Answer ProTaper Carbon AM Handlebars

reviewed By M2

In the 90’s the Answer ProTaper bars were some of the most sought after pieces of anodized componentry, and after a hiatus they are back in carbon and aluminum variants. Being the weight weenie that I am I of course opted for the carbon version.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you’ve probably noticed that handlebars have been getting wider. The ProTaper carbons are a full 720 mm wide with an 8 degree back sweep, 4 degree up sweep and 1/2″ rise. More impressive is their light weight as they tip the scales right at 205 grams as advertised. They’re also all mountain rated, which isn’t a formal certification but does mean that although these bars are relatively light for their size they are intended to be ridden aggressively.

Last season I switched from a flat 620 mm wide bar with Ergon bar ends to a 640 mm wide low riser, then a 660 mm low riser. Although I missed the bar ends at first I got accustomed to the increased leverage and really liked it. With that in mind I decided to go wider still and am currently running the ProTapers at 680 mm width.

Some technical riding and downhill experts recommend running bars as wide as possible and the ProTapers are certainly wide at a full 720 mm. Given the frequency of closely spaced trees on our local trails and my comfort level with 660’s I opted to cut down the ProTapers to 680 mm as that seemed to be a good compromise between increased width and tree clearance. At that width the weight is 201 grams.

As bars have gotten wider they have also had an increasing amount of sweep. Although some bars feature a more dramatic 12 degree sweep, the 8 degree bend of the ProTaper Carbons is within the normal 6-9 degree range of most carbon handlebars on the market today. I have found the 8 degree sweep to be similar to the 9 degree bar it replaced, and after a few short rides I forgot that there was any difference. I’m still making up my mind about wider being better, but since these can easily be trimmed down to 660 it’s a non-issue as far as these handlebars are concerned.

The bars have been great so far, and like any good handlebar they have been trouble free. As I get some more time on them I will post some updates, and if you looking for a lightweight, wide bar then I recommend checking out the ProTaper line.

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