Round Up: 7 Cockpit 'Suspension' Options

Apr 2, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  



While we typically refer to suspension forks and shocks when we talk about mountain bike 'suspension,' we've seen a growing number of cockpit vibration damping options hit the market. One of our favorite Instagram accounts, @north.american.bike.project, recently shared a series of posts about cockpit suspension, and we decided the Pinkbike homepage could use a similar roundup.



XC Gear Hammerhead 360 Stem


Features

• Uses polymers in three firmness options to dampen vibrations
• 45mm length, 31.8mm clamp
xcgear.com
In-house testing on motocross bikes reportedly showed significant vibration reduction
• Made in the USA from 6061 T6 aluminum
• $399.99 USD

bigquotesThe XC Gear Hammerhead 360 Stem has gotten some media attention recently because of how it sets itself apart from previous suspension stems. The Hamerhead 360 is a bit complicated but very clever. Polymers suspend the handlebar from the stem in two different ways: first, the outer part of the stem connects to the handlebar through polymer sleeves, suspending the handlebar from the main part of the stem. Second, the stem has a middle section that clamps directly to the handlebar and is suspended from the base of the stem by another polymer part. The NABP Instagram has an explainer with photos here.



Revolution Suspension Grips

Revolution Suspension Grips

Revolution Suspension Grips
Revolution Suspension Grips

Features

• Grips rotate by 3-4mm due to small amount of float over bars
• Firmness is adjustable with the use of shims (included in grip kits)
revgrips.com
• Install just like standard lock-on grips, just marginally more complicated to swap out shims
• Rebuild kits available for all the wear parts
• $59.99 to $89.99 USD

bigquotesRev Grips are built with the idea of taking the movement that typically occurs at the hand/grip interface and in riders' arms and transferring that movement to inside the grip, where it is damped before it reaches the rider. The grip barrel is suspended slightly from the handlebar, moving independently of handlebar vibration. The grip performance is tuned using spacers that come with the grips and allow riders to choose how freely the grips move.



Fasst Company Flexx Handlebars


flexx handlebar

Features

• Available in alloy and carbon versions
• The enduro version comes at 800mm, while the DH bar measures 810mm and has a wider clamp area to accommodate direct-mount stems
• 550g for alloy, 430g for carbon
• Tunable using interchangeable elastomers
• $324.99 USD for alloy, $424.99 USD for carbon
fasstmtb.com

bigquotesLike XC Gear's Hammerhead 360 Stem, the Fasst Company Flexx Handlebar originated in the moto world and has crossed over to mountain biking. The Flexx bars provide vibration damping and theoretically reduce or prevent arm pump and hand discomfort. They work by pivoting at two bushing joints that are fitted with interchangeable elastomers that allow riders to tune the bars’ firmness and ride feel. The joints are designed to flex in the direction in which a rider’s arms bend, but not in the steering axis, with the goal of proving damping without affecting steering precision.



OneUp Carbon Handlebars



Features

• Oval shape allows for independent tuning of vertical and horizontal compliance
• 220g-225g claimed weight
• Available with 20mm or 35mm rise
• OneUp says in-house testing showed a 21% increase in vertical compliance and a 28% increase in steering stiffness compared to competition
• $139.50 USD
oneupcomponents.com

bigquotesOneUp says the oval shape of the carbon handlebars allow independent tuning of vertical compliance and steering stiffness, and they claim to have struck a fine balance between comfort and responsiveness in the aptly-named Carbon Handlebar. Like the Fasst Flexx bar, the OneUp Carbon Handlebar aims to provide movement in the direction in which a rider's arms need to absorb movement without sacrificing steering precision.



Baramind BAM MTB Handlebar



Features

• Handlebar flexibility is customizable using insert kits that come included with the bars
• Bars are made from a carbon and fiberglass combination
• 720mm width, 31.8mm diameter
• 290g claimed weight
• $234.18 USD
baramind-bike.com

bigquotesThe made-in-France Baramind BAM MTB Handlebar is another carbon bar designed to flex. The bar uses swappable pieces that fit around the bars to regulate flexibility. While these bars are strictly recommended for XC riding only, they are covered by a 5-year warranty for some peace of mind.



Textured Grips


ERGON GD1 Evo Factory in Frozen Moss

Features

• The simplest way to play with cockpit damping
• Easy experimentation
• Widely available
• Typically cost $20-$40 USD

A Few Recommendations

Grip preference is so intensely subjective, so this list is just meant to point you in the right direction. More information is available in this full-on grips extravaganza.

