The Tharsis range has been around for a few years now. It was named after the highest mountain range on Mars, why I have absolutely no idea, but there you go. The range consists of stems, seatposts and this alloy handlebar, which comes in at 740mm wide with a 20mm rise and weighs 275g on the scales.
It’s constructed from 7050 aluminium and the weight, 275g, is respectable for an alloy bar. You can go lighter if you go carbon, but the extra cost is significant and unless you’re really worried about weight (and you shouldn’t be unless you’re cross-country racing) it is just fine.
With that in mind, the Tharsis Alloy handlebar is spot on for most trail riders. Handlebars are getting wider, they have been for many years, but many trail riders have settled on 740-750mm width bars as a good choice. It’s a width that works well on most UK trails and combines well with a 50mm stem for enhanced handling and control.
There are cut marks if you want to take it down to 660mm through 680, 700 and 720mm if you want to trim it to taste, though we’re not sure you really want to go narrower. With the trend for wider bars continuing, it would be nice to see PRO offer the Tharsis alloy bar in a 750-760mm width, with the option to cut down from there, giving trail riders a better choice. As it is currently, if you want a wider PRO bar you step up to the Athertons signature series DH bar, which is 800mm with cut marks down to 720mm. But it’s portly at 330g for the full fat width, and possibly overkill for most trail bikes.
Handlebar width debate to one side for a moment, the bar feels really good with a 8 degree backsweep and 4 degree upsweep. The 20mm rise worked well on my bike, and should be fine for most 29ers as well, unless you need to go lower in which case one of the modern flat bars like the Ritchey WCS Trail 2X might be a better choice (see our review here).
Setting the handlebar up in the stem is made easier with vertical and horizontal lines in the centre section, so you can make sure the bar is lined up perfectly.
The bar is plenty stiff enough as well, and feels really good in the hands. Certainly I was hard-pressed to detect any flex even when leaning aggressively on the ends. It’s a tough and durable handlebar and won’t mind a crash or three. They have a really nice feel to them and replaced a narrow 725mm handlebar on my current test bike and made the world of difference.
A stiff and light handlebar but might be too narrow for many.
More information: PRO Tharsis handlebar
Price: £59.99 (you can get it cheaper if you shop around)
What PRO says:
This is the Pro Tharsis Alloy 31.8mm Riser Handlebar. The Tharsis wide alloy trail handlebar is made from 7050 alloy. The design of these items ensures optimum rigidity.