Back around Sea Otter time, in april OneUp Components presented an oval carbon handlebar with a dedicated stem designed to preload the headset, so you can insert their EDC multitool (tested here) without having to cut threads into the fork’s steerer tube. They sent us a cockpit for testing on short order, which I mounted on my Canyon Strive 29 which I use for long term tests.
• Width: 800mm
• Diameter: 35mm
• Rise: 20mm or 35mm (available in July)
• Upsweep: 5°
• Backsweep: 8°
• Color: Black
• Decals available in red, green, blue, orange, purple and white
• Weight 220g (rise 20, in test) and 225g ( rise 35)
• Price: $138
• Diameter: 35mm
• Length: 35mm or 50mm
• Rise: 0°
• Color: black
• Anodized cap available in black, red, green, blue, orange, purple and gold
• Weight: 157g (35mm, in test) or 173g (50mm)
• Price: $115 (stem: $85 / EDC tool preload kit: $30)
Everything can be purchased online, directly from the OneUp website. They have a warehouse in Great Britain for European customers, and the goods arrive in a few days in various European countries.
Given that the EDC stem makes sense only when the OneUp multitool is installed in the steerer (from which the stem will have to be removed if installed), the assembly is quite simple, also thanks to the detailed instructions. The idea behind the operation is a conical preload system on which the stem rests, applying tension to the headset.
To adjust tension to the headset, simply tighten or loosen the screw located under the two standard screws that fix the stem to the steerer tube. This allows you to do it without having to loosen anything, so it’s very easy to do even on the trail.
The spacers are interlocking, ie they are held in place by the pressure of the stem when it is fixed on the steerer. The blue cap works by the same principle with an interference fit.
The handlebar has a width of 35mm at the bulge, but it is squashed horizontally, which gives it an oval shape designed to better dampen the vibrations and blows coming from the ground. This is what OneUp claimed, and certainly one of the aspects that interested me most for the test.
On the trail
I’ll start off immediately by saying that the handlebar is aesthetically a big win. I really like both its flattened shape and the visible carbon with black graphics. On the ends there are squared mini-reliefs that serve to give more traction to the grips to prevent them from turning. At the center the graphics help you position everything with precision.
I won’t dwell on the practicality of EDC multitool because I have already talked about that in the dedicated test, but I can add that I put tire plugs and their driver in the extension to be screwed under, so as to never forget them. I have gotten comfortable using it, and it took me very little time to extract them, given their position in the stem. Surely the operation is faster than going to look for them in the backpack, which means that less air comes out of the tires. The multitool material is of good quality, does not rust and the allen screws are precise. It’s worth pointing out that I have been using it for a year and a half now.
So far, in the months I’ve been testing, I’ve only had to tighten the headset once, which is very quick to do given the practicality of the system that allows the operation to be carried out without having to first undo the two screws on the stem. Regarding the comfort of the handlebars I can say that I am not one of those who is particularly delicate at the hands, and I have never really felt the need to return from 35mm back to the 31.8mm (I often use a Race Face Next in carbon), but what OneUp states is true: their handlebars absorb vibrations better and are less tiring in the long run, without sacrificing precision and general stiffness. All in all I felt very comfortable on long rides.
I used ODI Grips AG2 knobs, which are actually not particularly soft and quite direct in their feeling, so I certainly don’t attribute any additional comfort to them.
Being able to mount the EDC Tool without having to thread the fork steerer is a great advantage to avoid losing the warranty, and OneUp solves the problem with one of its brilliant ideas. The stem with head set preload works perfectly and even simplifies everything. Combined with the carbon handlebar it gives life to a cockpit that is aesthetically one of the most beautiful around and that, thanks to its oval shape, dampens vibrations on trail quite well, making it less tiring to the hands. Great attention to detail…