Finding the right bar and stem combination can make all the difference when setting up a new bike. While some prefer wide bars and short stem, others go the opposite route and run narrow bars with a long stem. Regardless of your choice, it is safe to say much of it comes down to personal preference. In this review, our customer adds a Renthal Fatbar Carbon handlebar with Apex stem to his Santa Cruz Nomad. Check it out!
Just like any other mountain bike rider, I spent countless hours carefully going over geometry, components, specs and riding all the demo bikes I could get my hands on before making a final decision on which bike to spend a small fortune on. I ended up buying a 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad and I absolutely love it!
Again, like other riders, I am always looking for ways to improve ride quality and optimize my bike so I can ride longer, faster and not get fatigued. Indeed, hand fatigue and vibration was an issue for me especially on rougher terrains and long descents. I tried to do a better job at tuning my suspension and, although I noticed some improvement, I couldn’t help but think that a lot of the hand fatigue and pain was caused by the stiff handlebars. So, I decided to do a little research and ended up purchasing the Renthal Apex 35 stem and the Renthal Carbon Fatbars.
The Renthal Apex 35 stem houses, as the name suggests, 35mm bars. It is 50mm long and has a +/- 6 degree angle. 50mm was perfect for me because it keeps my body in a centered position with my weight over the cranks. I mounted my stem with a +6 degree angle which also helps with keeping my body weight more centered. The Renthal Apex 35 is super easy to install, has very clear instructions with pictures and is specifically made to interlock perfectly with the Renthal Carbon Fatbars.
The Renthal Carbon Fatbars I purchased are 800mm wide with a 20mm rise. They have a rubber coating in the mid-section to provide better grip between the stem and the bars. Installation was a breeze and I was up and riding in no time.
I decided to try my new stem and bars combo on a trail where I always get fatigued. It is a 6-mile uphill battle followed by 5 miles of fast downhill with alternating sections of rocks, roots, step off and switchbacks. I have to be honest with you, I was having so much fun that I didn’t realize my hands were doing perfectly fine until I got back to the parking lot and was ready to do it again!!
I am extremely happy with my purchase. Ever since I installed my Renthal Apex stem and Carbon Fatbars I have never had problems with my hands again. The bars are stiff but dissipate vibrations so that I can concentrate on looking ahead, instead of looking at my front tire to avoid the small bumps. They have the incredible ability to tune down the small bumps and imperfections of the trail so that you can concentrate on the more technical features. Also, they look amazing on my bike!!
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