For years, Answer has been one of the brands under the Hayes Components roof. And within that Answer brand has been the Answer Protaper line of handlebars along with other Answer components like stems, pedals, and grips. One of the biggest pieces of news from Sea Otter from Hayes Components was that the Answer brand is evolving into the Protaper MTB brand. Hayes will still offer a full range of bars, stems, and pedals, but now they’ll be labeled with the striking yellow and white ProTaper Logo.
Hayes points out that this ProTaper MTB brand will be run as a completely separate company than the ProTaper BMX and Moto brands even though the logo is the same. Like the very first handlebars back in the early 90’s, the new bars use the ProTaper design which puts more material at the clamping section then tapers out to the grips for strong, light, and compliant bar.
Continuing with their range of both carbon and aluminum handlebars, ProTaper will have four carbon and four aluminum models, mostly in 31.8mm diameter clamps – though there will be one 35mm carbon bar in a 1″ rise. All of the bars feature an 810mm width with labeled cut marks to make sizing them a bit easier. Aluminum bars will be available in flat, 1/2″, 1″, and 3″ rise, while carbon bars will be available in 1/2″, and 1″ rise for 31.8mm, 1″ rise for 35mm, and a 20/20 bar with 20mm rise and 20mm backsweep.
It’s a similar story with the ProTaper EVO stems. 3D forged and machined from 6061 aluminum, the stems feature Torx bolts and will be available in both 31.8 and 35mm clamp diameters. The 31.8 stems will be sold in 30-50mm lengths in 5mm increments and the 35mm stems will start at 35mm in length due to the increase in the size of the clamp area making a 30mm length impossible. DH riders will be happy to see the 31.8mm direct mount 30-40mm stem continue in the line.
Finishing out the line of new ProTaper products, the new EVO pedal offers another option for flats. Machined from 6061 aluminum, the pedals use a chromoly spindle with sealed bearings and use a flip flop pin design that allows you to fine tune your traction set up. When installed one way, the pins are shorter, but when installed the other way they are longer. Built with a slightly concave shape and large plaform, the pedals have 10 pins per side and are available in gloss black.