Comfortable MTB Carbon Handlebars- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Comfortable MTB Carbon Handlebars

    I have been running race face 31.8 sixC DH 785mm (cut to 775) for the past few years.
    I am thinking to get either a OneUp handlebar (only made in 35) or stick with a 31.8 (since I own some nice Syntace Megaforce stems in several sizes) for my next build.
    Is there a comfortable, compliant and light 31.8 carbon handlebar or should I just get the OneUp with a 35 stem (any recommendations for a 50mm stem in 35?)
    Also, not planning to get the OneUp steerer tool.

  2. #2
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    Salsa Carbon Bucksaw- Trek Farley 8

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    Went from Renthal FatBar aluminum bars to Renthal Lite Fiber (all 31.8) and the difference is amazing. I have always use aluminum bars and my hands/arm are so much more happy now.

    Steve

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    If youíre looking for comfort then you should remove the 35mm consideration, shouldnít you? You didnít mention what rise you want? I currently have Enve M6 780mm 25 rise and Iím considering going to a 30mm rise and the only 31.8 bars close to this in weight and length are Renthal 31.8 carbon 800mm 20 or 30mm rise can be cut down to 775-780mm.

    Also I found the Crank Bros Iodine 11 carbon bar 31.8 30mm rise, but this bar appears to be made about 7 years ago and not many in stock. Reviews say itís pretty flexy.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcriverjunky View Post
    Interesting option. The comment section is pretty long read the whole thing. I don't really have a wrist pain or discomfort, but my shoulders do get a bit stiff on longer rides.
    However, I was looking for more forgiving bar in high speed chatter. More compliance. I will definitely read more on the sq.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicane32 View Post
    If youíre looking for comfort then you should remove the 35mm consideration, shouldnít you? You didnít mention what rise you want? I currently have Enve M6 780mm 25 rise and Iím considering going to a 30mm rise and the only 31.8 bars close to this in weight and length are Renthal 31.8 carbon 800mm 20 or 30mm rise can be cut down to 775-780mm.

    Also I found the Crank Bros Iodine 11 carbon bar 31.8 30mm rise, but this bar appears to be made about 7 years ago and not many in stock. Reviews say itís pretty flexy.
    Hmm, I thought the same in regards to 31.8 vs 35 stiffness. But it isn't always the case. There are many 35 bars build with more compliance (flex/comfort) than 31.5.
    OneUp 35 bar is a good example.
    https://m.vitalmtb.com/features/35mm...Gear-Show,2801
    https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blo...pared-reviewed
    Also 35 race face sixc is presumably less stiff than the 31.8 version.
    Syntace makes also a 35mm rise bar in 780mm.
    What I have read about renthal carbon bars so far is that they are pretty stiff... At least compared to other more compliant bars.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Hmm, I thought the same in regards to 31.8 vs 35 stiffness. But it isn't always the case. There are many 35 bars build with more compliance (flex/comfort) than 31.5.
    OneUp 35 bar is a good example.
    https://m.vitalmtb.com/features/35mm...Gear-Show,2801
    https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blo...pared-reviewed
    Also 35 race face sixc is presumably less stiff than the 31.8 version.
    Syntace makes also a 35mm rise bar in 780mm.
    What I have read about renthal carbon bars so far is that they are pretty stiff... At least compared to other more compliant bars.
    I guess itís an assumption most of the time that thicker/ beefier will always be more stiffer.

    Lower tire pressure will also soften your ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicane32 View Post
    I guess itís an assumption most of the time that thicker/ beefier will always be more stiffer.

    Lower tire pressure will also soften your ride.
    That's very true. Already running 15-16psi front.

  10. #10
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    While not carbon, you might want to check out the pnw range bars. I used to run raceface sixc carbons, fsa carbons, have santa cruz 35 carbons on another bike, and these pnw bars are more comfy than both. The geo on them is bang on and they do seem to have a good amount of chatter reduction in them.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    While not carbon, you might want to check out the pnw range bars. I used to run raceface sixc carbons, fsa carbons, have santa cruz 35 carbons on another bike, and these pnw bars are more comfy than both. The geo on them is bang on and they do seem to have a good amount of chatter reduction in them.


