Race Face NEXT XC SL 3/4in riser bar £120

Wide, low, light cross-country handlebar

BikeRadar score 4/5

A new set of numbers puts the Race Face Next SL riser at the forefront of cross-country bars. If other lightweight risers are too tall or narrow, this might just be what you need, albeit at a price.

Race Face has always made good carbon fibre riser bars, but they’ve been a bit narrow and, for some, a bit tall. Enter the new 170g Next SL carbon fibre 3/4in riser. The width is up from 610mm (of the Next SL Low Rise) to 660mm.

The geometry has also been tweaked. Previously, the Next SL risers were some of the least swept risers on the market. Now, Race Face has added some more rearwards angle to bring them up to a comfortable nine degrees.

Add a minimal four-degree upsweep to help you stay low and fast, and it becomes only the second carbon low-rise riser bar (the other being the FSA K-Force low rise) to really deserve its ‘cross-country’ tag, rather than being a carbon version of a downhill design.

The anti-crush stem clamp area not only helps give the bar a longer service life, but keeps you safer from damaging the bar.

We’d still like to see a version with even less upsweep (like the FSA K-Force XC) to allow a more neutral wrist position, and the Race Face Next SL is not cheap, either - we think it's £20 more than it should be. But  it's a welcome extra option in cross-country bars.

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