Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Fasst Flexx Enduro Handlebar

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Feb 25, 2020
Reading time

Fasst Flexx

There will be a percentage of folks clicking on this article just to make comments about Girvin Flex Stems from the 90s or to express their fear of a mechanically assembled handlebar because one time they snapped a ten-year-old 25.4 carbon XC-bar. I've already heard it all on the trail in the brief period I've been riding the new 12° backsweep version of Fasst Flexx's mountain bike bars. I say keep an open mind, don't reflexively be the person pushing rim brakes, fixed seat posts, front derailleurs, and decade-old geometry but take some time to roll the concept around.

These Fasst Flexx Enduro bars come uncut at 800mm and they're available in an 8° backsweep or the 12° backsweep I'm testing. They're made in Washington County, Utah, with 7075 aluminum linkage assembly, titanium pivot hardware, and the handles themselves are bonded in USA Made UD carbon fiber. These are not intended as a suspension replacement but rather as a complementary component that adds damping at my hands, helping take the edge off of rough tracks without changing the feel of the bike.

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (6).JPG

The Fasst bar's potential is most noticeable on bikes that can go fast but aren't particularly comfortable. It made a big difference riding the 160mm Siskiu N9 through chunk & chunder.

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM.JPG

I find the bar's influence is most apparent with a basic fork, rather than paired with a top-end fork like this 180mm Manitou Mezzer.

There's nothing really new here as Fasst Co is a Powersports company and they have been making similar products for "abuse reduction" on dirt bikes and ATVs for years. The concept is straight forward in that bars can pivot in the same load path as a suspension fork but they're aggressively stiff in the fore-aft steering plane. Part of my long term review process will be looking at the service interval in which the bars stay tight.

The exact travel the bars deliver depends on the length they're run at (there's also an 810mm wide DH version) so for clarity we can call it 5° of vertical movement. In terms of bar geometry that takes me from a 5° upsweep to flat. I'm currently running the hard elastomers, which Fasst says are ideal for my weight, and the fact the bar makes a notable difference riding, but goes unnoticed at the same time, backs this up.

In the name of science, I'll also try running a softer set of elastomers that are included as part of this test and for my full review I'll demonstrate an elastomer swap; all you need are hex keys and some blue Loctite. I'll also confirm the 440gram weight claim although I have doubts that many people seeking this solution really care.

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Titanium hardware captures the independently adjustable compression elastomer...

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

...and rebound elastomer. There are four rates to mix an match. I'll also be testing a lighter setup.

One unique first impression I wanted to note is the tolerance of the carbon handles, which I think speaks to the general quality of this product. I like to leave my controls, particularly my brake levers, a bit loose so they can move in a crash. It's saved me plenty of cash, and plenty of rides on greasy Shore days, over the years.

On a lot of handlebars, I find the tolerancing is such that as my levers rotate around the bar there will be tight-spots and loose-spots. The bonded-in handles of the Fasst Flexx are completely uniform and it's no problem to get a perfect tension where my brake levers don't move unless if I purposely shift them or I hit something but at the same time I could turn those levers 360° around the bar if I wanted to with no change in clamping tension. That's maybe a bit deep-nerd, but this is that sort of product.

The Use Case

Fasst claims their bars deliver abuse reduction. That will be mostly felt in elbows, wrists, and hands which is to say less arm pump, perceivable vibration damping, and a generally more comfortable experience on the bike. They back that up with a 30-day money-back guarantee, genuinely helpful customer service, and a range of four different rates for both the compression and rebound elastomers.

As with a lot of kit that I've tested, I think there are plenty of riders out there seeking products that will make them more comfortable on their bikes whether it's to ride more often or to ride for longer, or just to ride period. The Flexx bars may not provide a net benefit to every rider once cost, weight, and complexity is factored in; however, as our activity matures and there are an increasing number of older shredders blasting technical trails I won't be surprised if they start showing up on more and more bikes.

