a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2009
Strengths: light, stiff, vibration dampening.
Weaknesses: cracking finish
This handlebar allows you to go on much longer rides because you are less physically tired. If you like to go on long mountain bike rides with out feeling beat-up at the end, get this bar. Vibration dampening cannot be overstated enough
Similar Products Used: Easton EA70 Monkeybar, Kona DH
Bike Setup: 2004 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2007
Strengths: Looks cool, Light, super stiff with little flex. Absorbs road shock very nicely
Weaknesses: None so far
Not sure what the others are complaining about, with breaking and such. Bad batch I guess.
The fact is this, I weigh 225 lbs and this bar has been through hell and high tide the past 3 yrs with me on them, and still look as new as the day got them. Also I ride mostly XC, some down hill stuff.
Similar Products Used: Race Face 'Next'xc 1" rise is on my shopping list today, it is 30g heavier but for that I get a quality finish and strength to go heavy xc/singletrack. It cheaper too.
Bike Setup: Rebuilt 6061 U.S Gt Zaskar, xt/xtr and other bling bits.
a Weekend Warrior
from Dallas, Busharagua
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2006
Strengths: damping really truly works
Weaknesses: price on these things keeps going north, or so Nigel at the boutique fibbed to me. He has a certain disdain for the intelligence of straight people.
Could it be most of the people who broke their Monkey Lites also sawed off an inch on each end? Reason to buy these bars is flex. Cut an inch off each end, and you stiffen up what's left. Size matters.
Purchased At: girlie men in lycra road bike boutique
Similar Products Used: factory alums
Bike Setup: 06 Santa Cruz Superlight D, mostly stock. Threw a Thudbuster on it two weeks ago, just to experiment. Can't convince myself to take it off yet. I'm sure I'll see the stupidity of this idea, someday.Maybe.
a Cross Country Rider
from Laguna Beach
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2006
Strengths: Nice and Light. Should be used stricly for touring and no aggressive uses.
Weaknesses: Snapped after 4 months of riding pulling a wheelie to go UP a rock?!?! I weigh 165 lb's so it wasn't as if there was excess stress on those babies.
I was happy that it didn't happen going down something! After reading another guy's review of snapping a couple sets of monkey lites, I'm bummed hearing about the customer service Easton provides on its warranty. Looks like aluminum is up next...
a Cross Country Rider
from Oskaloosa, Ks USA
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2006
Strengths: Looks PIMP, nice feel
I was kinda upset at first, I wanted the race face bars but they were outa stock so I decided to go with the Eastons .. now that I've been riding with them I'm very pleased ... they look good ... feel good ... must be good
Bike Setup: Ironhorse, Fox Vanilla fork, lots o extra's .. .. savin up for a Heckler
Jose Fernando Vazquez-Perez
from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2006
Strengths: Probably the lightest mountain bike handlebar available.
Weaknesses: The product itself seems rather well built, until you use it as intended for a while... This bar is constructed for light XC only, and WILL FAIL at when stressed. I've had two of them, and both have suffered sudden deaths which fortunately haven't caused me any major injury. I guess I ride on the "All Moutain" side of MTBing which means I do some aggressive riding every other time. Yet I haven't had any major falls or accidents. The bars have fallen apart from regular use, in both cases around the 6-month-old mark. And don't even think of redeeming that "lifetime warranty" offered by Easton. You'll first have to find a soul to get back to you, after getting the run-around from Easton. This jerky will ask you for pictures which he'll "evaluate" for a couple of weeks, and later use them to dismiss your claim by telling you that it's all somehow you fault. Too much tightening of the handlebar, or the brake levers, or shifters, or some other thing, which of course, was not the case, as I saw my mechanic use a torque-limited key when tightening the parts to the handlebar. Listen, I understand perfectly that MTBing is a sport that's hard on the equipent, but I take the manufacturers at their word. When they say "lifetime warranty" it should mean exactly that, and their customer service should be handled as if they really want your business, not as if they already made their profit... Which means that their o-called warranty is a marketing ploy, rather than a serious offer. Compare that to Cane Creek who takes care of their customers. I guess I won't be riding on a third bar from Easton.
