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Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - July 30, 2018, 11:57 p.m.

An update - over all very happy with the bars and having not had a few rides with the 12's as well (mounted to my full sus - Intenser Tracer VP) I definitely prefer the 16's but not sure they would suit the riding in the same way to a hardtail, in that I mean (although this could be many factors) I can get the front end up much easier manualing some as well as doubling up rollers at my local trail centre much easier on the full sus/12's over the hardtail/16's.

I have changed physio (again!) and the new one has made a significant difference. he for one is completely hands off and as I have a chronic problem (ie ongoing for a long time) massage won't work so he had me on some simple "shrug"exercises every other day with weights that made a significant difference in 2 weeks. The opinion being if muscles are weak they will clench and tire quickly (causing aggravation to nerves as well), so strengthen them off the bike so there is more power and endurance so it all takes more/longer to fatigue and become a discomfort. further exercises now added and I recon I'll be hitting the downhill tracks nearby before the summer is out (UK).

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Feb. 15, 2018, 12:11 a.m.

I did briefly, I only do it for firetrack type climbs, I'd imagine they'd get in the way on jumps/downhills though?

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Feb. 14, 2018, 8:57 a.m.

A bit more experimenting with the 16's on my short trail centre ride (5 miles sometimes linked with a 2.5 miles extension), generally once a week - I tell myself it's better than nothing.

I recon I could take more of a sweep and when climbing tent to rotate my hands further and put my thumbs over the top of the bar and consciously think "elbows in" which really helps relax my posture.  The 50mm 20 degree rise stem is fine, I think at shorter stem would be better ( I had a 40mm/10deg rise dabomb stem for around 8 years), but I feel the rise is needed and the fork steerer is cut short so can't stack higher.  I have rolled the bars back to near where they should be ( I had rolled them up to give more up sweep than back), but also following this article, I have narrowed in my grips, bakes, etc and am nearing in to a prefered to sort my tyres (I either run them hard and slide or soft and puncture); I've never thought about my bike setup so much!!!

For stem options I found this Site to compare actual reach of different setups, and the 40mm/10deg to 50mm/20deg with my head angle (phone app measured 67deg) was 3mm longer and 12mm higher

Now on a side note - I have been having more neck discomfort so have had a few physio trips recently, with a new chap as my previous has stopped practicing, this new guy has approached my problem differently and has looked at a few things, one of which is a wasting of tricep (right handside) which seems to cause me to use my muscles and frame wrong and sort of clench lots of muscles to gain stability..... so lots of tricep exercises cometh!

Flat Pedal Facts - Jan. 15, 2018, 8:55 a.m.

Your oval ring comments have almost been ignored in the responses!  I remember my biopace ovals (hahaha - I know different orientation).  Are there any good chain guides for them?

I have always and will always ride flats on an mtb.  I started clipping in when doing spin classes and and then took tham on to the road with my commuter bike.  I used some oldish Shimano shoes and XT cageless pedals but I wasn't able to put my foot where I wanted to to feel stable, yes perfect for applying power and sustaining a cadence, but I never felt confidently balanced and minimal room for movement (currently on DMR v12 mags's and Superstar mag's with five tens).

I foolishly had toe clips back in the early-mid 90's (teenager) as a get about bike but as I started "mountain biking" it was bear traps then DMR's to lean to jump and downhill - so err bit of "old dog new tricks" scenario for me now!  Oh and to much work makes Dave a dull boy who has minimal time to ride and learn new things :-(

Going to Wide Bars (and back again) - Jan. 9, 2018, 12:38 a.m.

Good article. 

I've been having problems with neck pain (after a trapped nerve smoe years ago) and have started experimenting with different setups, 1st with a more swept bar (SQLab as per the review on hear) and now before I found this article I am narrowing in the grip positions (before I cut the bars).... moving the grips in (out, shake it all about) to work out what fits and if you use lock ons then you can move them during the ride (like I have I started playing with over xmas). 

I agree size makes a difference, at 6'1" and 42" chest I'm quite tall & broad so was expecting a wide bar to be better, but my old injury niggle has different ideas!

