Rock solid Renthal.
The Renthal FatBar 35 handlebar was introduced last year and compared to the original 31.8mm Fatbar range, the width has increased by 20mm to 800mm, and the new alloy version tested here is also 50g lighter.
This weight saving comes without any apparent loss of strength or stiffness, and the company has specifically tuned the flex characteristics to match the older 31.8mm bars, so it isn’t overly harsh on the hands either.
Using a durable shot-peened finish, the 7000-series aluminium 35mm version retains Renthal’s classic (7-degree back and 5-degree upsweep) shape. I’ve always found this puts wrists in just about the perfect position for attacking riding, and it feels neutral across a broad range of roll angles.
Stiffness and ride feel is pretty rock solid; meaning very responsive steering and immediate direction changes leant over. Some trail riders, including others here at the magazine, found the feel a bit unyielding, but it’s reassuring in the roughest sections, without ever being twangy or transmitting overly harsh vibrational feedback.
I used the FatBar 35 as a control to help highlight any flex or softness in a recent MBR stem grouptest and ended up liking the precise control and shape so much that it’s stayed put on my own bike.
Renthal also offers a 35mm carbon Fatbar that’s 80g lighter but I find it less comfortable, so for a good value £70 price, this alloy version is the one for me.