Joystick Bicycle Components 8 Bit Alloy Bar and Binary Stem 2019 Mountain Bike Review

Joystick Bicycle Components 8 Bit Alloy Bar and Binary Stem 2019

Reviews / Handlebars

Joystick Bicycle Components 12,827

At A Glance

Joystick, a brand with some of the finest graphics in the business make a range of components with an eye towards both style and hard-hitting riding. Their range of handlebars includes two carbon and two alloy bars, these ones being the 8 Bit Alloy Bar. Available in 3 different rises, and 800mm width, getting the right size will be pretty straightforward.

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Construction is from their own 8-Bit Alloy blend, which we can only assume is a secret recipe of the finest aluminium. Rated for everything from all mountain to slopestyle, there is nothing these bars can't do and suggest a bomb proof bar for every occasion. The numbers include a 9 degree back sweep which is more than some bars, putting your hands a bit further back, so considering stem length is important to get your hands where you want them.

The stem is the Binary stem, and is available in two lengths and has a standard four bolt face plate which clamps with the now common, zero gap on the bottom two bolts. This makes clamping easier and simpler to get the torque correct. 50mm is maybe now considered long in the enduro world, but it's always worth considering where your hands will end up in relation to the steerer tube of the bike and in this case, the 9 degrees back sweep with the 50mm stem is a good combo

8 Bit Alloy Bar

  • Width- 800mm
  • Rise- 20mm, 28mm (tested) or 38mm
  • Sweep- 6 degree up 9 degree back
  • Clamp- 31.8 or 35mm
  • Weight- 308g
  • Material- 8Bit Alloy Blend

Binary Stem

  • Length- 35/50mm (50mm tested)
  • Stack height- 40mm
  • Clamp- 31.8/35mm
  • Rise- 0mm
  • Weight- 125g
  • Material- 8 Bit Alloy

On the Trail

Installation is easy, with the graphics on the bars allowing for easy positioning and centralising of the bars. The skull fits nicely inside the front of the stem, and the pattern along the bar makes levelling up brakes and shifters really easy. The aesthetic package is strong and is clearly important to Joystick and sets them apart from the crowd.

The bar/stem combo worked well, and the slightly more exaggerated back sweep matched up well to the 50mm stem, getting my hands into a familiar position. Through rough ground, they are certainly more comfortable than 35mm bars as they offer more compliance, but for some riders, this may feel less precise. This will depend on rider size and the demands placed on the bike. If you need 35mm in your life, then that's also an option for the 8 Bit bars.

Personally, I prefer a little less sweep on my bars, but it's hard to fault the comfort that this set up gives, it purely comes down to the rider. There has been nothing to complain about over the test, and there is no doubt this set up could take a real punishment without breaking a sweat.


A stylish and comfortable bar and stem combo, with plenty of options to suit your ride. Those after something stiffer may need to go up to the 35mm options but for long days in the saddle, this combination does an excellent job. If you love the sweep on these, then they are easy to recommend.

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen 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.

Tried this? What did you think?