Ergon DG1 Evo: Ergon used a soft compound for the DG1 Evo grips, meaning the grips have a bit more give than most.
PNW Components Loam Grips: My personal choice. Great pattern and fun colors.
Fabric Magic Grip: Sometimes simple is nice. The Magic Grip's mushroom pattern provides plenty of compliance.
Deity Knuckleduster: The Knuckleduster has extra cushion on top and extra grip on the bottom.
ESI Grips: ESI Grips are classic. They're preposterously simple and oh so comfortable, though they really don't get along well with crashes.
Renthal Push-On Grips: It takes a tiny bit longer to install and remove push-on grips, but lots of riders swear by them due to the excellent damping and slim profile.

bigquotesAre you interested in adding a bit of give to your cockpit, but not interested in any of the elastomer-jointed-flexy-engineered solutions described here? Playing with standard lock-on or push-on grips is one of the easiest ways to fine-tune the vibration damping of a bike's cockpit.

Girvin Flexstem



Features

• No real merits to list here
• "Suspend the rider, not the bike" and other nostalgic taglines
• Looks kind of cool
• A talking point for your weird uncle
• Available from a wide variety of sources
• ~$60-$70 USD on ebay

bigquotesWant to go retro? Do you prioritize character and uniqueness over actual functionality? This throwback stem may be just the thing for you.





196 Comments

  • 284 1
 Somebody pleaseeee use all of these at once, I have to know
  • 23 63
flag PTyliszczak (Apr 2, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 How do you use multiple bars at the same time?
  • 38 0
 @PTyliszczak: I meant use the grips stem and bars all at once, if they claim that one alone is good does that mean that 3 will be way better?
  • 22 0
 @ryan-monson: i use oneup bars and also rev grips =)
  • 10 0
 all the tools for a loose ride
  • 11 1
 Just built my bike with One Up and Loam Grips. Honestly my hands were tired after the first ride, but I’m also out of shape.
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: Multiple clamps.
  • 15 1
 @PTyliszczak: Ask Stormy Daniels
  • 1 0
 Now we're getting closer to the sweet spot...hi comp, low comp, high rebound, low rebound, tokens, travel adjust, lock-out, fork oil weight, stem firmness, bar flex, grip rotation, grip firmness. I'm poking fun, but I really do like being able to tinker with settings.
  • 5 0
 @wda1wustl: a real honest review. Nice one
  • 13 0
 PINKBIKE YOU NEED TO DO THIS!
  • 3 1
 @twonsarelli: I do as well. The oneup bars are pretty good, but the revgrips are amazing. Since they reduce the friction between your hands and grips, they last easily twice as long as normal lock on grips.
  • 1 0
 If you hadn't said it I would have
  • 3 0
 @PTyliszczak: And exactly where does a quill stem go these days? .... This can't be good
  • 2 0
 @tipsword: on a walmart bike
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: bicycle pubes has done it . Check him out on Instagram @bicyclepubes
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: you use one for right hand, one for left hand and third one instead of seatpost, duh.
  • 1 0
 @ryan-monson: 0.666% better...
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: yeah the longevity is amazing. i have been using them since 2016 and have gone through less than 1 pair per year, even riding 175+ days a year.
  • 2 0
 Slap everything (yes, multiple handlebars at once) from this list right onto the Grim Donut and send a roadgap.
  • 1 0
 @Warburrito: don’t forget compliant carbon wheels, tire inserts, and everything from Vorsprung LOL
  • 1 0
 @tipsword: Sheldon Brown had the quill stem thing figured out years ago - why settle for 1 set of bars when you can get more comfort and additional hand positions from 2 sets?:
www.sheldonbrown.com/org/thorn-index.html
  • 35 4
 A lot of companies make the claim of building compliance into their carbon handlebars, not really sure why OneUp is being singled out as unique in that claim. No doubt they are nice bars, but it just seems a little odd and slighting to their competitors.
  • 20 2
 I've got some unverified information from a competitor of theirs that OneUp's bar has the most vertical compliance of all of them. Take it with a massive grain of salt, but that's why they're representing compliant carbon bars here.
  • 28 1
 Follow up: I should also say that we did some back-to-back blind testing with the OneUp bars and some alloy bars that are known to be super stiff, and got inconclusive results. It certainly wasn't a night and day difference. I think many of the things on this list are interesting for marginal gains over longer periods than A/B testing over a lap or two.
  • 21 28
flag justwaki (Apr 2, 2021 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 @ninjatarian because they are the only ones which are almost as compliant as alu bars. Race Face are as compliant as a piece of rebar. The only way carbon bars can combat arm pump is if you stick 100kg worth of weights on them and do 5 sets of 10 reps of Romanian deadlift. Or mount them to a door opening and hamg from them for 1min + few times a day. Maybe some German weight weenie ones are compliant too, it’s just who wants to risk riding AM/EN/DH on 120g 800mm wide bars.
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: i imagine a lot of it ie because the percentage of vibration reduction is pretty meaningless without understanding the test frequency or wave sweeps they are using to come up with those numbers. Then in addition to that, the question needs to be asked if those frequencies or wave forms actually simulate the vibrations become experience during riding and that have a benefit from being damped.

