Thomson Cross Country carbon flat bar £124.99

Strong but light carbon mountain bike handlebar

BikeRadar score 4/5

Thomson have been the industry standard for seatposts and stems for what seems like forever, so the opportunity to ride their new Cross Country carbon bar was not one we wanted to miss. 

The geekery is that it’s made from Toray carbon fibre blended to provide a balance of strength and flex – this isn’t about ultimate strength or helium-like weight. An off-centre clamp allows a flat ride or, when reversed, an 8mm drop, which is ideal for 29ers. 

Weighing just 186g at the full 730mm (cut marks run to 40mm each side in 5mm increments) it’s hyped as an ‘all day’ bar, and with that in mind it was duly fitted to our everyday Whyte work bike.

It’s a demanding ask because this is the bike that gets to go where the whim of the location editor dictates. It changes daily, and swapping the setup is impractical – this bike has to cope with whatever the terrain demands, with no excuses for not having the right kit fitted. 

The Thomson has been in position for five weeks now and… We’ve barely noticed. That’s a good thing. When you consider the requirement has varied from tricky technical descending to open moorland climbs to playing on singletrack in the woods, it’s a very good thing indeed. 

To provide comfort and accuracy to a photographer whose pack weighs the same as a small car is a big ask, yet the Thomson Cross Country carbon bar delivers with beautiful subtlety. Impressive. 

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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