Race X Lite Carbon Riser handlebar (12)
Bontrager are owned by Trek, which gives them access to their OCLV (Optimum Compaction, Low Void) carbon ﬁbre technology. It’s well used in the RXL which, at 182g, is impressively light for its width.
Graduated cut marks extend inwards 40mm at each end for accurate trimming, although they terminate in small print reading “Cut by professional only”. We’d be surprised if a professional did anything other than use a ﬁne-toothed hacksaw and a face mask, though.
There are more handy lines and marks on the RXL too, with a positioning grid on the bulge and a scale on each side near where your controls go to ﬁnally end that ‘wonky brake levers’ misery. Overall ﬁnish is shiny and smooth, to the extent that you’ll probably want to get the friction paste out to mount the bars up. A textured grippy section at the bulge would be a welcome addition.
On the trail the RXL inspires, with a comfy shape and useful blend of solid feel and buzz-reducing trail damping. Inevitably the price is high, but it’s actually signiﬁcantly cheaper than most comparable bars and therefore represents decent value for money.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.