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.
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’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.
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.