Crankworx_2019_NSMB_AndrewM_91.original.jpg

Plush DVO forks, Fasst Flexx bars, and Rev grips. This bike obviously belongs to someone seeking every solution to be more comfortable on their bike.

Crankworx_2019_NSMB_AndrewM_92.original.jpg

I have two friends with really bad hands from repetitive work stress who absolutely swear by the 90 USD Rev Grips. It's not a product that NSMB has tested to date.

Now there's a counter-argument that buying a top-end suspension fork, or servicing the one you've been abusing, will increase comfort but also add wheel traction, support, and sophisticated damping to the equation. At 425 USD it's approaching any number of fork upgrade products like custom damper tunes, Avalanche Racing dampers, coil conversion kits and so on.

Personally, I don't see the Flexx as being an either-or product. Their average customer will likely ride a good suspension fork, and keep said fork serviced, rather than put all their faith in a handlebar. It does make the most difference on a bike with a more basic suspension fork however and I would have loved to try it on the 1000 USD Rocky Growler 20.

For the purpose of my review, I'll be riding the Flexx bar in four general scenarios and I've committed to the work of swapping it regularly between bikes so I'm on it nearly every ride with some normal bars control rides in between. I've been running it regularly on a basic 160mm suspension fork, a sophisticated 160mm suspension fork, a rigid fork, and I'll also be running it with a 100mm Shore-XC suspension fork setup.

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (7).JPG

Thus far there is isn't noticeable flex in the steering plane and the bar is fully rebuildable if and when required.

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (8).JPG

Swapping elastomers is straight forward and I'll do a little how-to with the full-up review as I will also try a softer option.

Fasst Flexx Bar NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Made in the USA. Washington County, Utah to be more precise. 7075 aluminum linkage, Ti pivot hardware, and american carbon fiber.

Other than chopping the bars down 1cm per side, to a 780mm total width, I haven't done anything other than a boatload of swapping controls. It's actually really bizarre that there aren't any cosmetic wear marks on the carbon handles as the Formula, Hayes, TRP, and Magura brakes I've clamped on them have all been in different positions.

I haven't met anyone running Fasst Flexx bars in the wild, however, I've had a healthy mix of on-trail skepticism and very positive online conversations with riders that swear by them, making them one of the most interesting products I've had the opportunity to review. The Fasst folks are eager to answer questions and have a 30-day guarantee, and the Flexx bar absolutely makes a difference. Anyone seeking to manage ride-ruining upper-limb pain might want to get in touch with them.

I'll be back in the future with a longevity update, some opinionating about the use of elastomers in this application, and a more fully developed sense of this 425 USD suspension handlebar.

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Comments

ron-chang
0 Cr4w Kelownakona
Ron Chang  - Feb. 25, 2020, 2:09 a.m.

I wonder if the One-Up bar is a middle ground between a traditional rigid bar and the Fasst bar.  Or if the Fasst bar's feel is so vastly different that it makes the One-Up bar feel like any 35mm alloy bar by comparison.  The One-Up bar seems to be the most shock absorbing rigid bar, to date.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:15 a.m.

Have you ridden the One Up bar v. say a Renthal aluminum? There are certainly degrees of comfort with fixed handlebars but there is no middle ground I’ve experienced between a more forgiving bar and this one that’s pivoting into elastomers.

If you want to see the Fasst Flexx working you can actually stand over it in the shop, push down, and see it move.

Reply

Shinook
+7 Andrew Major Rob Gretchen Pete Roggeman Dan Jitensha Kun Paul Lindsay Tjaard Breeuwer
Shinook  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:17 a.m.

I have had time on both. The OneUp bars do a decent enough job with small vibrations, but they don't help with moderate-large impacts the way the Flexx bars do. It's kindof like the difference between a larger volume tire and more suspension travel, the OneUps help like a more compliant tire would, whereas the Flexx bars absorb a wider range of impacts and provide greater control. 

