View Poll Results: which bars?

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  • Monkeylite XC

    16 48.48%
  • Monkeylite DH

    14 42.42%
  • EA50

    3 9.09%
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
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    Reputation: miniwisejosh's Avatar
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    Monkeylite XC vs DH

    I've found a sweet deal on Easton carbon handlebars ('08 model year). Both the Monkeylite XC and DH are available for about the same price. I'm trying to decide which one is better for me, or if I should even bother upgrade from the EA50s that I'm using now. These handlebars will be going on a do-everything bike. That means everything from XC racing to 5'+ drops and occasional trips (couple times a year) to shuttle access terrain. I'm average weight (165lb) and usually smooth on landings.

    The DH bars seem to have a reputation of being quite strong, but so do the XC bars. In fact, one of my riding buddies races DH on his Monkeylite XCs. I'm used to the XC bar's width since that same as what I have now, but I don't imagine I'll have any trouble adapting to a wider bar. I don't have info on how stiff either bar is, so any comments on that would be appreciated.

    I'm also having some doubts about my stem. My bike came with a Race Face Cadence 70mm road stem (2-piece face plate) and I never got around to getting something designed for MTB. Do I need a stem with a 1-piece faceplate to keep from damaging the carbon, or does that not matter? If I do have to switch, I'll probably get a Control Tech FX 45mm.

    Race Face Cadence


    Control Tech FX


    I plan to call Easton tomorrow to see what they recommend for me. In the meantime, I'm curious what my fellow MTBR folks think. Please share your opinions and experiences with these handlebars.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Reputation: moishlashen's Avatar
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    I would definately get the 1 piece mountain stem with 4 bolts. Many many good ones out there-I like Thomson myself but you don't have to go there necessarily. I've had bad luck with RF-xy seatpost busted, deuche headset siezed after a month, burned out a bottom bracket after 1 season, stripped some of their older square taper cranks, and got a thermo sp headset on a bike I just bought that was junk.

    I have the Monkey XC carbon on my AM hardtail and love it but I don't take anything over a foot or so just more of a rough trail bike. I'm not crazy about taking big drops on Carbon anything but thats just me and I don't have much experience to speak of.

  3. #3
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    I have a Monkeylite XC from 2001 that is still in use. I have the 2008 31.8 DH Monkeylight and it is stiff but I don't much time on it. For the type of riding you do I would say get a Thompson,Hope,Straightline stem its worth the extra dollars because they are stiff and will take beating.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: miniwisejosh's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    bigrocks, what kind of riding do you use your XC bar for?

  5. #5
    Fat Biker
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    Do you guys reccomend a 31.8 diameter bar over a 25.4 diameter for moderate XC riding on intermediate trails? Or does it really matter? I'm pretty heave at 240 lbs and wondering if I need a larger diameter bar.

  6. #6
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    Now that I think about it may have been purchased during 02-03 not sure but it was orginally a 25.4 on my 02 Titus Switchblade 5.7 travel. Used on east coast technical, mostly All Mountain and some DH(Snowshoe,Plattekill). It took many hits...tree impacts,lay overs etc and my weight was always around 200lbs. Used it on a MC Fury from 06 to 08 ,retired it for a wider bar. Its now on my Surly Crosscheck.

  7. #7
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    Soccerdude..as long as you are comfortable with it you should be fine with the type riding you describe. There is alot of debate about which is stiffer. I like carbon bars because they seem to be easier on my hands. I have a Alum. 31.8 DMR wingbar on my 6 pack and its stiff and I like the sweep but I can feel a difference between alum and carbon on longer rides.

  8. #8
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    Sweet. That's exactly the kind of riding I do. I live in Tidewater VA, and go to WV for most riding trips.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by soccerdude
    Do you guys reccomend a 31.8 diameter bar over a 25.4 diameter for moderate XC riding on intermediate trails? Or does it really matter? I'm pretty heave at 240 lbs and wondering if I need a larger diameter bar.
    if you are 240lbs, you likely have larger hands. if so, get the OS bar...it will make a difference. I'm 6'1", pretty lanky, big hands, long fingers...2 bikes have OS bars, 1 has 25.4 - I hate riding the smaller bars, just doesn't feel right.

  10. #10
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    I have the Monkeylite XC bars on my 6'' bike. I've ridden it on just about everything... AM, XC stuff, plenty of shuttle trails, bike parks, freeride trails, gap jumps, drops up to 10ft... never had any issue. For what you are doing, I'd get the XC.
    Speed has never killed anybody. Suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimithng23
    if you are 240lbs, you likely have larger hands. if so, get the OS bar...it will make a difference. I'm 6'1", pretty lanky, big hands, long fingers...2 bikes have OS bars, 1 has 25.4 - I hate riding the smaller bars, just doesn't feel right.
    last i checked, all bars were the same size at the grips, otherwise grips, shifters and brake levers would come in 2 sizes, which they don't.

