Now it wouldn't be a cockpit test without some Burgtec in the mix for good measure. The bars of choice for none other than Ratboy himself (and the Santa Cruz Syndicate), his endorsement speaks volumes but you'd need more than a set of bars to get close to his skills. Big, burly and British, Burgtec 'aren't in it for the money' rather, they're here to make the best possible components, apparently.Buy Handlebars on
Here we have a set of Ride Wide Enduro bars and an MK2 stem. The bars are a full 800mm and come in 15 or 30mm rise, although there is now a Josh Bryceland option of 38mm rise if you want to get really high. With 5 degrees up and 9 back, they are a classic fit and despite their length come in at 300g.
The Stem is a real Burgtec classic and identified easily from a glance across a car park. Chunky, purposeful and precise, everything you want from a critical part of a bicycle. Despite the looks, it's only 135g of fully CNC'd aluminium and is an ideal match to the bar with a classic 4 bolt faceplate.
Installation is easy, and the central markings on the bar make centralising them super easy with the stem. It's great to see a simple bar/stem integration with simply a few accurately printed lines on the bars. There are cut down markers on the ends if 800mm is too much but other than that the look is clean and simple.
With plenty of back sweep on a big bar, getting the stem length right is important not just for size but also feel. The 42.5mm length stem matched nicely to the bars sweep and put my hands in a good position. The back sweep is definitely comfortable, but I tend to prefer bars with less sweep so it\'s worth knowing your preference before committing to a new bar.
With a 35mm clamp, the bars are stiff and as such give a direct feel. This kind of stiffness is ideal on a big burly bike with plenty of travel, but those on shorter travel bikes or hardtails may appreciate the thinner 31.8mm bars which are also available. Strapped onto a long travel ebike, these definitely felt like the ideal bar and stem combo for such duties and hold a line through rough terrain was markedly easier with the Burgtec set up. If you're planning on some wild riding, then this kind of stiff setup can pay dividends.
It's hard to imagine needing a stronger or stiffer bar, but if you need more the DH handlebar adds 50g or the carbon option shaves off 50g. For me, these represent a seriously bombproof set of bars but if I'm going to be picky the only thing I would change would be to reduce the back sweep by a degree.
The industrial-looking stem has got lighter over the years and despite its looks weighs in at only 135g. It does exactly what you need it to, and matches perfectly with the bars to give a cockpit that is ready for anything.
Big, burly bars and stem for those who need absolute confidence and precision. The classic back sweep will appeal to many riders and is very comfortable, with options to keep most happy. This package easily adds some style, performance and engineering class to any bike.Buy Handlebars on
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.