There are plenty of handlebars on the market - how about one especially for ultra-endurance riding?
Flat, riser, wide, wider – what do you want in your handlebar? If you are a focused on marathon and stage races then you probably just want something light, strong and the right width. Ride Farr are a South African brand, rising from a country where stage racing and marathon racing is king. Live television coverage, salaried professional riders, and events that sell out in the blink of an eye. So it's no surprise that Ride Farr have an endurance specific handlebar called the Farr Barr.
At 720mm wide with 9 degrees of rearward sweep, a 31.8mm centre and being made from carbon fibre weighing 165 grams – it ticks most boxes. But there is one totally unique feature – the mid-section of the bar.
With two flattened and curved sections, the Farr Barr has been designed to offer a comfortable, stable and efficient riding position when you're on smooth and straight sections of trail. Namely, chewing up some long firetrail or double track in an endurance event or epic ride.
Fitting them up is a cinch, as they have textured sections at the stem clamp and for the grips, helping keep things slip free. There are marks for cutting if 720mm is too wide, and marks for bar alignment too to ensure you're not askew. If you're interested, yes, you can still mount a Di2 head unit and just about anything else you normally put on your bars.
I fitted them up to my cross-country bike just before Easter, and have used them week in, week out since then at a couple of stage races, a few single day marathon races amongst plenty of hours on the bike. They're a little heavier than my normal handlebars and the slight extra stiffness has been a nice change to handling. And I think Ride Farr have hit the nail on the head with the width. Yes, you can run wider. But at speed, and negotiating race starts or trees, 720mm is such an optimal width. For me, the sweep has felt spot on.
But what about that extra position? With that, I'm less convinced. Maybe it's my lack of flexibility, or maybe it's the fact so many of our endurance races have continual singletrack, but I just didn't use that position much. Sure, I did a few times. But with races often being wheel to wheel when you're on straight and fast sections, I'd rather be closer to my brakes incase someone ahead has a lapse of concentration.
If you love to chew through kilometres on your bike, and you have your eyes on events with long, open sections, then I think the Farr Barr is a good choice. If you want a carbon bar with good sweep and width then it is also a good choice. And that's how I've ended up feeling. I don't use it's unique feature much – but the Farr Barr still delivers on the right combination of width, sweep, weight and feel. And that's good enough for me.
- Nice sweep and width
- Well finished
- Unique shape, two colour options
- It might solve a problem you don't have
RRP: $165 plus postage (approx)
From: Ride Farr