by Barney Marsh
July 8, 2014
Can you handle Azonic's wide carbon bars?
A few years ago, I finally bought some wide bars.
As a long-time single-speeder, and having played around with a variety of handlebars that made some of my friends wince (Jones bars are super lovely – what do you mean?) I finally stepped up to the plate. A whole 720mm of sleek black leverage made everything else I’d ridden feel old. And – er – narrow. In time, the bar width on my full suspension gnarl bike gradually exceeded even these, to a whopping 740mm, but to be honest I never really noticed. And then I bought a larger bike. Something at the ‘all-mountain’ end of the ‘trail’ category. And so I was given these to test. They’re carbon. They’re light. They’re extremely stiff. And they’re a whopping 790mm wide.
Before even riding them, I noticed that they’re way too wide to fit down the stairs to the basement where my bikes live. It’s a small price to pay, however – the 20mm rise and easy sweep of these bars is very comfortable, once I became used to the lung-opening width. Run with a shorter stem than my old one, they keep the same reach, quicken up the steering wonderfully, and increase the leverage you have when things get properly gnarly. In the largely treeless areas I ride, I think they’re completely fabulous. I rode my singlespeed for the first time in ages the other day, and was horrified by how narrow and constricting the bars felt…