With 12 options, all optimised to deliver comfort and control at specific widths and rises, the new Race Face ERA and Turbine bars were five years in development.


Following on from the ERA wheel launch, Race Face has two new handlebars focussed on improving control and reducing fatigue. The carbon ERA and alloy Turbine are available in a range of rises and widths and aimed at competing with the best mountain bike handlebars for comfort, such as OneUp’s highly rated products.

In search of a better bar, Race Face reportedly spent five years and 4,000 hours of field testing on the project. So confident is the brand in the end result, that both bars are backed by a lifetime warranty that also covers crashing.

Race Face ERA and Turbine handlebars

The Race Face Turbine alloy handlebars are available in three widths and three rises.

Race Face ERA and Turbine handlebars need to know

  • Two different materials – ERA is carbon, Turbine is alloy
  • Research has revealed a Goldilocks Tune (GL Tune) for vertical compliance, and all bars in the range hit this number
  • Round, rather than oval, cross-section
  • 10, 20, 40mm rise options, alongside 760mm, 780mm, and 800mm widths
  • 35mm clamp diameter and 8º back-sweep/5º up-sweep
  • Claimed weight of 220g for carbon and 315g for alloy (800mm x 40mm rise)
  • Lifetime warranty includes crash replacement
  • Pricing for ERA is £139.95 / $169.99 USD / $215 CAD, Turbine is £79.95 / $89.99 USD/$109 CAD

Starting with the flagship ERA carbon bar, Race Face has settled on a specific shape in pursuit of its chosen vertical compliance and natural frequency numbers. This boils down to three points: A narrow clamp area; rise and taper starts closer to the stem; a more rapid taper from 35mm to 22.2mm through the rise. A 96-piece carbon lay-up has been used to modify the internal profile in support of the external design and achieve the desired flex across all widths and rises. Race Face claims the ERA is not only comfortable, but has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any bar tested in-house.

Race Face ERA and Turbine handlebars

The Race Face ERA carbon handlebar range (or at least some of it).

The Turbine bar follows very similar principles and uses the same design concept and geometry, but the focus has been on achieving accurate and consistent butting to give the required ride feel. Not an easy task. The result is a bar that’s 95g heavier, but $80 cheaper and available in all the same widths and rises as the ERA. Both bars are available in a range of colours, including a Kashmoney to match the new Podium Gold Fox forks. The Turbine bars are anodised, while the ERA bars use colour decals.

Race Face ERA and Turbine handlebars

The Kashmoney colourway makes the perfect compliment to Fox’s latest Podium gold forks.

Why didn’t Race Face use an ovalised bar?

The best known compliant bar out there is the OneUp – we tested the carbon e-bike version and the alloy bar and awarded them top marks – so why didn’t Race Face follow form with an ovalised bar? Aside from OneUp’s patent pending shape (we’re not sure of the patent specifics, or whether it has been granted), Race Face makes the point that an ovalised bar is only optimised to work in a particular direction, so roll the bar fore or aft, or receive an impact in a slightly different plane to the inclination of the bar and it will not perform as designed. Tests conducted by Race Face showed that rolling the bar +/-20º had a 20% change in vertical stiffness (Race Face reckons the average rider can discern a 15% difference). Instead, by sticking with a round profile, Race Face claims that its bars can be rolled the same amount with only 6% change in stiffness.

Race Face ERA and Turbine handlebars

The Race Face ERA carbon bar is tuned for a specific vertical compliance no matter what the rise or width.

That’s not to say that a OneUp bar, rolled in the plane in which it was designed, won’t be more compliant from the majority of impacts, however. Indeed, from riding the ERA we believe it is not as compliant as the OneUp, but the Race Face bar will have a broader window of adjustment where it works as intended.