Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon Handlebar Review

Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

I have been testing the Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon handlebars on my Moots Mooto-XZ 29er for 5-6 months now, and I am highly impressed. I have never used a set of carbon handlebars that had such a wonderful feel to them, and dare, I say they actually have a touch of the silky titanium property! They are not only bombproof, but they look good, have a nice sweep to themselves and are decently wide.

I needed some different handlebars when I converted my Mooto-XZ 29er from 100mm of travel to 120mm. The extra raise and slackness of the front end made it too difficult to use the old school layout that came with the flat bars and 100mm stem. To help alleviate the slackness and the stretched out feeling, I went with a 90mm stem and the Vector 31.8 low rise bars.

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. 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 handlebars 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, 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!

Not only do you get an excellent and durable set of handlebars from this testing, and their QA/QC, but you get a 10 year warranty (albeit, bars installed and used according to the assembly instructions). I like how they state that the VR-3 performs a cyclical loop of torture.

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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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  • bruce brown says:

    Pastajet, is that Vector you tested and pictured the 9 degree or 12 degree version? It looks very nice and would be sweet on my RIP….

  • bruce brown says:

    Is that bar the 9 degree or 12 degree that you tested?

  • red endozo says:

    On the first picture, it has the spec on the right side and it has 12 degree of sweep. I have one also that i’m going to put on my Turner Sultan. Last year the cost was less, but now it went up. Get one now co’z by 2010, it might go up again.

  • pastajet says:

    12 degrees

  • bruce brown says:

    Thanks. I missed the 12 degree imprint on the bar thanks to leaving my reading glasses at the office for the weekend.

  • learn to read says:

    Did anyone leaving comments even read this review? Not only does he have a photo of the 12 degree bar posted, it says on page two it’s available in a 9 or 12 degree sweep, and the 12 degree version was tested.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Ok, lets play nice, I did add the (12° tested) for clarity!

    Specs
    ——-
    Weight 189 g (verified at 190.7 grams)
    Width 680 mm
    Rise 10 mm
    Clamp Ø 31.8 mm
    Sweep 9° or 12° (12° tested)

  • oldassracer says:

    meh – why use this carbon bar when there are aluminum bars weigh about the same or less and are more durable?

    I think this bar is a bit over engineered. What I can’t believe are the carbon bars that are 69grams. Let’s test some of those…

  • Nicholas says:

    They make tough bars and I now use them all- carbon and Alu, but I do wish the carbon one was 15mm – 20mm wider. The carbon bar is ridiculously tough. I have crashed a couple of times and messed up the levers and myself but the carbon bars wear like iron.

  • Pete says:

    Nicholas, Syntace have been showing a 740mm Vector carbon at interbike this year. Claiming it to weigh 235g. Worth a look!

  • Jwilli says:

    WHat stem model is that? Looks nice!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    That is the Moots Open Trail Ti stem, and it is very sweet indeed

  • John says:

    What bar was tested, the 9 or 12 degree sweep?

  • pastajet says:

    Per the article…

    Specs
    ——-
    Weight 189 g (verified at 190.7 grams)
    Width 680 mm
    Rise 10 mm
    Clamp Ø 31.8 mm
    Sweep 9° or 12° (12° tested)
    Color Carbon

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