The OneUp 35mm Carbon Handlebar is Ovalized to Aid Vibration Damping [Review]

Here you can see the thinner profile of the mid bar that allows for some vertical flex.

OneUp’s new Carbon Handlebar is available in a sole 35mm clamp diameter, which is a recent spec that I personally find too stiff and harsh. The company’s engineers apparently had a similar sensation, and have worked to design a bar that offers the stiffer steering characteristics of a 35mm bar, with a cozier amount of vertical flex.

They achieved these attributes by shortening the central 35mm segment of the bar, allowing it to quickly taper away from the stem into an ovalized wing shape similar to road bike aero-bars, and finally reaching a round 22mm diameter under the controls and grips. OneUp claims that the bar’s unique shape results in “a 21% increase in vertical compliance (comfort) coupled with a 28% increase in steering stiffness (responsiveness)” on average.  

From a rider’s eye view it is similar to any other carbon handlebar.

For the aesthetically concerned, the bar looks similar to any other from just a few feet away. Unlike the Syncros Hixon handlebar, no one has asked me what space ship the OneUp bars fell from. Instead, its shapely benefits are largely hidden from view, and immediately apparent in the hand. You can add colorful decals to match your bike or maintain its natural stealth finish. A series of markings around the controls not only look sweet, but they will also help you dial in your lever positioning with exact symmetry.

  • Price $138 (available at CompetitiveCyclist.com)
  • Weight 220g (20mm rise tested)
  • Clamp diameter 35mm
  • Rise 20 or 35mm
  • Geometry 800mm wide, 8° back sweep, 5° up sweep 

On rougher descents, most 35mm bars give me the sensation that my fork’s compression is wound tight. These OneUp bars feel closer to those 31.8mm sticks we enjoyed in the dust laden antiquity of 4 years past. They offer enough flex and vibration damping to keep my hands and wrists far happier than other large clamp bars, without sacrificing the lateral cornering stiffness that 35mm bars are known for. I am not a heavy enough rider to sense the full range of cornering benefits these bars include, but I know that they feel decidedly better than any other 35mm bar I have held on to.

Dial it all in with the clear series of measuring marks on either side.

As for OneUp’s new handlebar, it’s rare that I test a piece of gear and wouldn’t change a thing when it’s time to write the review. This carbon bar represents one of those snowflake components that was made perfect from the jump, and it’s well worth what they’re asking.

Thanks to OneUp for providing the handlebars for testing.

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