Tune first introduced their Spurtreu laser handlebar alignment tool a few years ago, and has only made small updates to it since. Essentially just a small precision machined aluminum block with a laser pointer attached, it takes the guess work out of setting the bars straight on most road and mountain bikes.
Tune Spurtreu laser handlebar alignment tool
Tune’s laser alignment tool sits with two of its machined rests on your bar next to the stem, and one on the stem itself. To align a recently installed bar & stem, you simply switch the small laser on. Rotate the bars until the laser points to the absolute center of your front wheel/tire. Then tighten down the stem and you are done.
Is it necessary? Well, that all depends on a few things. How often are you adjusting bars? How many bikes do you work on? How crooked are all of your bars right now?
Use & Lasting Impressions
First off you have to remember that if you buy the Spurtreu, you have to align it (calibrate the laser) first. There’s something meta about aligning the new alignment tool. Essentially with three small set screws in the laser pointer housing you can point the little red dot exactly where you need it. I calibrated the tool using Tune’s online manual (which curiously isn’t accessible from the tool’s English language page, but can be found here.) I just marked a box with a line 35mm off the edge, sat the Spurtreu on a perfectly flat work surface and aligned the laser’s red dot.
Now the question was, how straight were my bars? Well, out of 6 bikes that I put the Spurtreu on, 2 were perfect, 2 were close to perfect, and for 2 I was actually a bit surprised by how far off they were.
Am I someone who can’t make a bar straight? Probably not when I think about it, but when I was working in a bike shop I would routinely have to re-straighten a bar that I had already set. And more than once my wife has told me that I set her bars crooked. (Is it possible that it is harder to align the bars on really tiny women’s bikes?)
One caveat to using the Spurtreu is that it doesn’t play well with many stem-mounted or out-front style GPS mounts. It needs clear space next to the stem. And while it worked with every different stem & faceplate design that we tried on road & trail bikes, I did have to move a K-Edge & Garmin mounting bracket to be able to align the bars.
Now whether the high $95/69€ pricetag is warranted is entirely up to each individual. If you are a perfectionist and don’t have time for worrying about your bars, sure go ahead and get one (but make sure you buy a proper torque wrench first.) It is probably more fitting as a bike shop tool. Anyone who is adjusting/setting up bars daily will actually save time with the Spurtreu.