The burley Deity Speedway Carbon Handlebar offers precision and width for a light weight and a great price
Designed for DH and enduro, Deity’s Speedway is the brand’s burliest 35mm carbon bar. It comes in a massive 810mm width, laid up with unidirectional carbon using in-house only moulds. The brand even makes the bold claim that ‘it’s the strongest DH bar on the market’, although I couldn’t find any supporting data on its website.
It’s one of two Deity carbon bars offered, including a lighter, 10mm narrower Deity Skywire model that I’ve been using for years on one of my bikes. The Speedway is still really light at just under 250g for a full width DH-ready carbon bar, and pricing is in the ballpark too, albeit a tenner more than popular rivals like the RaceFace SixC.
Deity includes a textured, non-slip, stem clamp area, and also similarly textured end segments to help prevent grips spinning. Cut marks help to saw the bar down (and at 810mm, many will want to), but you’ll need to be careful using a standard hacksaw as carbon can easily splinter; I’d recommend a finer-toothed 32 TPI blade.
The Speedway’s 9º backsweep is one degree more than my usual preference, but rolling the bar made it easy to find a perfect hand position, something that is not the case with all bars if they have quirky geometry and curves.
Using a stiff, wide-clamping, 35mm stem, the first thing I noticed is that this bar is seriously solid. Steering feels very direct and precise, but without too much vibration and sharpness feeding back into hands from small bumps and choppy surfaces flecked with stones or small roots.
Where I did really notice the stiffness, however, is bombing down rough tracks with repeated drops, compressions and broken up berm entrances. The Speedway is too solid for me in this regard and really feeds back a lot of trail information. There’s an extra firmness into the hands; especially the palm, and webbing between thumb and index finger, that I found a bit jarring, tiring and uncomfortable on long runs.
Deity has nailed the vibration damping with a dull feel that’s never twangy, but overall stiffness and lack of a little give means it can get a bit uncomfortable. Unless you’re a really heavy, 100kg rider, or just love a very stiff set up, the brand’s 35mm Skywire bar will probably strike a better balance; it does for me.
- Best mountain bike upgrades (that don’t cost the earth)
- How to stop arm pump: what it is, what causes it, and how to avoid it
- Best mountain bike grips
This Speedway model lived up to Deity’s toughness claims, but it feels a bit too muscular and unyielding and is also more cash than some rivals with similar dimensions and ambitions.