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New Race Face Era & Turbine bars deliver size-specific compliance

2025 race face era carbon mountain bike handlebar shown on a bike
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Race Face loves compliant handlebars, having introduced one of the first options with their Next SL bar years ago. But they wanted to do better for more riders, with more widths and rises in the trail and all-mountain categories. The result is the new Race Face Era carbon handlebars, which introduce size-specific tuning.

Race Face admits there are some great handlebars on the market with built-in compliance. The problem is they all come out of the box at 800mm wide. And not very many mountain bikers ride 800mm wide bars. Once you trim them, they say, the vibration damping diminishes, and it drops off the more you cut them.

That’s because those bars are tuned and measured to be adequately compliant at 800mm wide. If you move your hands inboard, you’re no longer applying the same weight and pressure on them.

2025 race face era carbon mountain bike handlebar shown on a bike

So, Race Face created specific tunes for trail use with the new carbon Era and alloy Turbine handlebars, and made them in 760mm, 780mm, and 800mm widths with three rise options, each individually tuned for its size and rise.

The Era carbon bar has a 96-piece UD carbon layup, and the layup is specific to each bar’s width and rise. For the Turbine alloy bar, the compliance is created with extensive, specific tube butting, down to 0.1mm wall thickness differences across 5mm spans.

Compliance testing and design

2025 race face era carbon mountain bike handlebar shown on a bike

During development, they tested for frequency, vibration damping, and vertical compliance by taping sensors to testers’ forearms.

They arrived at the GL tune, for GoldiLocks, because it’s just right. Anything higher was too stiff, anything lower was too soft. They also found that, regardless of rider weight or size, most folks preferred a stiffness within a small range and were very happy with the GL tune they ended up with.

All bars use a 35mm clamp area. They tested other 31.8mm bars, but found that there was no discernible difference in compliance between the two clamp diameters. But, with 31.8 you have to add more material to make it stiff enough, which makes it harder to make it compliant, and also makes it heavier.

race face era handlebar schematic

A narrower clamping area (60mm max stem clamping width) lets them start the rise and taper closer to the bar – the diameter reduces from 35mm to 22.2mm 10% faster than their other handlebars.

And it’s not oval. That’s because everyone rotates their bars differently, so there’s no one perfect angle for bar roll, and thus no perfect angle at which to optimize the compliance with an ovalized design.

They tested the vertical stiffness from -20º to +20º of bar rotation, and the oval bars experienced up to a 20% change in vertical stiffness throughout that range. But the Race Face Era’s compliance changed just 6% in that same test, so they say it’s going to feel better for a wider range of cockpit setups.

Not only are they compliant, Race Face says they have the highest impact and fatigue strength of any other Category 4 (trail-enduro) bar they tested.

Race Face Era & Turbine bar specs & options

2025 race face turbine alloy MTB handlebar with engineered compliance
  • Widths: 760mm, 780mm, 800mm
  • Rise: 10mm, 20mm, 40mm
  • Backsweep: 8º
  • Upsweep: 5º
  • Era Carbon
    • Claimed weight: 220g (800×40)
    • MSRP: $169 USD
    • 6 graphics colors
  • Turbine Alloy
    • Claimed weight: 315g (800×40)
    • MSRP: $89 USD
    • 7 anodized colors

Why no 30mm rise? They found that most riders won’t choose the middle options anyway, and adjusting your fit is easily done with spacers. The 10mm rise is only available with a 760mm width.

Both the Era and Turbine bars are e-bike rated. And, yes, you can trim them, but it’s best to buy the size closest to what you actually want and make small adjustments. In otherwords, don’t buy an 800mm to cut it down to 760mm…just buy the 760mm.

All come with a lifetime warranty with crash replacement, just like almost all of their other products.

RaceFace.com

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Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
1 month ago

Fiddlesticks — this coming right on the heels of me buying 800 mm OneUp bars and trimming them to my preferred 760.

FritzP
FritzP
1 month ago

Any XC carbon flatbar choices?

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