Dirt contributor and Bike Magic editor James McKnight got to swan off to the SRAM Trail House in Sedona, Arizona, the other month and we’ve already heard about the new Roam and Rail wheels and Pike forks which he got to see whilst out there, but now it’s time for the final new products to be revealed. Over to McKnight…
The final secret spilled at the time was that of the launch of an entire range of signature ‘Blackbox’ handlebars aimed at providing a complete and rounded line with an offering for every rider, from ‘full-bore downhiller’ to ‘singletrack hunter’.
If you’re going to pick a company to put together a collection of pro rider designed products then you couldn’t really go wrong with SRAM. They have, we think it’s fair to say, a reasonably all-encompassing range of talent at their disposition after all. SRAM, or rather their sub-brand Truvativ, went about cherry-picking the riders for the job and came up with a who’s who of mountain bike wizardry: Danny Hart assigned to downhill bar duty; Jerome Clementz given the task of balancing a bar for his enduro and all-round trail riding needs; Stevie Smith to give the DH bar line-up balance; and with other selected pro riders’ signature bars to come later in the year.
There are three different signature bars launched today, which are as follows (all quotes from SRAM):
Danny Hart signature Truvativ bars (AM/FR/DH)
“He’s fast. He’s loose. He turns the impossible into the ride of a lifetime.”
No part of this statement from Truvativ can be denied, Danny’s Champery World Championship winning run will forever stand as testament. With Danny’s input, Truvativ have designed a bar that “delivers the 25mm rise that he needs” – no spacers under the direct mount stem called for as he previously used to boost bar height. With 9º backsweep and 5º upsweep they are reasonably laid-back (Race Face Atlas for example have 8º) but not wildly swept in either direction. They’re 7050 Al alloy and 780mm wide, plenty strong enough and with space to chop them down should you wish.
Jerome Clementz signature Truvativ bars (Trail/AM)
“He’s an all-mountain all-the-time legend whose name is synonymous with mountain bike enduro.”
Clementz is the main man of the enduro racing movement and his apparent domination of the format (will he win the EWS this weekend?) along with his clear love of the sport and riding in destinations worldwide have combined in the making of this bar. Carbon fibre, 750mm width and 20mm rise are sensible dimensions and material for the bars’ intended usage. I rode these on my bike at the Trail House and they felt good with 7º backsweep and 5º upsweep, making for a slightly more aggressive ride than Hart’s offering.
Stevie Smith signature Truvativ bars (AM/FR/DH)
“Stevie lives in a place where the trees can swallow you whole. His style requires a heads-up approach.”
Steve Smith’s bars take the aggressive angles of Clementz’s with identical angles of 7º backsweep and 5º upsweep, bringing him forward on the bike compared to Hart’s relaxed offering but in the same 7050 Al alloy. 30mm rise also helps to keep “his hands forward, his head up, and his eyes focused.”
Price: £64.99 (available in black or silver options)
So which bars would you choose?
Oh, and finally here’s a little video to give you an idea of just how tough this trip was for Mr McKnight…