The Flexx bars also have a bigger impact on the way the bike feels and handles. I found it improved handling like adding more suspension to the bike. As an example, one of the moments I realized they were more than just comfort was in this weird, eroded, and hard rut we have here. There is this sortof kicker just before it and the last few times I had ridden it prior to installing the bars, I'd hit the kicker and land in the rut in a way that caused the bike to get real squirrelly - It felt like casing into a rock garden. I had pretty consistently run into it and had to slow down because of the jolt I felt riding it, however when I installed these bars, the control I had doing the same thing on the same feature was much better. It felt like the extra give in the bar let the bike move under me and damped the force coming through the bike to the bars, which dulled the force that came up into my arms, allowing for much greater control. 

The comfort benefits are there, also. I have Ulnar nerve issues in one of my hands and these bars were the difference between me finishing a run down some trails without stopping and having to stop. On a similar note, I was faster because I had greater comfort, but also because I could isolate suspension and comfort. I could run my fork and shock for how I wanted it to ride for control and stability rather than having to prioritize comfort. The OneUp bars did neither for me.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Shinook Kelownakona
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:25 a.m.

Awesome comment; thanks Shinook!

Are you running yours the full 800mm (or 810mm) or cut down?

Reply

Shinook
0 Andrew Major Kelownakona
Shinook  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:34 a.m.

Mine are at 800mm, I haven't cut them at all. I used to run 780mm, but I figured I'd try them at 800 during the refund period and never felt the need to go back down in size again.

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Kelownakona
0
Kelownakona  - Feb. 26, 2020, 6:48 a.m.

More so than Spank Vibracore?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 7:39 a.m.

Spank Spike, with or without Vibrocore, is the stiffest 31.8mm aluminum bar I’ve ridden. The 35mm Carbon Chromag BZA is still the only stiffer bar I can think of. Vibrocore definitely makes a comparative difference to vibration damping - of particular benefit to someone who wants the stiffest possible bar while paying less of a penalty through their hands - but it’s not a product on the same planet as the Fasst Flexx, which is actually forgiving.

Someone looking for the most “comfortable” solid bar is, in my opinion, best served by an aluminum Renthal bar, aluminum SQLab bar (if they want more sweep), or the OneUp (based on an aggregate of other folks experiences).

I actually did a back to back review of vibrocore a while back.

Reply

Kelownakona
0
Kelownakona  - Feb. 27, 2020, 6:56 a.m.

Oh ok gotcha. Thanks Andrew. Cross that one off the list then! Tempted by the OneUp I love their stuff and if then do a nice compliant bar I'm in!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 27, 2020, 7 a.m.

It’s a product I’d love to try, but I’ll wait until they produce a model with more sweep.

I love looking in-depth at polarizing products where some riders go “WOW!” And others don’t see what the big deal is...

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Feb. 25, 2020, 2:09 a.m.

Interesting, looking forward to the full review. I don't quite get the use of carbon though. The two bits of carbon bar might save 20-30g over aluminium? On a bar that weights 440g.....

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Timer Dan fasstchris
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:10 a.m.

Ease of making consistent OD of the tubes for bonding would be my guess but I’ll ask. 

I know the old Trek Fuels and Fluids (with the TALAS shock!) that had bonded carbon stays it was actually easier to manufacture than a bonded aluminum setup (weight savings also a bonus).

Also, probably the perception of added value. If making round enough aluminum handles doesn’t save real money compared to buying USA made UD carbon ones why not carbon?

Reply

dan
+1 Andrew Major
Dan  - Feb. 25, 2020, 8:08 p.m.

That'd be a Trek *Liquid*, Andrew. (Insert "Pushes glasses up nose" GIF here.) Haha. I had two of those and even reviewed one of them here a LONG time ago. That bonded carbon configuration was a little weird. When the shock was locked out, the frame was still a loaded spring so if you weren't smooth (and I'm still not) it had a tendency to create its own monkey motion. In addition, that TALAS shock gave you slacker angles with slightly less travel, or steeper angles with a wee bit more travel. Bit of a head scratcher, that one.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 8:22 p.m.

