Review: Syncros' Hixon SL IC Integrated Carbon Bar & Stem

Feb 20, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Syncros Hixon SL IC review


Integration can make sense in theory, but it's also something that us mountain bikers can get riled up about, and understandably so. Being locked into using a certain component can feel wrong, especially when said component costs an arm and a leg, but the upsides might include less complication, less weight, and more optimization. That was Syncros' brief for the wild-looking Hixon SL IC carbon fiber handlebar and stem combo that's surely going to divide opinions. One thing about it is clear, though: At just 290-grams, it's really freakin' light.

The $329.99 USD cockpit is available in a single matte UD carbon finish, and you can get it with 40, 50, and 60mm virtual stem lengths. Width comes in at 780mm, and there's 12mm of rise that's combined with 6° of up-sweep and 9° of back-sweep.

Syncros Hixon SL IC

• 1-piece 'bar and stem
• UD carbon fiber
• Width: 780mm
• Length: 40, 50 (tested), 60mm
• Sweep: 6-degrees up, 9-degrees back
• Rise: 12mm
• Torx hardware
• Color: matte black
• Weight: 290-grams
• MSRP: $329.99 USD
• More info: www.syncros.com

Syncros Hixon SL IC review
It might look strange, but your grips are going to end up in pretty much the same spot. That's a Race Face handlebar and 50mm stem laid over top of the Hixon.


Construction

You know what's not needed when your stem and handlebar are a single piece? The bolts that'd usually hold the two together, of course, and fewer steel bolts mean fewer grams. To do this, Syncros uses a one-piece construction method that employs unidirectional carbon fiber, something they say is able to ''show more tensile strength and modulus than woven carbon patterns.''

It certainly gives it a futuristic look that traditional handlebars and stems don't have, which is no doubt helped by the oval shape to its mid-section.

Speaking of shapes, the Hixon SL IC is curvier than I get in the middle of winter. First, there's the part where the middle of the Hixon sweeps forward in an odd looking way, but then there's also the part where it's sweeping backward about halfway out to where the grips are. From above, it doesn't make much sense, but the important thing is that those grips are going to end up in roughly the same place that they'd be with a normal bar and stem combo, even if they take a weird route to get there.
Syncros Hixon SL IC review
Using carbon fiber for a one-piece cockpit lets you can come up with some unique shapes.

Torque specs are listed on the clamp (please use a torque wrench), and the two bolts have Torx heads and thread into an insert on the opposite side. Syncros has also added textured sections to where you're going to clamp your brake levers, shifter, and dropper post remote, which means you shouldn't need to ever over-tighten any clamp to keep it in place.

The Hixon comes with its own matching cap that fits into a slightly recessed section on top of the stem (you can buy a Garmin mount for here, too), but I just used a standard round stem cap because I had 10mm of spacers on top of it.


Syncros Hixon SL IC review
Syncros Hixon SL IC review
It took me one day to lose the specially shaped top cap (left) that fits the Hixon, but a normal one will work just fine. A textured finish where you clamp your controls means that you don't have to have over-tighten any of the clamps.


So, when it comes to numbers, how does the $329.99 USD, 290-gram Hixon compare to other high-end stem and handlebar combos? ENVE is the obvious rival here, with their 50mm stem coming in at $280 USD and 92-grams. Their M7 handlebar measures 800mm wide (40mm more than the Hixon), costs $170 USD, and weighs a claimed 240-grams. That puts the ENVE cockpit at a whopping $450 USD and 332-grams, or even more than the Hixon costs and around 40-grams heavier.

Yes, you can spend $100 USD and get an alloy setup that isn't going to hold any of us back and is actually adjustable, and full carbon fiber stem and handlebar combos aren't going to be on many of our 'must have' lists, but it's interesting to see how this Gucci-spec stuff compares and performs. That applies doubly-so when it looks as weird as the Hixon does.


Syncros Hixon SL IC review
The rider's point of view when looking down at a Syncros Hixon handlebar.


Performance

Have you ever used a handlebar that wasn't rigid enough? At around 160lb, I have no problem admitting that I certainly haven't. I have used a few that were far too rigid for my liking, though, and the Hixon feels like it's right on the edge of that line. This topic is always such a subjective thing, and I think a lot of people are talking out of their ass to sound like they're ultra-sensitive when they go on and on about handlebar flex or a lack thereof, but the Hixon's stiff construction is clear-cut to me.

