The aptly named Redshift Kitchen Sink is a wildly shaped drop handlebar with an integrated aero extension, designed solely with long-distance mixed-terrain endurance events, such as the Transcontinental Race, in mind.
The brand, which is best known for its Shockstop suspension stems, is currently taking the bars through the prototyping phase, with the potential for them to hit the market later this year.
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What exactly is going on here?
The Kitchen Sink handlebars are designed to give as many pressure-relieved hand positions as possible for exceptionally long days in the saddle.
The bars have a small amount of rise to bring the front end up, before the heavily shaped tops sweep back slightly. The tops are so flat and oddly shaped that they actually resemble an Ergon GP-style grip that has been wrapped in bar tape.
Beneath the tape is a set of custom gel inserts. It is expected that the bar will be bought as a package, which will include the gel inserts and grips.
And what about that extension?
Aero extensions are commonly used in long-distance racing. The aero advantage is fairly obvious, but they also simply offer somewhere else to put your hands and hang your luggage.
The Kitchen Sink bars have an integrated aero extension loop. There are a number of advantages to integrating the extension into the bar.
Chiefly, unlike conventional bolt-on extensions, there is no chance of these ever working their way loose over the course of a ride. This is not beyond the realms of possibility if you’re hanging bikepacking luggage off standard extensions and riding off-road.
The apex of the extension on the prototype Kitchen Sink bars is curved but the production version will be squared-off, to ease mounting of accessories such as lights or computers.
Redshift is also investigating the possibility of making a dedicated pouch that could fit neatly within the extension.
Exactly who are these for?
While it’s tempting to focus on the challenging aesthetics of the bar, it’s worth remembering that looks are very unlikely to factor into your thoughts when you’re 45 hours into pummelling your peach in some hideous trans-Mongolian bikepacking race.
For a very select few, these bars may offer a very compelling alternative to conventional gravel drop bars, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they fare in these events.
Like the majority of Redshift’s products, it’s expected that the bars will first go to Kickstarter for a round of funding before its release into the general market. Pricing and size options are all still to be determined.
What do you think of the bars? Could they fit your very specific needs? Or are they just too weird for you? Let us know in the comments below.