Hahahahaha. Yes, you’re right. The Liquids with Talas shocks had Psylo U-Turn forks though so the idea was the AC was shorter (and the BB lower?!) in short travel mode? I actually never road one but we sold a few out of the first shop I worked at.

It’s actually mildly surprising that those TALAS shocks never made a comeback. Pretty similar to the hydraulic TALAS-V fork system that came out in ‘14 actually (aka the awesome & adjustable TALAS).

Reply

fasstchris
+6 Andrew Major Dan Timer Tim Tucker Pete Roggeman mike
fasstchris  - Feb. 25, 2020, 8:09 a.m.

Hi Timer, thank you for the question. We officially launched the Flexx MTB bar in Oct. 2017. It was a project that started in 2015 and looking back, we always felt that weight would be a limiting factor for us.  Weight was more of a hot topic then, maybe more so than now? Fast forward 5 years, and we found riders are more apt to add weight, if it provides performance or comfort. Although carbon is more expensive and temperamental in production we were able to source US made carbon tubing to our specs and test different lay ups.  A full alloy version would require significant up front mold costs to produce a tapered wall tube and not knowing how the bar would sell the composite offered us more control with decreased development costs. However, with a couple years of sales history, we feel it now makes sense to release a full alloy version.  We're hoping to keep the weight gain as minimal as possible and bring the price point down as well.  The bar will be a combo of 7075 and 7050 alloy components.

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Feb. 26, 2020, 2:40 a.m.

@fasstchris

Thank you for the detailed response. That makes a lot of sense. I didn't think of the very-small-batch considerations in production, since that usually doesn't matter for mainstream handlebars.

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TimTucker
+1 Andrew Major
Tim Tucker  - Feb. 26, 2020, 6:54 a.m.

Out of curiosity, can you give any more details on the alloy version?

  • Timing: is this a "look for it this summer" type of thing or a "2 years from idea to production like the original, look for it in 2022" type of thing, or a "we've talked about it but don't really have plans yet" type of thing?
  • Price: any ballpark of what "bringing the price point down" means?  Is the idea to bring it down to the level of your ATV / moto bars, or are you targeting even lower?

Reply

fasstchris
+1 Andrew Major
fasstchris  - Feb. 26, 2020, 2:31 p.m.

Hi Tim,

We have the tubing designed and drawn up and it's out for quote now.  I would guess that by the time we have quotes back, molds made, parts produced and tested, late summer early fall would be a realistic target for us.  As far as price point, our goal is same price as moto or less, obviously the latter would be great!  Are you a current moto customer of ours?

Reply

Heinous
+4 Andrew Major Niels Pete Roggeman Cr4w
Heinous  - Feb. 25, 2020, 4:14 a.m.

Do you know anyone with a rigid steel bike to test them on?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 5:58 a.m.

Hahahaha. Are you teasing?! The photos with the gold Ranger stem are my Cosmic Lilac powered rigid gen.2 Waltworks.

Reply

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - Feb. 25, 2020, 10:49 a.m.

When can we expect a full deep-nerd walkthrough of the Cosmic Lilac? I mean, I want all the details.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 2:30 p.m.

I’ll ride it down to Bridge Brewing one night if you want to give it an eyeball. 

My suspension fork should be up & running soon which gives me some more options for how damn fast (comparatively & w/ me as the pilot) this thing goes compared to V.1.

I’m not sure if/when I’ll write it up or what that will look like.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+2 Andrew Major Dan
Rob Gretchen  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:08 a.m.

These bars make sense to me.   I am currently running a set of Rev grips on my latest build to see what the hype is about.    If it gives me a bit more comfort then its a win.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Rob Gretchen
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 6:22 a.m.

I have multiple friends who’ve tried them. It’s either been like discovering tacos for the first time, or a disappointing celery-based diet that they really hoped would make a difference but just left them hungry.

The good news is more than 50% think they’re worth every penny and wouldn’t try anything else. 