I'd also be confident in saying that different companies use different metrics to calculate the vibration damping potential further complicating comparing one vs the other when looking at the values solely on paper.

That being said I did buy a spank vibrocore + revgrips so we will see how it goes this season.
  • 13 1
 @brianpark: rather than unverified information why not rig up a flex test.

150lb weigh hanging each end of bars, clamped in a jig, measure flex. Then you have numbers. And then a graph. Maybe a pie chart.

Mmmmm pie.
  • 16 0
 @wakidesigned: I like to live dangerously...been riding 146g 760mm carbon no-name bars for a few years now. They arrived and were around 80g lighter than advertised. Stupid...yes, but no stitches or broken bones yet. They dont have enough backsweep though and that will likely be why I end up replacing them.

-as I'm typing this out It's becoming obvious I'm irresponsible.
  • 3 0
 @fisc2307: I got some revgrips. Honestly? Fairly rad. It's not night and day, but in the softest setting it's definitely a noticeable difference.
  • 8 0
 @wakidesigned: my experience is totally the opposite. Every time i ride a alu bar, it feels harsher than my carbon bar (Renthal Fatbar Carbon). Maybe it has nothing to do with the material and more to do with bar shape (sweep and such). Maybe its all in the head but until them, but i'll keep putting Carbon renthals on my bike for the forseeable future.

I'd really love it if some real science could evaluate compliance and then provide some kind of scale ranking of compliance. I have a feeling not everyone is looking for the same level of compliance but knowing what you like and objectively what is similar could be a real boon for riders.

PS is that you Waki back from exile?
  • 3 0
 @freestyIAM: you're not the only one making those claims about the Fatbars...both aluminum and carbon. I hear a lot of people say there's nothing else that compares and nobody seems to know why. They're the next bars I have my eye on.
  • 2 0
 @wakidesigned: Not sure if you're citing rebar as an example of high compliance or low compliance? All the rebar I've ever handled was very flexy . . . to the point I would be deathly afraid of using an 800mm length of rebar as a handlebar. I imagine the grips moving 25-50mm relative to the stem.
  • 8 12
flag justwaki (Apr 2, 2021 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 @freestyIAM: I should have mentioned it as my own preference. RF Next are worst that I have ever ridden. Last year I found Renthal Carbons 31.8 very cheap as used and I didn’t like them instantly. Sold them right away. Current Fatbars and Fatbars lite alu in 31.8 just suit me best. But there’s more to comfort for sure like recent push for bars like SQ Lab which have lots of sweep. Grips... But the info I get from various people thati find reliable and trustworthy is that OneUps are the first ones living up to the hype.
  • 3 0
 The oneup bars are OVAL, so they are flexy in the intended direction, while being ultra precise in the other directions. They are comparable, in my 200 pound experience, to noodle ultra light XC carbon bars, but without the loss of performance.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: I ran oneup bars all summer then changed to the stock aluminum bar. Thought my fork had busted within a few feet of riding it (I had forgotten that the bar had been changed). It makes a huge difference for cutting out sharp vibration/chatter to me.
  • 6 5
 @wakidesigned: Are you going to talk nice this time?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: sounds interesting. Is there an article on that specific test?
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Spank vibrocore work well
  • 2 0
 @mountainyj: 21mm vs 20mm between OneUp & other carbon bars, which is a 5% difference. I highly doubt I could detect a 5% difference in anything even if I was super focused on it. Interesting test, none the less; overall not as a huge a difference between all the bars as one might expect.
  • 2 1
 @wakidesigned: is that you waki??!?!
  • 7 1
 @wakidesigned: Look who is back. Joined on April 1st as well, how fitting! Smile
  • 5 1
 @bashhard: idk man, this guys english sentences are much more coherent than wakis. I think this guy is trying too hard.
  • 3 0
 I have metal plates in my arm that hurt like a mthr fkr when I ride with any alloy bar and don’t hurt like a mthr fkr with any carbon bar. It’s not just about stiffness, it’s about impact vibrations
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: 5% isn't necessarily going to translate directly to 5% more compliance.
  • 3 0
 Fvck me he’s back! When Did you let you out? @wakidesigned:
  • 1 0
 @freestyIAM: really.
I gave a renthal carbon fat bar away,
I'm favor of a one up. And later tried a spank vibrocore.....
The renthal bar induces sheer pain in the wrist I fractured.
  • 2 0
 One up bars are the only ones I can see visably flex when I flip the bike over and push on the fork.