Is it too stiff? I did get some buzzy sensations coming through to my hands, but only on the sort of high-frequency stuff that you see when cruising on a fireroad; I had zero issues on singletrack. Still, that's a first for me.


Syncros Hixon SL IC review
Want your bike to stand out and lose a bunch of grams?


I also just couldn't get over how the Hixon looks, too. I know, I know, it makes zero difference when you're moving - my hands would be in the same spot if I was using a standard setup - but the odd shape from an in-the-saddle point of view is... Unique.

Appearance aside, there are two obvious knocks against the Hixon. First, you clearly can't adjust handlebar roll because, well, it doesn't roll. The position feels bang-on for me and I don't think I'd want to change it regardless, but I know that Mike Kazimer had one as well and didn't gel with the position. Probably good to have a look before you order it off some website, then. The other thing is that you won't be clamping anything to this handlebar because it isn't round; the oval-ish cross-section means no lights or GoPro on the Hixon. Anything that mounts with a rubber band should be workable, though.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe downsides to the Hixon are obvious, but so are the upsides; it's light as hell and still quite rigid. If you like how it looks, get along with the position, and don't mind dropping this kind of coin on an ultra-light and high-tech cockpit, then you might want to check it out. Sure, it's far more bougie than most of us can justify, but who am I to say where the 'not worth it' line is? Besides, there are countless normal stems and handlebars out there, from inexpensive to incredibly expensive, but the Hixon takes a different, if a bit odd-looking, stab at mountain bike cockpits.  Mike Levy








133 Comments

  • + 67
 Wtf. I came here expecting this to get shot to pieces by the usual poor people , green peace , ludites , parnoid , metal lovers ect And it mostly positive so far. Did hell freeze over when I was asleep last night.
  • + 46
 Syncros will probably be contacting PB saying, "What's the reaction like from the comments Mike?"
Mike responding "I dunno man, it seems positive?"
Syncros, "You're kidding? They actually like this, is it opposite day or something?"
Spengle's 3-Spoke Carbon Wheels from the back, "What ever dude"
  • + 1
 They must have got themselves a real nice lady, to get to know, talk to, on a level, perhaps cover in jam.
  • + 7
 Too bad they messed up the review where it counts. Weight. There is no reason to get a item like this if it did not weight significantly less than a standard set up, that is way more customizable to a rider needs.

Pinkbike says: "freaking light". Let's compare. My Renthal Carbon is 180 grams, my Renthal Apex 40 mm is 118grams. Total is 298. Enve 40 stem is 85 grams, and a M6 bar 200, Total 285. Yes, of course their downhill bar is a bit more heavy. The Syncros is 290, just about in the middle.

Conclusion: the usual commercial from PinkBike. "freaking light" the Syncros ain't
  • + 5
 Everyone who's been in the sport for more than 5yrs must be on vacation. Bar/stem "integration" has been done so many freaking times in the last 30 years, and it always falls flat on its face b/c it's a "one size fits none" answer to a question that no one is asking. Like Duzzi said, anyone interested in saving weight can easily find sub-200g bars & a sub-100g stem that will hit the same weight target without losing the ability to make adjustments or upgrades in the future.
  • + 2
 @duzzi: I remind you that the Enve stem costs 350 dollars itself, which kind of defets your point.
  • + 51
 Can we get a notch in the steerertube to line up perfectly straight already?
  • + 33
 Hey FOX and RockShox, a laser etched line on the back of the steer tube for alignment, please.
  • + 4
 Align bars with relation to fork crown and that's it, all problems gone. Also, there's a flipside to that coin - if fork makers would make a line in the back, you would may notice, how steerer tube rotate in the crown, thus make you to file a warranty claim. Without it, it's impossible for you to tell, whether it was the stem that twisted on the steerer or it was the steerer twisted in the crown.
  • + 3
 @look-out:
Duuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh

marker

Duuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh
  • + 2
 @shrockie: only problem is, then you’d know how often you’re steertube moves in the crown...
  • + 30
 I would love one. This is one of very few products that has grabbed my attention over the past couple of years.
It's a shame it's not available at any online discount retailers, and yes, I have looked several times.
I would totally buy one for $199
  • + 21
 Reflects me sentiments exactly. This change makes a lot of sense to me, but the price needs to come down a hair.