I hope they’re a deal maker for you!

Reply

GladePlayboy
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Rob Gretchen  - Feb. 25, 2020, 7:14 a.m.

More than 50% might be a win... time will tell.    Only one ride in and albeit a zesty one they feel "normal"... I think they could excel in the bike park when you are slamming braking bumps.      Oh, and the Formula Cura 4s were outstanding in the steep and muddy conditions.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Rob Gretchen
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 7:29 a.m.

Awesome! I think we’re going to see a lot more Cura 4s around over the next couple of years.

Reply

TimTucker
+1 Andrew Major
Tim Tucker  - Feb. 25, 2020, 12:55 p.m.

I've tried Rev grips at home and my success rate was 50/50.

Loved them on my BMX bike.

Hated them on my mountain bike -- tried them on a test ride they quickly introduced a large amount of hand / wrist pain that simply wasn't there with Ergon GP1s.

My impression is that they might have worked if I had bars that were either a bit narrower or had more backsweep.

(edited to clarify that I was referring to the Rev grips, since the post didn't appear to be shown inline with that discussion)

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AndrewMajor
+3 taprider mike Andy Eunson
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 2:40 p.m.

I think backsweep, and diving deeper - more sweep options, is the key that a lot of humans are missing in terms of maximizing comfort on their bikes. That’s why I’m excited to see Fasst Flexx doing 8° and 12° and more than a little surprised that brands like Chromag have 2,000x colourways and one sweep option.

I’d love to see every company doing ~8°, 12°, 16° or there abouts... even if it means they have to offer a few less colours.

Reply

skyler
+2 Andrew Major Timer
Skyler  - Feb. 25, 2020, 7:27 a.m.

What happens when you pull up on the bar, like in a desperate bunnyhop? What happens during harsh bottomouts?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 7:38 a.m.

Curious what you’re expecting to feel? Top-out?

Pulling up it’s un-noticeable - literally like pulling back on any bar. 

The Mezzer has a hydraulic bottom out circuit and the Fox 36 Rhythm was well endowed with tokens so I’ve never found harsh bottom on either.  The FF bar seems to work seamlessly with either and as I noted, combined with the Mezzer I actually only noticed it when I took it off (noticed its absence v. its presence).

Finding bottom on the rigid is interesting since I have 2.8” DH rubber and Cush Core installed. With more tire pressure and less cushion the bottom of the FF bar might be harsh but in two rides I have found it compliments my tire setup. 

I’m really curious to try it with a shorter travel, more linear setup since that should be the harshest mix of speed v. comfort.

Reply

skyler
+2 Andrew Major Dan
Skyler  - Feb. 25, 2020, 9:18 a.m.

I'm just wondering if there is negative/upward travel or a top out or what. And I'm generally curious what it feels like in more extreme riding events. 

Given I want my suspension set up differently for jumping vs wet rooty singletrack, and it's game of finding settings that can work well for 95% of situations, I'm curious how a suspension handlebar would play into that equation...maybe I'm overcomplicating this though. Fwiw, I'm pretty happy with a quality 31.8 bar and push on grips.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 25, 2020, 9:36 a.m.

No perceivable top-out thanks to the rebound elastomers (?) but ask me again once I’ve tried a softer setup.

I’m also really happy with push-on grips and a less-stiff 31.8 bar, preferably with extra offset compared to industry standard. I’m months away from being able to comment on durability/maintenance and I’m certainly keeping an open mind about the cost/benefit bath for your average rider for my final piece.

I wanted to get something out because I think for riders with chronic arm pump, hand cramping, elbow or wrist pain, etc, this is a product that will make a bold difference to their specific experiences and I think that’s pretty cool!

Reply

xy9ine
+2 AJ Barlas mike
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 25, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

oooh, SO want to bolt these onto a girvin flex stem. with rev grips, of course.

Reply

heckler
0
heckler  - Feb. 25, 2020, 10:16 a.m.

