Testing the Deity Ridgeline bars and Copperhead stem.
Words: Ben Morrison Photos: Nick Waygood
Deity’s approach to the 35mm clamp bar and stem has been one where they have taken things a little slower to make sure 35mm was really a benefit before introducing it across their range. This is something I experienced firsthand during our group handlebar test where some brands sent both 31.8 and 35mm versions of the same bar. Often finding the 35mm too stiff and unforgiving for a trail bike and leaving me thinking was 35mm just marketing hype? Off the back of that group test in my mind the best overall bar was actually Deity’s Skyline 787 bar, yep an alloy bar with a 31.8mm clamp size and not expensive.
Fast forward to 2019 and the opportunity came up to try Deity’s 35mm options and again as with the group test it was up to me what bars I wanted to try. Having spent a year on the Skyline 787, I opted for the Ridgeline alloy bar to see if Deity had done their homework and released a 35mm bar that wasn’t going to rattle me apart.
I used a matching 35mm Deity Copperhead stem, the same model and length as I used with the 31.8mm clamp size for the Skyline 787 bar. This allowed me to set things up almost 100% the same when changing out bar and stem to move to the 35mm clamp size. With grips and controls installed on the new bars everything feels very much the same when sitting on your bike (note the 35mm stem was slightly thicker than the 31.8mm and I no longer had use of the 10mm space on top of the stem).
During the course of using the Ridgeline bar I was lucky enough to use them in some rather amazing locations such as Maydena and Bright along with local trails in and around Canberra. One thing that has to be said about these bars is that while not the most expensive bars in the Deity line up they definitely perform higher than their price tag. Deity were able to create a set of handlebars that even with a 35mm clap size offers excellent ride comfort and stability at the same time. The Ridgeline can actually been seen to flex when bouncing around on your bike but you don’t feel this during the ride and here in lies the beauty of what Deity have done with their 35mm handlebars, stiffness and comfort in 1 package.
A handlebar that is too stiff can really wreck your setup no matter how much it costs. It may look cool and it may even feel right in your hands with the bend you like, but if it is too stiff for you it’s a waste of money. When it comes to bridging that gap of stiffness brought on by the large 35mm clamp size I think it was worth the wait. Eric and the team at Deity have done a really outstanding job with bars that will fit most budgets and riding styles be you after carbon or aluminium.
35mm Ridgeline bars - $134.95
35mm Copperhead Stem - $159.95
- Smart design for 35mm
- Excellent ride feel
- Top notch sweep and rise
- You still might not need 35mm