If you love your teeth, and care for your crotch get a titanium or an aluminum handlebar that won't achieve sudden catastrophic failure.
Similar Products Used: Many other models from Titec, Answer, Race Face, Azonic, etc.
Bike Setup: 2005 Ellsworth Moment, Fox Talas, Cane Creek Zonos wheels, XTR transmission and components...
from North Tustin, CA
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2005
Strengths: Strong, lite, comfortable, good looking
These work great, at first I was hesitant to get carbon bars afraid they would break. Well I weigh 205 pounds and they haven't broke yet. I have put them through some good punishment, too. I thought they were a little to wide when I put them on too, but cut off about an inch off both ends. I wouldn't hesitate on buying these.
Weaknesses: Bar is coated by a plastic 'skin' that wears off whenever grips/stems are changed, or a crash. Looks like a bad case of peeling skin after a sunburn. Decals have almost worn off.
A great bar for the price. No qualms about durability. The bar in stock form is MUCH too wide for XC riding. I took an inch off both ends of the bar and now it's perfect. The bike steers and climbs better, and I don't have to worry about the front tire wandering all over the place. Other than the cheap cosmetics, this thing is great.
Similar Products Used: Bontrager, Answer Hyperlite
Bike Setup: '04 Specialized Stumpjumper stock except for: Monkey Lite XC bars, EC70 carbon post, XT cassette, Race Face Deus cranks, Mavic Cross Max XL wheels. 25.6 lbs.
from Grande Cache, AB
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2005
Strengths: Lightweight Supple Well finished
Weaknesses: Not enough rise Too wide
As a climbing junkie, all my XC bikes have flat bars & bar ends. My freeride bike has a big, fat Funn riser on it, and it definitely helps screaming down the steeps. I wanted to try a riser on my Ventana trail bike to see if it would help the same way, without killing my climbing position.
Well, everything is a trade off. The Easton is a beautiful bar, and it actually saves a noticeable amount of weigh over the flat bar/ends set up. Downhill control was improved, but not as much as I'd hoped because of the low (3/4 inch) rise. Climbing performance was reduced, as expected. The carbon fiber dampens a lot of the shock on rough trails compared to the old bar, a very good reason to pay the extra money over the aluminum version (for XC use, anyway). At 26" wide, this bar is about an inch too wide for XC, but I wasn't going to take a chance cutting a measly half-inch off each side, either.
Conclusion? If you're converting from flat to riser, don't compromise - commit and get a bar with at least 1" of rise to take full advantage of the benefits. You won't save your climbing geometry by going to a low rise. Unless it's for DH/freeride, seriously consider carbon firber. At the price I paid for this bar from Nashbar, I have no basis for complaint.
Bike Setup: Ventana Pantera, Marzocchi Marathon S 120mm
a Weekend Warrior
from Cumming, Ga
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2005
Strengths: Light, strong, damping quality
these bars are super strong!!! I twisted a race face system yes twisted aprox 12 to 15 deg. the bars cracked at the stem interface but they did not break. oh did I fail to mention that I weigh 270# .these bars are strong. Buy them You wont be sorry. the bars are being returned to easton for replacement.
Bike Setup: Heckler, 5th air, vanilla 125, xtr stuff
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2005
Strengths: looks sexy and is lightweight
Weaknesses: that's just it: the weakness of the product is this product's biggest weakness. mine broke within 3 months. easton rep completely dissed me and I'll never buy an easton product again.
