No it's not April 1st yet
Flexx Handlebars claim to absorb shock and vibration, allowing you “to ride longer and charge harder with more control”. Anyone thinking “FlexStem”?
Fasst Company Flexx MTB handlebars need to know
- Carbon centre and ends
- Aluminium ‘dog leg’
- Titanium hardware
- 800mm wide
- 31.8mm diameter
- 8° backsweep, 5° upsweep, 25mm rise
- Elastomer flex design (3 x elastomer options)
- Flex/suspension travel = 5° (bar width dictates how much actual ‘travel’)
- Claimed weight: 430g
- SRP $500
The handlebars are made by a US company called Fasst Company. They’ve previously made flex-bars for motocross bikes and indeed these new Flexx MTB bars are sort of scaled-down versions of their existing moto designs.
Unlike their motocross bars that have a twin crossbar design, the Flexx MTB bars do the flexing duties by a hinged area either side of the stem. Inside this hinge is an elastomer that does the suspension/flexing duties. There are three different grades of elastomer you can install into the Flexx MTB bars.
Mountain bikers of a certain age will (like us) instantly emit cries of “Girvin Flexstem!” And with good reason. The similarities are striking. Even down to the different elastomer options.
At least these Flexx MTB bars don’t steepen/alter your bike’s effective head angle during their movement. The movement is in plane with your fork and thus steering axis.
Fair question. In the bike industry stiffness is often touted as the be all and end all of everything. Stiffer = better. There are some folk who claim that things have gone too far. Bikes have become too stiff in certain ways. Certain fatiguing ways. And bikes can become unforgiving of line-choice or indeed lack traction and handling because of super-stiffness.
But no-one wants to remove strength from bikes. Components like the Flexx MTB bars are about re-introducing some flex back into our bike without reducing the strength and safety of components.
This is certainly the theory and generally accepted practice in the motorsport world (where Fasst have come from remember) where vibration absorbtion at the cockpit is prized as well as bikes handling better when a degree of managed flex is designed in.