Like they flex quite and bit and after running a few carbon bars now I can say with 100% certainty they the flex the most.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I have to say the difference between and an Envy M6 and Specialized Roval carbon is night and day even though weights are similar. The M6 is about twice as compliant. Switching back to back the Roval felt brutally stiff to the point of feeling uncomfortable. I couldnt believe the difference.
  • 7 9
 @imnotdanny: spreading message of love and understanding. I even want a Nicolai G1... in medium. Or Levo SL. This crap with Rona and Trump... we need to understand each other more. What if people in front of Capitol smoked weed and ate mushrooms... imagine all the people stoned and tripped their balls uh oh hoo uh uh... you can say I’m a hater... but I’m not the only one. No more polarization... let’s hug.
  • 4 0
 @wakidesigned: Should have gone with:

Wakiredesigned, or perhaps, Wakientropy
  • 1 0
 @Warburrito: I had been on are the Renthal carbon for awhile and find they really dampen the high frequency chatter.
  • 5 0
 @onemind123: if I'm not mistaken, the claim of carbon bars damping vibrations is based on aluminium vibrating at certain frequencies and resin in the carbon bars damping those vibrations. Vibrations ≠ (lack of) flex. Something can be stiff and still not vibrate/resonate at unwanted frequencies. Would be great to test those claims, but measuring flex probably isn't the way to do this.
  • 3 0
 @Mac1987: point taken.

So we need to attach a vibrator to measure what provides more pleasure........
  • 9 0
 @ninjatarian: The Vital test was a bit flawed as it only loaded one side. As such, the stem twist added to the deflection number. Our internal testing is more like 21% more compliant than average.

www.mtbr.com/attachments/one-up-handlebar-vertical-compliance-comparison-chart-jpg.1306631

I hope that helps,
Jon @ OneUp
  • 2 5
 @englertracing: vibration damping in carbon fiber products in gravity MTB... I am no scientist but to me the issue we are dealing with most often is hits happening only few times a second. Even on worst brake bumps out there. That means that when it comes to fatigue we are getting fatigued by how little the bar bends at each hit not how it deals with tiny amplitudes being the aftermath of those hits. I may be wrong so I will gladly listen but the way I see it the main function of compliance in the bar should be how it acts as a spring, how much preload it has, rather than how it dampens the following movement. It’s a bit different on a road bike where wheel hits small obstacles all the time and it all gets transfered into the arms and butt of the rider.
  • 3 0
 @wakidesigned:
Typically the resonant frequency or a stiffer structure is higher.
It's not that high frequency are transferring trail to wheel to suspension frame to hands. One whack gets the bars to "ring" like hitting a gong or bell, or key on a zylophone or plucking a string on a guitar, bonnnnngggggggg.
Pluck the string on a base guitar twice a second its a continuous bungbungbungbung.

The input frequency and amplitude can be quite varied and still excite an objects natural frequency. This is what spank was on about shooting foam in a bar.....

It's a piece to the puzzle.
So is overall flex for sure, but I can see a flexy carbon bar being Like bending a door stopper and releasing it.

The one up bars feel like taking 3 psi out of your front tire without doing so.

The spanks are hard to describe. I broke my wrist in 2018 and I was having pain on rocky trails not pump but more like an arthritis in the joint. (It's gotten better on the bike It's no problem however operating an air die grinder will bring pain in about 30 seconds) I was having to push through the wrist pain at the end of downhill runs. My buddy got me to try his 31.8mm spank and my wrist felt great....

I bought a 35mm spank vibrocore. Ran it, it wasn't as good as the 31.8, I bought the one up It's ok. I also filled a pivot carbon bar with polyurethane 2 part foam. Would rate 31.8 vibrocore, one up, and a tie with foam filled pivot bars and 35mm vibrocores.
  • 4 5
 @englertracing: I get the resonance but I cannot imagine this being the main cause of the feel, especially since unlike road bikes we have two if not three mediums dampening the resonance of the whole system: tires, inserts and suspension.

35mm alu bars are awful. They are almost as stiff as first Renthal Fatbars. Those that had like 4-5mm walls, weighed 400g or more. Current fatbars lite in 31.8 are my favorite. Had Renthal carbons 31.8 back to back, evidently stiffer.

