Share

Hardware

New – Renthal 35mm clamp bar and stem

More clamp options and wider bars from Stockport's finest

 

We have much love and respect for the Renthal brand here at Dirt and are always keen to see new developments from them. WE TAKE A LOOK AT theIR new 35mm clamp bar and stem.

The 2016 Dirt 100 features both the Integra direct mount stem and the Carbon Fatbar both products that not only appear on our own personal bikes but as original equipment now on many brands such as YT, Canyon and Orange. The tight range of products that Renthal focus on producing means that nothing is overlooked or rushed to market. Bars, stems, grips and chainrings are all up there with the best on the market and their prices are realistic considering the pedigree and quality that comes with the Renthal brand.

Renthal 35mm 4

Over the past few years the 35mm clamp diameter has seen a significant increase in both aftermarket sales (as an upgrade) and also as OEM (original equipment) on production bikes. When scanning the spec sheets of many of our Dirt 100 bikes we can see this becoming a growing trend. It’s not like you’re at a real disadvantage with a 31.8 bar/stem combination but if one brand is at it then many will feel the need to offer this choice.

Renthal 35mm 7

Renthal’s philosophy is always to offer as much choice as possible, and if you check their handlebar selection you will see four rise options along with two widths (The Fatbar and Fatbar Lite) in both carbon and aluminium. So with choice being high on the list offering a 35mm clamp (as an option – not just the only size) was a natural step for Renthal.

Renthal 35mm 6
Blink and you’ll miss it. Thin up top, fat below. And four rise options – plenty of choice with Renthal.

But why has it taken them so long? Other brands have been using this size for some time…

Like us here at Dirt, maybe Renthal felt the wider 35mm clamp was not needed. We’ve found them not only visually a bit much (on some bikes) but also a touch too stiff and unforgiving especially on some lower priced aluminium bars. The standard 31.8mm clamp on a stout stem (in a 50mm or less length) with a 780-800mm bar feels spot on – you can read our picks in the 2016 Dirt 100 – and yes, Renthal as mentioned is in that list. We are in no rush to switch out a 31.8 clamp for a 35 in most cases.

And this was the story with Renthal – and the reason we are only now seeing this new ‘standard’ in their product range. They too felt that had a great riding bar, with the right blend of compliance, strength and stiffness and if they went for a larger clamp would need to re-engineer their bars to keep this feel. There’s not many (if any) riders that would question Renthal’s approach to product development, and (along with fellow Brits Hope) will only launch a new product when they are truly happy with the result.

Aluminium or carbon options in both the Fatbar and Fatbar Lite.

HANDLEBARS

With all Renthal’s new 35mm handlebar line, they saw the ride quality and flex characteristics as the most important design consideration. Renthal’s aim was to match their flex characteristics of this wider 35mm clamp size to be comparable to their current 31.8mm equivalent.

They have achieved the same ride quality with no loss of strength or durability and at a very similar weight to the 31.8mm equivalent. The only exception to this is the aluminium Fatbar 35 – by improving the efficiency of the use of material in this handlebar, Renthal have reduced the weight significantly, whilst maintaining the same level the strength, durability as the 31.8mm diameter equivalent.

Short and sweet… 33mm length with a 35mm bar clamp.

Renthal have taken the opportunity to address the width of their bars too. Widths have increased on all handlebars by 20mm, taking the Fatbar 35 and Fatbar Carbon 35 to 800mm and the Fatbar Lite 35 and Fatbar Lite Carbon 35 to 760mm. A good move as we always felt their Fatbar Lite was a shade narrow at 740mm and ran a standard Fatbar trimmed down a touch on our trail bikes. A width of 800mm now seems the default starting point for a DH bar (although we have a 820mm Bontrager bar in the Dirt office) and this extra 20mm on the Fatbar will be a welcome move for most gravity biased riders.

Renthal 35mm 2
The Fatbar has now grown to 800mm in width.

With a regular five degree upsweep and a shallow seven degree backsweep the Fatbars can feel a little different in shape to some bar designs, but as with all things Renthal this is not there without consideration. A recent visit form Renthal’s Ian Collins had us chatting about cockpit set up with regards to the rotation of the bar. It’s easy just to talk stem lengths (and bar heights from the ground – just get Dirt’s bike tester Ieuan Wiiliams on the subject…) but with Renthal producing grips as well as bars and stem, they look at the whole steering system as a package. How your bars sit in relation to your bike sizing and fit has a play not only on control but on ride quality too. It’s all in the detail and has has got us looking at fine tuning a bike’s fit yet further.

A Dirt 100 pick - now with two bar clamp options.

INTEGRA AND APEX STEM

The challenge for Renthal with the Apex and Integra stems, was to keep the strength, stiffness and durability of the larger 35mm diameter package at the same weight as the 31.8mm equivalent. Developing each stem from the ground up, but sharing the same 240 degree clamping system of the 31.8mm stems, the strength, stiffness and durability were all matched to the 31.8mm equivalent.

Renthal 35mm 8

An average of just 1.5g increase in weight for the Integra 35 and an average of 7g increase for the Apex 35 – hardly worth worrying about! All the right lengths are available with the usual high finish and quality workmanship still present.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 14.53.27

HOW DO THEY RIDE?

We’ve yet to get many miles in on these early samples but first impressions are good – we didn’t notice any difference in ride quality – only in width. The cockpits we run on our test bikes are usually quality stuff and up to snuff when it comes to stiffness and control whether on a DH or a trail bike. We need to switch back to a standard Renthal 31.8 bar/stem combo and do a back-to-back comparison. Stay tuned for a proper report in a few months time.

Renthal 35mm 11
A bar and stem set-up that oozes moto cool.

PRICES:

Fatbar Carbon 35: £134.95
Fatbar 35: £69.95
Fatbar Lite Carbon: 35 £129.95
Fatbar Lite 35: £69.95
Integra 35 Stem: £99.95
Apex 35 Stem: £89.95

cycling.renthal.com

Renthal 35mm 13

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production