When you've already got the strongest bar on the market, how do you improve it? It all starts with an idea and a prototype.
Easton's engineers have a wide variety of experience to draw on, and for this project they borrowed inspiration from their work in motocross.
Not content with what they had (which was already claimed to be the best) Easton decided it was once again time to go bigger. Introducing the Havoc 35 handlebar, which has a whopping 35mm diameter at the clamp.
The Havoc 35 Carbon won't immediately replace the Havoc 31.8 bar. They are an addition to line for riders who want something bigger and better.
Despite the diameter increase, geometry remains the same - they have a 9 degree bend, 5 degree upsweep, and 20mm rise. As time goes on Easton may offer addition rise options.
Yeah, you can trim these bad boys but they're designed to be run at 750mm wide and up. Any shorter and your controls might not have enough room due to the long and gradual bend in the bars.
Race fans will remember seeing the Havoc 35's on the front of Team Lapierre's bikes during the Fort William and Leogang World Cups last year. Based on their feedback, Easton actually toned the overall stiffness down slightly from the earliest versions.
Easton's Taperwall Technology makes it all possible. Bar flex is uncontrolled rebound, meaning they come back at the same rate you flex them. If you've spent hundreds on a fork with good damping, it makes sense to allow the fork to control rebound, which is why a stiffer bar makes sense. Comfort is handled by how they taper the wall to control vibrations through the bar.
As forks and frames continue to increase in size where it counts, the Havoc 35 fits right in. We've come a long way since the days of 25.4mm bars.
The EC90 carbon material is incredibly strong. Aggy put his old Easton Havoc's through hell and they kept on ticking. As a side note, all carbon bars should be inspected when chipped like this (yes, even yours Aggy).
The new direct mount stem is adjustable between 45 and 50mm. Easton found that the large majority of riders never used the 55mm setting on the previous model, so they scrapped it in favor of weigh and simplicity. It's also -5mm rise.
New and old... The stiffness gained with a wider stem hasn't been quantified yet, but at 50mm wider overall it's logical to assume that it adds even more to the combo.
The new all-mountain stem is also wider than the previous model.
The all-mountain stem measure 50mm long, has 0 deg rise, and comes in the same black or orange anodized options as the direct mount.
See the circles on top of the stem? Those are a visual cue for Easton's Top Lock system. By tightening the top bolts first so the circles are complete, it makes the stem stronger, stiffer, and easier to install.
Here's how Top Lock works.
You've seen the numbers. Ready to see the proof? It's test lab time.
Not only are these bars wider, but they're also 15% stronger as proven by this brutal drop test. So strong, in fact, that your arms would break well before the bars would.
Havoc 35 stacks up 10% stronger during the fatigue test than the previous 31.8 version.
Back in the real world test lab, Aggy has been putting the new bars through their paces along with Sam Blenkinsop, Cam Cole, and Nico Vouilloz. Keep an eye out for a video of their recent New Zealand adventure which will drop this May. In the meantime, cruise over to www.eastoncycling.com for more on this exciting new standard.