First Look: Race Face's New Next SL Bars Are Lighter & More Compliant - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 6, 2021 at 15:08
by Brian Park  
Race Face Next SL Bars


Race Face's new Next SL bar is a unique offering. Claimed to be the world's lightest 35mm clamp bar, it's designed for aggressive XC—I'm sure it took considerable restraint on Race Face's part to keep the word d*wncountry out of the press materials. And they're right, XC is changing. The bikes are more capable, the trails are aggressive, and riders are pushing the boundaries more.

With that backdrop, Race Face is positioning the Next SL handlebar a bit differently. Compared to the current Next 35 bar, the new Next SL has gotten more compliant, lighter, and narrower. Yes, narrower. Before you warm up your twitter fingers, remember, plenty of races have been won on 740mm bars, and they still make the Next R 35 in a full 800mm wide too. Race Face was also quick to point out that you can use their Getta Grips to make them effectively 754mm wide.

But Race Face has clearly done a lot more than lop 20mm off the bars and publish a new weight; instead, they've redesigned the bar from the ground up. They wanted to reduce rider hand/arm fatigue (a common anecdotal criticism of 35mm bars) without compromising handling. To do that, they've added more material at the front and back of the bars, which they say allowed them to engineer more vertical compliance into this bar while maintaining good fore-aft stiffness. Their words: "All the Good Flex; None of the Bad."


Race Face Next SL Bars
The bars look right at home on more aggressive XC buids.

Race Face Next SL Bars
With Getta Grips they're effectively 754mm wide.
Race Face Next SL Bars
1g under claimed weight on my scale.


Features

• Optimized vertical compliance is designed to improve rider comfort and reduce hand fatigue
• Asymmetric carbon layup with reinforced fore-aft material for steering precision
• Colour: Black
• 8° backsweep, 5° upsweep
• Clamp: 35mm
• Width: 740mm
• Rise: 10mm
• Weight: 167 grams (verified on my scale at 166g)
• Price: $179.99 USD / $219.99 CAD
raceface.com


Race Face Next SL Bars
We'll likely see this bar specced on a lot of high end, weight-focused completes next year.

Race Face Next SL bars.

Gully is the king of bad flexes.


bigquotesThe weight of the Next SLs is impressive. It's one thing for a boutique manufacturer to make a 167g bar for Dangerholm, but it's another thing entirely for a mainstream brand with such strong OE presence to confidently shave this many grams off. They're also very well finished and come in 1g under their published weight on my scale. It's really nice to see some different options for aggressive XC.

That said, Race Face / Easton were some of the driving forces behind 35mm bars, and have now put considerable effort to eliminating the "too stiff" complaints about the larger clamp diameter. Some will see this as just solving a problem of their own creation.

Regardless, we are going to continue to see a lot of product managers speccing larger diameter bars, and the Next SLs look like an excellent choice for high end, weight-focused completes next year. If 35mm bars are here to stay, then we are very glad to see another brand concentrating on making them more comfortable.

While I'm nitpicking, I should mention that although these may technically be the lightest production 35mm bars, there's a 35mm bar from a specialist German manufacturer that's only 3g heavier (claimed) and a full 800mm wide. They're a good bit more expensive though. [Edit: also, shout out to JTab23 in the comments for pointing out that there's a 720mm full XC bar with 35mm clamp that's a claimed 133g.]

Back to the Next SLs. Most of us at Pinkbike choose bars that are wider than 740mm, even on our downcountry and XC bikes, because we are Pacific Northwest trail dorks. But I actually happened to have a bike with 740mm 31.8 bars on it right now, so I swapped these in. Initial impressions after one (mellow) ride are that they feel nice, but not dramatically different. My hand-flex-ometer has notoriously poor calibration though, and I suspect I'll notice a bigger difference when I swap back to my original bars. We'll see!
Brian Park







