Syntace Vector 31.8 Carbon Handlebar Review

Pro Reviews

Impressions
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. As I stated at the beginning of the article, the bars have a titanium feel to them, but due to the carbon’s stiffness, they have none of the usual flex issues that are synonymous with titanium bars.

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

Features
The Vector 318′s have a couple of interesting features. One feature is that the clamp area has some extra protection that has been added to it. It has what they call an ‘in-molded titanium lattice’, which helps protect the handlebar from the crushing loads of a stem clamp. You can see it in the picture as sort of a glued on tape zone under the stem clamp. It also provides a nice anti-slip section, since it has a tackiness to it that helps prevents movement. I have never had the bars slip on me as yet, something I can’t say about any other bars I have ever owned! Another hidden detail of the bars, is that there is an increased wall thickness under the area where the shift and brake clamps reside.

Although the handlebars look a bit shiny and slipperier, I had the darnedest time getting the grips to slide onto the handlebar ends. I used more than a few choice words during the escapade of getting the grips installed.

Frack!

Syntace uses a new type of carbon fiber, and 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.

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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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