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  1. #1
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    Alt bar decisions (Answer 20/20, Origin8, Carver)

    Hey all, I am toying with the idea of trying some "alt" bars on my SS, and if I do, I want carbon... I have looked around quite a bit, and pretty much narrowed it to three that make a lot of sense, the Answer 20/20 (20 degree sweep), Origin8 Space Carbon UL8 (25 degree sweep), and the Carver MyTi carbon (29 degree sweep). The idea behind the 20+ degree sweep makes sense to me, especially on a rigid bike, but I can't decide on which one makes the most sense. The Carver is the cheapest, and also has the most sweep. The other two are roughly the same price at Niagra.

    Any experience with these? I have mainly only seen reviews of the 20/20, and most alt bar reviews I have read or in relation to fat bikes, so I am looking for more of an SS viewpoint.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    If you haven't tried them yet, I suggest you buy them in a less expensive material until you know you can live with the bend.

    The whole point of alt bars is to get a comfortable wrist angle for those folk who can't get comfortable with normal bars.

    If you don't know what your comfortable wrist angle is then the pencil test might (repeat, might) help.

    Grab a pencil in each hand, closed fist. Give your arms a good shoogle so they are relaxed. Shut your eyes.

    Bend forward until your upper body is roughly at the angle it normally is on the bike. Still with a relaxed grip bring your arms up so your hands are in the position in space roughly where they would normally be, but hands still relaxed.

    Open your eyes.

    The position of your hands, and the angle of the pencils is a rough guide to where the grips on a bar that may suit you would be. (Or it may not, but it seems to work for me).
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  3. #3
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    I have Salsa bend II bars (23 degrees) on my hardtail and a flat bar on my SS. i love the hand position of the Salsa and my intention is to try the Answer 20/20 on the SS next. both for it's carbon properties and the hand position, though i wish it were a little wider.

    the aluminum flat bar is hard on my wrists. i sort of have bad wrists anyway, but trying to carry speed over choppy terrain takes a toll with a rigid front end. i just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    interested to hear what people think of some of these.
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  4. #4
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    I can't speak from experience, but after some recommendations on the Fat Bike forum I settled on the 20/20 for the wife bike build. I haven't installed yet so can't comment further than that. They seemed like a happy medium between a straight bar and the 45 degree bend of the Jones bars.

  5. #5
    Riding rigid
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    Love my 20/20. I bought a second bar as a spare. For me, it was the perfect bend. Too much and the elbows feels too far in.

  6. #6
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    Big fan of the 20/20

    I have 3 different bikes with them mounted. Comfortable and light.

  7. #7
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    I got my 20/20s not long ago and really like them.

  8. #8
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    I got some Salsa bend bars (23 degree) on a whim for cheap a number of years ago. I tried them on a month long bike tour, primarily roads and dirt roads and didn't really think much of them. After that trip I tried them on my mountain bike for fun and was immediately sold. After a few rides I got some Answer 20/20's as the dimensions were close(ish) and they were quite a bit lighter. For the past few years I haven't ridden anything else.
    I really wish Answer would do an update on them and widen them to 760mm or 780mm. I'm looking at getting some custom ti bars to basically copy the 20/20 and widen them. But otherwise the 20/20's have been perfect for me. Another +1 for the 20/20's.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies everyone, looks like I should give the Answer's a shot!

  10. #10
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    Sorry for digging up an old thread, but looking for opinions on this. I have a set of Origin8 Space carbon bars on one of my bikes and really like them. I'm rebuilding another bike and wanted to get another set of them. Unfortunately, my internet searches came up dry, out of stock everywhere. I emailed Origin8, and they got back to me in a couple of hours that that bar was discontinued like 2 years ago and are not available anymore, Bummer! So I started searching for carbon alt. bars and came across the Carver Myti for $99.00 and the Answer 20/20. A lot of places seem to be out of stock on the Answer bar, but they are available, best price I found was $135. My concerns are that the Carver bar has no rise, the O8 has 37.5mm and the Answer 20mm. So I'm leaning toward the Answer bar now, but the sweep in less at 20 degrees. Can't decide what to do!

    Also, any other options out there for carbon alt. bars in the meantime?

