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First look: Renthal’s new Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar

First look: Renthal’s new Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar
Renthal have released details of their new Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar, which is aimed at trail, enduro and cross-country riders looking for the strength, durability and stiffness of a traditional Renthal bar but with a lower weight. They’ll be available via Chain Reaction Cycles very soon. 

Tipping the scales at just 180g with a seven degree backsweep and five degree upsweep, the 740mm wide Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon comes in 10, 20, 30 and 40mm rise options so you can pick the bar to suit your riding style and personal setup.

Watch Neil Donoghue shredding with the new Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar now:



How it’s made: the Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar story

First look: Renthal’s new Fatbar Lite Carbon handlebar
Ever wondered how a company like Renthal produces a new product? They’re world-renowned for their aluminium handlebars, chainrings and stems so what did it take to bring their new carbon handlebar to life?

Here’s a brief timeline of Renthal’s research and design process…

Neil Donoghue shreds! (Photo by Tommy Bause)


Field test one: A wide selection of handlebars were chosen to be field tested, including both carbon and aluminium handlebars. Renthal invited four riders of differing riding styles and body size to ride the bars and give feedback. The bars were masked, so the riders were unaware of what they were using. The test riders scored the bars for comfort, control and stiffness, in the following riding scenarios: climbing, descending, cornering.
The signs were good - the majority favourite was Renthal’s Fatbar Lite aluminium handlebar.

Data acquisition: Renthal fitted a downhill bike, a trail bike and a hardtail with handlebars which had strain gauges installed. It was then over to real world testers as top level, intermediate and beginner riders took on a number of courses, recording the data in both X and Y planes to give a complete picture.

This real world data was then used in the lab to determine the required flex characteristics for the new carbon handlebar.

Lab quantifying: Using the real world loads determined in the data acquisition test, the flex characteristics of the Fatbar Lite aluminium handlebar were recorded. These characteristics were used as the model for the new Fatbar Lite Carbon.

Drop testing: Renthal are very aware that catastrophic failure is a concern of many riders when considering a carbon handlebar. They therefore used their in-house drop test rig to comparatively test their Fatbar and Fatbar Lite, along with a number of carbon handlebars. As there is no international standard for drop testing mountain bike handlebars, they used the EN BMX standard as the base, setting their target considerably above this level.

Design: With all the parameters set for flex characteristics, strength and weight, the design process could begin.

Prototyping and field tests: With all the elements in place, the design and parameters were submitted to produce a number of prototypes which were tested in the lab and out on the trails.

Production: A few cosmetic tweaks were made to the shape of the bar, along with a few rounds of graphics samples. During this time, extended real world testing was undertaken, with thousands of miles covered by a number of riders across a range of disciplines. Finally the bar was ready to go to production. 

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