You all know that ODI are the number one company for grips on your pride and joy. Their Ruffian and Mushroom grips should be inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame for sure. Now what about their Flight Control Bars
and Direct Mount Stems
, "What bars and stems?" I hear you cry. And as for Wingtips
? Family show so we can't swear. Hold tight, sit down and point your controls this way folks
Made from 7075 T6 Aluminum which is the right choice for a pair of bars. These bars look a million dollars in the colour options that are available; Black, Black Chrome, Blue, Red and Gold. This will give Race Face a run for their money in the style stakes. Currently only available in a 25mm rise, we would like to see that come down to at least 20mm, if not a 15mm option for the downhill race brigade please. Clamping size is 31.8mm, oversized. Is the 25.4mm bar dead for all mountain and downhill. Funn would argue that with their Full On bars or are they flogging a dead horse?
ODI Flight Control Handlebar details:
- 25 mm rise
- 5 degree x 9 degree sweep
- 750 mm wide w/o Wing Tips
- 327 grams
- MSRP $79.95 USD
Now I've been running these ODI bars at their standard width of 750mm, at only 5ft 6ins, almost the wrong side of the big four zero, I still buy Calvin Kleins, have a wrist watch and have never been on Twitter. Therefore I'm not down with the 780mm wide brigade and the clowns pushing 800mm I'm afraid. Now personally I'm not sold on these Wing Tips, you see my Grand dad always had a few wise sayings. One of the most useful ones was, "Measure twice, cut once". I understand your regular rider that is moving up the style ladder and rankings that he wants to run wider bars. The chance he was already clued up enough to have a set of ODI bars in the first chance is a big fat zero. Therefore he's just going to go out and purchase a set of 800/780mm wide bars and cut them down. Hopefully remembering what my grand dad said,"Measure twice, cut once".
Wing Tips details:
- 13mm or 18mm threaded extensions
- 14 g per pair (13 mm)
- MSRP $11.95 USD
Where these would be really useful if for the rider running 740mm bars or shorter that wants to go wider. Here is where the Wingtips jump in and help out in their unique way. The rider can run the ODI bars at 750mm as their first initial upgrade. Then in a few months time bump up to either 13mm/763mm wide bars or go 18mm/768mm bars. Thus saving valuable pennies and not having to splash the cash to go that bit wider. Plus it's a lot easier to set up and get used to as the bar foundations themselves will be the same angles, sweep, rise etc.. The Wingtips also have a thread in there for a plastic end cap with an allen key head. Just the job to stop you corking yourself and to keep the race commissaires happy. Could you buy two sets of Wingtips and screw them into each other to build a jumbo extension? Yes, but definitely not advised. You might say there are those of you out there that crash a lot. Skills on my side and luckily I haven't smashed by bars into the ground. If I had would the end of the bar been damaged, i.e squashed, dented? Thus meaning the internal threads damaged? Personally that would of had to of been one hell of a big stack and then have my bike run over by a steam roller. If that was the case then these bars would be rendered useless for any future extension plans. Hold on though, if you had such a big stack that your bars were damaged, wouldn't it be time to replace them anyway? Food for thought guys...
At first look you may see the resemblance between this and the E-13 stems that were two separate sides. Close, but no cigar, the ODI Flight Control Stem is two separate sides agreed, the difference here is that they join courtesy of the top clamp that bridges the two sides. Originally I wasn't too impressed that the stem came without the four stem mounting bolts. A quick call to Ison Distribution the UK distributors for ODI and they soon rectified this with the boys on the other side of the pond and now they all ship with bolts. Now that was the bad news, the good news is that there are plenty of nice things to say about this stem. First off - How many times have you squinted to no avail trying to line up your bars bang on in the middle? The ODI Flight Control Stem ticks that job off in a second by having a small centering arrow that protrudes from the clamp at both the top and the bottom. Winner! This allows you to line your bars up quickly and perfectly every time without the aid of a geometry set and a laser. Then depending on what bars you are running, you can now match up the angle you want your bars tilting back at. On the ODI bars, the lines are marked meaning that compass and protractor Aunt Blanche gave you for Christmas is now going in the bin. The stem is pretty light even though it looks quite big and bulky from a distance, close inspection reveals any unwanted material has been nicely and carefully machined out. That includes the floor of the two side clamps between the fixing bolts, another nice touch. Then add on the laser etched ODI logo and you have one killer stem that hasn't creaked, slipped or underperformed at any point in the last three months. Where I do need some help to finish this article off is with the clamping up process. The manual says to clamp the two top bolts first so they close shut, no gap. Then tighten the bottom bolts. Now I know Straitline also say this and apparently it ensures a stronger and more even clamp. Please can those of you cleverer than me tell me why that is in your posts below?
ODI is exclusively distributed in the U.K by Ison Distribution. For more info on ODI check their website here.
ODI Flight Control Stem details:
- Constructed of 6061 aluminum
- 50 mm reach
- Available in black
- Weight 123 grams
- MSRP $89.95 USD