I think it looks good. For those who don’t, remember when a single front ring with no derailleir or guide just looked wrong?
  • - 4
flag roma12 (Feb 20, 2019 at 1:39) (Below Threshold)
  • + 3
 I imagine they have a lot of mould / development costs to claw back on this one, maybe in a few years the price will drop.
  • + 6
 @roma12: not really
  • + 5
 @roma12: thanks for the thought, but it's not discounted at all!
  • - 4
flag tremeer023 (Feb 20, 2019 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 I really like the idea of this integration. Hopefully there will be more options in the future (alu version with 38mm rise for around £100 - £150 please). Also, I can sort of see the point of the wierd shape, a lot more of the front wheel is visable from rider perspective.
  • + 14
 A lot of us are running carbon bars (~$150) with a $80 stem, $230 total. So that is my starting point when thinking about costs.

Long term this seems like a good solution though. When the industry aims to simplify something, that's rad. It would remove the 31.8 vs. 35mm standard.
  • + 3
 @roma12: I think you missed the "discount" part. 329€ is not 199$ Wink
  • + 10
 AliExpress $60 if you are willing to risk it all for weight.
  • + 3
 @trails801: It isn't risky if you buy from a reputable manufacturer. I have an integrated bar and it is incredibly strong. Look at BXT, Tideace, Airwolf, Ulicyc, and Superlogic. They all come from a reputable Xiamen facility with excellent QC. There is a lot of crap out there too.

Don't overtighten anything clamped to your bar. Doing that to any carbon bar can break it. And by the way, all carbon bars can break.

Same engineers. Same materials. Same layup. Similar molds. Same factory. 20% of the price.
  • + 3
 @zdebruine: How do you arrive at those claims?
What makes you think that the same engineers who design the thing for Scott are also designing a 80% cheaper version to be sold on Ali?
How are you able to judge the Qc of all products out of a specific factory and what makes it excellent? Keeping in mind that even most carbon bars from reputable companies have very high manufacturing tolerances.

Judging from the results of actual fatigue testing of carbon bars I would go the other way and say: Don't use anything that isn't Syntace. Or maybe, with some reservations, Enve and Newmen.
  • + 8
 @Ttimer: Just because these factories don't have marketing people paying Pinkbike to tell you how they test their stuff and telling you what brands they manufacture for doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

A quick search of Alibaba for testing videos of frames will leave you with no doubt that these factories have appropriate testing equipment in place and subject their carbon frames to ridiculous cycles of mechanical stress and load. At least 130% of industry standards across the board.

Handlebar testing has not until recently been occurring in most of these factories. However, I have direct correspondence with several contacts and have learned that stress testing is being done for handlebars as well and that there have been substantial changes in production as a consequence.

Scott manufactures in China. Their Hixon is made in China. There are only about 7 factories that make carbon frames, and it would make sense to use one of these factories for their other products as well. Speaking of tolerances and carbon products indicates a lack of understanding of the process, clamshell molds are all CNC machined to extremely tight tolerances. The differences in quality of the product are in material, epoxy, layup, curing, and definitely not tolerances.

I'm pretty sure Syntace isn't the only reliable brand out there. Enve is a ripoff and Newmen is interesting, doesn't mean you can't support other brands too, or the factories that manufacture for those brands.
  • + 2
 @cmscheip: you’re comparing an $80 alloy stem. An Enve bar is $180 and an Enve carbon Mtb stem is $280. That’s a grand total of $460. So $330 for a carbon bar and stem combo, not that bad....
  • + 2
 @zdebruine: excellent post. Thanks for that.
  • + 1
 I have a fraser I can sell you for 250... lol
  • + 1
 @Ttimer: Do you have a link to fatigue testing results? And I agree, there is no way you are getting the same QC for 20% of the cost.
  • + 1
 @Jnicholz: As might be expected, the test was in one of the german bike magazines. The article is not visible online, but here is a screenshot of the results table: www.pinkbike.com/photo/16892098

The scary part is not even that so many bars from big manufacturers failed so early. The scary part is that for almost all carbon bars, the variation in strengh is absurd. Two units of the same bar differing in strenght by a factor of ten has nothing to do with good quality control.
With such high variation in manufacturing, the bar we buy might easily be much worse than the weaker of the tested units.
  • + 1
 @Ttimer: My German is not very good. Does this show they tested two of every bar?
  • + 1
 @jaame: Exactly, they tested two of each handlebar and the graph shows the results for both units. If the two bars are of equal height, that speaks for very consistent manufacturing (e. g. the Ritchey WCS Alu).
For all of the carbon handlebas except syntace, the two are very unequal in strength.
  • + 1
 @Ttimer: Wow. That totally puts me off the Syncros, and carbon in general.

