Weight: 188g / 660mm wide / 5deg rearward and 4deg upward sweep / Rise: 1.5in / Clamp size: 31.8mm
We used this to replace the flat handlebars on a couple of the marathon bikes tested in this issue, notably the Cannondale Scalpel, which came with a 22in wide, flat Control Tech bar and shim that together weighed 163g. The Next is only 25g heavier but is 2in wider so offers greater control and, if you’ve read the test, it’s a better way of tuning your position than increasing stem length. It uses the same Next Carbon Technology that created the Next LP crank, which we’re assuming is a pretty standard construction technique, unless of course Race Face wants to ditch the secrecy and tell us how it’s actually made.
We rolled the Next a little further back to get some extra backsweep, but the 5-degree rearward and 4-degree upward bend is pretty good. The bar also has the right amount of rise for an XC race bike. Not as light as an Easton Monkey Lite XC but cheaper and backed up by a lifetime warranty.
MBR RATING: 9/10