Race Face Sixc 35 Handlebar

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Tested: Race Face Sixc 35 20-mm Rise Carbon Bar and Atlas 35 Stem

Rating: Vital Review

Carbon this and carbon that. It wasn’t long ago that a. carbon wasn’t available for your bike unless you were Donald Trump, and b. nobody in their right mind would trust the stuff on critical parts anyway. Fast forward to today, and the fantastic plastic is everywhere. From the frame to the wheels, your bike can drop weight faster than a bimbo in beach season thanks to this light weight and highly tunable magic material. Race Face is among the companies pushing the carbon boundaries, their Sixc and Next SL cranks a benchmark in the drivetrain market for example. Naturally we were curious to test their latest carbon handlebar offering in the 35-mm standard, so that is just what we did. Read on to find out how we got along.

Race Face Sixc 35 20-mm Rise Handlebar Highlights

  • Bar Width:

Carbon this and carbon that. It wasn’t long ago that a. carbon wasn’t available for your bike unless you were Donald Trump, and b. nobody in their right mind would trust the stuff on critical parts anyway. Fast forward to today, and the fantastic plastic is everywhere. From the frame to the wheels, your bike can drop weight faster than a bimbo in beach season thanks to this light weight and highly tunable magic material. Race Face is among the companies pushing the carbon boundaries, their Sixc and Next SL cranks a benchmark in the drivetrain market for example. Naturally we were curious to test their latest carbon handlebar offering in the 35-mm standard, so that is just what we did. Read on to find out how we got along.

Race Face Sixc 35 20-mm Rise Handlebar Highlights

  • Bar Width: 800-mm
  • Rise: 20-mm
  • Bend: 8°
  • Upsweep: 5°
  • Weight: 210-grams
  • Material: UD Carbon
  • MSRP: $159.99 USD

Race Face Atlas 35 Stem Highlights

  • Made from 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Four bolt bar clamp
  • Interlocking U-Shaped Handlebar Clamp Geometry
  • Faceplate eliminates stress risers
  • Opposing bolts on steer tube clamp provides extreme clamping power while reducing stress on the steer tube
  • Laser etched logos
  • Length: 35-mm, 50-mm, 65-mm
  • Rise: 0
  • Clamp diameter: 35-mm
  • Steer tube diameter: 1⅛"
  • Stack height: 40-mm
  • Weight: 141-grams (35-mm), 160-grams (50-mm), 181-grams (65-mm)
  • Color: Black
  • MSRP: $99.99 USD

Initial Impressions

The Sixc 20-mm riser we tested is now available in 4 colors with graphics updated to match the new Sixc cranks, but the bar we received for this test featured the previous graphics. Note that this bar is also available in 10-mm and 35-mm rise versions, although these will all feature the grey/silver on black combo as the only color way available. Regardless of colors, the Sixc 35 bar is impressive in person. The matte finish and subtle decals have an understated yet very classy look to them, and the 8 degrees back/5 degrees up is a classic set of numbers that we were happy to come across again.

For this test, the Sixc bar replaced a Race Face Atlas 35 (aluminum) bar, as such we were able to keep the Race Face Atlas 35 stem that was already on the bike. Of course, if you are new to the 35-mm clamp game, you’ll need to replace your stem as well if you want to run these new bars. The Atlas stem is beautifully made, with a compact yet elegant design. It is not among the absolute featherweights in the category, but then again, it’s designed for any kind of riding you can imagine so it places a certain premium on durability. The opposite lock design of the steer tube bolts and the full face plate give it a look that means business.

The Sixc 35 handlebar features cut lines to help you trim the width down should the 800-mm on offer be too much. Note that the Sixc can’t be cut down beyond 750-mm, doing so would put the controls in areas lacking specific reinforcement to deal with the clamping forces (750-mm is pretty much as narrow as a bar should ever be these days anyway if you ask us). Cutting our bar down to 780-mm was uneventful. There are no markings to help you set up and align your controls, but the graphics in the middle of the bar help make sure it is centered in the stem.

The Sixc bar was a perfect fit for the Atlas stem, and grips and controls went on with minimal fuss. We immediately noticed that the matte finish seemed to offer a lot of grip, everything felt solid without having to ham down on any bolts. The Atlas stem features a solid face plate which is designed to increase clamping force while eliminating stress risers. The supplied hardware is also of high quality, and left us feeling confident about our new cockpit. And so, after fine tuning the bar’s roll in the stem and aligning brake levers, shifter, and dropper post remote, it was time to hit the trails.

On The Trail

We’ve had good experiences with 8 degrees back/5 degrees up in the past, but we also know that these numbers don’t always mean the same thing from one manufacturer to the next. Be that as it may, the Sixc 35 was immediately comfortable. One of those bars you feel like you’ve been running your whole life (or wish you had!)

