Answer Products ProTaper Carbon 720 AM bars and Rove AM stem

Components Pro Reviews

The handlebars are an excellent set of carbon riser bars, that are light, strong, with a wonderful resiliency and feel, and have an optimal width and rise. The made in America stem is one stout beast, that is stiff, well-made and overbuilt, with an assortment of hidden technologies and features. Answer makes some great products, and their AM line of handlebars and stems is a fine introduction to their tough, durable and strong set of components.

ProTaper 720 Am
The ProTaper 720 AM comes in two versions, a 7050 aluminium alloy and the tested carbon model, which is built with a unidirectional 12 outer layer. The ProTaper technology adds material at the clamp and riser for strength and stiffness (the stress areas), and decreases it elsewhere for lightness, and it uses internal and external tapered walls to accomplish those goals. The bars are 720mm wide, with 8 degree rearward bend, and 4 degrees upward sweep, a 31.8mm clamping diameter, and either 12.7mm (only carbon), 25.4mm (tested) or 50.8mm of rise. The clamp section has a trick “Grip Grit” taped layer for anti slippage, and the graphics choices are Gold or White/Smoke.

Impressions
The ProTaper Carbon 720 AM are a superlative set of handlebars, that are stiff, with a perfect amount of carbon resiliency, which gives a hint of titanium like silkiness, which helps take the rough edges off terrain. The 720mm of width and 25.4mm of rise were ideal, and the width is optimal for most trail conditions that will be encountered, especially when dealing with tight trees. They look nice, and have a cool large weave pattern, and really stand out in bright sunlight,. They were easy to install, and the grip tape section where the stem attaches, made slippage non existent. I abused them pretty hard, and tossed them into rock gardens, ledge drops and heinous terrain, and then preformed admirably. They sustained multiple crashes, close encounters of the tree kinds and lots of sideways fall overs, and are none the worse for wear and tear.

Measured Specs:

  • width – 720mm
  • weight – 206.6 grams

Bottom Line
The ProTaper Carbon 720 AM are one of my favorite sets of handlebars. They are light, have an excellent silky tactile feel while still remaining stiff, and have a very functional rise and width (25.4 x 720mm), which is about perfect for a variety of terrain. They have survived crashes and lots of abuse in ugly terrain, and have shown themselves to be durable and tough. They are somewhat expensive for a set of handlebars, but can usually be found for less, and the three rise heights allow a great deal of variety for individual requirements.

Strengths

  • Light
  • Stiff
  • Silky resiliency
  • Grip tape for non-slippage at stem interface
  • Optimal width and rise (720mm x 25.4mm)

Weaknesses

  • Expensive – although reasonable for carbon bars

 
Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
 
ProTaper Carbon 720 AM handlebars Specs:

  • MSRP: $140
  • Visit Answer Rove AM website at http://www.answerproducts.com/components/protaper-carbon-720-am/
  • Width – 720mm
  • Weight – 205g & 225g (50.8 rise bar )
  • Clamp diameter – 31.8mm
  • 3 Rise Options – 12.7mm, 25.4mm, 50.8mm
  • UP Sweep – 4°
  • Back Sweep – 8°
  • Material Carbon with unidirectional 12 outer layer
  • Color Carbon
  • ProTAPER® Patented Technology – Lighter, stiffer, stronger
  • Internal and External Tapered Walls – Increase strength to weight ratio
  • Grip Grit area – Non slip surface


 

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • chris says:

    Hi Brian,

    You seem to review a lot of the same things that I try out too. I bought a set of those bars about a year ago and love them. I think they are the best bar out there and even bought a second one for a carbon xc bike that I wanted to go wider on. If you go from aluminum to carbon you can really feel a big difference in shock absorption.

    What caught my eye was that saddle. I’ve been wanting to try it but they are pretty expensive so I haven’t so far. Did you do a review of it? What do you think? The curved down nose and major relief is what got me interested. Looks like it would be great for really steep on the tip of the saddle climbs.

    Cheers

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Thks for the compliments! I did do a review of the saddle http://reviews.mtbr.com/smp-stratos-review and I like it quite a bit, in fact I always seem to return to it for testing things.

  • Saddle says:

    Hi Brian,
    I was wondering what saddle you got on that Mojo?

  • Pea says:

    Agree totally with the review, I’ve got a set on my 2011 Pitch Pro and they made a big difference to how the bike feels from the stock alloy bar.
    However these are not my first set, they are on my Santacruz V10. Yes I use them on a DH bike.
    I was interested in them as soon as I saw them, so emailed Answer to check their suitability. I explained that I’d been using an aluminium pro Taper bar for over 2 years with no problems and that I was a lightweight (10st) rider.
    They came back quickly with a reply confirming that they’d be ok. So far I’ve not had any problems with either set of bars, but I’m spoiled now as doubt I could go back to an alloy bar again.

  • Chris says:

    The results I’ve seen from testing show that carbon bars are stronger than aluminum bars. I’ve sure people will say they have broken some but I would think that it must take a pretty hard crash to do so. The prejudice against carbon continues but is getting less and less. It is the material of the future in my opinion.

  • Rodney says:

    Nothing special or innovative about the stem. Looks like a knee killer.

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