ProTaper Releases New Carbon, Aluminum & XC Bars

Nov 4, 2022 at 16:27
by Hayes Bicycle  

Press Release: Hayes Bicycle Group

New products from the iconic brand celebrate the glorious past with products designed for the future.

The ProTaper brand through the years has become the go-to cockpit solution for those athletes who want something better out of their time in the saddle. Respect for the brand has been honed over the years as each and every new product highlighted the dedication to constant improvement and innovation. A brief look over the product history only serves to underscore the depths to which ProTaper has been involved at shaping the competitive mountain biking world since its inception. As such, the brand is extremely proud to present several new products that highlight both the past as well as the future of quality MTB cockpit construction.


Icon Gold Bar: Bling, Better

Building the finest cockpit solutions for mountain biking’s future is partly due to having an amazing research and development department, but the engineers themselves would attribute a substantial part of their success to the accumulation of knowledge over the years. Innovating products since the inception of off-road cycling, the ProTaper brand saw fit to release a throwback colorway to celebrate this important heritage that continues to pay dividends with every range of new products.



One of today’s most successful and sought-after handlebars, the ProTaper A25, gets a finishing and graphic treatment that recalls the very first gold bars from ProTaper launched in 1997 on Leigh Donovan’s World Champion bike. So popular and iconic were those original bars that they became immediately synonymous with successful athletes but also became a bit of a ProTaper calling card. This new colorway for the 25mm rise bar celebrates the successful past of the brand atop a product that has evolved to take on the future of mountain biking.

While the fame generated from the original bars has lasted over two decades, the Icon Gold Bars are available in very limited quantities and as such, won’t last very long.



PT C12 + PT C25: Carbon Control For The Rough Stuff
While the Icon Gold Bar celebrates the glorious past of the brand through a throwback colorway on a modern product, the engineering team at the brand’s research and development center has been working diligently to produce solutions for the future of off-road. ProTaper proudly presents two amazing carbon bars, the PT C12 and PT C25 whose introduction represents a lightweight solution for mountain biking’s most demanding disciplines. The ProTaper carbon bars feature PFL (plastic foam lamination) manufacturing technique that adds efficiency into the overall manufacturing process. Such a process allows for the reduction in necessary resin and carbon laminate, which then translates into a 15% lighter bar with respect to traditional manufacturing techniques...while maintaining extreme strength for even the roughest terrain or rider.

In addition to reducing superfluous resin and carbon laminate, wall thickness ensures that material employment in the product’s structure is further optimized, reinforcing areas where strength is necessary and load forces are applied, while eliminating unnecessary material where possible. As these bars are designed for Downhill, Enduro and All Mountain, riders that prefer the more extreme side of off-road riding now have a lightweight solution that fears no terrain.


ProTaper has become the trusted name in bars thanks to its unrivaled reliability through the years. It has become an exciting brand thanks to its tradition of pushing boundaries.

XC Hyperlite: The Featherweight Ticket To The Top Of The Podium

The introduction of the XC Hyperlite marks the brand’s bold step into the cross-country segment. XC and XC Marathon both place extreme importance on efficiency, and in this highly competitive arena every gram counts. A bar built for the most demanding World Cup level athletes must offer extreme reliability, precision handling but also come in an extremely lightweight construction. The ProTaper engineering staff has worked diligently to develop a solution that ensures the hallmark PT reliability and resilient construction are guaranteed while aiming to produce a solution as ambitious in terms of weight reduction as the athletes it is aimed at serving.

Only through meticulous research and development, countless iterations and a great deal of feedback from elite, world cup athletes were they able to produce the ProTaper XC Hyperlite. By employing the relatively new PFL (plastic foam lamination) technology in addition to the precision tapering, excess material was completely eliminated and every remaining fiber in the new handlebar’s construction serves to ensure structural integrity and fantastic ride feel. The fruit of such labor come in the form of a final product weighing in at an unbelievably low 125gr, placing it amongst the lightest production carbon handlebars, if not the lightest, currently on the market. The ProTaper XC Hyperlite is the new featherweight solution for those looking for extreme performance compliments to their racing ambitions. Anyone can produce a lightweight bar...but only ProTaper can produce the lightest and most reliable solution in one single package.