As to wrist pain: have you tried exercising it with holding a kettlebell upside down? Trains wrist stabilizing muscles as well as grip strength
  • 1 0
 @OneUpComponents: Thank you for sharing this- very interesting. I wouldn’t be opposed giving them a try at some point.
  • 2 0
 @ninjatarian: they do feel smoother on atrocious braking bump but feel stiff enough when pedaling, and turn like a stiff bar.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: The only improvement could possibly be trying to fill them with foam and then re-engineer for the new resonance frequencies.
  • 3 0
 @ninjatarian: Wakiresigned...
  • 22 1
 Instead of "textured" grips, "all rubber" grips are actually dramatically more effective
  • 15 0
 It’s surprisingly how much more comfy rubber grips are vs lock-ons with the hard plastic sleeve underneath.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: yeah, I have solid rubber ODIs on my BMX and lock-ons on my hardtail and the ODI grips are significantly more comfortable. They wear faster though.
  • 8 0
 yip silicone grips straight on bar way better than any lockon.
  • 4 0
 Those newish Deity Supracush grips are pretty amazing... I have them on two bikes.
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: Mushrooms used to be my favorite grip back in the day and OURY will take all the jitters away, they are just phenomenal!
  • 1 0
 @FrEeZa: I'm not familiar... I'll take a look.
  • 1 0
 Sensus Meaty Paws will change your life... so nice
  • 1 1
 @FrEeZa: ribbed...for your pleasure.
  • 18 0
 Dudes will run these but have absolutely wack suspension set ups.
  • 18 0
 31.8
  • 12 0
 This. I honestly don't know what's the deal with 35mm and why it became a thing...
  • 6 0
 @Zayphod: 35mm bars and stem came stock on my Honzo. Used that setup for 2months. Purchased regular 31.8mm and they are much better and more forgiving. 35mm seems aggressively stiff. If guys are riding Darkfest with regular bars, I sure as hell don't need that 35 stuff
  • 16 4
 These are band-aids. 90% of your arm pump problems can be solved by - proper position and fitness, your hips, back shoulder are. Ride relaxed, control your bike from top to bottom instead of death gripping the handlebar!
  • 3 0
 I wish I could find the remedy - not managed it yet.

Trail ride - fine, shorter less rough DH - fine. But when I’m on a 4 min track, lots of braking and rough hits I’m a mess after about a minute, if I don’t stop I won’t be able to as my fingers will lock solid.

Tried a lot of stuff and have improved it, still there though - no death grip here, decent fitness and been riding a long time, really hampered my DH racing in my younger years.
  • 2 1
 i've heard that hydration helps a lot too.
  • 4 0
 @justanotherusername: have you ever tried climbing? I found once I started climbing couple times a week that I never really got arm pump riding anymore.
  • 3 0
 @filryan: I did have a go once, that gave me arm pump too, haha
  • 4 2
 Also servicing your 5 year old 2nd hand fork would help....
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: lol, Im so bad at climbing that I fall long before I would get arm
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I find poor hydration does it to me.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: That aimed at me? Last time o experienced it was riding a bike with the latest 40s setup for my weight and preference with specific note to help with arm pump, I don’t own a Dh bike anymore though, but then I also don’t own anything more than 2 years old or with forks that haven’t been serviced and tuned to my weight... nice try though buttercup.
  • 4 0
 Have you tried raising your brake levers? It kinda forces you to drop your elbows and put more weight on your legs. That made a big difference for me.
  • 2 0
 @englertracing: if only, I do have small hands and the biggest gains came from grip type and lever position - no hand strength problems as I work with tools daily and do the odd bit of lifting to keep from being a blob.

It’s a real pain in the ass.
  • 1 0
 @drjohn: I just mentioned levers and grips as you posted that - yes it did make a difference but I’m still at a point where it’s a problem and all of the little things moved the point of developing a ‘claw hand’ back by some time into a run.

As I say though, local trail or DH no problem, lots of braking and rough stuff and I’m finished after no time.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: The comment section is probably not the best place to do this, but get someone to record you going down a particular section of trail where you get arm pump (or record it yourself with a gopro/gorilla pod). Then send it to an online coach (do your research, some give questionable advice) to give you feedback on riding position etc. I would start with bike fit to eliminate that, then go to bike setup, then riding position.
Arm pump sucks. Would be great if you could eliminate or minimize it.
  • 7 0
 I still get arm pump on a 200mm dh bike, If something like this solves a specific problem then what’s the issue?

