Easton’s Monkey Bar has been the benchmark trail pipe for years and this updated version is still a deservedly popular tight-handling option. The 690mm wide span adds useful leverage over the 660mm bars you find on a lot of bikes, without making you unduly wary of trees and other trailside obstacles.
Central angle marks and trim guides on the tip make fitting easy. It’s also one of the few bars to come in low (tested) and mid-rise options plus an upswept high-rise version (although from experience that’s a bit of a Marmite bar). The fact Easton specialise in hand-held alloy pipes puts them in a strong position, and the Taperwall progressive butted alloy does the same for you as a rider.
While it’s super-accurate in terms of trail feel and showed only a small amount of deflection during lab testing, it never feels too harsh on the trail. It’s not particularly light but the rig results back up Easton’s reputation for long-term strength and reliability, keeping the EA70 as the benchmark bar for cross-country riders who value a proven reputation. Given what Easton could charge for a product with such a premium reputation, it’s surprisingly well priced.