183 Comments

  • 238 22
 Here's a better way to fix the criticisms of 35mm bars, make them 31.8mm
  • 13 8
 Riding an SQLab on my enduro, such a nice bar and yes its 31.8mm. whats really a mess is, to find a nice stem for 31,8mm. I rode 35mm bars and wow, no thx!
  • 54 3
 No way man. Clearly we need another new standard here. 33.1mm possibly, all the benefits of 35mm without being too stiff. 31.8mm is like 26" wheels, so 2012.
  • 21 4
 no no no, too stiff. make them 31,7999
  • 7 2
 but then bike companies couldn't sell you new stuff, silly
  • 10 2
 @maglor I was literally about to say the same thing! LOL. Guess what, you wouldn't have to "make them more compliant" IF THEY WERE 31.8!!!! Wink
  • 6 2
 Sshhhhhhhhhhh! Nothing to see here
  • 4 2
 @Hamburgi: Newmen stems are tops and 31.8mm
  • 17 2
 Sorry to burst everyone's bubble but 31.8 doesn't automatically make them more compliant and 35mm doesn't necessarily mean it's less compliant. Here is a pseudo scientific test that actually measured flex in a controlled environment from Vital : www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPHvBgm1Vvg .
TLDR: the 31.8mm carbon and alloy bars actually flexed less than the 35mm bars measured (19mm alloy and 18mm carbon), and the oneup only flexed 5% more than the race face (21mm vs 20mm).
  • 9 0
 Almost as compliant as a 31.8mm bar, almost as light as one too, and only $180? Sign me the F up!
  • 8 0
 @GBeard: Interesting. And begs the question, why buy a 35 then?? So silly....
  • 4 2
 Well, for instance with easton they were able to make them lighter, stronger, and wider as a result.
  • 40 0
 @GBeard: 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
  • 10 0
 @OneUpComponents: You don't have to sell me, I already own an OneUp. Smile
  • 2 0
 @OneUpComponents: Also interesting to note in that chart is that when 35mm is compared with their identical 31.8mm counterpart that the 35mm actually flexed more (SiXc and Spank Vibrocore).
edit: actually not the fatbar though which looks close enough to be statistically insignificant.
  • 9 0
 @OneUpComponents:

I went from raceface sixc 35 carbon to oneup 35 and one up are way way more comfortable. Very noticable.
  • 14 0
 @vemegen:

#NERD-MODE-ON
Actually 31.8mm bars are in fact 31.75mm bars: just like the older 25.4mm bars, it's based on inches: It's 1 and 1/4 inch, which is exactly 31.75mm.
Which is why there used to be some companies calling it 31.7mm. Same size, just rounded down instead of up.

So your 31.7999 is stiffer than a regular "31.8mm" bar.
#NERD-MODE-OFF
  • 5 1
 The compliance argument doesn’t bother me so much, as many have said the construction of the bar has a lot more to do with that than clamp diameter but if the diameter has little effect why do we have to suffer the pain of having 2 standards, if the new standard is obviously better and everyone adopts it then that transition period is worth it but as is evidence by how long we have been using both these sizes without a clear favorite there is not enough reason to have bothered with 35 in the first place. I think it’s also worth pointing out lots of marketing keeps talking about increased steering precision but it doesn’t matter how stiff your bars are when the torsional flex in suspension forks is where most of the precision is lost anyway.
  • 12 3
 @OneUpComponents:
that graph... So close and yet so bad. More constructively: No units, tiny font size, and absolutely massive empty space. Just set the axis limits properly.

I'm guessing it was generated by the test rig software for internal use and was hastily edited for public consumption. Or it was made by an engineer.

