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[REVIEW] OneUp Components cockpit: carbon handlebar + stem + grips

 

OneUp Components has a tendency to create known things in new ways. Their EDC tool is a great example. This time they redesigned the standard MTB cockpit. And they made it better. Below you can read about their carbon handlebar with a nonstandard shape, EDC tool friendly stem and grips with additional fins on them.

 

The handlebar:

OneUp Handlebar is a carbon design. It’s weight is around 227 gram for 800mm wide, 35mm rise (20mm rise also available) bar with 35mm stem mounting. It comes in one color but additional color decals are available in lots of colours. What sets it apart from all the other market options available is the oval shape of the bar. OneUp engineers claim that by making the bar oval (and not standard circle) shaped profile they can promise that the bar will be more compliable and yet stronger that the standard design. It should provide less arms fatigue so you can ride longer.

“The OneUp bar gives me all of the confidence inspiring attributes of a 35mm bar with a bit of forgiveness engineered in for those big descents. I’ve been so impressed after putting it through the paces for the last year.”  Thomas Vanderham

I’ve ridden a few weeks with this handlebar (and the whole cockpit as matter of fact). Firstly I had some wrist discomforts but I wiggled a bit with the angle of the bar and they disappeared. Moreover after the change the arm pump got lesser than before. I do not know whether it was caused by this handlebar or just my better day, but I managed to ride much faster in tight, steep turns on it. I came back to the same track with my aluminum bar and wasn’t able to reproduce the same split times (the conditions were pretty much exactly the same). Even not taking into account the ‘faster riding in turns’ the bar really loosens the arm pump so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a new bar.

Pros:

– reduced arm pump

– nice finish

– one color but additional color decals are available

Cons:

– need a few tries to get the angle set up just right, otherwise you won’t get everything from the oval shaped bar

– heavier than most carbon handlebars (but not by much)

 

The stem:

It’s a pretty standard but very well machined 35mm clamp stem. Available length options are: 35 and 50mm (weighting at 160 and 175 grams). The main difference between this stem any other that it has an integrated preloader for the headset. This means that you do not have to use the compression cap and the star nut. And you do not have to thread the steering tube in order to make it possible for it to hold your EDC tool. Cool! The whole procedure is easy and it’s well explained on the products website. The stem comes with OneUp’s special headset spacers but it’s compatible with standard ones as well. And why won’t other companies design their products this way? One more nice feature that I especially liked about the stem was the handlebar installation: Install bar. Top bar clamp bolts tighten down to stem body with no gap. Bottom bar clamp bolts will have a gap. Torque bolts to 6Nm. Brilliant and no fuss about it.

It’s very hard to write something about the riding impressions of the stem. It’s rigid, it did not brake over flat landings etc. It held the bar correctly. All was good.

Pros:

– you don’t have to tap your steerer any more to install the EDC tool

– cool way to precisely install the handlebar

Cons:

­- a little bit heavier than standard stem but has an integrated preloader

The grips:

Engineers at OneUp Components do everything differently. Their grips aren’t an exception. These grips are asymmetrical (meaning you get left and right one) so it’s important to know which is which. The asymmetry is caused by rubber fins that are placed under your fingers. The fins are sad to work as vibration dampers and cause less arm pump. The material is rubber with a super tacky 20A compound. There is only one lock-on ring per grip which takes the weight down. The grips come at black, red, orange, green, blue, purple and turquoise colors. They weight 95grams per pair.

After many hours done on the grips I can definitely vote for the compound used for them. It’s very grippy, no matter if it’s wet or dry or full of dirt. I hadn’t had any problems with not being able to hold the grips correctly. I had to get used to the fins under my fingers and it took me two or three tries in getting the exact degree at which the grips should be rotated relative to the level of my brake levers. After that they very nice in feel and I think the calluses on my hands got a little bit smaller. The arm pump seemed noticeable less but it was probably a summarized effect from the grips and the carbon handlebar.

Pros:

– lightweight

– comfortable

– many colors to choose from

Cons:

– none ?

 

Overall impressions:

As always OneUp Components treats us with new solutions used to improve widely known products. Their cockpit is not an exception. Everything is well manufactured, and even better designed. The prices are still lover than some of the competition that does not provide the features given here.

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