March 5, 2012
Jon's been behind some wide and flat bars...
From: One Industries
Tested: One year
The world of handlebars and control setup in general is a rather personal thing. One person’s ‘wide’ is another’s ‘narrow’, giving enough possibility for falling out with a setup even before getting on to rise, nevermind back and up-sweep. However, if you’re looking for something of a reasonable rather than ridiculous width, not too sweepy and totally lacking in rise then the V-One OS Flat bar could be up your street.
Made from triple-butted and tapered 7075-T6 aluminium, the bar comes out of the box at 762mm wide and around 300g in weight. The bar is a classic flat – there’s no hint of a rise – and you can cut them down to your heart’s content with the four laser etched markers on the ends. Sunline say that the back and upsweep is comparable to their riser bars but I found that I had to rotate them quite far forwards in the stem until I managed to find a place I was happy with.
The bars come in a range of colours including gold, blue, red and this grey. The grip areas are smooth and the rest is bead blasted, which works well if you’re using non-Lock On grips. The finish has put up well with a year of use and they don’t look too tatty at all. It’s a shame the classic Sunline metallic grey is absent from the range though. As you may guess from the ‘OS’ part of the name, they’re only available in a 31.8mm clamp size.
In use they’ve kept my hands and face from hitting the floor without fail, being strong enough for a wide range of riding. It’s the nice thing about them; they’d be equally at home on a wide barred singlespeed build as a keep-the-front-end-low downhill bike. If you’re dabbling in the world of 29ers then the lack of rise is a positive boon; enabling you to keep your bars in a similar feeling place to a 26″ wheel bike.
On my 26″ wheeled 160mm travel Long Term Intense Tracer 2 however, I found the lack of rise adversely affected the handling, my body position and weight distribution feeling very different to usual. Once I’d jacked a load of stem spacers under the stem to put them back where a ‘normal’ riser bar would be, things were perfectly fine. If you’ve chopped your steerer short the that fix isn’t going to be available to you – and if you’re choosing them because you like the look then it’s worth considering what bar your bike was designed with…
Overall: A decently wide and light set of bars for almost everything, though best suited to applications where you need to keep your front end lower than normal.