January 27, 2014
Great, low and wide bars, though for a fearsome price.
So what makes a handlebar 29in-specific? A low height, and enough width to wrestle those big wheels around. This is what Niner has made in the Flat Top bar. Cunningly, although it’s a flat handlebar, there’s still 5mm of height adjustment. On one edge, the handlebar runs completely flat across its width. Flipped over, the bars dip 5mm from the central bulge to the tapered width, which lets you get the bars even lower. Either way up, there’s a comfortable 9° of sweep.
The 780mm width is going to be wide enough for all but the raddest of downhill dudes and is probably too wide for anyone riding somewhere there are trees. I compulsively cropped these down to 760mm, thus negating all of the Niner engineers’ work in getting a sturdy carbon bar that wide. The regular carbon bar comes in a 710mm width (for £139), whereas if you want the width without the price, the alloy Flat Top comes in 710 and 780mm wide for a more reasonable £49.00 and a bearable 90g penalty.
The Flat Tops did sterling service for most of 2013 without needing a second thought: a great endorsement for handlebars. After nearly a year of riding and a couple of foreign mountain trips, they’re still going strong and the five-year warranty is barely getting started.
Overall: Great, low and wide bars, though for a fearsome price. Get the alloy ones for similar performance for a more wallet-friendly ride unless you absolutely must have carbon and coloured bits.