Handlebars are a fairly recent addition to the CrankBrothers component arsenal. They've played safe with the Cobalt 3’s numbers, going for a generous 720mm (28.3in) width and 9° sweep. It’s a pretty common setup and works every bit as well here as on other similar bars.
Aesthetics have always been a big part of the appeal of CrankBrothers’ gear and the Cobalt 3 is no exception. It's rendered in butted 7050 aluminium and ﬁnished in smart pewter anodising with subtle graphics.
CrankBrothers have gone for a partially shot-peened surface treatment, with a matt ﬁnish at the bulge and under the grips and controls. In theory a fully shot-peened ﬁnish is better for fatigue resistance, although in practice you’ll probably have replaced the bar for some other reason before fatigue is an issue.
We appreciated the impressive array of setup guides – cutting guides at the tips, angle scales at the centre and extra bonus angle markings for the controls – which are an unusual but neat touch.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.