by Ben Haworth
March 28, 2012
A pretty sorted cockpit combo.
I’ll get to the point because stem and bar reviews ain’t the most interesting of things. The stem is great as stems go. Crisply made from 7075 aluminium. Light enough (144g). Stiff enough. Okay stack height (39.5mm). Stylishly minimalist. Heat-transferred logos are still looking good. The bolts don’t make hideous clicky noises as you tighten them up. And the un-ribbed, smooth-as finish is pleasing to the eye and to the touch. Just a simple, well made, good looking stem. Available in 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 or 110mm lengths. All sport a +/- 6° rise.
It’s great to see more flat bars coming on to the market that offer a decent bit of width. The Flat Wide Turbine bars aren’t crazy wide but at 700mm I think they’re ideal for a lot of XC riders. Sweep is a generous but not OTT 8°. Weight is 240g. Manufactured from cold drawn, seamless, butted Air Alloy aluminium. Shot peened for increased fatigue life. The bars will be of great interest to 29er riders wishing to run wider bars without having to resort to riser bars that would make their front end undesirably high.
For me, these bars and stem have been a most unexpected ‘cure’ for my neglected Santa Cruz Chameleon. The bike had been struggling with an overly high front end (due to running riser bars on a lengthy head tube and fat-stack headset). But I didn’t want to compromise on bar-width too much – I don’t seem to be able to ride with bars narrower than 700mm anymore! With this Turbine cockpit the Chameleon had a nice wide stance, feel and balance for technical trails combined with an added edge of attack-attack-attack XC. Top fun.
The bike in the photos is a Vitus 29er that came with high-rise but narrow bars. Not my cup of cockpit tea really. Sticking the RaceFace ‘cure’ cockpit on has improved things greatly. Less high-and-wobbly feeling. More betterer.
Overall: A great quality set of bars and stem. The stem is a good choice for almost all riders. The bars will hit the spot for those riders after a lightweight, wide-but-not-mental, flat bar.