The Hope Carbon Handlebars 35mm 224g weight is respectively light and the bar lives up to claims of good damping and comfort. We loved the ride quality.
Hope already has a 31.9mm carbon bar, but this is the new Hope Carbon Handlebars 35mm bore version with a full 800mm width. It’s enduro-rated (and even claims DH strength) with indexed surface marking to cut down to 760mm if needed and also help position controls accurately.
The UK firm is highly unusual in making carbon components from scratch in-house, with this bar even using a special manufacturing process and entirely new laminate construction. One of the main objectives was to produce a handlebar that’s more compliant and comfortable than some overly stiff, body-rattling oversized bars. The brand claims it surpasses the compliance of its narrower bar and reduces vibration and feedback without compromising any on strength.
On a Hope visit, the brand showed me how it’s made entirely by hand from start to finish. Various layers of pre-preg are laid up around a mould and the carbon experts (who’ve previously worked on Team GB race bikes) have developed a new rubberised sheath to wrap the carbon sheets from the outside for a smoother finish and better compaction on the fibre after it’s cooked and cured.
The resulting finish with exposed carbon weave is stunningly smooth. But the ‘carbon’ look and a more bulbous shape (to get the performance Hope wanted) is something you’ll either love or loathe according to the reactions I’ve had to it.
It feels solid and sturdy steering, but also calm and dull on chatter and repeated hits and considerably less stiff and vibrating than the brand’s skinner bar. If you like the looks, the Hope Carbon Handlebars 35mm are clearly a high-quality product, but there’s no escaping the £160 price puts it up there with the most expensive carbon bars on the market.