Is the magazine paid for by Syntace?

With Enve, you can pay a lof of money and get a great bar... or a mediocre one. Who knows which it will be? I'll save my money, thanks!
  • + 1
 @jaame: I doubt that Syntace had the means or intention to directly influence the magazine test. But i think they used a similar kind of stress-test as the one that Syntace use for their own product testing.

But any well made carbon bar should be able to perform at least decently in that test, just most of them don't. Not sure what is going on with the major manufacturers. Seems like they don't do any stress-testing at all. Or maybe they just test prototypes and then blindly trust their chinese suppliers.
  • + 13
 I kinda like it. Can't afford it but yeah..
  • + 8
 Nothing wrong with reducing bolts and welds. This is the direction things have gone, for the better. Only issue beyond price I see is lack of options for fore and aft roll; as well as virtual stem length. Otherwise I see this similar to the evolution of the first V10 full of welds and superfluous material when compared to the latest version. However it is rather reminiscent of the titanium Dekerf welded bar/stem combo circa 1997
  • + 1
 I always stress about roll, too much? too little? The option is now removed!
  • + 9
 I realy ask myself: If you make a handlebar/stem combo in such a unique way, why taking the "virtual" 40; 50; 60mm stem as a reference and not go for a shorter one? 10; 20; 35 mm?
  • + 12
 Because how many people are actually riding stems that short? There’s a far bigger market for 40/50/60
  • + 5
 @rrsport: agree with that, 30mm is realistically the smallest ‘most’ people will go and 40-50mm certainly the most popular.

These will be hugely expensive to add a new size to the range too, not just the case of machining a 10mm shorter / longer version it’s a whole new mould.
  • + 17
 Because most people want some backsweep. And you don't want your hands to be on the wrong side of the steering axis.
  • + 1
 I’d also add that with the steeper seatubes the supposedly longer reaches aren’t that long. On the Yeti SB 150 with a reach of 480.2? At 6 feet tall the reach on a large felt short. To the point where I wanted to move the seat back, put on a wider bar and maybe even a longer stem. Or move up to an XL. Normally a large Yeti is a bit reachy for me and I need to slide the seat forward a touch and use a shorter stem. With that said, After riding this bike it’s definitely not a bike I’d size up on.
  • + 2
 I also found this a bit strange. There are currently only two(?)options if you want to run anything shorter than 30mm(p-dent and mondraker). Why not make it an option? It's not like the market is lacking in nicely engineered 40-60mm options
  • + 3
 @Bikethrasher: Yeah, if you look at the saddle-to-handlebar measurements of "new geometry" bikes, they are usually about the same as "old geometry" bikes for a given size, even though the reach is a lot longer. Saddle-to-handlebar (i.e. effective top tube length) is important as it ever was for comfort and hasn't changed much, while reach is important for handling and seat angle on modern bikes has been adjusted to provide a similar effective top tube with a longer reach.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: exactly, but Yeti's effective top tube length is now significantly shorter (~2 cm) than before which is a good thing IMO, because people with mostly long legs now have a chance to ride a large comfortably. If I would upgrade from my medium SB66 with 50 mm stem to a large SB150 with a 30mm stem the length would be the same in the seated position, maybe even shorter because my seatpost is extended quite a lot.
  • + 1
 @Bikethrasher: yeah that's how i felt with m 2019 bronson so went with a xl frame and bought a 35mm stem. I'm 6'1"
  • + 1
 @chrisrut: The Large Bronson fit me like a glove. I really clicked with it. I’d take it over the SB 150 without a second thought. They are both fantastic bikes but in my opinion the Bronson does everything the SB150 can do, but the Bronson absolutely smokes the SB150 in the corners. The SB150 requires you to put a lot of weight over the front of the bike or it won’t hold a line or turn without the front end pushing. So my hands and forearms took a beating. On my 30 mile ride I never got comfortable on it nor, did it gain my trust. I swear it wanted to kill me if I wasn’t going over 25mph. The Bronson on the other hand was like and extension of my body. So intuitive, the suspension made all but the biggest hits disappear, and it had my back no matter what. Damn does it shred corners! In today’s world of most bikes are really good. It comes down to what YOU like. While that Yeti wasn’t for me it will be perfect for someone else. You can read all the reviews and comments you can find but until you go and ride a bike you don’t really know weather it’s the one for you or not.
  • + 1
 @Bikethrasher: Jesus christ how many of you guys still don´t get the difference between reach and ETT? Once again, seated position got jackshit to do with reach, reach is measurement that affects only standing position, nothing else.
  • + 1
 @Mondbiker: You missed my point. The geo numbers posted by manufacturers often don’t mean jack shit. Fact of the matter is I felt cramped on the longest bike I’ve ever ridden. Compare the geo between the SB6 and the SB150 and maybe you’ll get my point. A large SB6 fits me really well. It’s actually a bit reachy. The SB150 in Large feels short. Yet all the numbers on the SB 150 indicate it has a longer top tub and reach. Same brand same size totally different fit. Very diffferent ride feel as well. I have never felt the need to upsize on a Yeti in the past.
  • + 1
 @Bikethrasher: modern bikes have (or at least should have) steper seat tube, therefore ETT will be shorter, so seated position will feel shorter. When standing it´s easier to move around so feeling 20mm diference in reach won´t be that easy, most bikes with modern geometry also have shorter stems so actual cockpit is very similar to something older with longer stem.
  • + 11
 So light that you have to add ballast to keep the front down uphill.
  • + 2
 Yeah, not the place I need less weight right now
  • + 5
 No high rise and It’s not that light. Renthal Fat Bar Lite, 170g with an 40 mm Enve stem, 85g = 255g and you can get a high rise with it.
  • + 6
 1. If you air-travel with your bike don't forget to hold on to one of your old stems to hold the fork in place when you have to remove your bars.

