The 35mm standard bar has been around for a while now. First put forward in large production runs by Easton, slowly other companies have come on board and started producing their own versions of the bar standard. DMR Bikes from the UK has produced a bar and stem combination that fits these standards, which they sent to us to try for the last few months. We have previously looked at the stem, now we focus on the bar.
Material: 7075 alloy
Rise options: 20mm/35mm
Upsweep: 5 degree
backsweep: 8 degree
Color: Black and Nickel
On The Trail
The 35mm standard has not been around for long, the DMR Wingbar despite being wider and of greater diameter is actually 20gramms lighter than the 31.8mm version. This we thought was unusual as it is claimed to be stiffer, was it possible? We have been testing the bar on our Cannondale Enduro Test bike in the Punta Ala Trail Area for the last few months on a variety of trails. When looking at stiffness we can say that yes the bar is stiffer, and gives us significant purchase on the front of our test bike. At the same time due to the stiffness of the bar we started to notice other elements on the front of the bike that became more important in how they were set up, for example suspension pressure and tyre pressure changes were more noticeable.
We have been trying to figure out why this has been happening, in our minds we think that the bar stiffness means energy is being transferred through the bike more to our hands. In theory this should lead to more vibrations in the cock pit, but we have not really felt that. We think that DMR have managed to find a good formula between bar flexibility, weight and the greater stiffness.
Where we really noticed the 35mm diameter and improved stiffness was in technical descents where the trail forced us to make many last moment adjustments. With the extra stiffness we were able to discern where the wheel actually was better on the trail and ride accordingly. Long sweeping corners felt better as we felt we could push harder on the bar and use the corner banking more to launch out of the corner. The wide 800 mm suited our body size and can be cut easily to size preference.
When it came to fatigue we can’t say we noticed a huge increase in arm or hand fatigue, which surprised us. We think that our grip choice, with the soft Renthal grips, may have helped mitigate this in some way. Although even with the Lizard Skin Peaty grips we found that there was no great vibration in the bar.
35mm bars are definitely here to stay, with Santa Cruz specifying the standard on their DH carbon build kits from the outset and a slow trickle of them to market the advantages of stiffness with no weight gain are clear. Increased stiffness though does bring out the need for a finer tuned suspension set-up and correct spoke tension in the wheels. There is definitely a feeling of being more connected to the bike and trail, in the end though this is one of those elements on a bike that is personal. Swap to a carbon bar and some riders love that feeling and how ride is less jarring. We have tried a variety of bars recently and each one has felt slightly different, every company has a different idea to what a bar should feel like.
This brings us back to DMR’s take on the 35mm standard. Certainly the Wingbar with the Defy stem is a really nice quality combination to have up front. Whether it is ideal for all is depending on how you like your ride to feel. Over time we have always moved in the direction that stiffer equals more control and feedback to the rider. There is a point though where too stiff becomes more unmanageably difficult or skittish. The fact that with a wider clamp diameter it is possible to have a lighter bar is great. In theory then the question arises can 31.8mm flexibility can be made in a lighter weight package. In the end the 35mm Wingbar from DMR just ups the choice available in the market and if you are a rider that likes a stiff feeling control system that is made well, looks good, and doesn’t cost the earth, then the Wingbar is definitely a choice to consider for your ride.