Bontrager Big Earl bar review£44.99

Big Earl is the next rank up in quality from Earl and it shows.

BikeRadar score3/5

Big Earl is the next rank up in quality from Earl and it shows. It's a wide bar with a nine-degree backsweep. The 50mm centre lift carries on rising to the tips, which makes it a great choice for serious leverage freaks and those seeking cockpit relaxation. They've got a good stiff but not bone-breaking feel with a shot-peened, hard-anodised 'dark champagne' finish. Some chop-down markings would be nice, seeing as most people probably will trim them a bit.

Bontrager's basic FR nugget is a solid twin-knuckle cold forged unit. Detailing lets it down but at least it's cheap. The protruding rear bolts aren't knee friendly, the bolt threads are rough and the ribbed inside panel on the front plate should only be used with thickwall bars. The logos look a bit cheap, and whichever way you run it, one side logo will be upside down.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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