November 18, 2013
Unashamedly luxurious bars for your hand(le)s
I’m going to start this review by stating the obvious: £240 is a ludicrous amount of money to spend on a handlebar when there are plenty of aluminium bars that do a similarly good job for half the cost.
Still, though – a titanium handlebar made by the primo engineers at Thomson? Who in their right mind is going to turn that down when it lands on their desk? Thomson itself says this is “the very best bar you can buy for a rigid MTB”, so it was duly bolted to the front of my rigid mountain bike and there it has stayed, holding grips, brakes and dropper remote, being totally and utterly unremarkable.
Which is exactly what you want a handlebar to be, really. No disconcerting flex or creaking. Because it’s Ti there’s no paint or powdercoat to scuff up or scratch, and no hidden corrosion to worry about either (if you do worry about such things, and I do, usually at the worst point in a descent).
I assume that one of the selling points of a Ti bar is the purported ability of titanium to absorb vibration. In this case (and I suspect in the case of most other rigid-forked mountain bikes out there, too) I’m afraid the 2.4in front tyre probably dealt with any of that before it got anywhere near the bar, so I’m going to refrain from any assessment of it.
What I will say is that the shape is lovely and normal, with 6° sweep. A 12° sweep version is also available if you like your bars slightly weirder, and there’s a wider, riser version if you like them even more expensive.
These are 730mm, not the widest of the wide and so they might not please those in the 95th percentile of the ape index. It’s just about perfect for trail riding anywhere there are trees, though – and I’m not sure I’d be willing to take a hacksaw to a wider version when every centimetre costs £3.29…
Also, because it’s Ti, it looks absolutely bloody lovely. Which is probably the best reason I can think of to spend this much on this bar over any of the other very good and cheaper handlebars out there.
Overall: Unashamedly luxurious bars for your hand(le)s. Try not to ride into the back of any parked cars while you’re admiring them, eh?