I always used to run BMX grips as they are longer allowing different placement of the hand to suit, plus I have BIG (but not massive) hands!

Going to Wide Bars (and back again) - Jan. 9, 2018, 12:28 a.m.


Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 10, 2017, 9:36 a.m.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 10, 2017, 9:25 a.m.

So I received my Alu high 12 & 16 sweeps on Friday.  In the hand off the bike the 16's definitely hold most neutrally.

I have fitted the 12 to my Tracer Intense and 16 to my Stanton Slackline and swapped the stems so now have the longer 70mm and 8 degree rise (I didn't realise it was that long until I measured it!) stem on the Slackline and the shorter 40mm with some rise on my Tracer, the idea was to see if this improved Mt Tracer (although not ridden more than around the garden, but it felt good). 

A brief ride just now on the Slackline in the slush (its snowing) and the longer stem made a significant making it much harder to pop the front up to manual through rollers, but small drops (less than a foot) were fine. 

Very little to say as of yet, but I did feel more relaxed across my shoulders,  but at only 30mins it was a quick easy blast (one that had highlighted problems with comfort on the Tracer with Havoc's). 

I'll feed back more after Xmas when I should get a few rides in on both bikes.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 8, 2017, 9:39 a.m.

So I've had 2 bars delivered both high Alu, one 12 the other 16.

Fitting tomorrow when it's light, was considering 16's on the hartal and 12's on the full sus and then likely stem swaps for an experiment as well. 

I'll report back!

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 6, 2017, 6:09 a.m.

Fair point.  S

But, So many "reviews" (and news for that matter) seems just to be stating "what we've been told...", simple facts that anyone could piece together or worst of all a press release!

I like reading the personal comments, shows the reviewer has opinion and comparisons are very useful too.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Nov. 30, 2017, 10:21 a.m.

Invaluable comments - you should state this in the review (did you?).

Alloy it is then.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Nov. 30, 2017, 9:52 a.m.

I'm sure I posted.... try again!

So which version would you recommend, ali or carbon?  I believe some flex is a positive thing (hence why I ride a steel hardtail!)  still undecided on sweep, maybe 16 on the hardtail and 12 on the full susser...

Ditch Your Lock-On Grips - Nov. 29, 2017, 9:04 a.m.

Another great useful article, thanks.

I ave generally stuck (pun!) with push on grips as they are longer, as I have large hands and find that lock on's are always too short.  I've used bmx grips in the past as they are long.

fixing wise, a bit of spinning dosn't bother me but with small zip ties and some GT85 underneath they stay put fairly well and are easy to remove (compared to gluing them).

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Oct. 31, 2017, 5:28 a.m.

So I have done some crude measures and calculations on my Azonics and come up with 10deg back sweep and almost 11deg up sweep!

Having looked in to bars further it seems that MX bars (yes heavy and different diameter so not suitable) are available in a few distinct shapes (named to various different sponsored riders & manufacturers).  But confusingly they state the shape of the bars with 6 different dimensions including Renthal without a degree mentioned once!

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Oct. 24, 2017, 7:28 a.m.

What a great article!

I had an off (otb in to a ditch) at the same time as over working myself renovating a house a few years ago and trapped a nerve in my neck.

Since then I have struggled to do more than about an hour riding on my fullsus (Intense Tracer) with an Easton Havoc bar.  My hardtail (Stanton Slackline) has a more comfortable cockpit, but the bars are a little narrow and old (15years at a guess Azonic Double Walls) and have a little to much flex in them but the shape is about right (I can't find any info on their actual shape?).

So after hunting for a alternative shaped bar (a different colour or pattern does not warrant  a different product does it?), I recently read a past issue of MBUK with an article about Hans Ray using the "weird cockpit of SQlab Bars" but finding more info on these has not been easy!

it's interesting that Syntace also do a similar shaped bar, but their website is not easy to use and how do I decide which of these few choices would suit me best without buying them (no shops are going to stock either of these in the UK i doubt)?

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