PNW Components Releases New Loam Carbon Handlebar

Oct 27, 2023 at 19:05
by Mike Kazimer  
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PNW Components' lineup has grown substantially since they first entered the MTB world with a reasonably priced dropper post. Grips, pedals, stems, handlebars, and other accessories have been added to the mix over the years, and now they've added a carbon handlebar that's claimed to offer the ideal blend of vertical compliance and horizontal stiffness.

The Loam Carbon Bar has a 35mm clamp diameter (a 31.8mm option is in development), and is available with either 25 or 38 millimeters of rise. The bars are 800mm wide, with 5° of upsweep and 10° of backsweep.
Loam Carbon Bar Details

• Pre-preg UD carbon fiber
• Rise: 25 or 38mm
• Width: 800mm (trimmable down to 740mm)
• 5°of upsweep, 10° of backsweep
• Weight: 238 grams
• Rider weight limit: 286 lb
• Lifetime warranty
• MSRP: $149 USD
pnwcomponents.com

On my scale, an uncut bar with 38mm of rise weighed 238 grams. Acording to PNW Components, the Loam Carbon Bar is strong enough for e-bikes and DH riding, and in 3rd party testing passed the EFBE Tri-Test for MTB Gravity.

Everyone knows that clever acronyms are crucial in any mountain bike product release, and to tick that box PNW Components went with Compliant Bore Design (CBD). CBD technology entails using different wall thicknesses, along with a unique inner shape to achieve the desired handlebar feel.

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Similar to the trend we're seeing with carbon wheels, compliance has become a buzzword for handlebars. As carbon fiber construction techniques have advanced, tuning the feel of a bar or rim has become a more attainable goal, making it possible to create components that don't feel like they're actively trying to transmit every vibration directly into your bones.

How noticeable the increased compliance is will depend to some extent on the rider, and on the terrain. An overly-stiff bar might not pose any issues if you're always riding soft, loamy trails, but it could be a different story in rocky, hardpacked areas where the ground has zero give.

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Initial Impressions

I have a handful of rides in on the Loam Carbon Bar so far, and it's done exactly what a good handlebar is supposed to do – almost nothing. The rise and sweep feel natural, and the indicators in the middle of the bar help make getting it installed and centered quick and easy. The matte black finish with satin decals would be the way I'd go, but for riders who prefer a wider palette of colors on their bike PNW Components offers stickers in 9 different colors for $5 more.

Personally, I'm a lot more likely to notice when a handlebar feels uncomfortably stiff versus being able to differentiate between varying levels of compliance. With that said, I haven't had any hand or wrist pain with the Loam Carbon Bar, and it's faded nicely into the background on each ride. If pressed, I'd say the feel is very similar to OneUp's carbon bar, but I'd need to do some back-to-back laps to issue a more definitive verdict. The Loam Grips deserve a shout out too – they're comfortable with or without gloves, and have enough texture to keep them from getting too slippery on rainy rides.




