Review: Ibis Hi-Fi Adjustable Handlebar

Sep 28, 2018 at 2:43
by Richard Cunningham  
Ibis Hifi Adjustable Handlebar


No secret that super wide handlebars are falling out of favor. Granted, there are a significant number of riders who may need a bar that is at or beyond 800 millimeters, but even among gravity pros, the top of the bell curve hovers around 780. The sweet spot for enduro racers is moving towards 760 millimeters. Rather than argue the reasons for those choices, this story is about what happens if you decide to cut your bars - and get it wrong. The cost of a high-end handlebar starts somewhere around $70 USD for aluminum, and carbon tops out around $180. That's a lot of cash to wager on an experiment that could go either way. No honor lost if you'd be reluctant to whip out the hack saw and give it a go.


Ibis Adjustable Carbon Handlebar
Use: Trail, enduro racing
Construction: high-strength carbon with bonded, threaded-aluminum inserts
Width: 750mm, 800mm with aluminum extensions in place
Options: Ten or 30mm rise with a 9 x 5 degree bend
Clamp: 31.8 only
Warranty: 7 year
Weight: Lo-Fi 238g, Hi-Fi 249g
MSRP: $169.99 USD
Contact: Ibis Cycles
Ibis Hifi Adjustable Handlebar
Anodized aluminum extensions are threaded in opposite directions so you'll naturally tighten them while riding.


Ibis' Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi carbon handlebars come with a 15-dollar insurance policy in the form of a pair of 25-millimeter threaded-aluminum extensions. Ibis' adjustable bars measure 750 millimeters wide, and 800 with the lightweight extensions installed. The idea is that you can hack saw the extensions to any length you want within that range, and if your experiment goes horribly wrong (or you simply change your mind), you can purchase a new pair of extensions for only $15 from Ibis and spread your wings again. The extensions and their bonded-in threaded-aluminum inserts reportedly add less than 30 grams to a comparable full-carbon bar. The 30-millimeter-rise Hi-Fi bar we review here weighs 249 grams, while the 10 millimeter-rise Lo-Fi handlebar weighs 238 grams. MSRP for either is $169.99 USD. Clamp size is 31.8 millimeters only.

Ibis Hifi Adjustable Handlebar
The shifter side of the handlebar has the 25mm extension installed, compare it to the opposite side, which has no extension.


Key Features

Handlebar extensions are not new by any means. A number of accessory makers used to sell expandable aluminum plug-in extensions when bars wider than 720 millimeters were considered extreme. The strength of a handlebar, however, is not to be trifled with. The rider's life literally depends upon its integrity, and adding extensions to a bar that was not rigorously tested and certified at that width is asking for trouble. Ibis' adjustable solution was designed and tested in widths between 750 to 800 millimeters. It's made specifically to be customized to any length between those parameters.

Don't do this at home: Cleverly, the extensions are threaded opposite to each other, as Ibis designers figured that the powerful pull-back motion that is repeated often while riding will naturally tighten them. Thus, there are no external wrench flats, nor an internal hex to cinch the extensions. Firm hand pressure is all that is necessary to attach the thread-in stubs.

I tested this theory using a pair of Syntace grips that clamped on the outside end of the bar. That's right. The grip was only held in place by the aluminum extension. After firmly tightening the extensions by hand, they stayed tight and did not loosen, even when I was banging through some surly rock sections. I strongly state, however, that this was an
Ibis Hifi adjustable handlebar
Use grips with an inboard lock on collar (bottom). The Syntace grips (top) were used to prove the claim that the extensions would self tighten (they did).
experiment only and I immediately replaced the Syntace grips with standard ones that had clamps on the inside of the bar. For safety reasons, glued-on grips or lock-on grips with inboard clamps are a must if you are using the extensions.

Ibis Hifi Adjustable Handlebar
No carbon dust. The aluminum extensions are simple to cut to length. I used a wooden block to hold the pieces, but most mechanics simply thread them on the bars and use a dedicated handlebar saw guide.

Ibis Hifi Adjustable Handlebar
I chose 12mm extensions, which worked out to a 774mm width.
Ibis Hifi adjustable handlebar
I liked the modification, but if I didn't, it was only a 15-dollar mistake.


Ride Impressions

This is my second Ibis carbon bar with the same rise, and I am a fan of both the bend and the amount of flex it has. The feel is like Renthal with slightly more back-sweep, which works well in the wider options for me. I tried the bar at 750 millimeters, but it only took handful of rides to convince me to throw on the extensions in search of a more familiar cockpit. Normally, I ride at 780, but given the fact that I could make it longer if I needed to, I tried a little shorter width - and I like it better so far.