/Hating.
  • 1 0
 @dirtyburger: but we're filling that absolutely nonunitized massive space with anecdotes--at least weight and deflection are potentially measurable. Should vibration damping also be a part of 'compliance'?--the smaller diameter heavier bar would seem to be at an advantage. Same for toughness. When stem material/dimensions, grips, rider weight, terrain, and fork flex are factored, it's almost not worth discussing. That's why I'd ride what Metallier rides--if I didn't like M9 so much--but didn't kick NextR35 out of bed. Problems, problems, problems
  • 1 3
 @GBeard: ha thx. f*** the haters. im runnin 35s and there's nothin wrong with it.
  • 1 0
 @CamLamson: It feels like the front and rear suspension is designed for damping...odd though, I know. Using a carbon stick and adding managing the damping characteristics of it (fixed and uncontrolled) seems a bit pointless.
  • 1 0
 A bar behaves like leaf spring and also has its own resonant frequencies.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: With the RaceFace, yes. Maybe different layup? However, the Spank Vibrocore’s are not identical at all. The 35 has 20mm more rise compared to its 31.8 counterpart. Higher rise bars typically have much more vertical compliance. There’s probably many variables that make a bar compliant/stiff, not just the diameter. Aesthetically, a 35mm bar, comfortable or not, makes most fork stanchions look like noodles. I’ve tried many bars and the reality is that most carbon bars and most 35mm bars make my teeth rattle they’re so uncomfortably stiff. IMO, the OneUp is the most comfortable carbon bar and the Spank Vibrocore 31.8 is the most comfortable aluminum bar.
  • 1 0
 @danthepirate: I hear what you're saying. On my previous bike, it came with 31.8 bars, and I never changed them. recently I bought a used bike and it came with Chromag BZA carbon 35s. honestly, I couldn't feel a difference and didn't question it until now. it doesn't feel stiffer or uncomfortable at all.
www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2952634
  • 1 1
 @GBeard: Since all the results from that Vital test were close to being the same for all bars, it's entirely possible the measurement setup itself was responsible for most of the flex. There would have to be a cross check with a solid piece of bar stock before I would take any of those numbers seriously.
  • 95 2
 Worlds lightest, bar none
  • 66 4
 Marketing people, please hire this person.
  • 16 1
 Sure you're not bending the truth just a little?
  • 17 0
 @noapathy: You guys need to get a grip. Seriously. Smile
  • 4 0
 That's a big flex for the marketing guys to exploit.
  • 13 1
 Cutting 60mm off your bar is a neat way to make it light. Also, too light is scary to me.
  • 14 0
 @ckcbmrice: I know I may come off as stiff, but it all stems back from when I was 35.
  • 8 0
 Are you trying to get a rise our of me, or sweep me off my feet?
  • 6 0
 Let's roll back the puns folks. I can't handle it.
  • 66 2
 I'm glad my body is so uncalibrated. Never felt a difference between any bar I've ever ridden.
  • 10 21
flag CDT77 (Apr 7, 2021 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
 Disagree. Have Next R carbon bar on my bike - ride lots of park - went to Whistler rented an SB150 w alum. bar - I couldn't believe the difference in vibration / arm pump / hand fatigue vs my carbon bar. Was an eye opener.
  • 10 0
 @CDT77: it wasn't the Yeti?
I like this kind of anecdotal evidence, but I wonder if you'd have noticed the same difference back to back on the same bike, only swapping bars.
  • 11 0
 @CDT77: yeah different bike doesnt mean shot about the bars.
  • 4 0
 I'm not an architect or an engineer but I think different grips will play a big part in how untrained hands/arms feel about their bars. Also what about the fact that one of my 35mm bar bikes is a fatty that I am usually riding with some crazy-thick 4" padding pillow gloves from LL bean. Those "bars" feel very forgiving. :-)
  • 2 4
 @ybsurf: It wasn't just me.. there were two of us - same deal - we both (very quickly) noticed the difference, the SB150 was set up well and it wasn't like we were plowing through chunder. I've observed the same on multiple diff. demo bikes with alum. bars as well. Not to the same degree, nor was it the end of the world type of stuff.. but noticeable.. I could swap on an alum. bar on my bike - but probably never will.
  • 5 1
 Ignorance is bliss.
  • 3 0
 Definitely could use a blind test where the bars are taped over to compare a 167g carbon with a 350+g alloy. Get the same rise, length, and sweep and see where the results end up.

Separate thought - Race Face is going to have a heck of a time selling 740mm bars, that's just dated.
  • 5 0
 Now every ride you are going to think about your bars and whether they are compliant enough and if you need the new more compliant bars. The seed has been planted.
  • 9 1
 @Snowytrail:

Straight up XC bars. Nino runs 6## bars, and seems to do alright. Richie Rude runs 750s on his enduro rig, and many EWS pros run shorter.

Don't be a slave to marketing and fashion trends.
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: no but the difference when I switched out my alloy FSA bars for Race Face Next (both cut to the same width) on my 130 downcountry Wink hardtail the difference was night and day in arm pump and hand fatigue.
  • 3 1
 @lifeofloon: Where are you riding a downcountry bike where the descents are long enough and rough enough to even get arm pump?
  • 1 0
 @bradmcam: I ride the same trails as ride my Enduro. Regardless of what your opinion is riding the same trails I always had with alloy bars, I was getting a much more comfortable ride for my arms and hands with carbon. To add to another commenter, I run the same grips on all my bikes.
  • 2 0
 @lifeofloon: I wasn't having a crack, just thought you may have been doing some epic descents on your hardtail and was genuinely interested. I have no doubt the carbon bars made a difference for you.
  • 1 0
 @bradmcam: right on man. I don't take it to the park for downhill laps it gets abused in every other way the Enduro does.
  • 1 1
 @bradmcam:

