterpart, also features a lifetime warranty inclusive of crashes. The Turbine handlebar also comes in 760mm, 780mm and 800mm widths and 10mm, 20mm and 40mm rises with an 8° bend and 5° upsweep. 

RaceFace Turbine

First Impressions

I've been riding these Era handlebars for the better part of the last month or so and long story short, I've have had a great experience so far. The fit and finish of the bars is second to none as is typical with most RaceFace products, and I have really enjoyed the natural, overall feel of the bars taking into account the rise, sweep and backsweep of the bars. Coming from a 35mm rise Trail One Crockett Carbon handlebar, I've been riding the 40mm rise bars in 780mm width and found that they felt right at home from the get go. When it comes to the experience out on the trail, the Era bar is as advertised. Even with longer, chunkier downhills I felt very comfortable with the setup, although I haven't ridden anything truly worthy enough to work up some serious arm pump that would be able to test any outlandish compliance claims. With that said, riders coming from an average alloy handlebar would likely really enjoy and benefit from an upgrade to a handlebar like this. I'd have to go for some back to back testing like our fearless leader Jeff did a few years back to really nail down how much compliance is felt compared to some others like the Trail One Crockett Carbon or the OneUp Carbon bar (two other handlebars I use often) as that would really be the best way to compare them all. 

Final Thoughts

RaceFace has really done their homework when it comes to these handlebars and it's exciting to see another product that offers more comfort to riders without sacrificing anything. With two new compliant handlebars coming in widths and rises to suit all riders, it's refreshing to see new products like these that work and are backed by years of R&D. If you're looking for a handlebar that has the perfect level of compliance and is backed by a lifetime warranty, these could be worth a go.

April 10, 2024

Era › Handlebars › RaceFace › Turbine ›

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