Good and cheap hardly ever go hand in hand, by this full carbon bar from eXotic manages to nicely toss that rule aside - whilst not super cheap compared to other carbon bars, it offers low weight, and a variety of versions with differing backsweep, upsweep and rise for not much more money than higher end alloy bars.
With a super shine gloss on the carbon bars, set off with some orange logo graphics, they look pretty smart right away. There are handy angle markers that are actually wide enough to use - sometimes these get hidden by stems. I generally put the bars on and adjust until they feel about right, then dial them in over the first few rides. The finish has lasted well, with various light brackets not leaving many marks, and the only thing that dulled the finish was some bar bike packing bags that scuffed them a small amount.
Compared to my usual carbon bars, they felt very similar, with a good feel, with the slight vibration reduction when compared to alloy bars, they’ve been used on uplift days through to a two-day bike pack adventure. They didn’t do anything magical and that's great for a piece of kit that is very essential to a bike - no fuss. I found the shape to be good, with a 25mm rise and 8 degrees back and 5 degrees upsweep.
Aimed at XC and all mountain, eXotic suggest they aren’t suitable for all-out enduro/downhill riding, or if you are perhaps more heavy-handed in your riding style - a sensible approach would be the best really, but they are graded for all-mountain and that should be ok for almost all trail use.
The obvious plus points of the wide bar, are the stability and less effort or rather less movement needed to manoeuvre the bike, and the 800mm (up to 840mm available) width is about the maximum I’d go before tree and on-trail clearance becomes an issue at times. There is plenty of room for any light brackets, GPS and attachments that get put on bikes, this also allows positioning of controls almost anywhere. If the bars are cut down, they’d still be lots of space.
The bars have happily done their job and remained looking tidy across three bikes, with very little scuffing from lock-on grips, controls and stems. There isn’t much else to mention, apart from the competitive price and lower weight. All in, a good upgrade to lose some weight without compromising on anything else.
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