  11. #11
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    I actually ended up with a set of Niner Low Tops. Niner Low Top RDO 720 Carbon Handlebar > Components > Handlebars > Mountain Bars | Jenson USA

    Not quite as extreme as the Answer's, but REALLY cheap, and match my bike brand-wise. I love them. There are a lot of jokes about them, people think that the logo was printed upside down accidentally so they had to come up with a new way to market them, etc, but I have no complaints.

  12. #12
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    All I can say is that the Answer 20/20 bars were the perfect solution for my wife's Farley.

  13. #13
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    I've got the origin 8 aluminum bar, and I like it alot. I use standard grips and road wrap over the top for a fatter grip. I've used it on my rigid monocog, but am going to swap ti to my SS krampus this weekend. It gives a very natural arm and wrist position, while giving me enough of the wheelbarrow grip for climbing.

  14. #14
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    Alt bar decisions (Answer 20/20, Origin8, Carver)-img_2617.jpg


    Love my Black Sheep custom Ti bars. 29.5" wide, about 40 degrees sweep with an inch of rise.

    Have 2 more bars that are a little different but same high degree of backsweep ands rise.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by azjonboy View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2617.jpg 
Views:	182 
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ID:	1122265


    Love my Black Sheep custom Ti bars. 29.5" wide, about 40 degrees sweep with an inch of rise.

    Have 2 more bars that are a little different but same high degree of backsweep ands rise.
    Those are Deluxe!
    Are they essentially one piece of tubing, shaped with a shim added? Do you find them noodly or flexy at all at that width?
    I'm still on my 20/20's but really want to get on something wider. I've been thinking about calling James to make something but I can't find anything on pricing/turn around time etc..

  16. #16
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    One piece of tubing that is shaped for rise and back sweep. Shimmed for 31.8 stems.

    I have three different pairs, all different width and sweep. The widest are in the picture and they have some flex at the ends. It is nice for someone with wrist issues, like me. They still track very well and provide amazing leverage on technical terrain and climbing.

    Want to say ther are around $325 and wait time was about 4-6 weeks if I remember correctly.

    29" wide, 1" rise about 35 degrees sweep, shorter grip section makes for a little stiffer bar
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alt bar decisions (Answer 20/20, Origin8, Carver)-img_2360.jpg  

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  17. #17
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    Last one

    About 27.5" wide, 2.5" rise and 35 degree sweep
    one piece bar / stem combo is really stiff

    Alt bar decisions (Answer 20/20, Origin8, Carver)-img_2671.jpg
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  18. #18
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    Those are really great, thanks for posting. More ti bar stoke is pushing me over the edge of making it happen.

  19. #19
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    29.5" wide??? My fingers would all be broken from hitting trees if I used something that wide! I like the look of that last one with the integrated stem, and only 27.5" wide!

    I'm starting to question if my carbon Origin8 Space bar is really 25 degrees. The pictures look like it's got the same sweep as a aluminum version which says 40 degree sweep. It also feels like alot more sweep than my Groovy Luv Handle which is 23 degrees. I guess I should do some measuring!

  20. #20
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    I have the opposite problem. I like wider bars as I'm pretty tall and have a big wingspan. None of the alt bars seem to go over 720mm, and with grips locked on, my bars come in at 750mm. I also don't want to spend a large amount of cash to try out alt bars in case I don't care for them.

  21. #21
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    Not sure about others, but for an alt bar, I find the narrower width more acceptable than I would with a standard bar. I've ridden many miles with sub-700 alt bars and been happy. But I would never run a sub 700 standard bar. I think its b/c alt bar usually have your elbows more inward than a standard bar. A 750mm alt bar would be weird to me. If the angle is only 20-25 (half-alt?), then yeah, I want over 700. AZjonboy's bars confound me.