The only negatives I discovered were that I couldn't use my Syntace lock-on grips, because the clamps were outboard, but that is a rarity these days. The other issue was minor, but a bit bothersome. Most double-clamp lock-on grips, like the Lizard Skins I used, have a push-in end-plug. The plug worked fine until I cut the extension, after which, the plug wouldn't fit into the bar-end. It took some careful trimming to fix. If you are a fan of 35-millimeter bars (I'm not), then you are out of luck. As of now, Ibis has no plans to make it in the oversize clamp option.
Ibis Hifi adjustable handlebar



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOutside the fact that the Hi-Fi is a top-performing carbon bar, width anxiety is perhaps the most compelling point to buy one. However, there are a few more reasons that the support the concept. Tightly confined trail riding, like you'd find in forests in the eastern US and Canada, demands narrower handlebars. Extensions could give you a proper bar for bike park weekends. Ibis' quick-change concept could also be a money saver for privateer enduro racers, who may only need a narrow bar for one or two venues. Me? The Hi-Fi bar has done its job, so I'll probably forget the extensions are in there and ride my bike.RC







110 Comments

  • + 134
 Did someone at ODI forget to renew the patent on Wingtips? f*cking Carl in legal needs to stop sipping Kombucha on his lunch breaks.
  • + 18
 You're such a nerd and I love it!!
  • + 2
 double post
  • + 2
 Ah, odi wingtip bars, I've two of them, black and a lovely smoked chrome both at 750, plus a set of 12.5mm wing tips.
  • + 1
 @judgerider348: yep and still just as inane as the first time.
  • + 6
 I usually just buy the right sized bar. I know it sounds crazy.
  • + 87
 Step 1. Buy lock on grips Step 2. Slide grips and controls inward from the edge of the bar to see if you like how narrower bars handle. Congratulations, you now know if want to cut your bars or not and dont need to buy stupid handlebar extensions ever.
  • + 11
 Still gonna clip that tree on test rides
  • - 1
 @bmxRC009: Came to say the same thing. I use the location of my palms to let me know where the bar's end.
  • - 18
flag RichardCunningham Mod Plus (Sep 28, 2018 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, old trick, but you can crash on these and you'll still have grips left.
  • + 2
 @bmxRC009: this is how I got my conky first laps of the year.New bike came with ridiculous 810mm bars (I like them right around 775) and I kept moving my levers in all day shuttling until my biggest fear happened.
  • + 3
 @bmxRC009: yea, its ment to test if like shorter bars before committing to the chop, but if you think it makes more sense to buy expensive shorter bars and later buy extensions for them if you don't like it than boy does ibis have the product for you.
  • + 17
 @RichardCunningham: ah yes, let's buy $170 bars to save our $10 grips...
  • + 17
 Every body has a differnt sweet spot depending on the relationship of bike geo, local terrain and your anatomy being most important. For the anatomy side the best bar length would be your prefered push up position, not the text book position. You should be able to hold yourself up in a comfortable position for an extended period of time without any muscles straining. Once you find this position measure it at thats your bar length. (Rambling explanation) Well it should be obvious, this is where you can hold the most power for the longest amount of time before you get muscle fatigue. When your muscles streach (too wide) or contract (to narrow) you will reach muscle failure much quicker and lose that extra stability you from over wide bars. The comfortable push up position is key. Every "body" different. Every single one of you has some wierd anatomical abnormality that no one else has and does not follow any text book defenition. For some people the standard push up position can be painfull because of joint structure muscle or ligament lengths. You have to experiment to see whats best for you. Dont feel weird if this position is wider, narrower, more extended or closer to the center thats whats normal. Because abnormal is normal and thats a fact. No marketing bs. Find this position and make your bar exactly that wide. Then get a bike to match your geo. Sorry for length of this post but I just came back from the bar. Wink
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Great explanation and I totally agree. I might add that when trialing the optimal push-up position there should be a bit of a “decline”, meaning that when relative to the horizontal the hands should be a bit higher than the toes. This will more closely replicate a riding position than a standard flat push-up throughout the range of motion.
  • + 64
 Only if I had this for when it's "business" time with my wife.
  • + 117
 User name suggests not an issue
  • + 8
 unfortunately for wife, user suggests issue exists
  • + 4
 Has anyone thought of asking his wife? Maybe she prefers the feel of a smaller 'bar'...
  • + 5
 @DaMilkyBarKid: they only tell you that to make you feel better...
  • + 1
 Truth is the women like the Renthal Fat bar
  • + 39
 Future of enduro: run narrow bars for climbing; At top add on inserts for descent.
  • + 12
 They would be perfect 4 a downcountry bike
  • + 8
 Actuated extensions like a dropper. They could sell millions of them to the sheep
  • + 7
 Or take out inserts for a particularly narrow stage.
  • + 3
 Grip extensions so you can run your bar extensions Patent Pending
  • + 9
 Telescopic bars... full Enduro....
  • + 11
 We need a quick adjust clamp diameter, 28.6 for compliance on climbs, 31.8 for downcountry, 35 for full enduro. Too often I find myself with the wrong clamp diameter for the conditions.
  • + 1
