Vector 31.8 Carbon Bars
The Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon handlebars have a 10mm rise, 31.8mm clamp, 680mm or 740mm width and a 9° or 12° sweep. The stem clamp area has an ‘in-molded titanium lattice’, which helps protect the handlebar from any crushing loads, and acts as an anti-slip zone. There is an increased wall thickness under the area where the shift and brake clamps reside for additional protection in those sections. Syntace utilizes a complex arrangement of the individual fiber layers, combined with loading them in an optimized cross section to give a resilient, strong and stiff bar. It comes in black, weighs from 190 -220 grams, and retails for $185.
The Vector 31.8 Carbon is not only strong, but they have the excellent absorption and damping qualities that are common to the carbon fiber material. Even with the damping attributes, the bars still have a great stiffness to them, and the two properties together give incredible steering abilities, giving rise to laser-like qualities even while bashing them through the roughest terrain. The titanium lattice kept the bars from moving and slipping at the stem interface, even when using less than the recommended torque specifications. I liked the 740mm width (as tested), which I find optimal, and it gave great power and control, especially in ugly gnarly terrain, allowing me to apply maximum torque when required. I also enjoyed the extreme sweep of the 12° version, as they provided a comfortable and ergonomic platform, giving me less fatigue and better grip. I took some great diggers and crashes, and the bars are none the worse for that wear and tear. Like all of their cockpit components, the bars spent some up close and personal time on their killer VR-3 machine, meaning they can take a monstrous amount of realistic abuse, and once again highlighting the amazing toughness and longevity of their product.
Measured Spec (12° x 740mm) :
- Weight – 215.6 grams
- Length – mm
The wide Vector 31.8 Carbon are an excellent handlebar, as they’re strong, stiff when needed, yet provided a small degree of damping for a superlative ride, and the comfortable sweep was a welcome change.
- Anti-slip titanium lattice
- Just the perfect combination of damping and control and stiffness
- Excellent ergonomic 12° sweep
- Tough and strong
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
- MSRP – $185
- Visit the Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon handlebar website
- Weight – 680 mm: 189 g, 740 mm (8°): 208 g and 740 mm (12°): 219 g
- Width – 680 mm can be shortened up to 640 mm, 740 mm can be shortened up to 700 mm
- Rise – 10 mm
- Clamp Ø – 31.8 mm
- Sweep – 8° or 12°
- Color – Carbon
Syntace and their Testing
Syntace is located in Tacherting, Germany, just north of Salsberg near the Austrian border, and has been around a long time. They manufacture excellent products, including handlebars, stems and tools, in the usual highly engineered German fashion. What sets Syntace apart is their extensive testing of their products. They literally abuse their products to death, doing intensive corrosion, impact and hardness testing, along with a lot of detailed hand measurements to keep everything to their exacting standards. They test their products with the VR-3, which is a spiffy computerized tester, that can simulate pushing and pulling loads, alternate those loads on either side of the bars, stems and posts to simulate light to hard impacts, and do those simulations in an iterative process over long periods of time. What that means is they can reproduce, in a short period of time, all the punishment that we would replicate over many years of use. Very real-world testing!
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