The 35-mm standard is sometimes a bit confusing. When it was originally introduced, it was claimed to allow for stiffer and lighter bars and a more solid bar/stem interface. Early iterations of 35-mm bars could be too stiff, especially when made from carbon. Race Face has introduced what it calls “Optimized Carbon Technology”, which means it’s made from a specific composite and reinforced in the areas under the controls and the stem. All that is done to ensure the bar is stiff where it needs to be, but not so much as to be harsh under the hands. At 210-grams for 800-mm wide, the bar is plenty light too (dropping almost 100 grams compared to its aluminum counterpart, the Atlas bar).

On the trail, the Sixc 35 has been very comfortable as well as confidence-inspiring. As previously mentioned, the matte finish offers excellent purchase for controls as well as the stem, and the whole cockpit remained completely slip-free for the duration of the test. Whether it’s down to “Optimized Carbon Technology” voodoo or just to the acronym-free overall design in general, we never felt as though the Sixc caused excess hand or arm fatigue – in fact quite the opposite. Even when combined with Race Face’s own super thin “Half Nelson” grips, our hands were always up for one more run.

Things That Could Be Improved

Adding subtle graphics to help with aligning levers and shifters on the bar would make life easier without taking away from the clean look too much. Having said that, a tape measure and a little care and attention is all that’s really needed to set up your cockpit once and for all, so this is really nitpicking on our behalf.

In regards to pricing, $159.99 for a carbon bar is a competitive price point. Of course, you can get into the 35-mm handlebar game for much less than that if you decide to stick to aluminum, but the Sixc offers enough weight reduction and comfort in use to warrant the premium.

With regards to the stem, it did its job without any fuss, and never left any doubt with regards to longevity or solidity. Pricing-wise, it’s in the upper tier of the market, but can be found online for less – and it’s a quality component and not an area we’d recommend skimping on anyway.

Long Term Durability

The finish of the Sixc 35 bar appears to be of very high quality. After a couple of months of riding and a few minor tumbles, there is not much wear and tear to show for it (we have thankfully managed to avoid losing the bike over a cliff so far...). The Atlas stem has a few scuffs on it and the bolts are losing color here and there, but overall it still looks fresh. Additionally, the fact that the whole cockpit has remained creak-free and solid is further testament to the workmanship on offer here, both regarding the bar and the Atlas stem. We certainly expect to get a lot more riding out of this cockpit (although we have a slight itch to update to the green version…)

What’s The Bottom Line?

We’ve been wary of jumping on the 35-mm bandwagon for the sake of it, as we didn’t have many complaints about our old 31.8-mm bars over the years. Whether the new standard has anything to do with it, or it’s just good engineering in general, the fact is that the Sixc 35 bar is an impressive piece of kit. Very light for such a wide bar, it is also very comfortable and seemingly very durable. If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at carbon and fancy giving the 35-mm train a ride, take a long hard look at the Sixc 35 bar and the Atlas 35 stem. We’re in no hurry to remove this cockpit from our bike.

More information at www.raceface.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord 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.

Race Face Sixc 35 Handlebar

The Carbon Bar to Rule Them All?

Rating: Featured Member Review
Race Face Sixc 35 Handlebar
The Good:

Looks to kill, Great attention to detail, Super light weight, Multiple color options, Overall great bar.

The Bad:

Wish multiple color options were included in all rise sizes (10mm and 35mm)

Overall Review:

When I was building my dream Gambler, I was only looking for the best components to put on it. From suspension to seatpost, everything was hand-picked. This being the case, when I started looking at handlebars, I knew I wanted to go with a 35mm diameter bar so I would be getting the greatest amount of stiffness and support. I also didn’t want anything less than 800mm width. Lastly, I wanted the bar to look good on the bike. With all these things tying in together, I set my mind on the Raceface SixC carbon handlebar. After months of riding on this bar, here are my impressions:

Out of the Box:

The first thing I noticed was the looks. Boy this thing looks killer. The curves are smooth and the graphics are spot on. Available in 5 colors (black, red, green, blue, and orange) I chose to green

Overall Review:

When I was building my dream Gambler, I was only looking for the best components to put on it. From suspension to seatpost, everything was hand-picked. This being the case, when I started looking at handlebars, I knew I wanted to go with a 35mm diameter bar so I would be getting the greatest amount of stiffness and support. I also didn’t want anything less than 800mm width. Lastly, I wanted the bar to look good on the bike. With all these things tying in together, I set my mind on the Raceface SixC carbon handlebar. After months of riding on this bar, here are my impressions:

Out of the Box:

The first thing I noticed was the looks. Boy this thing looks killer. The curves are smooth and the graphics are spot on. Available in 5 colors (black, red, green, blue, and orange) I chose to green decals in hopes it would match my Gambler 720. When putting the bars next to the paint job, it wasn’t exactly the same color green but it matched close enough. What it lacked in matching my frame’s paintjob, it made up in attention to detail. The SixC bars also come with a nice matte clear coat finish that hides scratches quite well.

