First Ride: Renthal replaces the Fatbar Carbon with… the Fatbar Carbon 2

by Wil Barrett 0

Iconic UK moto and mountain bike brand, Renthal, has got a brand new Fatbar Carbon. And it’s called…err…the Fatbar Carbon V2.

Joining the recently released alloy Fatbar 2, the carbon version also grows wider from the previous version’s 780mm wingspan, up to a more fashionable 800mm width. Despite getting wider though, Renthal claims that the entire layup has been changed, and weight actually stays the same as the old 780mm version.

renthal carbon fatbar scott genius
The Fatbar Carbon 2 is still carbon, but this one’s bigger than the old one.

Renthal Fatbar Carbon 2 Features

  • Carbon downhill racing handlebar
  • Unidirectional carbon fibre construction
  • 800mm wide
  • 7° backsweep, 5° upsweep
  • Rise options: 10mm (tested), 20mm, 30mm, 40mm
  • Available in 31.8mm (tested) and 35mm diameters
  • Actual weight: 217g
  • RRP: £134.95

We recently got in a new Fatbar Carbon to try out, which I strapped onto my Scott Genius 900 Tuned longterm test bike. I went for a 10mm rise option to keep the cockpit low, and elected for a 31.8mm diameter, because I simply prefer it over the 35mm standard.

renthal carbon fatbar scott genius
We bolted our bar onto the Scott Genius 900 Tuned test bike.

The 800mm wide Fatbar Carbon replaced the Genius’ stock Syncros Hixon SL iC bar, which (for a big travel 29er like the Genius), is too narrow at 760mm. Because of the added forward lean the new ape-hangers generate, and since there isn’t a lot of back-sweep, I fitted a shorter Renthal Apex stem to bring the grips back towards me – 31mm short to be exact, compared to the 50mm effective length of the Syncros integrated bar/stem.

Our test bars actually came in under the claimed weight of 225g, which is nice. I had no problems with installation, though I guess if I did I’d probably be forced to hand in my journalist badge. If I had one. *tear*

Gradients printed on the bar help with getting the bars centred in the stem, though because of the Apex’ wrap-around clamps, you’ll need to slide these over the bar in from the side before locating them and bolting them onto the stem body.

renthal carbon fatbar scott genius apex stem
The 31.8mm diameter mates neatly with the 31mm long Apex stem.

Otherwise I’ve got little to complain about with these bars. It’s important to note that like other Renthal bars, they are stiff. And for my dainty upper body mass, they feel virtually flex-free. There is compliance there though, and you will get improved buzz-filtration compared to an alloy handlebar – for long descents, this make a noticeable difference to comfort. In direct comparison with the Syncros bars that came off the bike however, the Fatbars have a noticeably more direct and responsive feel in the hands. I was certainly keeping a tighter grasp on the grips during the first few rock gardens I bounced through.

renthal carbon fatbar scott genius
The Fatbar Carbon is stiff, direct and well proportioned for gravity-based riding.

After I got used to the fit, I’ve appreciated the responsive and solid feel. Turns out these bars are also the current choice of Aaron Gwin, and it seems to be working pretty well for him so far. If you’re less Mr Gwin and more Mr Plod on a trail bike though, there are flexier and swoopier bars on the market that may better suit your needs. For the meatier riders, enduro racers and downhill shredders though, this point-and-shoot ride quality is ideal.

Overall

If you’ve already got a set of Fatbar Carbons, and you’ve been looking for something wider, this is it. The new Fatbar Carbon is a stiff, high quality handlebar that is best suited to longer travel bikes and gravity-fuelled riding, where its tough construction and direct feel will be most appreciated by aggressive riders.

Review Info

Brand:Renthal
Product:Fatbar Carbon 2
From:Renthal, cycling.renthal.com
Price:£134.95
Tested:by Wil Barrett for 2 weeks

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