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    They look nice, but just a touch too heavy at 334g. Just like the vibrocore bars

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    They look nice, but just a touch too heavy at 334g. Just like the vibrocore bars
    Agreed. If they ever did a carbon version, I would have them on all my bikes.


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    If you liked the SixC so much, why not getting another one?

    As for 31.8 vs. 35 carbon bars, its all about how the companies layering the carbon that makes it more comfortable or stiff.

    I tried the NextR and the FatBar 35 on my bike, and kept the NextR. The shape was more comfortable (8 vs. 7 degree backsweep) and it felt less stiff. If i had the option i would try the OneUp as well, since i heard good things about it, but no complaints with the NextR.

    As for stem, i can recommend the TurbineR (im using 40mm), but im guessing from certain price they're all good quality.

  14. #14
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    I thought I'd chime in here. We have tested a good number of bars on the market and have the data below:

    Comfortable MTB Carbon Handlebars-one-up-handlebar-vertical-compliance-comparison-chart.jpg

    We have not tested many alloy bars but plan to do so in the coming months. Our conclusion was confirmed by VitalMTB, although I think their rig had some slack in the system that underplayed our percentage improvement.

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/35...Gear-Show,2801

    Lastly, if you buy bar and stem we offer free grips with this bundle:

    https://www.oneupcomponents.com/coll...em-grip-bundle

    Cheers,
    Jon @ OneUp

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneUp View Post
    I thought I'd chime in here. We have tested a good number of bars on the market and have the data below:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	one-up-handlebar-vertical-compliance-comparison-chart.jpg 
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    We have not tested many alloy bars but plan to do so in the coming months. Our conclusion was confirmed by VitalMTB, although I think their rig had some slack in the system that underplayed our percentage improvement.

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/35...Gear-Show,2801

    Lastly, if you buy bar and stem we offer free grips with this bundle:

    https://www.oneupcomponents.com/coll...em-grip-bundle

    Cheers,
    Jon @ OneUp
    Nice. I use rev grips, which I like, but have your bars at the top of my buying list.
    Is there any compliance build into your stem as well? I am not planning to use the steerer tube tool and was wondering if there are any other benefits if the stem is used with your bars...
    Have you tested any 12* or even 16* sweep bars? Something like the sq is making? Any thoughts?
    https://nsmb.com/articles/defy...C2%...BA-sweep-bars/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Nice. I use rev grips, which I like, but have your bars at the top of my buying list.
    Is there any compliance build into your stem as well? I am not planning to use the steerer tube tool and was wondering if there are any other benefits if the stem is used with your bars...
    Have you tested any 12* or even 16* sweep bars? Something like the sq is making? Any thoughts?
    https://nsmb.com/articles/defy...C2%...BA-sweep-bars/
    Other than looking sweet you would not notice any performance increase with the OneUp Stem. Apparently I'm not in the marketing department. It is a bombproof stem but so are many others.

    We have not tested 12deg or 16deg bars for flex. I'm not a fan of a ton of backsweep especially when trying to get elbows out. Everything has some personal preference though.

    Cheers,
    Jon @ OneUp

  17. #17
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    Oneup just makes a regular stem. It isn't necessary to get the one that is designed for the tool. My buddy just picked up the combo Jon was talking about and loves it. I rode a little bit and the compliance is really good. I liked the grips as well.

    BTW, I have the tool setup. It's pretty cool... I went with the tapped steerer tube method.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneUp View Post
    Other than looking sweet you would not notice any performance increase with the OneUp Stem. Apparently I'm not in the marketing department. It is a bombproof stem but so are many others.

    We have not tested 12deg or 16deg bars for flex. I'm not a fan of a ton of backsweep especially when trying to get elbows out. Everything has some personal preference though.

    Cheers,
    Jon @ OneUp
    Thanks!
    Do you know how much the compliance would be effected if I cut the bars? My preferred lenght is around 770-780mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Thanks!
    Do you know how much the compliance would be effected if I cut the bars? My preferred lenght is around 770-780mm.
    This is a huge question that i wish some companies would address, a bar designed for compliance at 800mm cut down to my preferred width of 760 has got to have a different feel than what is engineered into the original length. Because of this i am more inclined to purchase a bar made to 760 or 780mm since i know i am riding a component closer to its designed specs.

    Maybe its all in my head...

