Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar, Easton Haven 35 Stem, Easton Grips
Reviewer: 5’8”, 160 lbs
Days Ridden: 10
Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar
Bar Tested: Low Rise (20mm), Black
Blister’s Measured Weight: 190g
Also vailable in: High Rise (40mm) Low Rise (20mm); Green, Red, Black, Blue
Easton Haven 35 Stem
Stem Tested: 40mm, Black
Blister’s Measured Weight: 130g
Available Lengths: 32, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90mm
Easton Mountain Grips
Grips Tested: 30mm
Blister’s Measured Weight: 106g
Available Widths: 30mm, 33mm
Is Bigger Better?
A few years ago Easton introduced the first 35mm interface bars and stems. They were touted as being stiffer and lighter than 31.8mm interface bars and stems … which had rather recently been adopted because they were stiffer and lighter than the 25.4mm interface bars and stems that people used to run.
It can feel like companies are trying to pull a fast one on us riders, changing the diameter of our handlebars just as soon as we’ve adopted the last standard. But isn’t progress sometimes made in incremental steps just like these? Don’t we want our bikes to get better in every way possible?
Each time bar/stem interfaces grow in diameter, some riders grumble that these stiffer bars are going to transmit more vibration to the rider’s hands, making things worse. Are these dissenting voices full of it? No, but they also aren’t necessarily grasping the full situation.
Bikes are becoming more and more capable. Suspension is getting better, more people are riding bikes with more travel, and wheels and tires are getting bigger. These changes all help to damp out trail noise (vibrations). But that means they also damp out trail feel.
By going to a stiffer handlebar, or to a fork with a stiffer chassis, some of that trail feel returns. It is easy to adjust both fork and tire stiffnesses by changing air pressure.
Fork damping is a more predictable and adjustable type of damping than the incidental flex in a handlebar or fork. So what is really happening is that damping is moving from a less controllable form — flex — to more controllable forms, within the fork. It is now easier than ever to choose how much total system damping you want, and that is good.
So I was eager to give the Easton 35mm bars a shot and answer some questions: Is this new system better? And by better I mean: Is it stiffer – and is stiffer good? Is it a lighter system than 31.8mm bars and stems? And if it is stiffer, will it make my hands hurt more on rough downhills?
Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar
Easton calls the Haven their all-mountain bar. They offer a burly downhill bar called the Havoc, and lighter bars for spandex clad riders.
The Haven 35 Carbon Bar is a very svelte looking black on black item. The back and up sweep are the standard 9 and 5 degrees that Easton has used in their bars forever. I have always liked their bar sweep for the blend of comfort and control it offers, so that is good news for me.
With this release Easton has stepped up the width of their Haven bar from 711mm to 750mm. This will please a lot of riders (myself included) who had to run a heavier Havoc bar to get that width previously, but who don’t actually need a full on downhill bar. At the same time, plenty of folks will complain and want a wider bar. These are probably riders who would be served well by the Havoc bar. The rest of us can be excited that the Haven is lighter at 750mm than a cut down 800mm Havoc Bar would be.
There is plenty of room for controls on the bar. I could have shortened the bar to about 670mm without issue. The Haven’s advertised weight is 188g. When I weighed mine it came in at 190g, so taking into account manufacturing tolerances and the accuracy of the scale I used, Easton’s number appears to be on the mark.
Easton Haven 35 Stem
The Haven 35 Stem is also a very clean looking item with black on black labels. It is offered in a tremendous range of lengths to fit any riding style.
The stem is flat, so it won’t let you play any tricks to get your bars higher on a short steerer tube, or your bars lower on a tall headtube, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most folks.
The bolts are all 4mm, and the stem is unique in its bolt-tightening pattern. You tighten the top two bolts until they bottom out, then torque the lower two bolts to spec. The purpose of this system is to make it easier to avoid any imbalance in bolt tightness and to increase clamp strength. The stack height on the stem is 43mm, and the bar clamp width is 50mm.
Easton says that the 50mm stem weighs 138g. My 40mm stem weighed in at 130g. Again, right in line with the stated weight.
Easton Lock On Grips
The Easton grips are lock-on grips and are advertised as carbon friendly. They come in two diameters, 30mm and 33mm, as well as a veritable rainbow of colors.
The lock-on design is quite clever; the rubber grip material covers the exterior of the collars, making certain that there aren’t any hard or sharp edges to contact your hand.
The locking collars wrap around the internal sleeve and don’t directly contact the bar, which means that they can’t score the carbon fiber. The grips include beefy aluminum end plugs that should prevent damage to the bar in case of a crash.
The grip pattern is nice and the serrated grip feature on the underside does improve grip.
Easton’s advertised weight on the grips is 115g. Mine were only 106g.
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