SPANK INDUSTRIES

HANDLEBAR BUYERS' GUIDE

Handlebars play a very important role in finding the right fit on any bike, and there are more aspects to bar selection and fit than most people understand.

Before you make a selection, take  a moment to understand the design geometry references on SPANK Industries bars.  They are there to guide your cockpit selection and set-up.

MTB BARS

THE BASICS

SPANK Bars are available in both 31.8mm and 35mm diameters depending on the model.

Bar lengths start at 777mm and go up to 820mm.

GEOMETRY

This refers to the unique bends, angles and sweeps of a handlebar and are one of the most important aspects of HUMAN FACTOR.  

Bar selection is entirely dependent on rider height, arm-span and the relationship between the rider-bike geometry. Geometry indexes includes:

INDEX

RISE
UPSWEEP
BACKSWEEP
SETBACK

SPANK Bars range from 15mm RISE through to 75mm.

Bar Geometry Index & Cockpit Adjustment Dial

Located at the center, or bar clamp zone of the bar, this contains all the critical bar geometry specifications.  The cockpit adjustment dial is a very handy references for finding your ideal bar position.

VIBROCORE™ Inside

Look for the VIBROCORE™ marking on a SPANK bar to know whether or not the bar is VIBROCORE™ enhanced.

Cut Marks

All SPANK bars come with cut marks at the bar ends for ease in determining the minimum width to which your bar can be cut down to.

VIBROCORE - TAKES THE BUZZ OUT THE BAR

SPANK’S AWARD WINNING VIBROCORE™ TECHNOLOGY IS PROVEN TO REDUCE ARM-HARM NUMBESS AND REDUCE THE ONSET OF ARM-PUMP.  In basic terms, the technology reduces the onset of fatigue and empowers you to spend more time in the saddle before your hands and arms give out!

HOW IT WORKS

HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT HANDLEBAR

DISCIPLINE

Where XC and Trail bars often prioritize light weight and stiffness, bars designed for gravity MTB applications such as DH, Freeride, and Enduro usually put a higher priority on ultimate strength, and a level of compliance to improve comfort. When selecting a handlebar, for your safety, it’s important to follow Intended Discipline recommendations. 

BARCLAMP DIAMETER

SPANK offers a range of MTB bars in both 31.8 and 35mm diameters. Where the 31.8mm standard is noted for its exceptional ability to blend strength, stiffness, light weight, and compliance, the 35mm diameter is widely specified on most complete bikes and makes for a comfortable all mountain / trail option.

HANDLEBAR WIDTH

When choosing a handlebar width, factors such as rider height and body proportion, riding style and location, and the type of bike you ride, should all be taken into account. Handlebar width is not only important to optimize steering, pull strength, and pumping, but also can be a factor in reducing arm/shoulder fatigue and injury.

HANDLEBAR RISE

Very tall riders will often feel better on a higher rise bar, and vice versa for shorter riders. However, with a properly sized bike, ride characteristics tend to be more important. Low-rise bars, from 5-15mm, mean more forward weight distribution, to keep the front wheel planted on the ground when climbing, and front wheel weighted for cornering traction. High-rise handlebars, from 50-75mm, will move the rider’s weight distribution more rearward, providing confidence in steep downhills and exceptionally rough terrain, and facilitating lifting the front wheel off the ground. Mid-rise bars in the 20-40mm range balance the properties of low-rise and high-rise bars, allowing for decent climbing, cornering, and descending characteristics.

BAR SWEEP

These are the angles at which the bar bends back from the stem clamp toward the rider. Upsweep is the angle at which the bar bend upwards away from the stem. Backsweep of an MTB handlebar is the angle at which the bar-ends bend directly backward from the stem. Upsweep is normally kept between 4-5 degrees, the comfort zone for most riders. Backsweeps in handlebars vary. Normally, as bars get wider, the backsweep increases, to accommodate the angle of approach of the rider’s forearms and hands. The backsweep angle together with the overall bar width, creates the handlebar setback, or distance from the bar clamp center to the grips. This is important when tuning the Rider Area Distance, from your bottom bracket to your grips. The back sweep of bars also allows us to tune the steering offset, which is the distance from your hand position to the steering axis (center of the fork steerer tube), which affects the steering characteristics of your bike.

COMPLIANCE

For many years popular marketing told us that the stiffer our bars were, the better. Bar stiffness does improve steering responsiveness, and the perception of support when riding steep or rough terrain or landing jumps and drops. However, if not properly managed, it can also lead to hand/arm fatigue and pain, and an overall bone jarring ride. SPANK takes proprietary steps in our bar production, to distribute material where it is needed for strength and stiffness, while paying special attention to compliance, or the ability to absorb impact shock and vibration. We also select materials for each handlebar to optimize their performance and comfort for the intended discipline.

SPANK INDUSTRIES HANDLEBAR CHART

Use the chart below to assist in identifying the right SPANK INDUSTRIES Handlebar Model dor your riding style.

GRAVEL BARS

DESIGN & INNOVATION

The patented vibration filtering Vibrocore™ foam core applied to SPANK INDUSTRIES handlebars, is proven to reduce hand-arm numbness, fatigue and arm-pump. These bars won a 2019 DESIGN & INNOVATION AWARD in recognition of the game-changing innovation introduced.

VIBRATION DAMPING CORE

Vibrocore™ is a biodegradeable, closed-cell foam core that is injected into SPANK's alloy bars.  The foam core effectively reduces the chatter or vibration that is synonymous with gravel riding, thereby offering a longer, more comfortable ride.

GRAVEL BAR RANGE

SPANK INDUSTRIES gravel, or drop-bar range, includes the Flare 25 as well as the Wing 12 - both with Vibrocore.

WING 12 widths:  420mm, 440mm, 460mm
Flare 25 widths:  420, 440, 460, 480, 500, 520mm

WING 12 VIBRCORE

The Wing 12 Vibrocore™ Drop Bar is a moderately flared 12º drop bar with a modern geometry, balancing off-road performance with on-road aerodynamics and comfort. The short 110mm drop and 70mm reach, combined with a broad aero/ergo top section with tight bends, provides comfort in a wide variety of riding stances, for long days in the saddle on mixed road and gravel terrain. Vibrocore™ foam core reduces discomfort caused by prolonged vibration and increases bar fatigue life and ultimate strength.

SHOP

FLARE 25 VIBROCORE

The Flare 25 Vibrocore™ Drop Bar is a 25º aggressively flared, wide drop bar for true off-road performance and comfort. A short 110mm drop and 65mm reach geometry is perfect for aggressive riding in an upright, balanced stance. The 31.8mm bar clamp extends through the top section enhancing hand comfort and facilitating infinite widget/rack mounting. Vibrocore™ foam core reduces discomfort caused by prolonged vibration and increases bar fatigue life and ultimate strength.

SHOP

GRAVEL TAPE & GEL KITS

A crucial aspect of your gravel cockpit fit lies in selecting the right tape.  View our FLARE & WING tape and gel pad kits that pair with our FLARE & WING drop bars for optimal comfort.

SHOP GRIPS