2. It seems like they could corner the market for anyone who wants ultra short stems (shorter than 35mm) yet they aren't even going there ??? 40mm virtual stem is the shortest they go.

3. All bars need to be at least 800. You can always cut them down. I get it, must pro-riders are sub-160 lbs, but there are lots of us out there that aren't.
  • + 6
 not for me but,I kinda dig it in the same way I dig electronic wireless shifting. Even more trick if they figured some sort of wedge clamp that could be concealed under the front or some where to do away with the clamp bolts.I can also imagine a version with built in lights an GPS screen
  • + 2
 Splined headtube and stem?
  • + 1
 @gibspaulding: that's genius
  • + 9
 Super duper clean n tidy.
  • + 5
 Won't anyone think of the poor downtrodden MTBer that lashes out anytime a new high end product is released that is out of their current price range? They DESERVE the very best, regardless of their job skills, age, intelligence, or drive. None of that matters! Just that anyone that can afford it is a no talent prick, just buying it to rub it in their faces.
  • + 5
 I miss Syncros. I've got several t-shirts from back in the day and ran Syncros bars, stems, bb, and seatposts. If I could have found the revolver crankset I'd have been super happy. This....no. Not my Syncros.
  • + 4
 You didn't mention bar ends, but I assume that's a given.
  • + 3
 I had a bad ass monster sized stiff as hell Syncros quill stem on a Kona AA back in the day, when Kona still spec'd threaded headsets vs. going threadless. It's 130mm of length held my 640mm Answer Hyperlite handlebar capably. Looked the business for sure. Sorta glad they are still around, but like Bontrager a lot of the mystique is missing now that they are a house brand.
  • + 5
 My old wrists like Spank Vibrocore and ESI grips. Bars are something I should have cared about way back then. My body has injury memory baked in and some bars can ruin me.
  • + 3
 You shouldn't test two radically new and different parts at the same time. No way to know if what your feeling in the bars is due to the fork, or vice a versa when you get around to reviewing the fork.
  • + 5
 I use the Intend Grace Trail and a Reverse Seismic with 790mm and come up lighter and not that pricey Wink
  • + 2
 Let's compare to the cockpit that most of my friends (and I) I've been running for the past couple of years. RaceFace SixC 35 + Turbine stem.

