Easton shocked the internet with the news of a new 35mm standard for their latest 800mm handlebar a few months ago. We've just get a pair in for our crack at Megavalanche in a couple of weeks time, here's a first look.
Just the mention of a new standard in mountain biking is enough to get people frothing at the mouth, but in developing their latest bars Easton said it was a necessary step to deliver the strength and stiffness for their new 800mm handlebars. There are only a couple of ways of making a handlebar stiffer, and increasing the diameter is an obvious one, without a huge increase in weight.
The Havoc handlebar, a stalwart of the company's range for aggressive riders and gravity setups, topped out at 750mm. With the trend for wider bars gathering pace, Easton had to offer something wider, so took the step to 800mm (with the option of trimming them down) and when they took their 31.8mm Havoc and stretched it out, they found it didn't hit their targets for stiffness and strength. This isn't new territory for the company, as they went down the same route in their motocross range three years ago, where they've been widely adopted.
Aside from material differences, both bars are the same, with a nine degree bend and five degree upsweep, the same as the previous Havoc bars. Rise is 20mm. The Havoc 35 Aluminum handlebar is available in four colours: black, silver, orange or green.
Easton clearly had to design a new stem to go with the bar. The Easton 35 stem is, like its smaller clamp diameter sibling, CNC-machined from a lump of EA90 aluminium. Currently there's just a 50mm length stem (weight 190g), a zero-rise item, or a direct-mount stem to fit Fox and RockShox downhill forks.
Check out this video for some idea of how the bars stack up when fatigue tested:
What Easton say:
By this point most performance downhillers understand the virtues of wide handlebars (increased stability, more control and less fatigue). But they often trade strength and stiffness for the increase in width. With the Havoc 35 series handlebars, riders no longer need to compromise. The Havoc 35 Aluminium handlebar is a full 800 millimeters wide and is second only to its carbon counterpart in terms of strength and stiffness. And thanks in part to EA90 aluminum, TaperWall™ butting, and Easton’s legendary cold-working process, the Havoc 35 Aluminum is among the lightest aluminium DH bars on the market. The Havoc 35 Aluminum handlebar is available in four colours: black, silver, orange or green.