Answer ProTAPER 720 AM Carbon riser bar £120

New-trick-packed old dog

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

The ProTAPER bar is back and its light, stiff but comfortable performance blows the opposition away. Its carbon fibre construction gets a wrap of cross-weave fibre for impact resistance, as well as clamping zone reinforcement built into the tapering thickness layup, but it’s still light for a 28.4in wide bar.

The wide grip tape boosts stem clamp security and protects the central alignment markings. The extended shallow rise section still leaves room for controls and fork/seatpost remotes. The bar comes in almost flat 0.5in and higher rise 2in versions if this medium height 1in bar doesn’t suit.

What makes it stand out in an increasing range of high performance, high price, widespan carbon bars is its feel and performance on the trail. The shape is instantly welcoming, with more than enough width to add a real boost to your control compared to a conventional width bar.

Despite exceptional stiffness in terms of front wheel control and placement – as well as on our deflection rig – our wrists never felt abused, even on the longest, rockiest, baby head descents or big drops onto frozen landing zones.

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