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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after running a set of Titec Hellbents for the last 5 years I decided that it was time to replace them. I have been experimenting with stem lengths for awhile to get my Bullit fully dialed. I finally have settled upon a stem length so I decided that instead of running the el-cheapo supergo stem with the old Titec I would make the jump to new gear.

First on my list was a Truvativ 31.8 xc/fr bar.

Specs:

Cold drawn butted AL-66
5 degree backsweep
580mm width
31.8mm clamp diameter
Blast black finish
169g

It is lighter and wider than my Titec. Comes stock on the kona XC/light FR bikes. The 31.8 clamp area looks gi-normous and a little ugly because this is not a top end bar so the swagging is a little cobbly.

Second was a suitable stem with a little bling potential

Raceface Diabolous 31.8 50mm stem

Specs:

RISE: 10 Degrees WEIGHT:250grams(50mm)
BAR DIAMETER: 31.8
COLOURS: Bad Ass Black
WARRANTY: Lifetime

Very portly but really very attractive and stiff beyond all get out.

Review:

This combination is so stiff that I can't believe the increase in precision in my bikes ability to pick a line and hold it, and I have a fairly stiff set up with a 20mm through axle up front and a triple compatible SC Bullit frame with very stout wheels.
After my first 4hr epic aboard this new set up I found that my triceps are sore as are my shoulders but the prerequiste blisters on the callouses of my hands were absent. I suspect that the stiffness made my arms sore because I was working the bike because I could now be more precise and I suspect that the blisters were absent because the effort to maneuver the bike (eg bunny hop, manuals, climbing etc.) was less due to the stiffness

Decision:

I highly recommend this upgade for anyone that is looking for an increase in stiffness and durability plus the added perk of increase precision in steering/drops that it affords. i believe that this will eventually become the standard in mountain bike stem/bar interfaces.

This set-up seems to be the perfect upgrade for those that run a 6"+ travel single crown Freeride set up( or obviously DH setups). I would avoid this on any rigid bike though because, again as if I didn't stress this enough, this set up is stiff with a capital S.
 

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I went to OS (Husselfelt bars and Thomson stem) on my 5-Spot. The only significant difference I noticed was more pain in arms and hands due to added "stiffness" I guess. I did not notice any performance upgrade. However, I generally can't tell, or at least cannot properly process, many changes in performance due to equipment changes. I like the OS stuff though.
 

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Dirdir said:
I went to OS (Husselfelt bars and Thomson stem) on my 5-Spot. The only significant difference I noticed was more pain in arms and hands due to added "stiffness" I guess. I did not notice any performance upgrade. However, I generally can't tell, or at least cannot properly process, many changes in performance due to equipment changes. I like the OS stuff though.
I think that's a good assessment (not noticing any performance upgrade). At Interbike I noticed the new Specialized OS bar paired with the new Thomson OS stem. I thought they looked pretty cool. I happened to mention it at the Easton booth when I noticed they had some OS bars. I was surprised when one of the Easton guys said the OS stuff is mostly hype. He said (I'm paraphrasing) that they are only making it because consumers want it, but there is no measurable performance advantage.
 

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Bodhisattva
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Agreed.
I did not like the OS carbon bar with Thomson stem. Transmitted way more buzz than my standard diameter aluminum bar. Went back to 25.4 and am much happier.
The stiffness is easily appreciated but I did not notice any gain in steering precision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
maybe my old (and when I say old I mean at least 5 year old) handlebar is the culprit. Perhaps it was just so old that any new technology would present a discernable difference in performance.

On the other hand it still looks way cool on a burly Bullit, the old one looked so spindly so aesthetically it really hits the mark for me :)
 

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I like this line the best, "Early tests showed us that our competitors’ 31.8 stems were heavier and weaker than Thomson Elite 25.4 and 26.0 stems."

I've said it over and over again, the quality of manufacture makes a far greater difference in stiffness than the "standard" it is built to. Theory is great but there are far more factors in the stiffness of a bar/stem combo than wether is it 31.8 or 25.4.
 

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bmadau said:
I concur that the added stiffness of the OS stuff simply translates into a harsher ride. Stiffer, at least when it comes to bars and stems, does not mean better, especially if the smaller sized bar and stem combo already perform well. I felt no change in performance from my old Thomsom stem to the OS Thomson. Just a harsher ride. I also need to get a new light mount. That is another $25.
 

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I just finshed my first ride on OS bars (Easton CNT riser) and Stem (Thompson X4) and the stiffness was definitly noticiable. I agree with you that the increased stiffness translates to precision. However I did assume that the soreness in my triceps and shoulder was due to my spindly upper body : )
 
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