Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11.00pm
By Andrew Dodd
Carbon and downhill aren't two words that normally go together that well, but this handlebar from Easton could change things. The EC70 has a 28in length, it's available in both 25.4 and 31.8mm diameters and it has the same great feel that Easton bars always have, but with that slightly dampened feel that carbon fibre offers.
Instead of using a carbon weave, which is the thing that makes downhill riders wince, the bar uses CNT (Carbon Nanotube) technology that allows carbon to be employed but without using a weave. Easton claim this makes the bar 20 percent stronger than previous Easton carbon bars and 15 percent stronger than its predecessor.
With reinforced clamping areas for grips/ bar end caps and a stem, you don't have to be delicate around this bar, and the impact-resistant design means it should be at least as durable as alloy bars. In use, it feels stiff and incredibly light. In fact, it weighs 225g, whereas the EA50 aluminium bar in the same size weighs 300g. I've been running this on my hardtail and it feels great - not once have I been put off by carbon. For harder riding it seems, carbon fibre is here to stay.
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