    Unless yuo hold your bars just outside of the stem, the clamp size has nothing to do with the size of your hands.
    09 Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon | 09 S-Works Enduro SL Carbon

  12. #12
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    For xc/am I would go for the DH as it is a medium width bar. The Monkeylite DH at 711mm wide is perfect for AM. Even though your used to the smaller width bars (685mm) you will quickly realise the advantages of a wider bar, without going super wide like most DH bars are now, havoc for example at 750mm wide

    I have the xc on my xc bike and the DH on my AM bike. Much prefer the width of the DH

    I would also swap that stem. Same length, 70mm is spot on for AM, but like others suggest a thomson or hope

  13. #13
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    IMHO, I would not get any handlebar, made by any manufacturer, made out of any material designed for XC and ride it beyond XC. For a few grams in savings, handlebar breaks can be catastrophic. Not worth the risk.

    And that Control Tech stem has aluminum bolts!

    P

  14. #14
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    I don't mind going to a wider bar. I remember how sweet it was when I upgraded from the shorter bars I used to run. The only issue is that my local trails have a couple spots that go between trees barely wide enough for my current bars. I still clip them sometimes even after using the EA50s for more than a year. The DH bars will be worse. That's not a big problem though...just be more careful in those few sections.

    Easton's website lists the Monkeylite XC riser as appropriate for AM and "Enduro" (whatever that means). Its definitely not a pure XC bar despite the name. I just called them and got confirmation that the XC is designed to hold up to aggressive trail use and should work well for me as long as I'm not riding DH. That's fine with me as hardly anything else on my bike is DH-rated.

    When I swap stems, I'm definitely going shorter; at least 60mm. My top tube is a bit long. It felt perfect when I got the bike, but I've been wanting a shorter reach as my skills
    progress and I take on more challenging terrain. I can't afford a new frame now, but I think a shorter stem will do the trick for now.

    I didn't notice that the Control Tech has aluminum bolts. Thanks for pointing that out. Any others like that? Come to think of it, I have no idea what bolts my current stem has. I never really thought about it before. Is there any way to tell by looking?

    I won't get the new stem now. Easton said the 2-peice clamp wont put any more stess on the bar than a conventional design as long as I install it right. I plan to get a bunch of other upgrades and maintenance stuff in about a month. I'll get a shorter/stronger stem then. The bars are on my mind now only because I doubt this deal will last until next month.

    Thanks for the comments. I'm leaning towards the Monkeylite XC now since it seems to be about as strong as most of my other components and good enough for what I do. I may decide to go with the extra width and peace of mind though. I'll decide tomorrow...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimithng23
    if you are 240lbs, you likely have larger hands. if so, get the OS bar...it will make a difference. I'm 6'1", pretty lanky, big hands, long fingers...2 bikes have OS bars, 1 has 25.4 - I hate riding the smaller bars, just doesn't feel right.
    ??? But the grip area is 7/8" on each bar. How does a 1" (25.4mm) clamp vs 1 1/8" (31.8mm) clamp feel smaller? Perhaps you are confused, I know I am with what you said. Are you trying to say the OS bars have less flex or what?

  16. #16
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    if you are looking to save $, Titec stuff can usually be had pretty cheap. They are a brand that I rarely hear about on these boards. I have a bunch of their stuff and have nothing bad to say about any of it.

  17. #17
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    My new Monkeylite DH is in the mail now. I decided to go the safe route and get the stronger option.

  18. #18
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    mind sharin where you got the deal from?
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    Your not all mountain unless your runnin' crushed dew cans..
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  19. #19
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    Not at all...

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/brand/?125&p=1

    Most of the Easton stuff from before '10 is discounted quite a bit.

  20. #20
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    Well, I thought I'd give an update on my new handlebars. I'm very happy with them so far. I've been especially pleased with the vibration damping. Trails seem noticeably "quieter" for lack of a better term. It took me no more than one ride to get used to the extra width and I haven't had trouble with hitting trees yet. The advice to go longer was good stuff, and I like having the peace of mind that I have the stronger of the 2 bars I was considering.

    I've decided on my new stem. The FSA Gravity Light 50mm looks perfect for what I want. Light, strong, reasonably cheap, and looks good in my opinion.

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed.

    My bike with new goodies...

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