19/03/2013 | 10 comments
When Easton launched their new 35mm diameter bars last year they caused a fair old bit of debate. Were they a step too far? Or were they simply a logical step forward? As much as I normally hate new standards I reckon that with bar width increasing they could be onto something, especially because at the end of the day there is no denying that you can make bars stronger, lighter and stiffer if you increase the clamp diameter, and isn’t that what most people are always crying out for with bike kit?
Anyway, we were interested to see if the 35mm floodgates would open, but they haven’t. In fact this 35mm bar and stem from DMR is the only other offering of that size to land at Dirt HQ in almost a year.
At a whopping 800mm wide the 35mm Wingbar Mk3 is 20mm wider than the 31.8mm version, and yet at 325g it also weighs about 20g less than the skinnier bar. Despite the weight saving DMR also reckon this bar is stronger and stiffer, and so when you look at it like that it becomes harder to understand why some people are so against this larger bar size. You don’t even have to pay a premium either as both size bars sell for exactly the same price, as do the stems.
As far as the rest of the shape goes you get 8° of backsweep and 5° of upsweep (so nothing funny there), and you get a choice of 20 or 35mm rise. You also get to choose between this ‘Nickel Grey’ finish or good old black. We like the graphics too, nothing too in your face, and cut marks are provided all the way down to 690mm.
The 35mm Defy stem is exactly the same as its 31.8mm brother, apart from of course the bar clamp diameter. Actually colours are a little more restricted too as once again it’s just a choice of either nickel grey or black, but you do get a nice matching stem cap thrown in. The Defy is only available in a 50mm reach and although DMR reckon it has a 5mm rise we reckon that it doesn’t really put your bars any higher than most other peoples flat stems. The reason being that the stack height of this stem is very low at just 31mm.
Arguably the key feature of this stem though is the steerer tube clamping mechanism. Rather than having the usual couple of bolts at the rear which aren’t very knee friendly this stem has an internal wedge system at the front. This method has been well proven on other stems and as long as you haven’t got a really thin steerer tube (which can get deformed by this style of clamp) it works a treat. The bar clamp is also nice and wide to maximise stiffness, and all the clamping surfaces are well finished and rounded off to prevent damage to any bars. Oh, and the whole thing including the stem cap weighs in at 245g.
Overall then we reckon this is a pretty decent bar/stem combo and as far as we know it’s by far the most affordable way into the 35mm system if that’s the way you want to go. So what do you lot reckon to 35mm? A pointless exercise? Or has this setup from DMR got you tempted to splash some cash?