ProTaper is enthusiastic about launching products that celebrate its past in addition to creating products that usher in the future for mountain biking componentry. It has also created a segment of products aimed at the Athletes of mountain biking’s future. A new generation of riders is born every day and today’s youth is potentially tomorrow’s world champion. As such, the ProTaper organization recognized that in order to ensure that as many young riders as possible would make mountain biking a permanent fixture in their life, the initial experiences needed to be as positive as possible.

The tool of the cyclist’s trade is the bike and the young cyclist has been, for far too long, obligated to ride with bikes and componentry designed around an adult rider. Putting young riders atop bikes and componentry developed around a more mature rider with very different weight and size potentially creates an obstacle to enjoyment and even represents a variety of safety issues. Younger hands have a less solid grip on adult bars and have difficulty reaching both brake levers and shifting commands, both of which mean less control and ultimately less safety. Despite both the safety concerns that arise from improper componentry and the unpleasant rider experience in general, no solutions to this long-standing problem were available. Recognizing this extreme void in the market, ProTaper set out to develop a complete range of solutions aimed at creating the safest, most enjoyable and performance-oriented rider experience for the specific needs of a youth rider.

The J-Unit project started by identifying the ideal grip diameters for the hands of younger riders and developing both grips and bars around this specific data. The J-UNIT products that came about from such development come in the form of grips and bars ideally suited towards the particular ergonomic needs of a smaller rider. Smaller hands with smaller diameter grips mean better control, more comfort and an overall safer, more positive experience in the saddle. The ProTaper J-Unit grips incorporate a particular design that sees the bar plug built into the grip, ensuring it will never fall out. The bar and grip system is compatible with all existing shifters as the grip features a standard component mounting diameter. Available in 12.7mm or 25.4mm rise and grips of 23 and 28mm outside diameters (for small and intermediate riders respectively) the J-Unit range offers a dialed-in solution for all young riders.

Many of the new handlebars are available now at HayesBicycle.com with more being added soon.