In the mountains.
  • 49 6
 I hope they apply what they learned here across their entire lineup. I can't stand RaceFace bars in carbon or aluminum. They were astonishingly harsh. So many other brands got the memo that either you stick to 31.8 or do a lot of work (props to Deity) to make their 35 mm bars have decent compliance. I still don't know why we moved to 35mm clamp anyways.
  • 26 0
 even their 31.8mm bars have been terrible, I suspect they have copied Vibrocore but use concrete instead of the foam
  • 8 19
flag lognar (Apr 7, 2021 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 ive broken every pair of RF carbon bars ive owned
  • 23 0
 @lognar: I break one pair of any manufacturers bars and you can bet they aren't having a second go at knocking my teeth out.
  • 6 0
 Yeah I've got the 35mm aluminium Atlas. It's so harsh it's not funny. But with ESI Chunky grips it is at least bearable
  • 3 1
 I have older Easton 750 mm 35mm bars and they seem to be OK.
  • 13 0
 totally agree that the industry should've stayed with a 31.8 mm clamp. If it's not broken, don't fix it.
  • 7 12
flag DoctorWatson (Apr 7, 2021 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 lets "race"face it: Bars are not great, Atlas Pedals last 2 rides before you loose the green locking knob(bolt) and another 5 rides until they start to have play. Bottom brackets last in the PNW 1 1/2 month(30mm spindle, Next cranks(pedal inserts) wear and start to have play, rip out or break(they replace them at least under warranty or crash replacement for a reduced price) - at least the wheels supposed to hold a while(some had axle and free hub problems). No long term experience here though.
  • 21 5
 Ahh the great bar debate! Get an alloy bar and take the extra dough and tune your fork. You're telling me you can notice the vibration difference between 31.8 & 35 while ripping down a rock garden? Right.
  • 2 0
 @elemon58: But then you woudn't need to upgrade! $$$$$$$
  • 5 8
 @lognar: ditto. I think the Next SL stands for Next Serious Liability.
  • 1 1
 @nbrewste: maybe not at that moment - but yes, everywhere else!
  • 1 0
 @hhaaiirryy: try Santa Cruz bars - they come with a lifetime warranty now
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: same bars, honestly never really minded. Happier on Rentals in 31.8 on my new trail bike, though.