Click photo to change size and caption

Another really nice detail Raceface included with this bar can be found at the bar ends. Once a bar is installed, the majority of riders ride them as is. For the out of the norm rider, who knows exactly what wide they want, Raceface included cutting guides that not only tell you exactly how much you are cutting off, but how much weight you are losing as well. All and all, the SixC is a gorgeous handlebar.

PS, They are super light weight!

Click photo to change size and caption

On The Trail:

The main reason I chose a 35mm bar is because this new “standard” offers the greatest amount of stiffness to weight ratio. When letting go of the brakes and really giving the Gambler hell, I noticed that these bars are by far the stiffest, most predictable handlebar I have ever owned. The SixC strikes a perfect balance between overall stiffness and flex (small bump sensitivity) so you are still able to feel your hands by the end of a Canadian Open DH run at Whistler. Not being able to ride the bike as much as I used to, having components like a good carbon bar really helps my body hold on for dear life when I’m not exactly conditioned for the season. I also found the sweep of the bars (8° back and 5 ° up) to feel very normal as well.

Below are some comparisons I used when choosing the SixC bars:

Weight:

  • Raceface SixC - 210 g (213 g actual)
  • Renthal Fatbar Carbon - 225 g
  • Chromag BZA - 235 g
  • Easton Havoc - 220 g
  • Box One Carbon DH - 235 g

Length:

  • Raceface SixC - 800mm
  • Renthal Fatbar Carbon - 780mm
  • Chromag BZA - 800mm
  • Easton Havoc - 800mm
  • Box One Carbon DH - 800mm

Rise options:

  • Raceface SixC - 10mm / 20mm (Reviewed) / 35mm
  • Renthal Fatbar Carbon - 10mm / 20mm / 30mm / 40mm
  • Chromag BZA - 15mm / 25mm / 35mm
  • Easton Havoc - 20mm
  • Box One Carbon DH - 15mm / 30mm

Could Be Improved:

After spending months on this bar, I am glad to say I have been 100% satisfied with its performance. It regards to customization, Raceface made the SixC bar available in 5 colors as mentioned above. Unfortunately, these 5 colors are only available in the 20mm rise option. It would be nice to have all these color options in the full line of SixC bars (10mm and 35mm rise). Aside from that, these bars couldn’t get any better.

Bottom Line:

I purchased the Raceface SixC handlebars because I wanted the stiff 35mm diameter, 800mm length, and color options so I could have my bars match my bike. In addition to getting these things, I got a beautiful matte finish and guidelines on the end of the bars if I need to cut them later on. Coming in 3 rise options and 5 colorways (for the 20mm rise version), Raceface gives you one of the widest options for a DH rated bar in the industry. I have been quite pleased with my SixC bars and would recommend them to anyone!

My Go-To Handlebar

Rating:
My Go-To Handlebar
The Good:

Weight, Quality, Cut guide marks, Not too stiff

The Bad:

Bold Graphics

Overall Review:


Raceface SIXC 35mm Features


  • Manufactured from UD Carbon with matte clear coat
  • Carbon optimized flex for improved small bump compliance
  • 35mm interface, 800mm width
  • 8* rearward and 5* upward sweep
  • 35, 20 (tested), and 10mm rise
  • Weight 210 grams

Initial Impressions

These bars look so much bigger than their 31.6 counterparts. I have been used to the feel and weight of carbon bars. My new bike came with 35mm aluminum bars. I have used 31.6 SIXC bars in the past, so it was natural to give their 35mm bars a shot too. Raceface always has a great finish on their products and these bars follows that pattern. The matte carbon looks great and there are multiple color ways to choose from. The bars are marked if you choose to cut them from their 800mm width. I chose to leave mine the

Overall Review:


Raceface SIXC 35mm Features


  • Manufactured from UD Carbon with matte clear coat
  •  Carbon optimized flex for improved small bump compliance
  •  35mm interface, 800mm width
  •  8* rearward and 5* upward sweep
  •  35, 20 (tested), and 10mm rise
  •  Weight 210 grams

 

 

Initial Impressions

              These bars look so much bigger than their 31.6 counterparts. I have been used to the feel and weight of carbon bars. My new bike came with 35mm aluminum bars. I have used 31.6 SIXC bars in the past, so it was natural to give their 35mm bars a shot too. Raceface always has a great finish on their products and these bars follows that pattern. The matte carbon looks great and there are multiple color ways to choose from. The bars are marked if you choose to cut them from their 800mm width. I chose to leave mine the stock width for the time being.