Raceface (MSRP - Jenson USA): $175 + $105 = $280, weight, 210g + 138g = 348g
Syncros: $330, 290g

The Syncros setup is only $50 more, it's expensive, but it's not that much more expensive than what's out there. It's a 0.86$/g saving.
  • + 2
 Back when I cared I always relied on the $1.00/gram threshold when considering weight-motivated upgrades. I guess this one passes the test!
  • + 5
 Kazimer doesn't like it..Not surprised!
  • + 1
 I bought one of these a few months back and have used them for a while on my trail bike, the geometry was exactly the same as my previous alloy stem/carbon bar combo and came in at half the weight.
Im a big fan of the feel and look, sure the price is up there but its comparable to other high end bar and stem combos. Im fine with the width not being a full 800, I find it better suited than my old 800's
  • + 2
 @mikelevy How did you lose the top cap, not torqued enough ?
Although you should precise this here is the Hixon Rise which features 20mm rise and 7° backsweep.

Glad you like it tho
  • + 4
 Head tube vaporizers are like any other type in that your short term memory gets shot to bits. It's probably in his pocket.
  • + 2
 I'll just wait for the article on how to mount a Piko light (and a cellphone, for whoever likes to do that) on this bar or stem.
  • + 2
 Hate on Spengle but positive response on this? Yet when the handlebars snap I’ll have to also replace the stem.
  • + 1
 So how much does that Turbine R Stem and Next R bar cost in that photo comparison? Because weight-wise, the RF combo may only be about 10g heavier. looks about $175 on CRC
  • + 3
 Alright, where's PVD claiming to have started this trend.
  • + 1
 Lol The first thing I thought of was how PVD said his was different than the Hixon due to the grip angle. But when u see that pic of the race face bar and stem on top of the Hixon you can see they are also addressing grip angle a little differently and BPVD. Smile
  • + 1
 Another thought. Back in the day when PVD was always using crazy long stems part of his argument was that we should all have multiple stem lengths for different times if the year due to body and strength changes and to match terrain. Now that he's bonding the stem to carbon bar sections I guess that reasonings changed.
  • + 3
 That is one alien looking Down Country Badboy you got there
  • + 1
 Looks kinda like the Ragley Carnegies on my Down Country Commuter.
  • + 1
 The worst part is the no lights issue. I have a wahoo to garmin adapter so that's no issue but it sucks to be restricted to helmet only.
  • + 2
 No thanks, I'll keep things old school with my Nitto bullmoose bar thank you very much. Razz
  • + 2
 If you wanna do it, do it right!
ridegemini.com/en/tienda/kastor-en
  • + 2
 I like how that one looks better!! And more choices. But dam if you order to match the stem and bar your riding now and then think you should have gone up it down 10mm that sure would be an expensive part to get your future right!!
  • + 2
 650euro for bar/stem yet only 2 year warranty, they cannot be serious.
  • + 1
 @Mondbiker: 2yr????????? for a carbon bar and stem that's way expensive!! NOT!

Good catch...

Course I always roll my bars too far forward so it feels like BMX bars anyway. So not like I'd ever buy any of these... Smile
  • + 1
 Rake will depend on headtube angle for the bike. They should have a chart showing the change.
  • + 1
 Looks a lot like the T.H.E. Industries Flight System stem/bar combo. Even the shape is the same.
  • + 2
 what's the stack height / min steerer required for this handlebar?
  • + 1
 Im surprised there aren't a bunch of similar barstems from "legit" component makers. Those things look hot as f@ck
  • + 1
 That amount of money and I can't rotate the bar fore/aft to suit me and the bike? Insert "That's a no from me"- meme.
  • - 2
 This $350 price tag is stupid. The carbon products factory in Xiamen that makes a lot of these high-end OEM handlebars also makes a $50 consumer-direct option.

www.aliexpress.com/item/Manillar-Carbono-MTB-Bicycle-Riser-17-degree-One-shaped-Integrated-Handlebar-With-Stem-3K-Black-Matte/32858526315.html

This integrated bar has similar geo to the Hixon, is exceptionally strong, and equally lightweight. It's also round and doesn't look so strange.

Haters are going to hate, but don't hate if you haven't tried it.
  • + 1
 I have one of those. I found it to be a trustworthy option at least at 720mm on my xc bike. However I didn't get on with the backsweep, it's too much, I think it hurts my hands, so I might get back to a normal setup. I also had to return it for one with a longer virtual stem length because of how much backsweep there is.
  • + 1
 @DavidGuerra: I'm curious what setup you normally ride and how high you run your bar.

