This bar and stem combination has been my go-to set up for the past nine months. Just as a good chef has his favourite cooking knives, so these are my must-use bars and stem. So what’s involved in this steering duo?
The SIXC bar (with a silent C) is 785mm wide (it’s reinforced down to 710mm, so you can cut it down if desired), with 9//DEG// of back sweep and 4//DEG// of up sweep. Built as part of Race Face’s Optimized Carbon Technology programme, it is nicely balanced between weight (220g) and strength. The SIXC is available with a range of logo colours, including subtle silver and white, red and white, and green and white, so you can colour-match your bars to your frame. The Atlas stem is CNC-machined from 6061-T6 aluminium and comes in two lengths (50mm or 65mm), three colour choices and weighs 150g (50mm).
Both components are designed with an all mountain/downhill focus but are as at home on a trail bike as they are on a 150mm-travel bike. The SIXC bars create a stiff, responsive front end but have enough flex to soak up trail buzz and stop arm pump. There is reinforcing on the lever clamping zone and the area that a lock-on grip will clamp. After several bike swaps and a number of offs, the bars still look great – there are a few scuffs, but nothing you wouldn’t expect.
The Atlas stem is quite block-like in its appearance, which I think is reassuring when barrelling through lumps and bumps at speed. What tones that industrial look down a little are the laser-etched contour graphics. A wide front plate secured by four bolts has a near-invisible join, giving the look of a one-piece set-up.
Overall: A stem and bar combination aimed at riders who are looking for a set-up that can withstand the rigours of riding hard, but who don’t want to compromise on the weight. A match made in Canada.
|Product:||SIXC handlebar and Atlas stem|
|Price:||Handlebar £129.00, stem £79.00|
|Tested:||by Richard for Nine months.|