Ritchey has just released the widest drop handlebar you can currently buy. It's a larger version of their VentureMax bar and it's simply called the VentureMax XL. Measuring in at 52cm across the top, it's an absolute whopper.
We have (well, road.cc has) tested the WCS VentureMax in its standard form previously, saying it was a good adventure-ready flared bar with a comfy drop position. Tested by our very own office man mountain, Dave, that bar is available at up to 46cm (44cm tested), with a 585mm overall width. The new VentureMax XL measures 520mm at the bend and has an overall width of 647mm.
As you can see from the image above there is a 75mm reach and a 120mm drop with a 6° flare at the drops. The bars also have an interesting design of the drops which Richey call a 'Bio Bend'. Dave says "the dropped part is kinked up before dropping back at the end, giving you a sort of platform for your hand when you're on the drops. It's a pretty good shape it's a comfortable position for long stints". Other features include a flattened top section of the bar with a 4.6° backsweep to provide a comfortable area for resting the hands.
So, is a wide bar for you? Ritchey says that the wider bar will offer more off-road control and it'll be more stable too when it's fully loaded. Plus there is more room for mounting all kinds of adventure type accessories such as food pouches, lights and handlebar bags.
Of course, just like mountain bike flat bars, it's not recommended to just opt for the widest thing possible for bar 'real estate' or fashion. You'll need to take into account your body size and riding style too!
The alloy bar weighs in at 325g and costs €104.95, although Ritchey says they are out of stock at this time. We have seen them elsewhere on the 'net for £95.
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