Author Info:
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Member since Feb 1, 2009
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101 Comments
  • 93 1
 Product image not dark enough, I could almost make out it was a handle bar, gotta turn down the brightness a smidge.
  • 68 0
 Every handlebar press release can be summarized in one sentence: It's compliant, but also stiff.
  • 96 0
 Add that to your tinder
  • 37 0
 I disagree, I looked up the OneUp release, and theirs are stiff, but also compliant.
  • 3 0
 I mean, they went above and beyond here making sure that you can't actually see the product in the photos.
  • 21 0
 @pnwcomponents for us tall people, 38mm and 50mm in alloy would be greatly appreciated Big Grin
  • 14 0
 @whiteranger3 we'll pass that on to the folks in product Smile
  • 6 0
 @pnwcomponents: count me in on a 50mm bar! That would be amazing!
  • 7 0
 @pnwcomponents: I would buy the 50mm in ALU
  • 14 0
 The geometry on the alloy bar is perfect. Glad to see a carbon option.
  • 8 1
 Stoked to hear this, hope you love the Loam if you try it!
  • 3 0
 Love mine too along with their grips which are AWESOME.
  • 2 0
 @Dustfarter: Stoked to hear it, thanks for the love!
  • 3 0
 Yup, 10 degree backsweep FTW. My old wrists appreciate it.
  • 2 0
 @shami: FTR (for the wrists)
  • 1 0
 @shami: Ditto, very excited to see more option approaching 12deg. Dropping $250-$300 on an SQ Lab just seems bananas, but my wrists are worth a few hundo...
  • 11 0
 They took that CBD bar photo in front of the wrong plants. Big miss there.
  • 48 0
 That would have been perfect, if we hadn't already used all our plants...
  • 13 0
 @pnwcomponents: I think this bar would be perfect if it also had Technical Handling Compliance as well.
  • 6 0
 @BuckNasty44904: brb, updating the patent application Wink
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents: Sticky Icky tire sealant? Oily Diesel chain lube (featuring zero actual oily diesel)?
  • 7 0
 I love my Range bar. Happy to see a carbon option.
  • 2 0
 We love to hear it!
  • 5 0
 Nice, love my alloy bars. My one and only gripe with PNW bars is the graphic going from super nice to super ratty real quick though.
  • 5 0
 Glad you dig your Range bars - and we appreciate the feedback on the graphics!
  • 1 0
 That’s my only gripe with the OneUp carbon bars as well.
  • 3 0
 For anyone wondering about bar sweep.
Everyone's wrist/hand are made different.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSD7AkY4Ycc
I feel best with 16 degree but 12 also degree is tolerable and looks less bent. 10 degree is pretty minor/ not enough for me but sure will fit a lot of people.
  • 3 0
 These look nice spec wise but I cant understand why some companies insist on putting graphics on the part of the bar where brakes and shifters clamp on. They always get scratched or smudged from installation or adjustments, and the graphics are obstructed by the controls anyways so you can't really see them.
  • 2 1
 I feel the opposite. If you want to have goofy bringing that jumps off at you while the product is on the shelf thats cool, I dont mind all that being hidden by grips when I buy it. But I also take all the decals off my wheels and forks.
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: Definitely not advocating for more graphics lol, the opposite. But I understand most companies are going to need some kind of logo to differentiate their product, I just think it's dumb to put the logo on a clamping surface where it's halfway visible and is prone to being scuffed. Not sure what you're saying about grips, they clearly do not hide the graphics
  • 1 1
 @lyzyrdskydr: im saying I 100% dgaf about graphics getting covered by grip, clamps,or the stem. I'd even prefer if they were under the grips.

I completely understand what you are saying, I also find it to be comically irrelevant.
  • 1 1
 @lyzyrdskydr: and I meant "badging" not bringing.
  • 6 1
 Ever since there was a pnw range bar i knew it was inevitable that there would be a carbon loam bar
  • 16 0
 Carbon loam seems like a serious health hazard
  • 2 0
 @nathanjl you know it
  • 3 0
 PNW Alu bar with 30mm rise, 5° up and 10° back is just perfect! don't get their new 25 & 38mm rise options… they had to keep the 30mm rise like they having on the alu version.
  • 3 0
 We appreciate your feedback and love for the Range Bar! We chose 25mm and 38mm rises for the Loam based on testing and feedback, to give more options for a wide range of riding positions. If you end up giving one a try, give us a shout with your thoughts on the rise!
  • 11 0
 @pnwcomponents: please make a 50mm high rise version of your aluminum bar.
  • 9 2
 Those 5MM spacers are really tricky to get
  • 3 0
 @ebschroderus: I'd love a more compliant version of my Chromag FU50 bar.
  • 1 0
 @Stinhambo: my dj bike has a Title Alu 31.8 clamp 50 rise bar and I like it better than my OneUp oval, engineered for compliance bar that lives on my trail bike. There's something really comfortable with the Title. I have no idea how it would compare to your FU40.
  • 1 0
 @uponcripplecreek: thanks, I’ll check that out. I need a 50mm bar for my fat bike.
  • 2 0
 @pnwcomponents: the Range Bar is by far the best handlebar i had so far! If one day i’ll got back to carbon bar, the new Loam with 25mm rise will be the one.
  • 1 0
 @Muddy-Runs: amazing, thank you for your support!
  • 2 0
 Ever since I broke my bike bucked me off and I broke my wrist in the fall, I found that “normal” amounts of backsweep on handlebars (around 8 degrees) cause me a fair amount of pain while riding. I swapped out my stock handlebar for the aluminum PNW bar with the 10 degree backsweep and that bit extra angle made a dramatic difference for me. Had there been a carbon version at the time I made the switch, I probably would have picked that one up instead (although I admit the price on the alloy version was very reasonable).