It’s not ‘the industry’ it’s a few small players making niche stuff for people with specific requirements.
  • 1 6
flag justwaki (Apr 3, 2021 at 3:53) (Below Threshold)
 The bar you need is made by companies like Eleiko or Rogue. Arm pump is related directly to how much you brake (skill) and to your grip strength. Everything else is from the same kind of people who sell essential oils and 5G repelling crystals
  • 5 0
 Grippy gloves are a necessity for me to prevent arm pump. I have sweaty hands and without gloves or with not grippy ones I need to grip much tighter which increases strain. Also, I bring a spare pair on long rides so if they get sweaty and lose grip I can swap. So far the best I have found are the Grip Gloves from Mechanix. I have tried a bunch of options including the rev grips and I like the Loam grips best as well.
  • 5 0
 I've been riding the REV grips for about a year now. I was skeptical at first but WOW when I swap to my other bike that doesn't have them I notice a huge difference in how sore my wrists and neck get. Not only that, they have really good sticky rubber to boot. I'm going to buy another set for my hardtail. For what you get they're well worth the $80.
  • 3 0
 One of the most underrated items on this list. Revgrips are great. I've appreciated the large size but I have the RG5 sleeves coming to try. I'd I don't like them, their service is amazing and they will swap them out. Also, new install kits are easier!
  • 4 0
 I've broken my hand a few times now, it got to the point where I couldn't ride without being in too much pain to ride I took a few years out. Carbon bars and ESI Grips works good enough for me to be able to ride for a couple hours of non gnarly trails. Although, one crash or even putting the bike in the car or against a wall or fence wrong and the ESI Grips will come apart.
  • 1 0
 Have you tried bigger bar plugs? I want to try ESI's, but I'm not going to mount them up until I find a good solution to protect the ends. Maybe: odigrips.com/store/aluminum-end-plugs
  • 1 0
 You're confirming what I was suspected: those grip seem super fragile
  • 1 0
 I run lock on ring on the bar end to give some sort of protection. Regardless of the material weakness I wont run anything but silicon grips now.
  • 2 0
 @nicolassherbrooke: I would refute that, I've only had one pair that didn't last me over 8 months. After a while the outer edge will show some wear, but they are cheap and the comfort factor cannot be beat.

Only time I've had something rip one up it was a rock that put a sizable mark into the aluminum bar beneath it.
  • 2 0
 I've been using oversized BMX bar end plugs and they protect the ESI grips quite well on crashes

us.bsdforever.com/products/bsd-m-cap-bar-ends
  • 2 1
 I've also used ESI grips for years and they're great until they tear apart. I used old ODI lock-on end caps to protect them. If you have hand or wrist problems like I do try REV grips. I tore a ligament in my right wrist a while back and the REV grips made huge difference in managing wrist pain. They sort of numb out the bar feedback/chatter and you have way less hand fatigue when riding.
  • 5 0
 What no Allsop softride stem? The Cadillac of suspension stems man. The weird Auncle/parsib will let theyself out...this coffee is great, totally woke up.
  • 3 0
 In case anyone wants to know, the leading image in the "textured grips" section, isn't actually listed in the "Textured grips" section.

Those are SDG Thrice grips. I know because due to covid shortages (the Deathgrips I'd been using before were out of stock everywhere, for forever). The best thing is they are available in two thicknesses, 31mm, and 33mm.

I think I paid $19 for a pair of 33mm diameter Thrices, and after using them for a few months, I'd say they compare favorably to the deathgrips. The profile is slightly different (same diameter the whole width, instead of the thumb area being thicker like the deathgrips), but the overall vibe is pretty much the same. And my larger mitts really like the extra thickness/diameter, and it seems to help with arm pump on the longer sections.

Just wanted to call that out for anyone confused why the image, and the links were for different products Big Grin .
  • 2 0
 Please tell me the next tech is to put little Fox shox in the palms of my gloves, each one with a H and L speed compression lever. And then electrify it so I can adjust from my Google glasses. And then on the soles of my shoes. "Diamonds on the soles of my shoes".
  • 2 0
 ESI Racer's Edge grips are the secret for me. I know they don't last that long, but the comfort is worth it. I tried the Chunkys, but they were just a bit too fat for me and no more cushy, so my apparently short pinkies got sore because they couldn't wrap around enough and that caused me to death grip. The Racer's Edge grips feel like cushy, well broken-in Ruffians to me, and usually last at least half if not a full season, depending on how much I ride. The only other downside is taking them off without destroying them is nearly impossible, and installing new ones requires magic that only my LBS possesses. Small price to pay (oh yeah, they're also pretty cheap).

I also use a Nukeproof Horizon Carbon 31.8mm handlebar, which may help too. I rode my buddy's bike a while back, which has a Funn alloy 31.8 handlebar and some thin lock-on grips (AG1s?), and I thought my hands were going to fall off. It was so harsh and buzzy. I hadn't realized how much difference there was since I'd started using the Nukeproof/ESI combo a couple of years ago. I honestly think my current setup allows me to maintain a steadier grip as I'm not fighting those constant micro impacts. A long day at the bike park still works my hands, but I bet I get at least one more lap out of them than I would have before. Or at least my hands aren't the first thing to give up near the end of the day. It's usually my neck or quads that tell me to stop.
  • 3 0
 You forgot the softride stem dozens of WC races won on these by the Ritchey Team back in the day.

www.bikepro.com/products/stems/soft.html
  • 1 0
 Fasst has been around for years and years in the moto world, I have never run their bars but A LOT of guys I ride with do and without exception, 100% of the guys that run them rave about them (though it's mostly the older guys). I still don't care for the concept, but it has a place.
  • 3 0
 Fasst bar owner here - they really do work as advertised and totally worth the price, at least for my jacked up 46 year old upper body.
  • 1 0
 I have the aluminum model and like them as well (currently using them along with the new RG5 Revgrips).

