As handlebar widths have grown wider and wider, most of us here at Art’s Cyclery have embraced the longer levers along with the increased leverage and control they bring. In fact, several riders here are riding bars well beyond the 750 mm mark. In our quest to find the perfect widebar bend and rise, we’ve sampled many different handlebars, some of which flex so much it’s visible to the naked eye. Thus, when Easton announced the release of the new “oversized”—as 31.8 was called when it debuted—we were instantly intrigued. Here is the breakdown, giving you a chance to decide if you think the Easton 35 cockpit controls will fit into your game.
Apparently, all the complaints to our Easton rep about 750 mm being too narrow for an aggressive handlebar were not in vain—someone was listening, and decided there was a market for 800 mm handlebars, thus the Havoc 35 bars. If 800 seems a little much, just cut it down to where you like it, (780 works well for me.) As they went wider and wider, Easton discovered that 31.8 bars became flexier and flexier. Unacceptably so with bars that were light enough for the pros. So, drawing on the success of their 35 mm moto bars, Easton went back to the desktop and designed a new handlebar and stems to go with it, without the constraints of the 31.8 mm clamp diameter standard. Not only is the fat middle section bigger, it’s longer as well, with a weight-and-stiffness-optimized taper (diameter-wise) to allow for a 20 mm rise. The mixture of increased diameter, taper, and Easton’s premium EA90 alloy resulted in a handlebar that’s 800 mm wide, 10-15 % stronger, 21% stiffer, and amazingly 10% lighter than 31.8 mm bars. Weighing in at 220 grams, the Easton Havoc 35 carbon handlebar is the lightest DH bar on the market.
Of course, an amazing new 35 mm diameter handlebar is useless without a stem to hold it, so Easton has released the new Havoc 35 stem as well, in two different flavors—steer-tube and direct mount. The direct-mount version is inspired by an all-time great, the E*Thirteen Ali stem—a split design that eschews a faceplate for a more secure pinch-type bar clamp. Easton’s Havoc 35 direct mount stem’s bar clamps use wider spacing, and wider bar interfaces than similar stems. Plus it’s light. At 110 grams it’ll make any roadie jealous. It will be compatible with Fox 40s and Rock Shox Boxxer forks, has a -5 mm rise, and is adjustable to give a 45 or 50 mm effective length. Since wide bars aren’t just for DH bikes, there is a standard steer-tube mounted stem also, which is basically a bigger, wider version of the popular Havoc stem. It’s only available in a 50 mm long, zero-degree rise version. Both of the stems are made from Easton’s premium EA90 aluminum alloy.
So, if you like to ride wide handlebars, meaning 750 mm and beyond, the Havoc 35 bar and stem are worth considering, especially if you are a bigger rider or ride rocky/big-hit terrain. While the Havoc 35 is not necessary for every rider, for some, it will definitely enhance the mountain biking experience.