Harshest bars I've ever used, straight up jackhammers, Surly Sunrise. Cool moto/bmx/clunker appeal, feel and weigh like solid steel. They're 22.2mm!
  • 2 1
 I posted this video above but just thought the results applied to your comment. Here is a video from vital measuring different bars flex in a controlled environment: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPHvBgm1Vvg . The race face actually flexed more than the deity (which actually flexed the least of the bunch) 20mm vs 16mm.
  • 11 1
 @GBeard: 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
  • 9 4
 @DoctorWatson: sounds like you need to maintain your bike a lot better. everything falls apart if you ride the piss outta it and don't clean. too many people like you who complain about components wearing out and PrEsS FiT bottom brackets SUCK! it's not the case. you guys SUCK at maintaining your shit,
  • 2 2
 @ridingofthebikes: hahaha thanks for judging without knowing..... I'm reflecting my experience from a bike industry insider since 15 years - and i can tell you, People(some Customer take a lot of care about their bikes) me included and you still have more wear than other parts 30mm BB's. But if you believe that my complaints are a part of maintaining i leave you with that. Cheers
  • 3 2
 @DoctorWatson: MAINTAIN YOUR BIKE DUDE!!!!
  • 1 0
 @kyytaM: I have older Easton 750 mm 31.8mm bars and they seem to be OK.
  • 40 2
 Aggressive XC = Whats upduro
  • 64 0
 Not much
  • 1 0
 Looks Flexy
  • 22 0
 I'll be sticking with 31.8 until I see a reason to "upgrade".
  • 9 0
 Yep I always "downgrade" to Renthal 31.8 alloy bars on my bikes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • 7 5
 @bmxRC009: To be fair, I believe 31.8 to be an acquired preference. While it may be yours, it's not everybody's. I'm a 220lb rider, I personally ride 35 dia bars, and feel the stiffness is ideal. Not harsh at all. I feel 31.8 bars are too soft, and feel like a wet noodle, but thats just me.
  • 4 1
 @jomacba: I guess in this case, cover is a good thing - you'll be happy with a reinforced scaffold pole and I'll be avoiding 35mm bars like they're pre coated in dog excrement! The problem comes when buying whole bikes when different riders find expensive components like wheels and forks noodly or uncomfortable. Perhaps I should be buying women's bikes in size large...
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Thats a fair statement. I primarily ride DH, and last season I had ridden quite a few bar stem combos both carbon and alloy, as well as several fork and shock combos. I tested quite a few offsets as well. I eventually settled for a setup of components that I felt complimented my riding style best, as well as something that I felt had great after sales support, and access to service parts ect.
The challenge with a bike built from a manufacturer is creating something that works for everybody, while simultaneously trying to provide the newest part (associated with cost) and ultimately trying to keep the bikes affordability competitive relative to the tier of build.
While this is a place most people start, unfortunately no setup is going to be 100% ideal for most riders.
A bar/stem combo is a relatively inexpensive part to tune the flex profile and effect the riding characteristics to suit your needs. Best things to look for is ideally a bike that gives you most of what your looking for, but most importantly the big ticket items should be at the top of that priority list.
A general mindset is that bikes and components are developed in conjunction with professional riders. While this a mostly true, the final product released to the public can sometimes be altered as pro riders can vary drastically in preference.
I think you hit the nail on the head in saying "cover is a good thing"
  • 2 0
 @jomacba: flipping auto correct - was supposed to be choice is a good thing... Need a new phone standard for fat fingers!
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I knew what you meant, I figured it was some sort of UK lingo
  • 2 0
 @jomacba: same here. I’m 110-112kg (243-247lbs) kitted up and actually find my current 35mm e-thirteen race carbon bars to be absolutely spot on for stiffness and comfort. Not sure whether I’d feel the same way if I were a smaller, lighter or less aggressive rider though?
  • 1 0
 @arna86: Hard to say. There is so much variance from brand to brand as well. Most guys these days are on 35, be it what they have or what they chose.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: I'm lighter now but when I was 231 lbs i got by just fine on 31.8 (I certainly didn't want them any bigger diameter) so I don't understand how u find them to feel like a wet noodle.
  • 2 0
 @rabidmonkfish: Well I guess it all comes down to rider preference.
We also need to take into account brand, bike setup, riding style ect ect.
I've ridden some very stiff and harsh bars, and some very soft bars. I feel an inherent delay in response if the bar is too soft. Maybe it's my mind messing with me, but thats my perspective Smile
  • 23 3
 Are they trying to OneUp the competition?
  • 16 1
 How many people can actually feel the difference between a 31.8, a 35, and a "compliant" 35......it seems a lot of commenters here should be product testers since they are so finely calibrated.
  • 7 0
 the difference is actually pretty significant, switch between OneUp and Race Face bars and I'm sure you'll notice it on the first rock garden
  • 9 1
 @f00bar: I switched between an Easton Haven 35 carbon, a 31.8 Chromag Al, and a 35mm chromag carbon. While stationary, yeah I notice a difference in the amount of flex I can provoke but while riding, not so much. I think there is a lot of placebo effect happening here.... but maybe I'm an outlier.
  • 3 0
 @Maestroman87: nope, your not. But the 31.8 - 35mm debate is cool to talk about
  • 5 0
 @f00bar: I actually have both Race Face NextR and a OneUp bars - both 35mm rise and both 35mm clamp. They are equally comfortable and I cannot honestly tell the difference between them (besides the raceface looking better).

I'm at least sort of sensitive to bars too as I got a ton of hand numbness with my old SC carbon 20 rise bars, I get none with either of these bars.
  • 7 0
 @f00bar: I didn't. Not to say others wouldn't, I'm just not that sensitive. Also, I suspect a lot of the advantages of compliant or vibration damping bars is likely to be felt over the course of a day or a week, rather than in simple A/B testing.
  • 6 1
 I suspect the different feel may have more to do with a bar's resonant frequency than how much it actually flexes. A bar that buzzes at painful frequencies is going to feel unpleasant, while another one that might deflect exactly the same amount could still feel nicer if it tends to resonate at a different frequency. If you've ever handled rebar and hard PVC pipe you can understand what I'm getting at. The rebar, while far more flexy, vibrates a lot when you hit it. The pipe basically doesn't flex, but also doesn't make the same nasty buzz when you hit it.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: After riding with a OneUp bar all summer I switched it out to an aluminum bar because I was going to sell the bike stock. I rode across the parking lot at Cougar Canyon (headed to Kill Me Thrill Me) and thought my fork was broken for a second. The difference when switching from OneUp to stock RaceFace is night and day.