Even better, imagine a reengineered modern flex stem!  Carbon body, Titanium hardware, no side to side motion....   endless opportunity!

Reply

craw
+1 Pete Roggeman
Cr4w  - Feb. 25, 2020, 10:51 a.m.

#neverforget 

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Timer AJ Barlas
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 25, 2020, 11:20 a.m.

check out this modern iteration; comes with a mini air shock! 

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IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - Feb. 25, 2020, 3:02 p.m.

More like - #neveragain

Haha, even 14-year-old-me went through 3 of them in one summer.  Those angled pieces of metal that support the forward end of the elastomer and attach it to the stem kept bending during "aggressive" riding.  At least their warranty service was excellent and turn around was very quick!  Thanks Bikebarn Penticton!

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TimTucker
0
Tim Tucker  - Feb. 25, 2020, 1 p.m.

Shockstop is probably the closest in this space.  I have one on an old Trek that I use as an "all purpose" bike and it works pretty well at cutting down on the harshness of gravel & poorly maintained sidewalks.

Have considered the Fasst bars for my mountain bike, though, since the shortest Shockstop stem is 90mm / 45 degrees.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - Feb. 26, 2020, 9:11 a.m.

don,t forget the tire liner as well and the plus size tire

Reply

syncro
+7 Andrew Major twk Mammal Andy Eunson pdxkid Paul Lindsay dave_f
Mark  - Feb. 25, 2020, 8 p.m.

I'm only here cause my google search for "front deraileur" directed me to this page.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - Feb. 26, 2020, 9:19 a.m.

Hmmm these bars and the ODI F1 Float grips. Where they more noticeably on the up or downs?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

You mean, do I notice them more climbing or descending? 

I don’t notice them at all uphill even standing cranking on the SS.

But I say that with the caveat that I’ll report back once I put the fixed bar back on that bike. I didn’t really notice it at all with the Mezzer until I took it off.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - Feb. 26, 2020, 2:25 p.m.

My hands get numb climbing , reason I was curious about climbing.

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AndrewMajor
+1 mike
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 2:53 p.m.

Have you tried any different sweeps than the standard 7-9°? 

Going to 12-16° bars has been a really positive experience for me. Especially with my elbow pain. That was the motivation for waiting for Fasst to launch their 12° bar.

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DemonMike
0
mike  - Feb. 27, 2020, 3:49 p.m.

That,s the next plan. I ride a high stack height and tallest rise bars. I currently use Renthal carbons , I prefer them to the alloy version. The flex bars interest me , curious to what rise is available. A big part of my hand issues is life. I,m a tradesman and have shoulder issues as well.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 28, 2020, 1:40 p.m.

Mike, getting into material for the full review here but rise is one factor where bars have changed a lot very recently as companies have cranked out Reach numbers with the Stacks increasing proportionally. 

The Flexx bars are 25mm rise where more and more brands/riders are going 30mm and and it’s not really uncommon to see 40mm+ bars these days but 0-15mm risers are rare.

I’m guessing the average Flexx costumer will be looking for a more upright, but still aggressive, position and I think 30mm or even 35mm would be the ticket for a one-rise fits most solution.

syncro
+2 Andy Eunson Andrew Major
Mark  - Feb. 26, 2020, 4:13 p.m.

That numbness may not be from your bars but could have something to do with your riding position and either stress on your neck or having too much weight/pressure on the bar. If you can, try and experiment with a higher bar position or adjusting seat position so you're not bent over as much and try and relax your grip on the bar a bit. Try not to rest your full body weight on the bars and instead use your core to help support your upper body.

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andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 26, 2020, 4:23 p.m.

Yes. I simply put a spacer or two under my stem to fix my hand numbness. Or I bought a higher rise bar, I forget. I was just leaning too hard on my hands.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 5 p.m.

Yes, great point. I know a few people who’ve had to make significant fit changes to new bikes off the floor (much higher bars specifically) because their new geo (super steep STA / long Reach) setup puts too much weight on their hands/wrists etc.

