Our "Rider Review" article series features honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Swapping out stock alloy handlebars for carbon can be a huge upgrade in ride feel and comfort. It plays a huge difference in creating a greater sense of compliance over harsh trails. The Renthal Fatbar has been a rider favorite for years now and our customer Jarrod is here to share his thoughts!
Much like getting a free upgrade to first class while boarding a transcontinental flight and then realizing there is no going back to coach with any sense of contentment, I now realize there is no going back to alloy. Everything I ride from now on will be compared to these bars. Everything I ride from now on has to live up to the Renthal FatBar Carbon 35. They are the best of the best. They are the pinnacle of mountain bike handlebars in every sense of the word. I could hop on a five-figure bike tomorrow and I will compare the ride to the FatBars.
After much deliberation, I chose the Renthal bars. It’s not like in the middle of COVID-19 stay at home orders one can just go out and try carbon bars back to back. I’ve only ridden the alloy bars that come with most bikes and a well-known quality Canadian manufacture of bike parts whose “Next” bars were also quite pleasant but not quite the dimensions I was looking for. What I’m saying is, it was a blind purchase. Not an uninformed purchase, a blind purchase.
The upsweep and back sweep is fixed in a very comfortable zone for my 5’10” 150-pound body. I chose the 30 mm rise version of these bars which, for general trail riding here in the Pacific Northwest, proved to be a perfect choice. For now, I’ve kept the bars at 800mm though I came from 780mm.
The Renthal FatBar is mated to a Renthal Apex 40mm stem set at +6 degrees. It took only about 20 minutes to install, dial in, and torque the stem and FatBars. After installing my brakes levers, shifter, and grips it has been nothing but blissful riding.
The Carbon Fatbars are extremely responsive. I couldn’t tell you if it’s lateral or horizontal stiffness. I can tell you when I took my first trail ride there were sections of technical climbing over some impressive tree roots and general slop and the rider input felt instantaneous when compared to the alloy bars that came with the bike. It is as though any delay in steering had vanished into the ether. On descents, the bars seem to dampen chatter of the trail. I don’t have data to back it up. Perhaps it’s a placebo or perhaps my own bias wants to notice a difference in responsiveness, but it does translate to a more confidence-inspiring ride from my perspective.
The Renthal FatBar Carbon 35 handlebars will only enhance your riding experience. You won’t be ‘sending it’ on your trail system saying to yourself “self, I really wish I had my old handlebars back and $168.95 in my pocket”. Instead, you’ll be too busy ripping it up; as it should be.
© 2021 Worldwide Cyclery