 Except isn’t a wider bar good for uphill. Too? It gets more weight over the front and opens up your chest so you can breathe easier or deeper. Personally I just run 780s and have never wanted to change the width
  • + 2
 @wannabeabiker: Well that "chest opening" theory was interesting when we were talking 680mm vs 730mm bars but we have reached a point where it doesn't matter anymore.
  • + 2
 @wannabeabiker: good thoughts. never thought wider bars could help u on the uphills.
  • + 14
 Just run the lock ons hanging off the bar 10-15mm. Done it for years...zero issue. Just undo the Allen key and slide them back home for tighter trails. 750mm to 780mm in seconds.
  • + 2
 Yup, great trick especially if the grips just have an inner clamp you cant even tell! Plus it saves weight haha
  • + 16
 hey pinkbike, evil just released the new 'offering'- get on it!
  • + 1
 Uuughhh. Worst timing (for my wallet...). Getting a little too rowdy on my V1 following lately and was just thinking that a little extra cush might be in order.
  • + 12
 Real talk, who is actually considering buying these?
  • + 8
 They come on Ibis', which is pretty sweet for a complete. I have thought about buying a pair for myself, because sometimes I switch bars on some of my bikes when I change things up (e.g. lighter tires and narrower bars for an xc trip), and it could be nice fo that. Also for racers, potentially.
  • + 1
 I'm not gonna buy it. But I think every handlebar should be delivered with it. I love simple solutions to problems and there has definitely been times when I have considered cutting my handlebar edges. But that would involve cutting metal and probably creating a sharp edge that eats the rubber of whatever the "grips" are called in English, so I havent done it. Aaand, if you would cut too much of the handlebar you'd have to buy a new one. With this solution youd just remove the rubber "grips" and screw the edges out a bit again. Make it standard please!
  • + 2
 I like the idea for what is mentioned at the end - to give me a wider bar on the occasion I want it. Around me there's lots of tight trails with gaps that make you wince with a 720mm bar, but I also use the same bike for uplift days at downhill centres. I can't afford two bikes, and the idea of adding in the extentions for the odd day I'm riding silly stuff appeals. I suppose it isn't much more difficult to have two bars, but this is marginally quicker and more efficient to change, and better value than buying two similar quality handlebars... It is a big initial spend though, and I'm not in the market just now, but if they were on sale I'd likely jump...
  • + 1
 I won't. Typically I cut my bars to match my shoulder width (slightly wider, closer to a push-up width) to promote a good angle on my wrists. Since that never changes, neither does my bar width. I could see me running a wider bar on a dh rig, but that would also never change. I can't say I've ever gotten that wrong...
  • + 8
 That would mean buying bars that aren't Renthal, which is unconscionable.
  • + 2
 Richard Cunningham
  • + 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: No Renthal. No care.
  • + 9
 I can't wait till they come out with crankarms that have a flip chip pedal boss so I can adjust my crank arm length mid ride!
  • + 4
 I had those in the eighties when I races bmx. They where made by shimano I think
  • + 0
 @vhdh666: yah they had 2 pedal holes on each crank?
  • + 3
 @xy9ine: If you want them shorter because you like avoiding rock strikes they are not brilliant at all. The length of the arm doesn't change. Idk maybe I'm missing something.
  • + 1
 @makripper: of course 2 had 2 holes
every crank does, isn't it?
  • + 4
 We need telescopic cranks. Remotely for maximum enduro.
  • + 1
 @Pavel-Repak: no, we need 150mm cranks for Down Country riders. They are awake as fuk. They also need 850 bars, so those inserts don't really work. I mean honestly those bar ends by Ibis are so fkng dumb I can't even comprehend. It's for people who wonder whether FS bike can bunnyhop higher than a HT. They will not go out and try it, they will make calculations... Because it is soooo hard to buy a 800mm bar and cut it! As if buying a carbon bar wasn't ridiculous enough! What if I cut it and want to go back? Then get laid, FOR ONCE!!!
  • + 6
 I have a lever on my handlebars and when I flick it down the handlebar goes longer and when I flick it up the handlebar goes shorter. I'm presently working on a system where I can change the wheel size from 27.5 to 29er by flicking a lever on the handlebars.
  • + 2
 I just use my plumbing pipe cutter for a nice precise finish on bars, steerer tubes, seat posts etc. Works like a dream every time and gives a pro finish slightly beveled end, just sand the inside burrs off when you're done.
  • + 1
 So true RC. Eastern single track demands narrower bars. Otherwise clipping trees during demo rides suffer snapped brake lever after digger. Shop torqued 'em down so as to not moto rotate !
  • + 1
 I carry a saw for those trees.
  • + 4
 Who the hell is actually going to buy this!?
  • + 1
 What about telescopic bars that you can control length with an hydrolic lever with 5 preselected lengths. Can you imagine how faster and safer you would ride by adjusting your bar length during the special?
  • + 4
 Real question... why run an aggressor on the front?
  • + 1
 What's the warranty like on every other bar. I am pretty sure a 7 year warranty is damn good for a carbon product considering most wont warranty that at all? $25 a year for a bar doesn't seem so bad with the adjustability.
  • + 4
 Pinkbike - "width anxiety" isn't a thing.
  • - 4
flag Poulsbojohnny (Sep 28, 2018 at 12:24) (Below Threshold)
 Buy an effing pipe cutter. For Fs sake, a hack saw on a block? Looks like shit and you have to fiddle with getting the cut even.

