E*Thirteen's Race Carbon bar boasts a generous 800mm width and chunky 35mm diameter. But is it any good?
E*Thirteen has expanded its product range to offer a variety of handlebars, including this top-tier Race Carbon version. It gets a 35mm clamp diameter and with a generous 800mm width as well as being available in two rises – 20mm or 35mm.
Bar geometry is slightly more swept than rivals like Race Face and Renthal, with a 9° backsweep and 5° upsweep. I’m not usually a fan of too much backsweep, but found the shape very comfortable and it was easy to tilt the bar angle to achieve a perfect set-up.
Although I weigh 82kg and ride quite aggressively, I still find many 35mm bars simply too stiff and unyielding; something that can lead to sore hands and forearms on long descents. E*Thirteen says it’s spent ages experimenting with various lay-ups and bend angles to achieve the ride feel it wanted and balance comfort against strength.
Pushing down on the bars hard in the obligatory car park test, the Race Carbon’s feel stiffer than some that clearly bend – like a Syntace or One Up’s new bar. On the trails, however, I’d say E*Thirteen has succeeded in delivering an excellent ride feel by being solid and positive, but also very dull with calmly controlled vibration and chatter. This ensures arms stay fresh and your bike never feels too harsh or jarring.
Geometry is also very comfortable; within five minutes I forget about the shape and focussed on riding, which is exactly what I want when I fit a new product to my bike.
Being under 220g it’s super-light for a full-width 35mm clamp bar as well, plus it doesn’t hurt that the graphics and design look really cool. E*Thirteen has done a great job nailing the fundamentals with the Race Carbon bar.