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When in the market for a new wide handlebar for your mountain bike, Syntace may not be a name that immediately springs to mind.
Syntace has been in the business of producing high end aluminium and carbon fibre bicycle componentry and engineering solutions from its headquarters in Germany for many years.

Their latest offering to the mountain biking world is the Vector 31.8 Carbon Fibre bar in 740mm width weighing in at an astonishingly light 213 grams (confirmed), making this possibly the lightest bar of its width in the world!


I received a packaged from Syntace containing one of these bars before general release: Read on to get the scoop!


Catering for both the mountain biking and road riding communities Syntace has a plethora of products to suite every riding style.

Their new Vector 31.8 carbon fibre 740mm wide bar is aimed at the weight conscious rider looking for a wider, low rise bar to get more control and comfort out of their ride without sacrificing strength.

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Shiney Carbon


The Vector 740mm is suitable for all types of riding; being light enough for cross country and all mountain, with its strength and ergonomics leaning it more towards the fast and rough rigours of downhill use.

As with all Syntace products the Vector 740mm has been thoroughly tested in house to surpass all industry safety standards including Syntace’s VR-3 downhill standard DH 2002.4, the world‘s toughest test standard for handlebars and stems. Syntace’s faith in their product and its strength is reflected by the “no questions asked” 10 year guarantee on all defects of materials or workmanship.

The width, available sweep options and strength make this bar an excellent option for gravity orientated riders everywhere whilst offering many benefits over an aluminium bar.


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740mm Width 12 Degree Sweep





Features:

• Available in 680mm or 740mm (can be shortened to 700mm)
• 8˚,9˚ and 12˚ sweep options
• 10mm rise
• 31.8mm clamp size standard only
• 209 grams claimed for 740mm version (213 grams actual for the 740mm width 12˚ sweep)
• New carbon composite construction
• Loading optimized cross section
• Reinforcement in critical areas
• Central In moulded titanium lattice stem clamping area
• Glass fibre in the bar ends to enable cutting to 700mm
• Full compatibility with four bolt stems

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Excellent Graphics and Finish


First Impressions:

The first thing you notice when taking the Vector 740mm bar out of the box is how astonishingly light this bar is for its stature. The wide and beefy bar is truly featherweight and it is only when you put the bar onto scales that you realise just how light it is at 213 grams for the 12˚ sweep option.

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213 grams, 4 grams heavier than claimed

As far as I’m aware that makes the Syntace Vector 740mm the lightest mountain bike bar of this width in the world! It also makes the Syntace bar lighter than many other manufacturer’s narrower carbon and aluminium offerings!

After getting over the initial beauty of the bar you soon notice the attention to detail and thought that has been put into this product: from the intricate titanium lattice moulded into the stem clamping area all the way to the neat cutting guides for those brave enough to take a fine toothed saw to these bars!

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Titanium Reinforced Clamping Zone

After reading the many instructions and warnings that come with the bar the mounting process can begin. Mounting the bar to my bike was fairly simple, but could be considered a more time consuming process than that of mounting a similar aluminium bar.

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RTFM!

Friction paste must be applied to the clamp areas of all components to be mounted to the bars. This enables the use of reduced torque to prevent damage or crushing of the bar and to maintain the same amount of grip on the bar from the stem, brake levers and shifters (a small sachet is provided with the bar).

Note: As with all carbon bars some components from some manufacturers are not recommended due to the risk of damage to the bar. These can include components with asymmetric clamp styles (i.e. Sram XO) or point pressure clamps (grub screw type i.e. Sunline grips) and traditional bar ends. Syntace makes this very clear in the user instructions.For the purpose of a balanced review I will be running this bar with Syntace’s recommended set up of their own brand Superforce stem and grips as well as my own setup of a Thomson Elite X4 stem and Token lock on grips in combination with Syntace’s CRB bar plugs specifically designed for carbon bars.


Once all the components are mounted and torqued up to the specified rating (being very careful not to exceed the clamping ratings) the bars are ready for a first ride.

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Tidy New Front End

After a period of getting used to the bars, the extra control over my previous 710mm wide by 20mm rise bars was very noticeable. Steering became more precise and controlled and holding lines was less effort. The extra leverage made holding lines through rough and technical sections a breeze whilst the dampening ability of the carbon composite removed the small vibrations from the trail increasing the comfort of the ride. The low rise and wide stance of these bars inspires confidence and provides a much more comfortable controlled riding position. At first having my weight much lower and further over the front end was a bit odd, but after a few runs the benefit was clear. The added weight saving over my previous aluminium bar is also another clear benefit, improving the overall handling of the bike.

The only negative point so far is that the surface finish picks up fine scratches very easily, although this isn’t noticeable unless you’re looking very closely.


I will be performing a long term review of these bars over the coming months with a trip planned to the French Alps to really put these bars through their paces. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review in a few months time to see how well they hold up.



The Vector 740mm Bar will be available this month either direct from syntace or in the UK through Posh Bikes.

UK retail is £135

For more information on Syntace, their product line up and their testing methods as well as international distributors check out http://syntace.com/

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