25/05/2013 | 4 comments
Judging by this new pile of goodies Race Face have been busy…
First up is this new I-Beam Atlas seat, which as you’d expect from an I-Beam seat weighs next to nothing. 168g to be precise. There’s still a reasonable amount of padding going on, but because of the I-Beam design the whole thing is as stiff as anything so it probably isn’t the best choice for long rides on a hardtail. Of course that’s not really what this is designed for anyway, it’s more of a FR/DH affair, but we reckon the overall shape is great. The standard of finish is very high too, and if you ever got lost in the Whistler area then that map might come in handy.
Of course an I-Beam seat isn’t much use if you haven’t got a compatible seatpost, and so it comes as no surprise to see this Atlas I-Beam post joining the Race Face lineup. We think the micro-adjust head is probably made by SDG, but the post itself is custom extruded by Race Face and features an elliptical design to keep the weight as low as possible whilst also keeping the strength where it’s needed. It’s only available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm sizes, and if you need a post longer than 350mm you’ll need to look elsewhere. At 216g though this makes for one seriously light setup when combined with the matching seat.
The Atlas stem has received a bit of a makeover and now features the etched map graphics to make it fit in with the rest of the range, and we reckon it’s one of their best looking stems to date…and that’s saying something. As with other Race Face stems you get the excellent interlocking U-shaped handlebar clamp which thanks to the lack of any sharp edges is very bar friendly, something that’s particularly important if you’re looking to run carbon bars. The stem is primarily targeted at the FR/DH market, but with it weighing in at just 149g we’d be more than happy to run this on a trail bike too. Option wise you get a choice of either 50mm or 65mm reach, and you get to choose between a black, blue or red finish. You’ll have to be running oversize 31.8mm bars and a 1 1/8″ steerer to take advantage of this stem, and be happy with zero rise, but seeing as that’s what most people want it’s not a problem. Definitely one of the classiest stems around at the moment.
Finally, but by no means least is this new wider version of Race Face’s superb SIXC carbon bars. At 725mm wide the previous bars were great but even for trail use we found them a little on the narrow side, and considering that they’ve always been built with enough strength even for DH race use this 785mm version couldn’t have come sooner. They really are a classy bit of kit in every way, they even have a textured bar clamp area (31.8mm) which means you don’t have to clamp them super tight to make sure they don’t budge, and at just 244g they’re one of the best ways to shed some weight from your bike without sacrificing strength. Talking of strength, Race Face have even gone to the lengths of reinforcing the grip area to cope with lock-on grips, and to ensure constant quality control they destructively test bars coming off the production line every single day. With 9° backsweep and 4° upsweep we love them shape of them too, and the 3/4″ of rise will suit the vast majority of riders. We’d easily rank these as being some of the best carbon bars on the market right now and the fact that you can get them with silver, red, green, blue or turquoise graphics should make them even more popular.