The latest product from fledgling UK brand Ragley is, uncharacteristically, not a frame. It’s this, the Carnegie’s Bar (named after a bar in Taipei, the napkins of which we like to think the design was sketched out on, but probably wasn’t). It’s a fairly unusual shape, although not quite as unusual as some of the previous handlebars from Shedfire’s Brant Richards, who’s also responsible for this one.
Extreme-sweep bars have been bubbling under for quite some time, with Jeff Jones’s 45° sweep H-bar being at one end of the spectrum (in both sweep and price). The Richards-designed On-One Mary bar is only marginally less swept at 37.5°, but the new Carnegie’s is a relatively mellow 25. That’s still lots more than the typical 9° or so, but it doesn’t represent quite such a radical (and therefore potentially offputting) step.
The bars are 685mm wide, and the forward sweep inboard is there to leave the grips and controls in roughly the same place (but at a different angle) as a conventional bar in the same stem. The theory behind heavily-swept bars is that they put your wrists in a more natural position. According to Richards, “It offers a more comfortable hand position for riders with wrist aches or problems, offers a variety of positions for long distance riding/endurance riding, and is in a width that offers a good ‘elbows out’ position for technical riding.”
We’re big fans of a bit of “elbows out”, and the more modestly extreme sweep of the Carnegie’s should help there – you only have to sit and move your wrists around to see how the more sweep you have, the more your elbows are forced inwards. On paper there’s a 38mm rise, but the bars are designed to be angled down slightly so there’ll effectively be less height difference between stem clamp and grips.
The Carnegie’s Bar is made from 7075-T6 aluminium, triple-butted with a 31.8mm diameter at the centre. Claimed weight is “just under 300g” and the bars pass the stringent new CEN tests, sailing through 200,000 cycles on the scary hydraulic repetitive-bending machine. They’re available now from Ragley dealers.