Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
The touchpoints on your bike are incredibly important. What may seem like a slight change can alter the performance and feel of your ride dramatically. Fellow rider, David Campbell, recently purchased and installed new handlebars on his rigs and gives us his review. Check it out!
I’ve had a few carbon handlebars so far in my few years of riding. Some have more obvious flex than others. I’ve also had some expensive learning experience with torquing bolts down. Let’s say that some handlebars are more sensitive than others (Ouch). Like most components, there are plenty of handlebars to choose from. One of the factors that brought me to the Truvativ Descendant Carbon 35mm handlebars was the “downhill” rated spec.
How do they look? Let’s be honest, a lot of us want something that’s going to look good *and* do its job well. Another thing to be honest about is that looks will be a personal preference. All that said, when I actually saw the bars in person, I was very impressed. They’re not flashy, but also have a little flair. They also match nicely with the Descendant stem. (A light and cheap option, by the way!).
Are they boat anchors? Well, with mine chopped down to 780mm (from 800 stock), they weigh 220g. So I’d have to say not at all. A very nice touch on the bars would be the markings in the center to help with setup. It’s very easy to get them perfectly centered and adjust bar roll. Bar rise is also a preference thing. These are limited to 20mm only, but that’s the go to for me.
Are they tough? One dead give away would be the torque spec (or what I call the safety net). It's about 50% higher than a few other brands. Another thing; have you heard of Nate Hills? If he can’t break something, I’d have to try pretty hard to myself. I’ve taken a few bar ends to the trees without any issues at all (always check your bars, kids!). They are pretty scuff resistant too. Mine are still new looking after a few hundred miles through the rocks and trees. For me, these are durable enough to stand up to real world riding.
How do they feel on the trails? Unlike a few lighter bars, they do not have that obvious flex to them when pushing your weight down on them. They still help absorb some of the chatter you’d normally feel on an alloy bar, but also feel nice and direct. I haven’t once felt uncomfortable with them. Because of that, I had to buy another for a second bike. I'd say the stiffness might be more pronounced on shorter travel forks, but running these on forks as low as 130mm felt great.
While you have handlebars on your mind, make sure to check out our review on Oneup's latest carbon handlebar release to see how they stack up against the Descendant downhill bars and several other models.
So they’re good looking, tough, light, and comfortable. What else would you like out of a handlebar?
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