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Thanks! It's a handlebar review that isn't. For me (on our terrain) it's not something I was comfortable with when things got steep and hairy. The bar was super comfy on the road, gravel, and light trails and it is definitely something I'd run on the right commuter. Absent the limits of space I'd have a modern cruiser, like a Humu 29", with this bar for sure.
I don't have a hard and fast rule for stem length with more sweep because the different hand positions change weight distribution as it is, but, for both the 12° and 16° I found myself running an extra 1cm of stem length on most bikes. The 12° was immediately natural with a +1cm stem (my Honzo at the time was the first gen and was likewise shorter in effective reach than any other bikes I was riding) where the 16° took a few rides to dial in.
The 12° made a big difference to my wrist and elbow pain on rides under a couple hours where after I got used to the 16° it resolved those issues outright (and I don't find any negatives with it at all - shoulders etc). One of the bikes I'm currently testing isn't compatible with more than 9° of backsweep and I notice the difference going from 16° to 9° within 30-minutes of riding (there are some other factors there too).
I get a fair amount of correspondence about SQLab bars to this day and I will say the majority of riders I talk to are happy with their grips in a similar position to where they were before changing. That's usually a 10-15mm increase in stem length.
I think it's fair to say the two big exceptions are folks that didn't have a good fit on their bike to begin with (buying a bar to solve something that's a bigger issue - like the wrong frame size) AND in one case a guy who bought a bike with a relatively old school (read - 2018) geometry where the company had spec'd a trendy shorter offset fork rather than try to explain to customers why 51mm would work better with the package. In that case, going longer than a 50mm stem made the handling wonky but <50mm made the bike not fit with the 16° bar. I actually am not sure what the outcome was.
Hope that's helpful!
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