    Also, I had a ti bar from James at blacksheep. It came out a bit flexier than I asked for. Just wanted to give another experience on that, if ordering. Also, in years past, "too stiff" was not something I heard much from his work in general (from others on mtbr).
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  22. #22
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    Good to know, thanks. I'll keep an eye out for a set on sale to try it out. I don't mind normal bars, but I do notice that isn't a natural position for my wrists to be in. My right wrist has some damage from an old injury, and can act up a bit on longer rides.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    ...
    Also, I had a ti bar from James at blacksheep. It came out a bit flexier than I asked for. Just wanted to give another experience on that, if ordering. Also, in years past, "too stiff" was not something I heard much from his work in general (from others on mtbr).
    Thanks for the input. I'm pretty light but ride aggressively and a flexy bar is not something I'm after. The flip side is I'm not wanting to get a ~400g super thick wall bar. Is there really not a market for a wider (760, 780) alt, half alt carbon bar?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    29.5" wide??? My fingers would all be broken from hitting trees if I used something that wide!
    Melodramatic!

    Here's the secret: ride with a little finesse, don't ride in underground caves, and don't hit trees with your handlebar. If you like the control afforded by wider bar, you could do it. If you like the amount of control and confidence you have with a narrower bar, so be it. If you ride with 27.5" bars and your fingers are spared, an extra inch per side is not going to result in disaster. Remember, you're riding a bike with one gear. Handlebar being a tiny bit wider is not the most challenging thing about your bike.

    On another note, i have riddena few alt bars and settled on some conventional wide riser bars. That "close your eyes and let your hands settle in a natural position" thing might make sense for your bar bike, but for a bike that is ridden on trails, i want something that gives me confidence and control. I am experimenting with TOGS right now, which gives me a slightly different hand position than the standard grip position but alt bars have never felt confident on trails. Always willing to try something different though.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 02-23-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Melodramatic!

    Here's the secret: ride with a little finesse, don't ride in underground caves, and don't hit trees with your handlebar. If you like the control afforded by wider bar, you could do it. If you like the amount of control and confidence you have with a narrower bar, so be it. If you ride with 27.5" bars and your fingers are spared, an extra inch per side is not going to result in disaster. Remember, you're riding a bike with one gear. Handlebar being a tiny bit wider is not the most challenging thing about your bike.

    On another note, i have riddena few alt bars and settled on some conventional wide riser bars. That "close your eyes and let your hands settle in a natural position" thing might make sense for your bar bike, but for a bike that is ridden on trails, i want something that gives me confidence and control. I am experimenting with TOGS right now, which gives me a slightly different hand position than the standard grip position but alt bars have never felt confident on trails. Always willing to try something different though.
    I actually ride with a lot of finesse, and no caves around these parts. I tend to ride in the woods, and there tends to be trees there. Sometimes the trails goes between 2 trees that are really close together. Even with a mid width bar I need to slow down in certain parts to make sure my bars make it through. Going 2" wider could indeed result in disaster. I've been taken down by tree-bar collisions before, it's not fun. If I was riding in Arizona or California, I would be willing to give wider bars a try, but not around here. Heck, I still see people riding those 22" flat XC bars from the 80's around here!

    I've been experimenting for a while now with different angles of sweep for different kinds of riding. One thing I know for sure is I will not be going back to non-swept bars ever again. For techy riding I found the Jones bar to be too much sweep. I have a Groovy Luv bar that's I think 23 deg. sweep, and it's great in the techy stuff. I've also been riding an Origin8 Space Carbon bar and really like it as well. The spec's say it's 25 deg., but I'm pretty sure that's wrong, and it's actually 40 degrees, just like the aluminum version. I'm going to pick up an aluminum space II bar soon to compare and put on another bike. The mid sweep bars give more more confidence and control, as well as more comfort, but I certainly understand it doesn't work for everyone.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I've also been riding an Origin8 Space Carbon bar and really like it as well. The spec's say it's 25 deg., but I'm pretty sure that's wrong, and it's actually 40 degrees, just like the aluminum version.
    Carbon Space OR 2 is also commonly listed at 170g - which is also not true, right? I have the aluminum version and the length has long been listed at 655mm, yet I measure 685. And I swear the bends look crooked when I stare at mine. 685 width + 40 sweep +high rise is a great option, but can I trust the quality?
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  27. #27
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    I run the Origin 8 Mary bar clone on my townie and ran it on my SS prior to that. I think it's 40 degrees of sweep. Hand position is excellent and I really liked it for climbing. However, the trails in Central Texas that I ride are super rocky and a more traditional bar feels much better in very technical situations (for me).



    I'd like to try something in the 15-20 degree zone at some point.
    Pedal through it!

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