Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say in a cockpit review, there are after all a lot of similarities between products and despite claims of “compliance” you’d be hard pressed to feel a difference between many of the bars available right now in a blind test. That’s why we were stoked when we unboxed We Are One’s new Da Package cockpit, as we found something that’s really quite different. Keep reading to learn more!
We Are One Composites Da Package Highlights
- Da Package: everything made in Canada, designed to function as a system
- Da Stem: 7075 billet aluminum, 35mm clamp, 35 or 45 mm length
- Da Bar: 800 mm wide carbon handlebar, 20, 27.5, or 35 mm rise options, 5 degrees up/8 degrees back
- Da Weights: 80/88 grams (35/45) for the stem, 332/340 (35/45) for the stem + bar combo
- Da Price: $260 USD for the stem + bar combo
At first glance, Da Package looks like a classic bar and stem combo, albeit quite slim and with a refined profile. Closer inspection revealed that something else is going on here though: there’s an extra sleeve used between the bar and the stem.
For their first foray into the cockpit world, We Are One wanted to produce a bar with that all-important, aforementioned “compliance” to it. To do so, they found that a slightly different bar diameter would do the trick, but that meant stepping away from the standard sizes. Additionally, We Are One identified the standard interface between the stem and the bar as the most common weak spot in the system, which could indeed cause carbon handlebars to fail for all kinds of reasons (incorrectly and unevenly torqued stems, sloppy tolerances, etc). To address both of these points, We Are One came up with the idea of a 33 mm bar, equipped with an additional sleeve that would help distribute the stem clamping forces more evenly across the bar.
To make sure that the sleeve would stay properly aligned on the bar at all times, an extra carbon “nipple” was built into the clamping area of the handlebar. The rest of the bar is a fairly classic shape, with 5 degrees of up sweep and 8 degrees of back sweep. The bar ships out 800 mms long, with 20, 27.5m or 35 mms of rise.
As for the stem, We Are One aimed for something light and strong. Machined from a solid block of 7075 aluminum alloy, Da Stem presents a very slimmed down profile and weighs in at just 88 grams in the longer, 45 mm version. We Are One claims this is one of the lightest and strongest stems on the market, yet the whole Da Package system is also tested and rated for DH use. Note that We Are One does not sell the two components separately, as they were designed from the outset to work together as a system.
On Da Trail
After mountain up Da Package to our test sled, we were surprised just how slim it looks in real life. We have of course gotten used to seeing a beefy 35 mm bar in our cockpits these days, and Da Package feels almost like a step back to the old 31.8 days - but in a good way. The stem is also very svelt, which further adds to the almost spindly look of the whole thing.
The handlebar is very smooth to the touch, yet it produces a lot of grip for the controls. We were a bit worried when we first laid our hands on Da Package, as it wouldn’t be the first time a glossy bar caused issues with control slippage, but our concerns proved to be entirely unfounded. Our cockpit has been solid from day one with the prescribed amount of torque on all the bolts, from the stem to the grips.
In action, we’re still taken aback by the slim profile of Da Package every time we jump on this bike, but we don’t usually stare at our cockpit while riding so of course this doesn’t translate to any actual unease on the trail. The angles feel very natural, and as for that all-important compliance – well, the bar is comfortable and works well in all riding situations, without unduly beating up our hands and wrists. Chalk it up to the 33 mm diameter or the wall thickness or whatever the case may be, Da Package is at least as comfortable as other quality bars on the market at present. Not the most compliant but also definitely not the stiffest. As for that weight, it’s certainly one of the lighter options available right now.
What’s Da Bottom Line?
When it seems like so many cockpits are just minor variations on the same concept, it’s interesting to find something truly different. We Are One’s Da Package marks a novel approach to the design of the interface between the bar and the stem, and this has paid off in the form of a cockpit that is aesthetically refined, light and strong. If you’re looking to slim down the profile of your cockpit while saving a few grams in the process, we can certainly recommend it!
More information at: www.weareonecomposites.com.
About Da Reviewer
Johan Hjord - Age: 50 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)
Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.
Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow