By Tom Hill
While a swap to a rigid fork is likely to dramatically change your ride, with the best will in the world, even the best bar and seatpost will elicit only far smaller improvements. Ultimately, it’s likely that any component replacement will come down to aesthetics, weight or removing something that is broken.The eXotic handlebar is available in a variety of widths, sweeps and heights, so it is likely that you’ll be able to find your preferred shape. We had the 3mm rise, 9mm backsweep, 750mm wide bar on test. It was a little narrow for my preference, but that is easily corrected by ordering the 770mm version.
Beyond that, it did everything a handlebar should do. I fitted an otherwise identical “cockpit” (I’m sorry) and promptly forgot about the bars. I would be lying if I claimed that I could feel any discernible flex or comfort from the carbon in comparison to aluminium bars, especially when the water is muddied by different tyre pressures and varying trail conditions. Ultimately though, the shape was comfortable and at 157g (and rated for “all mountain” riding), they shaved off a chunk of weight for not a lot of money.
Again, the seatpost comes in all the usual diameters, and a choice of lengths. The Carbon Ti version uses an inline aluminium alloy head, which is bonded to a carbon post. The bolts are titanium, with both carbon and alloy being used to hold the rails in place. The two bolt design is very minimal, but fitting a saddle was a quick and easy job, and it has held up well with no squeaking or creaking yet. I actually fitted the post to my very stiff alloy framed cyclocross bike.
Unlike the bars, I did notice a little more flex from the 27.2mm post and a corresponding subtle increase in comfort. Again, this is quickly negated by changes in riding conditions, but it left me feeling slightly less beaten up. Like the bars, beyond this, the post just quietly worked, which is all you can ask for really. At a claimed weight of 176g for the 350mm version (a longer 400mm post is also available), it is also light (and light enough that it is only rated for xc and road usage).
Overall: A pair of components that will almost certainly shave weight from most set-ups. You will probably struggle to tell any difference beyond the psychological benefit of the black-stuff and there’s the happy byproduct of only a minor dent to your wallet.
|Product:||eXotic Full Carbon Riser Handlebar and eXotic Carbon Ti seatpost|
|From:||Carboncycles - www.carboncycles.cc|
|Price:||£60.49 bars, £30.42 post|
|Tested:||by Tom Hill for|