Going the other way would be easier to ignore, but once you get dialed into your bike one way, making just a bar change to something harsh and non-compliant vs the OneUp will slap you in the face.
  • 2 0
 @Jvisscher: yeah I'm interested to see when I switch back. I'm glad that smaller people have this option for more compliant bars, but TBH regardless of how good they are I can't wait to put 760-780 bars back on.
  • 15 1
 For the love of not being confused, please stick to XC, Trail, Enduro, and DH as classifications. I am getting lost with all of the in between.
  • 52 2
 Most mountain biking is actually XC but no one wants to admit it. XC is fun!
  • 7 2
 Downcountry ain't dead!
  • 4 1
 @4thflowkage: yea, no hate to XC at all. my local trails are pretty XC based, but if I have the chance, I’m driving the 2 hours to go to the park. XC is a great way to stay in shape, too, which makes a good trade off when I’m flying down rocks after a 10 minute chairlift ride
  • 13 1
 Ignorance is bliss, I cannot feel a difference in bar clamp diameter. I count myself lucky.
  • 12 0
 Daaamn, bet these ride smooth as buttah.
  • 27 0
 Username checks out
  • 13 3
 I think it's rad. Any time you cut a carbon bar and shorten it, the "benfical flex" is reduced.
  • 11 2
 35 + XC = Dumb
  • 7 1
 Carbon handlebars are not where I'm comfortable shaving 50g. Sticking with my OneUp thanks.
  • 2 1
 Well, you were comfortable saving a few grams from Al. To another, they would be saying the same about your choices. However, I 100% agree with you, definitely not a place to be a weight weenie..... but I apply that to basically every component.
  • 1 0
 True that. I'm cool with the possibility of most of the components of my bike eventually breaking, but never want to know what it's like for a handlebar to snap.
  • 3 0
 @rodeostu: It's chilling to have a bar break in your hand. I was lucky, Al bars snapped half way between stem and grip on my street/dirt jumper. I was doing an abubaca when it broke, so pulling the bar towards me, hence the bike went forward and I just fell on my ass and was fine. But the sight of the super sharp end of the bar still on the bike was scary. If the bars had snapped on a landing or compression it would have been pretty likely that I'd have impaled myself on it. I learned not reuse bars from a well used dh bike that day.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: I also had a handlebar snap in an unexpected scenario. Mine was on the pull up to hop a curb. Similarly I didn't get hurt but won't forget it. It was a 25.4 aluminum bar on a cheap hardtail and it broke near the edge of the stem.
  • 6 3
 A swing and a miss...

760mm would have been a (most) reasonable starting point, giving those few who might want 740mm some range to cut them down.

I guess making the number on the scale happy was more important than making paying customers happy
  • 4 1
 We just ordered this for my wife’s bike. She’s f*cking pumped to have something actually designed close enough to her size to not have a product’s performance destroyed by cutting 10% of the length off.
  • 5 2
 I didn't know people could complain so much about the feel of a handle bar lol. I thought that was the point of front suspension. I don't give a shit what bar I ride as long as my suspension feels right.
  • 3 0
 Then count yourself lucky and not the target customer for a more compliant bar. I'm older (49) and have had several shoulder injuries as well as neck. The compliance in the OneUp bar makes a world of difference for me, personally. I used to run a RF sixc and it was way too stiff.
  • 2 0
 I think It depends a lot on your terrain. There is one trail near me that is miles and miles of unending small rocks, almost like cobblestones. On just that one trail I can feel the difference, but if I set up my suspension for that trail it's crap almost everywhere else. Like @CircusMaximus I'm in my 40s, and I've gotten a little beat up over time.
  • 2 0
 This bar definitely isn’t the worlds lightest 35mm handlebar as they claim. The 720mm wideBontrager Kovee XXX 35 bar weighs 133g and it probably isn’t even the lightest out there. Seems cool though!
  • 4 0
 Not sure how I missed this one.
  • 1 0
 iirc there are at least two german brand making sub 100g xc carbon bar. 31.8mm tho. still, mind blowing weight, that.
  • 1 0
 I have Yeti carbon bars in 740mm and use ODI grips extended out to make them effectively 750mm. While I would imagine unbiased independent testing would conclude my setup to be 14.823% less compliant than using a 750 bar to begin with, I just like them better than the aluminum 750 bars it came with.