It's hard for me to isolate how much of the improvement came from the extra suspension in the bars and how much came from making the switch to 12 degree backsweep.

One thing I did notice was that I was able to get even more vibration dampening by stuffing each side of the bars with foam backer rod. Since the two sides aren't connected, I was able to try it out with just one side at a time and the difference was noticeable on pavement.
  • 1 0
 These Decathlon grips are excellent.
Rubber/Silicone material ribbed for pleasure Big Grin
Very comfy, have lots of good due to ribbed texture and you can adjust density by stretching or compressing them.
www.decathlon.com/products/sport-comfort-handles-500?variant=1518945828877
  • 1 0
 It would be really helpful to have a somewhat objective measure for bar compliance. I have friends that swear on 31.8 aluminum Renthals. I have one friend who thinks the 35mm clamp RF NextR bar is very stiff but I'm 50lbs heavier and find it quite comfortable. So when they say the Oneup is compliant I can't help but ask: for whom, at what weight?
  • 1 0
 760mm Truvativ Descendent Carbon bars vs. 800mm OneUp Carbon bars same rise .... the biggest difference in vibration damping I can tell is zero, nada, can't tell the difference..... but the 40mm difference I can tell, feel. So really don't buy into the damping marketing b.s.
  • 2 0
 I use Deity Supracush grips and they're amazing but the #1 way to reduce hand and arm pain for me was proper suspension setup.
  • 4 4
 Whats arm pump, get your suspension and geo/riding position setup correctly and its sorted. Whats missing from here is vibrocore bars and silicone foam grips, them with proper setup an old man like me can do pleney bangers all day long..
  • 4 3
 Arm pump is a term used to describe weak forearms, but with the remedy of trying to purchase away weakness.

Hit the gym>spending $700 on your cockpit.
  • 2 2
 @RonSauce: I'm sure all the professional motocross athletes that risked surgery to deal with arm pump never thought about working out.
Just because it works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone.
  • 3 0
 @FatSanch: 100% of the moto guys I know train forearms religiously, zero percent of mtb guys I know train them.

The gym is usually a good place to start when you have problems like muscle exhaustion, at least a better place than plastic bushings.
  • 1 0
 Went from Vibrocore bars to Fasst Flexx and the Fasst bars are definitely more comfortable.