There’s a reason 30mm+ rise bars have become the norm again.

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jamesm925
0
James Moro  - Feb. 26, 2020, 11:17 a.m.

a buddy of mine went through two sets of those bars in a very short period of time. they kept snapping right where you'd expect: at the carbon bar/metal sleeve area--from some pretty basic things: one bar failed while he was literally pumping some rollers on a blue trail. the other failed when he did a 3ft huck to flat. i remember both times distinctly because we were shuttling trails and having my buddy's bars break on the first run both times meant a quick end to our day riding after having driven 3hrs to the trailhead.

those bars are an absolutely piece of junk IMHO, especially at an insane price of $425. 

renthal fat bars are far superior to these things. better yet, use the money to upgrade your suspension.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Shinook Metacomet
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 3:22 p.m.

I try to keep an open mind - and weigh positive and negative feedback on products - but the lightest carbon XC bars don’t break on 3ft drops to flat or pumping rollers on a blue trail. 

Not saying your buddy’s Fasst bar didn’t fail - or didn’t fail at those particular moments - but I’ve got almost twenty years in the industry and the number of JRA stories I’ve heard could easily fill a year of NSMB content. 

I’ll certainly do my best to put this bar through its paces for the full term review.

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blaklabl
+1 Andrew Major
blaklabl  - March 31, 2020, 12:25 p.m.

Andrew, when do you anticipate having this review ready to publish?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 31, 2020, 3:37 p.m.

Heya, I can’t commit to anything right now - not exactly punishing my bikes on the downhills these days and I don’t submit follow ups until I’m damn sure that the example of a product that I’m testing will hold up.

Happy to answer if you have any specific questions. Post here is it’s something you don’t mind sharing or if you prefer send me a message on Instagram (click the photographer link in the header); I check my IG messages daily.

Reply

andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 26, 2020, 4:27 p.m.

Funny how we’ve gone from stiffer stiffer stiffer to compliant more compliant way more compliant.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Andy Eunson Tjaard Breeuwer
Andrew Major  - Feb. 26, 2020, 5:12 p.m.

As someone who’s been talking and writing about bikes as systems for years - as evidenced by product reviews as far as writing/NSMB is concerned - I don’t enjoy the oversimplification but you’re not wrong and I think this trend is better than the previous march towards making my teeth rattle more every year.

Plus and +/- tires, aluminum (or compliant carbon) rims, more forgiving bars (thanks Renthal for pushing ride quality v. cosmetics as a discussion point for 31.8 v. 35 bars), forks that initialize smoother (the return of coil). Lots of positive trends away from the often conjoined twins of weight and stiffness.

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mlheureux
+1 Andrew Major
mlheureux  - Feb. 26, 2020, 7:34 p.m.

I purchased mine late last season after having some serious shoulder pain from a previous crash. After 20 trips to physical therapy and the amount of time and money that cost, I was desperate to find something that would help with arm pump and general comfort.  I've probably had 15 days on them both with trail riding and lift access. Here in the northeast, trails can be very rooty and the breaking bumps at local mountains will practically rattle your teeth loose. However those 15 days with this handlebar have only been filled with joy. Shoulder pain never increased and arm pump has definitely been alleviated by a noticeable amount. I am running the yellow elastomers and havent felt the need to try the other ones yet. Construction and materials are top notch and my days riding have definitely been more fun. Looking forward to a full season on them this year.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 27, 2020, 8:02 a.m.

Cool; that’s totally what I see as the target market for any of these comfort-increasing products: getting folks back on the trail.

Curious what you weight (~) in the name of science re. Yellow bumpers.

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mlheureux
+1 Andrew Major
mlheureux  - Feb. 27, 2020, 8:06 a.m.

I am around 180 with gear on. As my preference I run my suspension pretty firm to keep me high up when smashing bomb holes. It would be interesting to get a gopro on the handlebar to see how much movement the handlebar is actually moving.

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blaklabl
0
blaklabl  - March 30, 2020, 9:13 a.m.

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