I don't have any empirical data to back up they are any better or the engineering background to explain why, me just better likey.

Given the fact they are Yeti turquoise to match decals also helps in bringing said test results closer together.
  • 1 0
 Given two handlebars with the same width but different clamping diameters, I'd choose a 31.8 as the walls of the clamping area might be thicker to resist marring/denting from the hard edges of modern CNC stems.

I'll leave the compliance/damping to the grips, thank you.
  • 5 2
 Good on RF for finally clueing in. I’ve been using the OneUp bar for over a year now and I’ll never give it up!
  • 1 1
 Beside that marketing voices try to tell you about the best newest stuff... what’s your experience using carbon bars? I mean I use carbon frame and rims but bars seem to me even more important in terms of long term durability and resistance at smaller crashes...is there a difference compared to aluminium bars noticeable at all?
  • 2 0
 Sample size of one, but I've noticed a big positive difference swapping out stock aluminum bars for carbon bars. Noticeably less chatter and hand fatigue after a big ride. That said, it could be that the backsweep, upsweep, and width are just better for my body instead of the carbon vs. aluminum properties. I have no way of knowing, but I don't see myself going back.
  • 1 0
 I weigh 160 lbs and do mostly trail type riding only seldom doing drops much over 3'. I can't tell the difference between CF and decent quality aluminum bars.
  • 1 0
 @rodeostu: ok thanks
  • 1 0
 I can see the appeal and it could definitely help some riders. Not for me but that's all good. Currently on uncut Next Rs and Easton Havoc uncut. I guess you could say I like em wide and stiff.
  • 1 1
 Cute advert, I guess. Perhaps acting bits and voice-overs should be left to the professionals. I mean there aren't a lot of TV actors I would suggest hiring to provide engaging MTB footage. At the end of the day the video just left me wanting Shimano XT brake levers. oops!
  • 1 0
 I have a few Spank bars with the foam core. Is vibration damping equivalent to tuning? My goal is to feel my fingers at the end of the day. How about a deep dive into whether any of this matters and why.
  • 3 0
 Just fill with insulation foam and you're good to go!
  • 3 0
 What will they think of Next??
  • 1 1
 The new Next SL crankset and Atlas pedals - now inseparable
  • 3 0
 Compliance is the new stiffness.
  • 3 0
 I wish they made a 31.8 option Frown
then I would buy
  • 2 0
 They may have skipped the downcountry term, but still had to mention "redesigned form the ground up"
  • 4 1
 Pick a dick and be a bar about it
  • 3 1
 Lighter handle bars make me feel much more secure....
  • 3 1
 Give me a metal 31.8 bar anyday.
  • 1 0
 Compliant bars? I’ll buy them when you make them perseverant and imminent.
  • 1 1
 Cool does this come with poor uv resistance so the clearcoat flakes off like the old ones?
Does it feature auto fracture technology like every Next and sixc crank?
  • 1 0
 Everyone getting Bill Bye about clamp diameters and I'm over here with a Syncros bar with an integrated stem.
  • 1 0
 Beast is lighter than this.
  • 1 0
 I just hope this ain't breaking news
  • 3 6
 I agree MOST people ride bikes that are too long and bars that are too wide, but 740mm ... seriously? That's not enough for tall riders. For a part that is literally designed to be cut to size. Why wouldn't you start with a size long enough for the tallest riders.
  • 3 1
 The only reason I can think of is that it may not have passed EN ISO strength & fatigue testing at the longer length, possibly RF internal impact testing. Pure speculation on my part though.
  • 10 0
 @UtahBrent @SDBrian: Our decision to go 740mm wide definitely drew a lot of questions internally as well! In talking with our athletes, many female XC racers are running around and even just under 700mm bars and we wanted to ensure we were accommodating their needs as well as taller riders.

All Race Face bars are engineered with a maximum cut of 25mm per end for a total of 50mm in total width reduction. The intended ride and flex characteristics are maintained within that range.

From our testing, having a larger maximum cut range really isn’t authentic to the rider as a 800mm bar cut down to 730mm won't ride the same - it's going to get substantially stiffer.

740mm is likely too narrow for a portion of trail riders but we do have the Next bar (760mm) and the Next R bar (800mm) for those riders wanting to go wider and charge a little harder. Making the Next SL bar 740mm wide allows us to cover as large a span possible of the desired bar widths for all XC and trail riders of all shapes and sizes.
  • 4 0
 @raceface: Thanks for the response. It makes sense to fill out the product line. I just know that when threading the needle balancing product requirements, you are often forced to give up on one requirement to meet the other. Sometimes a change in one (width), allows you to improve another (weight), while still meeting the same non negotiable safety requirements (strength).