Everyone’s body is slightly different, so I guess it stands to reason that we might all prefer different setups. I just went from one set of preferences to another after the doctors upgraded my wrist with titanium bits.
  • 1 0
 Stoked to hear the Range bars have made a huge difference for you! Hope you love the Loam if you give it a try!
  • 2 0
 Love the 10 degree backsweep! Very bummed that it maxes out at 38mm rise. With how puny headtubes are getting these days, most riders who actually ride steep stuff would be better served on 50mm rise bar, let alone the taller folks who need even more ride…
  • 1 0
 Taking notes, appreciate your feedback Smile
  • 5 1
 Maximum rider weight 286 pounds. Interesting number. I do like the sweep of PNW bars though, comfortable.
  • 21 0
 Im guessing the tested and came up with the limit in kg, and then converted to pounds. 286lbs is 130kg, which is a less odd number.
  • 46 0
 @mtmc99: Both of those numbers are even.
  • 4 0
 Nothing but good things to say about PNW, I own two seatpost, the loam grip and an excellent jacket and shorts.
  • 2 0
 So pumped to hear this, thanks for your support!
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents - can we discuss this weight limit? With gear and beer, I am at this weight limit, but how does it apply only if I land all my weight on the bar? What if my lower body is where I carry the weight? If it is rated for DH, and E-bike use, how does the weight limit work?
  • 1 0
 serious question, do these small comapnies like PNW actually have their own carbon bars manufacturing plant/process or do they hire somebody else to make the carbon bars and then slap the PNW logo on it?
  • 2 0
 most likely something in between; maybe there’s a no-name (to us) taiwanese manufacturer that makes generic bars and PNW has them make bars to their specific specifications (lol) plus add their logo.
  • 2 0
 @Kimura great question! We engineered the Loam Bar from the ground up and designed a layup process around what we wanted the Loam to accomplish. Our manufacturer weaves the carbon fiber for the Loam Bar in house on an as-needed basis, allowing us to hone in on the process.
If you're keen to learn more, check out our in-depth Loam Bar tech rundown here: youtu.be/UNA-W1qZTy8?si=ujLoy8-xwVEHr2PB
  • 3 0
 38mm rise in a 31.8 will be on my list for sure. I wish more brands would make 31.8's with a higher rise bar.
  • 3 0
 Nukeproof Horizon Carbon v2 come in 31.8 x 38mm, and are excellent handlebars. Especially if you can score them on sale
  • 1 0
 @lyzyrdskydr: Good to know, thanks! I was looking at a Renthal 40mm too but heard they're a little stiff.
  • 2 0
 @lyzyrdskydr: Can confirm. Have a Nukeproof 31.8 x 38 and it's as good or better compliance wise as the Oneup bar I compared it with for a few months. Ditched my 35mm setups for good
  • 2 0
 @pnwcomponents Looking good! Please make a higher rise alloy bar in 31.8 as well!
  • 1 0
 Noted, will share that with the product team!
  • 3 3
 Lets talk bar geo, 10 degrees back sweep feels a bit "Beach Cruiser" for my personal taste. Who's riding what out there and why? My personal preference would be 8.5 degrees, maybe my arms are shaped funny...
  • 2 0
 I'm not super picky about backsweep as long as it's not too extreme, but my favorite bars do tend to have 8 or 7-degrees back and 5-degrees up.
  • 2 0
 Ever since I broke my wrist, for some reason I find a bit more backsweep to be more comfortable. Standard 8 degree bars really kill my repaired wrist and shoulder after only a short time on the bike. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but I love my aluminum PNW bar.
  • 2 0
 Definitely like to see back to back testing between this and the Oneup bar and their e-bar thrown in the mix as well.
  • 1 0
 I may be two months late on this. I got mine at a 20% discount from Jenson this week. Works as advertised. Compliant with a great shape. It replaced a Range handlebar/stem combo, which I love. Another great product from PNW.
  • 4 0
 BIG NEWS
  • 1 0
 WE AGREE
  • 2 0
 Nice to see that a company that has offered decent products from day one is gradually expanding their offerings.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider that's the goal! Thanks for the love!
  • 3 0
 The PNW Loam XL grips are sooooooooooooooo good.
  • 2 0
 soooooo happy you dig them Smile
  • 1 0
 I get that everything has a weight limit, but it always makes me uncomfortable when I see one.
  • 1 0
 Given that I've found 9 degree back sweep way more comfortable than 8 degrees, I'm excited for 10 degrees :-)
  • 2 0
 @pnwcomponents Any idea when the 31.8 version will be available?
  • 3 0
 @barburutus it's in the hopper, stay tuned!
  • 2 1
 Great to have played a small part in the testing of this bar!
  • 2 0
 We appreciate you!
  • 1 0
 Choice.
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