 

On the Trail

              I am coming from 760mm bars, the extra room feels good especially with using the double clamp design of Revolution Suspension Grips. I was worried about a harsh characteristic of these larger diameter bars. This thought was quickly put aside as Raceface has found a good balance between stiff and compliance. Handlebars should be a set and forget type of component, these are just that. I do not want to think about different components during my ride. I rode with the full 800mm width to begin with, but I opted to cut them down to 780mm. Once I had my cockpit set-up just how I liked it, they felt at home and off my mind.

               

Long Term Durability

              This is a short term review, but if these bars hold up like my previous SIXC bars, then I have no worries that these will last even longer than my new Spartan.

 

Things That Could Be Improved

               I am struggling to find anything that could be improved other than some more subtle graphics.

 

The Bottom Line

              Raceface has created another go-to product for me. I anticipate these to be trouble free for many years of excellent performance. If you re looking into 35mm bars or your new bike came with them and are looking for a carbon upgrade, stop here. They are among the lightest for their intended purpose.

 

Very nice bars despite the price.

Rating:
The Good:

Light Stiff enough Less hand fatigue

The Bad:

Pricey depending on how you look at it.

Overall Review:


I purchased the SIXC 35 bars as an upgrade to the stock Bontrager bars that came on my Trek Remedy. The Bontrager bars did not fit well and caused my hands to hurt after only a few miles of riding. The bars on my previous bike had a similar shape to the Race Face and I was looking forward to the weight saving and damping characteristics of carbon.

Specs

Weight- 210 grams

Rise- 20 mm

Sweep-8 rearward, 5 upward

Width- 800 mm

Clamp- 35 mm

Out of the Package


I ordered the bars from Bicycles Unlimited, my LBS here in St. George, UT. When the bars showed up and I picked them up I was immediately impressed with how light the bars were. Just holding them in your hands it hard to imagine something that light being able to hold up to the abuse on a trail bike, let alone a DH bike. The graphics are

Overall Review:


I purchased the SIXC 35 bars as an upgrade to the stock Bontrager bars that came on my Trek Remedy. The Bontrager bars did not fit well and caused my hands to hurt after only a few miles of riding. The bars on my previous bike had a similar shape to the Race Face and I was looking forward to the weight saving and damping characteristics of carbon.

Specs

Weight- 210 grams

Rise- 20 mm

Sweep-8° rearward, 5° upward

Width- 800 mm

Clamp- 35 mm

Out of the Package


I ordered the bars from Bicycles Unlimited, my LBS here in St. George, UT. When the bars showed up and I picked them up I was immediately impressed with how light the bars were. Just holding them in your hands it hard to imagine something that light being able to hold up to the abuse on a trail bike, let alone a DH bike. The graphics are super sharp and the red color just pops. The black is a nice matte finish that I'm sure will hold up well to the elements and wear and tear.


Installation

I mounted the bars the stock Bontrager Line stem (with Knock Block) that came on my bike. The bars have cutoff lines if 800 mm is too wide for you (I have left mine so far), and center indicators to help with centering and roll adjustments. The bars torqued down and has remained creak free since. The matte finish seems to grip well and my Easton grips haven't budged.

Ride Quality

The most important quality I was looking for was fit and shock absorption. The SIXC 35 delivered in both of these categories. My hands immediately felt at home and the chatter is noticeably muted. The bars are stiff in all the right wars and handling was improved. Not that it is overly noticeable on the trail but the new bars did drop a full half pound off the weight of my bike.

Verdict

When you are justifying spending over $150 on a pair of handlebars it can be a bit difficult to make a case, and if the bars that came on my bike did not cause such problems for me would have been an upgrade much lower on the list. But as it sits I'm very happy with the quality of my new bars. The fit finish and ride are all second to none, and the red really does snazzy things up. If you are looking for carbon bars to spice up you riding life I don't think that you can go wrong with these.

Specifications

Product Race Face Sixc 35 Handlebar
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Material Carbon
Material Details
Clamp Diameter 35mm
Width 800mm
Rise 10, 20, 35mm
Upsweep 5 degrees
Backsweep 8 degrees
Colors Black, Blue, Red, Green
Weight 0 lb 7.4 oz (210 g)
Miscellaneous Your favorite bars just got bigger, wider, and lighter, Go figure? The magic of 35, believe the hype! Increasing the bar diameter to 35 allows us to shave material from the bar resulting in a dramatic reduction in overall weight while retaining the proven stiffness, strength and performance Race Face bars are known for. A wider rise range to perfectly tune your fit. From ultra low 10mm rise to super high 35mm rise - Our lowest and highest rises yet, with the much loved 20mm rise rounding out the 3 rise options. With the full 800mm width (Can be trimmed down to 750mm) for hyperspeed control, can you handle it?
Price $169.99
More Info

Race Face website

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