*Pipe cutters come with a de-burring tool built in.
  • + 5
 @Poulsbojohnny: most pipe cuters are meant for cutting copper, not aluminum. They will press your bars inward before they will actually cut them so your still better off using a hacksaw. Use an old stem or get a proper guide and then file then end down and it will be just as clean.
  • + 3
 @vtracer: A trick I use as a "guide" is the lock ring of an old pair oflock on grips. It makes for some damn close enough cuts of carbon bars.
  • + 1
 @cgdibble: Sorry, I managed to bamboozle the steerer tube with the bars. That is precisely how I've been cutting my carbon bars. Another trick I've found that when cutting bars is to just mark the paint with a pipe cutter and then actually cut the bars with a hacksaw so you get a nice & straight guideline.
  • + 2
 So when we get the autobar integrated with Di2, just like a dropper post, then I am in.
  • + 2
 774. Because it's that time of year when we choose new standards for the next season
  • + 1
 I have these and my issue is I reckon I can feel the extra material of the threads etc (as a harshness) under the palm of my hand. Going to switch to some Chromag soon.
  • + 2
 Solving problems I never knew I had...or perhaps not solving problems I don't have...
  • + 1
 Control tech makes non-proprietary bar extenders... this IBIs version isn't any better, if not worse as it only works with their bars.. typical industry bs
  • + 1
 Been riding for over 25 years and have seen stupid products like this come and go...Needless to say I suspect this one will be going in the no to distant future.
  • + 1
 With much longer top tubes for bikes these days, it's inevitable that something needs to be shortened.
  • + 2
 This seems like a April fool's joke but its not April right?
  • + 1
 Yes the jokes on who ever has bought them, there has too be some?
  • + 1
 IF your grips have inner clamps only, you can just adjust the width by just slidding your grips in and out, simple?
  • + 1
 Nifty! I like the design. If only more companies would offer options like this
  • + 1
 Disappointed, I was hoping for some crazy ass nitrogen powered telescopic bars
  • + 2
 Print a ruler onto it for easier cutting.
  • + 1
 would you do a review of Control Tech Terminator bar extender plugs please mister RC
  • + 2
 I need these, my handlebars keep getting rock strikes!!
  • + 1
 Why would you run asymmetrical bard width? More left turns than right? Kids these days...
  • + 1
 Nothing New, K9 Industries did this with there DH bar years ago. Good idea.
  • + 0
 Better comments please or I'm going to erase pinkbike. Facebook wants your money.
  • + 1
 Sweet! Just what I never wanted, much less needed.
  • + 1
 But are those bar-ends bar-end-compatible?
  • + 1
 "top out at 180" lmaooooo. try 400.
  • + 1
 That's the normal range. There are carbon handlebars that approach the four-figure mark. Your point?
  • + 1
 But wait, the new standard isn't complete without a WTB Padloc version!
  • + 0
 Re Padloc grips, glad I ignored the skeptics.(me included) and cynics and gave them a try.

All I can say is... no more numb hands, and less hand fatigue in general.

So far I like the Pivot version over the WTB versions
  • + 1
 Great now I just need a tpms
  • + 1
 dont buy expensive bars if you don't know how wide you want them
  • + 1
 You can buy two bars for that price.
  • + 0
 *dramatically slaps forehead
  • + 1
 Noooooooo
  • + 1
 Is it April 1st already?
  • + 0
 Can I extend my toptube?
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