Tested: 8 months
A bar, stem and seatpost combo is not the easiest thing to review. Especially when they just did their job, never creaked, never came loose, looked rather stylish, and provided me with all the satisfaction I required.
But let’s look at each part individually. Front to back.
FR 2014 Bars – £39.99
A few facts: They’re 710mm wide, which I’ve come to realise is my favourite bar width; I had some wider ones for a while and I was too stretched out. If you prefer yours a little slimmer there are some handy cut guides on the ends. The rise is a relatively low 20mm; But that’s good because front ends are all high these days with those big forks we’ve become accustomed to. There is a 40mm rise version available if you’re that way inclined. The sweep is 9 degrees; That’s a nice sweep. Weight is a healthy 320 grams.
There was this one time I was coming down the descent line at Stainburn and my usual finesse and grace on a bike was overshadowed by a mid trail boulder. I flipped right over and the bar received a helluvawhack™ on a sharp pointy rock. Well, the bar was fine and I continued to use it with complete confidence. There is a mark on it though.
The graphics have changed on the ones you’ll be buying. These are ball burnished black anodised, new ones are black or white in plain high gloss or ‘grunge’ styling. These were called ‘Bulk’ but now it’s part of the FR range. There’s a lighter version of the bar in the AM range (and beyond that FL) which saves weight and width (All Mountain, hardcore XC use).
FL Stem – £59.99
This stem I like a lot. The faceplate is really thin and it has stainless steel bolts. No creaking was experienced even with the wide bars mentioned above. It’s got a quality finish to it, no rough edges (compatible with carbon bars and steerers), it didn’t bring me tea in bed but it did hold my bars without fuss. Lengths range from 70 to 110mm in 10mm increments and a 70mm weighs 113grams (claimed).
AM Seatpost – £59.99
This is made of 2014 alloy with a 5mm layback forged head. Through that there’s a single stainless bolt clamp that will hold the saddle. In all this time it hasn’t slipped once. It’s quite nifty actually and straightforward to put together. At the bottom of the post it’s got that trademark hole that Syncros posts have. There is a mystery that surrounds this hole. I once heard it was so you could put a lock through it. I’m inclined to accept this is the reason, if not, I’d love to know the real reason.
The finish on this one here, again, is the ball burnished but later models are high gloss. On the back there’s some height markings, still visible even after the wear from putting the seat up and down regularly.
Lengths are 350 or 400mm and widths are 27.2, 30.9, 31.6mm. The tested 30.9 @ 400mm weighs 250 grams.
Overall: Really nice bits of kit. You can chop and change between the FL, AM, and FR range to suit your riding style.
Tom de Bruin
There’s a big bar test in Issue 56 of the magazine. Find more Syncros and other brands in there.