    Nathan

  20. #20
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    I am down to Enve M6 31.8 780mm 25mm rise or Oneup 35 800mm 35mm rise.
    Has anyone tried both?
    I have the Oneup already (not installed yet) and would need to cut it down to at least 780mm. It also scratches really easily. Another think I noticed is the lack of texture in the stem mounting area. One will need to make sure it's tighten up correctly.

    Will there be a significant comfort difference between them? M6 is advartised as comfortable trail bar and I won't need to cut it down. + I own several Syntace 31.8 stems.

  21. #21
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    I have pretty wide shoulders, I find bar comfort determined by the shape more than material. I am more comfortable with bars that have less upsweep which often translate to 0 to 15mm rise. And they flex more than riser bars. In the past few years I have been running RF Six 35 (30 rise) , Atlas 35 (30 rise), Kore OCD 31.8 (15 rise) , Reverse Triple X (820x31.8 zero rise, had them since 2010) and several others.

    The only bars I can see flexing while pushing down is a custom ti bars, 22.2 x 780, 0 rise. It is good for basic xc, but it affects handling too much when things are rough and fast.

    I had bars with severe back sweep, 24, 17 etc. and either my shoulders are too wide to fit well or they just require a more upright position. However I do not like them because the handling is poor and can not ride aggressively.

    The difference I detect between RF SixC and Atlas is mainly vibration damping. Maybe, maybe, the SixC flex more. But they are both rock stiff. However less stiff than Next carbon bars. I think they are the exact same bar trimmed down.

    The most comfortable bars I have are the Reverse Triple X and Kore OCD. Both small upsweep and triple butted 7075.

    I have been wanting to replace the Atlas bars with either OneUp, Spank Vibrocore or Syntace Vector carbon. From what I read, the last are the most compliant and overall better built bars. I am skeptical about the OneUp. Vibrocore seem to have a very thin wall and I dont like that. I suppose Enve bars must be killer as well.

    I also find the cockpit comfort affected by short stems. Longer stems, 80+, flex more and add comfort. I think a lot of people move from 31.8/longer stem to 35 and 35/50 stem, therefore they perceive the 35 bars even stiffer than they are. Which are definitely stiffer than 31.8 no matter what manufactures say! Few years ago, they tried to do the same thing with road bikes and it failed.

    I personally do not like the direction mtb industry is going, on one hand they are making most bikes pro oriented (like road bikes 10/15 years ago), on the other hand they need to make them work for the new masses interested in "nature". Until the market is not going to go back to normal (which is soon I think/hope), I am not going to waist my time trying to upgrade with products conceived by marketing teams.

    So if I have to buy a bar again, it would be something "old school" from 5 years ago, made in triple butted alu. Or enve, Syntace.

  22. #22
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    OneUp are noticeably easier on my hands vs RF NextR or 6C, which are most likely the exact same bar. I also use Rev Grips.

    The oval-tube design makes a lot of sense to me. They have not broken yet either, which is great. Not much else to say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    OneUp are noticeably easier on my hands vs RF NextR or 6C, which are most likely the exact same bar. I also use Rev Grips.

    The oval-tube design makes a lot of sense to me. They have not broken yet either, which is great. Not much else to say...

    wife got a new bike w 35mm bars. She wants to trim the ends for he narrow body size. I was thinking about the one up bars but am concerned the benefits will be lost when trimming them down to suit her.

    any comments on their performance changes if cut to 740-760 ish?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    wife got a new bike w 35mm bars. She wants to trim the ends for he narrow body size. I was thinking about the one up bars but am concerned the benefits will be lost when trimming them down to suit her.

    any comments on their performance changes if cut to 740-760 ish?
    I think that's another advantage of the oval shape, when you shorten it you still retain that oval section between the stem and grips that flexes. However, the bar will certainly be stiffer and deflect less at the grips, but this is true of every bar. I'd guess the OneUp will be better than most though.

    I'd only worry about it if she's having inflammation of the hands that persists more than a day after a ride, and has managed to figure out how to ride without death gripping the bars. Some of my friends can use whatever bar without issue, I use my hands a lot for work, both typing and assembling the products I sell for a living... then I go and ride bikes or lift heavy weights. I got permanent inflammation in a few finger joints, this is totally not ok, it's basically riding induced arthritis.

    Rev grips help too, it's like MIPS for the hands.

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    Nevermind.

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