I broke a pair of monkey lites within 3 months of installation. Luckily they broke at the bottom of a rocky section of trail right where it flattens out, and incredibly I did not crash and I still have all my teeth. The bar snapped right where the left (front) brake lever was clamped on. I read and followed the instructions that came with the bar when I installed them- even went out and bought a nice craftsman torque wrench for the job. What the instructions do not tell you though is that if you happen to be using shimano levers (mine are XTR pods) then you need to use a dremmel to file down the lips on both sides of the inside of the clamp. If you look closely, you can see that the inside of these clamps are not perfectly parallel to the bar they are supposed to clamp onto- instead they are somewhat concave, so only the edges of the clamp actually touch the bar. not a good thing with carbon, because it focuses the riding stresses on a very small surface area of the bar. over time (again, less than 3 months), it actually scored the bar at the right and left sides of the clamp, and this eventually led to catastrophic failure of the bar.
OK, so the bars broke- no biggie since I didn't get hurt, but it did suck having to ride 10 miles back to the car with only half a bar. Next day I went back to Summit Bikes with the bars, to see about getting them warrantied. The guys at the shop were cool about it and gave me a set of loaner bars. they said they had seen the exact same problem before and so they always file down the edges on shimano clamps. they also said they expected that Easton would take care of it and would be able to set me up with a new set of (non-carbon) bars. A few weeks went by and I finally got a call back from the shop manager, saying that the Easton rep had gotten back to him, and was not going to warranty the bars because they had been "installed incorrectly". I wanted to speak to the rep about it directly, so I got his number and called him up. The guy was actually rude to me on the phone and wasn't willing to so much as give me a discount on another set of bars.
So the bottom line is that I will never buy an Easton product again, and I hope you won't either. The easton rep had an opportunity to keep a customer and he blew it. I recently bought a new blur, which comes spec'ed with a lot of easton stuff, including monkey lites. I had the shop I bought it from replace all the easton stuff when they built it up. I got titec hellbents instead of the monkey lites, and thomson stem and seatpost replaced the stock easton stuff.
After reading some of these reviews, it seems that broken bars are a recurring theme when it comes to monkey lites. It sounds like some of the reviewers were badly injured when their bars failed. Luckily I was not hurt, but I was spooked enough to stay away from carbon in the cockpit. Id be interested to hear some more stories about people's experiences with easton support and sales reps.
a Cross Country Rider
from all ove rthe world
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2005
Strengths: Light, Strong, Great dimensions - comfortable and wide.
Weaknesses: Price - unless you can find a deal like I did! Need to take special care not to gouge or crack them when installing/removing/adjusting.
I love these bars! They are super light, and the dimensions are awesome. This is important to me because I use gripshifts with full-length grips. That way you can hold the grips only when really pulling on the bars or jumping/dropping and you don't have to worry about accidental shifting. A lot of others have complained about cracking, which makes me believe I either got a bar from a good batch or all the people with cracks are over tightening them. I have hit some decent drops, and really put these bars to the test on some good crashes, and they are holding STRONG. It might help that I use a 4-bolt stem faceplate.
As above really... are Easton Monkey Lite XC Bars (Carbon) good enough for Hard Trail/ AM? I bought a set of these bars for my Heckler which is set up more AM and I'm wondering if these bars can take a bit more than XC?
Any Thought...?Read More »
So I have some Race Face Diabolus grips and a '09 Monkey Lite XC (carbon) bar. Problem is, the plug included with Diabolus grips don't fit in the Monkey Lite. The material is too unforgiving to squeeze into the hole. As this is a carbon bar, there is no surprise that the I.D. of the bar is smalle ... Read More »
I have an '08 Trek Fuel ex8 and recently decided to splurge on new handle bars and bought the Monkey Lite XC carbon bars after reading a bunch of good reviews for them. Well, I kept reading any comments I could find about them after I had placed the order and there seems to be quite ... Read More »
I am trying to decide between the Easton Monkey lite SL low risers at $60 or the Answer Protaper low risers at $49. Easons look a little lighter and have one more degree of seep which I like. They are 25.4 which would mean I need to buy a new stem. More money but not to bad since my current EA70 ste ... Read More »