92 Comments

  • 69 0
 Back in the day the ProTaper bars were THE bars to have.
  • 55 1
 580mm of purple perfection attached to a 120mm stem, yes indeed!
  • 27 1
 @bikewriter: 120mm? Why so short?
I rocked a 135mm Ritchey cromoly stem for years on my Parkpre,even entered 4 or 5 DH races with that bike.
  • 25 0
 Shit, back in the day, every brand in the now Hayes Bicycle Group was top level.
  • 7 0
 @bikewriter: still got one 580mm in gold Smile
  • 3 24
flag Kimura (Nov 5, 2022 at 14:29) (Below Threshold)
 we're not back in the day anymore
  • 2 0
 They have been around for a long, long time.
  • 15 0
 @JLantz: Their forks and brakes are about as good as you can get these days.
  • 24 0
 @JustinVP: I was sick and tired of reading the small sect of fanatics using every suspension review from the big brands to preach "just get a Manitou (fork or rear shock), it's more tunable, easiest fork to tear apart, blah blah blah."
Then I bought a new Mezzer Pro. They were right.
  • 3 0
 True, but imagine our kids in probably 10 years time saying back in my days we wanted bikes that look like those back in my dad’s days……
  • 1 1
 So long ago they released a thing that daylight is now considered new
  • 4 0
 @JLantz: Slowly getting back there though! Manitou are back, Hayes with their Dominions are as well.
  • 5 0
 The Answer logo and name were arguably cooler than ProTaper. If Hayes wants world domination in the OEM market, they should change the name back to Answer. Whoever has already used their current brakes and suspension is wildly excited about them. And for hardware like this, I think as long as it doesn't break during use anything is fine.
  • 1 1
 @nozes: I still have a 130 Ritchey quill stem (cool silver color) AND a Park Pre team jersey in a box somewhere.
  • 1 0
 when bars were way narrower than 700mm the 8 degree backsweep was okay. With the wider bars of today, that's not enough (except when you have ape-like arms)
  • 36 0
 So much bullshit bingo hyperbole in one press release. They only missed the word synergistically and they'd get a score of 100%.
  • 3 1
 Renthal buys all their bars and rebadges em
  • 4 5
 @jokermtb: Name checks out.
  • 8 0
 @jokermtb: all bar brands rebadge the same bar from the same 4 factories in Taiwan. You can too. Just email the factory your logo and buy the minimum order quantity.
  • 5 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: WeAreOne and Hope make their own handlebars.
  • 2 0
 @SoftSoilSampler:
Factory names please
  • 1 0
 @J26z: Good luck. Having been to Taichung (the bicycle manufacturing hub of Taiwan) there are an actual shit ton of manufacturing facilities, each specializing in a different part of the process of making about 60-70% of the high-end bikes/components on the market. It is almost impossible to discern which facilities were involved in making a single frame, and even harder to figure out where components are coming from. Most frame/component brands deal with a number of middleman engineering/QC firms in Taichung that ensure the product specifications are met before being shipped out. If you want to know which facilities specifically are involved in a particular product it's these firms you should contact. But, I doubt you speak Chinese, so it'll hardly mean anything to you.
  • 19 0
 If anyone cares, the OG bars on Leigh's 90's Intense bike that Troy Lee painted for world champs:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/23685330
  • 4 0
 Sweet! They did a good job of replicating the original. www.pinkbike.com/photo/19014242
  • 15 0
 i looove goooold
  • 12 0
 The look of it, the taste of it, the texture.....
  • 3 3
 Do you love it more than your $105?
  • 32 1
 I love gold so much that I even lost my genitalia in an unfortunate smelting accident
  • 20 0
 @Nygaard: *Shmelting
  • 2 0
 Buy gold!
  • 11 0
 Not new but overlooked - the protaper 20/20 bar has been a game changer for me and my gimpy, pumpy wrist.
  • 2 0
 Yup, got em on my BMC commuter!
  • 3 2
 I was hoping we'd see a high-rise version of that 20° or even 15° backsweep with this release
  • 6 0
 Despite the fact it would clash horribly with my orange Element I reeeeally still want a gold ProTaper for the nostalgia hit - the last pair I had were attached to a bike that got stolen Frown
  • 4 0
 Been riding aluminum protapers for like 15 years. Theyre the only bars Ive found that work for me. Bars with more than 4 degree upsweep are uncomfortable. Glad they kept that the same!
  • 2 2
 so like....5* up and 9* back would be just as uncomfortable as 5* up and 8* back? Is the 1* less up sweep that noticeable? like making the bike more twitchy?
  • 3 0
 @SixxerBikes: no too much upsweep bothers my hands and wrists
  • 4 0
 In 1990, Answer Hyperlite were 141g...I'm impressed!
  • 7 0
 They were also 540mm or shorter.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: 580! come on...
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know where the aluminum bars are made? Google says China, but not sure if that's still the case. I need bars with more rise, but I'd like to buy ones that are made in North America if possible.
  • 2 0
 Hayes products aren't made in NA.