I got 80mm, -17 degree, 9 degree backsweep and the geometry is identical to my current setup which I like a lot. I run it very low, so the sweep fits my position naturally. If you run this bar higher (more spacers) it will strain your wrists. It's a very aggressive position, but that's the intention behind the design.
  • + 1
 @zdebruine: whats the virtual stem length of the 80mm? Looks like on some of their images it shows 40mm from the "front" to the "back" of the bar, so would that put that about a 40mm stem? Or is it actually a 80mm stem length? Would be interested to try so figured I'd ask!
  • + 1
 @connorjuliusjohnson: There isn't a virtual stem length that you can really rely on because bars have different backsweeps and be more or less rotated on the stem, which changes how forward or backward the hands are placed. If you want to duplicate your current setup, do the following: place a string from one end of the handlebar to the other and see what's the distance from that line to the center of the headset cap. My 110mm bar/stem has a distance of 81mm. If your distance is 61mm for instance, you need a 90mm bar/stem to replicate it.
  • + 1
 @zdebruine: My previous setup was this. 85mm stem and 8º backsweep bar: www.pinkbike.com/photo/16885823
Then I ordered a 90mm bar/stem, but I found it too short. It's possible that it was indeed a match to my stem, but because my stem had a 6º negative rise and this one had 17º, and lengths are not measured perpendicular to the steerer, the extra rotation brought it too close to my body. It's possible that if my previous stem had 17º as well it would have been a better match. Anyway, with my current 110mm bar/stem I'm fine length wise. It's just the rotation of the bar, it's too flat, it should be rotated upwards more. The more rotated upwards the less backsweep there is so it ends up being too much for my liking. I'm also finding out that I really like bars with little bend, they match my shoulder width better. With this bar/stem my hands start getting numb after about 2-3 hours. It's true that that was also happening with my previous setup, it may have to do with the absence of suspension, but I think it was more tolerable before. It may also have to do with the body weight being shifted more to the bars now. I have ordered one of the flat bars from that manufacturer which have very little backsweep, to see how it feels.
This is the current setup. The bar is as high as I can get it but still lower than the 6º stem with no spacers.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/16885688/?s6
  • + 2
 @DavidGuerra: @zdebruine whelp it was $47 so bought a 80mm to try out. Figure I can sell it if I don't like it.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy What is the mech inside if your steerer that takes the place of a star nut and who makes them?
  • + 1
 Looks like an expander plug, I have one from hope that works pretty well. I think you have to use one instead of a regular star nut if you have a carbon steerer.
  • + 1
 Thanks, I Just looked it up. Hope says that they are only suitable for aluminum steerers and not for carbon or steel.
  • + 1
 So I can swap it out for night rides and have a place to mount my light? Thanks but no thanks.
  • + 1
 I like it but the reach is too short for my XC bike. Maybe on the next frame.
  • + 2
 There is the Syncros Fraser for us XC folks.
  • + 1
 Weren't people saying that having bolts clamping from the same side makes it slip, like the renthal apex?
  • + 1
 At a dentist's office: So far we've extracted one tooth today, may I get two of these, please?
  • + 1
 Just remember that if you manage to break it your out the cost of the whole bar/stem combo not just a bar.
  • + 1
 Review SQlab 12 or 16* backsweep bars. They are the short
  • + 0
 Do they sell an Al version for under $100? I'd be interested in trying it. I think it looks pretty sweet honestly.
  • + 1
 Is it safe to use my anodized purple bar ends with these bars?
  • + 0
 It's not that light. My Pro Koryak stem and 20mm rise Tharsis carbon bar is 284g and half the price.
  • + 1
 @bkxc has issues with his spinning. No thanks.
  • + 1
 Hixon, is it named after one of the Gracie clan?
  • + 1
 up next - Syncros release elongated grips to give you the perfect fit
  • - 2
 Looks banger! And I dont get the cost complaints. At $100 more than a standard combo its 2% of the total cost of a $5k bike. Funny how people who are bad at math are also broke....
  • + 1
 Still riding the Giant 29er Trance I see! Interesting!
  • + 1
 I actually want one. Just waiting for the price to come down.
  • + 0
 Is it 780mm wide or 760 ?
  • + 2
 @hans-dampf-26er: thanks. The article mentions the Enve M7 at 800mm and says it's 40mm longer than the Hixon, but must be a typo.
  • + 0
 I just came here to say: "Nope!"
  • + 1
 Looks wide as a house.
  • + 1
 YUK!
  • + 1
 ovp steering next
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