Note that I did find that I could dampen vibrations even more on the Fasst bars by stuffing them full of foam backer rod (less messy / permanent vs. the spray foam experiments I've seen others do for DIY alternatives to vibrocore).
  • 2 0
 XCgear is ridden by a sick moto ex-pro with mangled hands on their moto product side, so I believe in it. But gotdang its ugly!
  • 1 0
 Meaty Paws by Sensus are my go to grips these days. My hands aren't even "big" really but I have always preferred fat grips since my street bmx days for the added shock/ vibration damping.
  • 2 0
 EDI Extra Chunky or Wolf Tooth Fat Paw wrapped in hockey tape at the bar ends fitted with BMX style bar end plugs. Problem solved.
  • 1 0
 I got some Revgrips to try out. They're on a bike with a 160mm fork and 29x2.5 tires. I don't really much notice them, but the grips are comfy enough.
  • 1 0
 advantage to a flex stem over that bar flex one... both sides of the handlebar are moving vertically together, not independently of one another.
  • 2 1
 I have a set of the revgrips and I have found them to help out massively with arm pump and loss of feeling in my hands when on long rides
  • 1 1
 spank and one up bars do different things. oneup bars physically move while the spank bars dissipate the vibrations with foam. They are not comparable products so the compliance comparison is invalid
  • 1 0
 Probably already been mentioned, but you left out Spank Vibracore handlebars. Much less hand fatigue than the carbon bars I took off.
  • 1 0
 Forgot to list the Softride stem, which was a step above the Girvin! Combined with the Saftride beam seat post, one 'enjoyed' a ride like no other.... yikes
  • 1 0
 Wonder if anyone’s tried suspension grips with suspension bars on suspension stem...suspension
  • 1 0
 Bouncy!
  • 1 0
 Have both Revgrips & the Fasst bars. Debated adding the XCGear stem, but I'm afraid it may be too wide for the clamping area on the Fasst bars.
  • 1 0
 Bet those ti flexstems on ebay have been all cut down to 600mm wide. Coz thats what the cool kids did back in the day. ;-)
  • 3 0
 When the Girvin Flexstem was on the market, wide handlebars were 540 mm.
  • 1 0
 @SJP: OMG!!! I was trying to remember . . . thats hillarious!
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: I still have my 540 bars from my first mtb. I broke the cranks. I broke the seatpost. I went through 3 forks, 2 front wheels, and 2 rear wheels. I broke the frame, and the warranty replacement frame. But, the stem and bars made it. Of course, the bar ends crushed the ends of the bars so I had to hammer in a metal plug so the bar ends had something to clamp down on, but the bars didn't break.
  • 2 0
 The things we do to make carbon bars feel like aluminum...
  • 1 0
 If I use all these products at the same time, I expect for my arms to be perfectly fine after a weekend at Whistler.
  • 1 0
 I would love to be able to try the oneup bar... but it's just not available anywhere
  • 1 0
 plenty in the UK is that is any consolidation lol
  • 1 0
 Not worth the money
  • 2 0
 No mention of Spanks Vibrocore bars. Anyone have any experience with them?
  • 1 0
 Now if Fasst could make those bars actually fold down, it would be a boon for the #vanlifers!
  • 1 0
 Yep....just making sure those XCGear stems are still super Fugly!! Hard no.
  • 1 0
 Imagine spending 500 bucks on handlebars
This meme brought to you by 30$ handlebar gang
  • 1 0
 I bought the Ergon dg1 grips because the colour suited my ride. I had no idea they were so special haha
  • 1 0
 Where are the Spank Vibracore bars and their great grips? A perfect arm depumping combo.
  • 2 0
 Where are the spank vibrocore handlebars?
  • 1 0
 I've got a pair of OneUp bars and Rev grips waiting patiently for my new frame to arrive...
  • 2 0
 What next? suspension peddles ....
  • 1 0
 brake levers will be replaced by squeeze grips
  • 1 0
 I ride with an old pair of Hoka One One's, which is about as close as you get to suspension at the pedals -- very thick but super soft EVA foam for the soles gives great grip on pedals with 3mm pins:
www.hokaoneone.com
  • 1 0
 @Urwho: In all seriousness, you're missing out if you haven't tried soft silicone brake lever covers. (They also improve the feel of dropper levers)
  • 1 0
 $400 Stem...
$90 Grips...
$425 Handlebars...

Being able to say, "WTF?!!!"

Priceless
  • 1 0
 I bet a few to those paired together on a hardtail would be great.
  • 1 1
 Wouldn’t you just ride a dual at that point?
  • 1 1
 @extratalldirtrider: in my case, living in an area with mostly XC oriented trails and limited options for 29+ FS bikes to test ride.

Currently running the Fasst bars + Revgrips on a Stache with 29x3.25" tires.
  • 1 1
 Handlebars aren’t exactly a part that I want to be multiple pieces under me...
  • 2 1
 I want to see flex bars on a hammerhead stem with rev grips
  • 1 0
 I have everything but the stem, but I'm not 100% sure whether or not the hammerhead is too wide to fit the clamping area of the Fasst bars.
  • 1 0
 7mm thick, 3 finger neoprene dive gloves are the sh*t!!
  • 1 0
 From all of these I'd go for OneUp bars, really interested
  • 2 0
 Can't say I really noticed a difference with the stock 800 mm Pivot carbon bars I was running before.
  • 1 0
 @joostd: aah, really? I have Easton Havoc right now and as most of of the parts is carbon on my bike I was thinking about a bit flexy bars as the feedback could be calmer, will look for aluminium then
  • 1 0
 you forgot Bontrager Buzzkills, obviously the most effective.
  • 1 0
 The ODI Tinker Juarez Dreadlocks were a game changer for me comfort wise.
  • 1 0
 Left out the Allsop stem...
  • 1 0
 Or you could just burn your money.
  • 1 1
 Both my bikes have
REV Grips > Vibrocore Handlebars > Atomik Carbon DH35. max vibration damping.
  • 1 0
 That is a whole lot of bolts on a stem
  • 1 0
 Where’s the soft ride stem?
  • 2 0
 Exactly. Combined the Softride stem with the Softride beam, one 'enjoyed' a ride like no other! yikes
  • 1 0
 Spank Vibracore bars work.
  • 1 0
 Reverse Components R-Shock grips are pretty sumptuous too
  • 1 0
 A little late for april fool's aye
  • 1 0
 29x3.0 front wheel, no more hand fatigue.
  • 1 0
 Wasn't enough for me. Still went with Fasst bars + Revgrips even with 29x3.25" tires.
  • 1 0
 FLEXSTEM WHIPSNAKE 30000000
  • 1 0
 Xcgears web page sucks
  • 2 5
 But....I thought everything had to be stiffer...you know, stiffer forks, wheels, frames...
  • 1 2
 Our world is in three dimensions, not one.
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