I can understand as well that a bar cut down to 60mm would have other compromises inherent in design as well, so by better defining the end user, you've made a better product!
  • 2 3
 Sorry but I expect my bars to be compliant and stiff. I didn’t see anything regarding confidence inspiring in the headline as well so, HARD pass.
  • 1 0
 Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon is kinda the Maxxis Minion of handlebars IMHO.
  • 1 1
 Have we forgotten the phrase vertical compliance may only be paired with lateral stiffness? Shame on you press release.
  • 1 0
 Has anyone heard about the new Mullet bars coming out?
  • 1 1
 Well theyve been known as the stiffest bars out there. Would be serious ego check to go back to 31.8 for them now.
  • 1 0
 I'll stick with Nukeproof carbon bars for $115. They are awesome!
  • 1 0
 Well back when I was racing F1, we used to.....
LOL, JK. Wink
  • 2 2
 Downcountry is officially a new category in mountain biking.
  • 8 8
 35mm bars at 740mm great thinking RF. No wonder you went under.
  • 3 4
 @timothyjplatt79 They are already pointing out that a special pair of grips can get them to 754mm. Bad to see that they are already covering up for a nonsensical choice.
  • 5 0
 Perhaps ride the bar before judging exclusively on clamp OD and total width? Or at least wait for a review and some independent test data?
  • 1 1
 @superkeen: I ride a 750 on one bike 740 on another and don’t really notice the difference. I’m just saying going with a smaller width cuts out a huge portion of the potential market, and they are fully aware of this limitation which is why the special grips are pushed.

It’s just simple, if buying a bar it takes about 5-10 minutes to cut it shorter, but you can’t really get it any wider... I’m not sure what test data would show me that 740 is the perfect width that will change anything.
  • 3 0
 @bruvar: I think its personal preference with respect to width. You could buy the Next Bar at 760mm? 13g weight penalty, not the latest and greatest optimized flex, but it seems like they have you covered.
  • 1 0
 @bruvar: how exactly do you define ‘nonsensical’?
  • 1 0
 @CircusMaximus: apparently as "not exactly what I, Bruvar, wanted"
  • 1 0
 @superkeen: Thing is this bar is exactly what I wanted, will just need to make sure it fits into next months budget. It would literally be a direct replacement for the Aeffect bar I currently have that is just a rock with zero flex or dampening.

Most XC bikes are coming stock with 760 & 750 and I just know how stubborn people are, once they see a number bigger is better and smaller isn't an option. Just like you don't see many successful 120mm droppers these days.
  • 1 2
 When I remove my tongue from my cheek I have nothing to say about RF products... ok bring back Diabolus crankset!
  • 1 4
 I’ve yet to cut a carbon bar, so maybe that’s why I don’t understand why companies wouldn’t always make their bars as wide as possible.
  • 16 0
 If an 800 bar is tuned well, and you cut it to 740 or 720, its going to be stiffer than intended to be.
  • 4 0
 @zachcalton: the issue is outside of elite DH, having bars wider than 760 is highly probably detrimental to bike handling for majority of people, unless off course you are very tall which in turn leads me to my point: very few people actually need bars wider than 780. Too wide and your range of movement is limited, especially in corners. Especially for somebody who doesn’t ride like an elite rider i.e zap berms like Adam Bryton or Brage Vestavik. When you go this fast you do need your bike to have tendency to understeer

I am not having a dig at people, ride what you want, I’m not picking a width and being a dick about it. But I ain’t taking RF, Deity and few others pissing on my shoe with 35mm spread saying it’s raining gains over 31.8
  • 4 5
 740mm? are we going backwards all the way to 680mm being back in vogue?
  • 6 2
 Yeah whats the point of running 740mm with 35mm clamp. Soon the bar length is going to be 600mm with a 50mm bar clamp.
  • 8 0
 What’s wrong with 740 on an xc bar?
  • 2 0
 @thisspock: why would you need a 35mm clamp for a xc bar?
  • 1 0
 I use 740mm on my enduro bike, I'm short at 5'7".
  • 1 1
 May 2022?
  • 2 5
 More compliant or is it misspelled and should it be more complaint(s)?
  • 1 4
 I can already hear the warranty claims
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