  • 2 0
 Get a Spanx. I got the 50mm. Best upgrade ever. More comfortable riding position while maintaining reach. (Thank you, Cathro)
  • 2 0
 Probably, but I don't know for sure. From what I have seen in China I am pretty sure Sun Ringle rims are made here, wouldn't be surprised if other Hayes products are also made here.
  • 4 3
 Not available in 25.4mm? Not interested.
I would love some modern width bars for my 99 FSR DH without losing the MRD direct mount stem
  • 1 0
 Look for Reverse Components Base bar. In stock on Bike24.
  • 1 0
 I've got an old ritchey with your name on it. Ritchey was owned by Specialized for a bit......
  • 2 0
 @nozes: That's awesome! Getting credit card out now.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Ha, it will be same width as the Titecs I have already!
  • 3 0
 Not avIlable in 12 or 16 degree... not interested
  • 4 1
 Why only 8deg. back sweep? Please provide more options.
  • 3 0
 You have plenty of such options from other brands. Those looking for less sweep, on the other hand, don't have that many options, and this is one of them.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: Yup. only bars I can use
  • 3 0
 I bought a handlebar recently and did lots of shopping around - 8° was the number I saw most often, by quite a large margin. You can get a 7-8° bar from just about any brand: Renthal, Raceface, Chromag, Spank, you name it! There are a couple 9° options in the mainstream, like Nukeproof. There's PNW at 10, Salsa at 11, Ergotec and SQlab at 12, Hunter at 15, and SQlab again at 16. But it seems to me the majority fall in the 8° ballpark.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: Just off the top of my head, ethirteen, reverse components, title, truvativ, all have 9º bars. I was also eliminating 8º - 5º bars in favour of 8º - 4º, further restricting my field of choice. Upsweep and backsweep blend together into a single angle, that you can set up more or less vertically.
  • 2 0
 @DavidGuerra: ok that is pretty specific and I can see why it's hard to find! Interesting, I'm the exact opposite, I've moved from 8 to 10 and now 12° and been increasingly comfortable with each step. I don't remember the upsweep specs for each bar, but my 12° one is rolled forward more to prevent the reach getting too short. It's got a pretty decent upsweep on it now because of that.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewHornor: I think Answer/ Pro taper is still making a 20/20 bar that has the amount of backsweep it sounds like, in a modern 780 width
  • 2 0
 @WoodenCrow: that's a cool bar! I knew about it - actually I looked at it and chickened out because it seemed too extreme for my trail bike - but spaced on it in my little list there. Thanks for mentioning. There's got to be some people out there with wrist issues that handlebar can solve.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: Maybe due to being relatively broad-shouldered, my hands feel better with straighter bars. In fact I felt fine with a Funn Fatboy Supreme flat bar that had a whooping 5º back, 2º up. Just had to give it up because no stem was short enough to bring the hand position back, and mounting the stem so high on the steerer to make up for the lack of upsweep and rise seemed to create some extra flex. That was truly a broomstick of a bar.
  • 1 0
 I have a shoulder injury and I annoyingly cant ride bars with less than 9 degrees, it wasnt always like that Frown
  • 3 1
 Man, text me back to when I was a kid racing motocross. Gold pro tapers were the height of cool
  • 3 0
 the j-unit bars and grips are AWESOME for my kids
  • 3 0
 As long as Answer keeps making the 20/20, my wrists and I will be happy.
  • 1 0
 They where everywhere then kinda disappeared in the uk, I bought several back in the day, still got some red carbon ones somewhere.
  • 2 0
 Hunting for purple alloy bars that are not RaceFace, anyone?
  • 2 0
 @lRaphl: LOVE the Chromag bars!!! Five stars, totally recommend!!!
  • 2 0
 Not anodized but deity makes purple graphics now.
  • 2 0
 Answer was the iconic name.
  • 1 0
 I remember Answer producing Pro Taper bars back in the day, is it the same company?
  • 2 0
 Yes, under the Hayes umbrella for as long as I can remember.
  • 2 0
 31.8 spank vibrocore 40mm rise is the bar
  • 2 0
 Always loved protapers.
  • 1 0
 Odd Rise numbers must feel good though
  • 1 0
 Makes me wonder, how light is too light?
  • 1 0
 Well, that depends!
  • 1 0
 LOVE these bars, especially the 25 rise!
  • 1 0
 Never heard of them. They must be good.
  • 1 2
 Different shade of gold, but $110 for a 0 rise 31.8 780: www.levelninesports.com/renthal-fatbar-lite-zero-rise-bar-2022
There's a $10 coupon to be found.
  • 5 6
 $185 carbon bar. Why???
  • 6 0
 That’s pretty standard pricing for carbon bars….
  • 15 0
 it has PRO right in the name
  • 5 0
 Did you see the $300 enve poncho the other day?
  • 2 0
 One up is probably the benchmark at $150.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: 35mm only
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: yes for the actual stem but the bar actually tapers which makes sense.
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