There’s nothing like rounding out the build of a new bike with fresh quality components. I’d settled on wheels and forks for my Ibis Mojo HDR 650b but when it came to handlebars thought I’d re-use the Syncros Bulk 2014 Alloy bar I’d been running on the Mojo HD for the last few years. That was before I fell in love with the feel of the Syntace Vector Carbon High5 while riding a Mojo SL-R at Over the Edge in Melrose.

Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Review
Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Review


Who better to give us the facts and figures on the Vector Carbon than EightyOneSpices, the Australian distributor for Syntace:

The Syntace Vector Carbon bars have been one of the go-to favorites amongst demanding riders that not only look for low weight but also full size bar width and most of all exceptional durability. The full size 740mm Vector weighs in at a low 208g and Syntace provides a 10 year warranty for that extra piece of mind.

Like all Syntace Carbon bars, the centre clamping section not only has a friction particle coating so you can run low torques on the clamping bolts, but also a titanium mesh laminated into the bar’s clamping area to protect the bar from potentially sharp edged stems.

The handlebar’s end has cleverly been reinforced with extra layers of material, whereby the inner most layers at this location are glass fibres. This glass fibre layer is machined to an exact diameter for the Syntace Bar Plugz, so that they fit nice and snug and provide plenty of bar-end protection. An O-ring prevents moisture from entering into the inside of the bars.

For those that like a more traditional width, the bars can be shortened a min width of 700mm without losing the end reinforcement. We are especially excited about the new shapes that have been released for the Syntace Vector for 2013: the Hi5, Low5 and Low10 now in addition to the time proven and traditional Hi10 rise provide additional customer specific cockpit fine tuning options.

Fitting Vector Carbon Handlebars

Syntace supply detailed instructions regarding the installation of bars and mounting of components e.g. brakes, shifters. Along with suggested torque settings, Syntace recommend only tightening brake levers enough so that they can still twist case of a crash, and the use of friction paste on clamping surfaces.

As you can see in the photos the Vector Carbon looks very slick thanks to its ‘visible carbon UD finish’.

Syntace Vector Carbon High 5 Review
Syntace Vector Carbon High 5 Review


Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review
Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review


Syntace Bar Plugs

Handlebar plugs aren’t supplied with the Carbon Vector, but Syntace strongly recommends the use of their ‘Bar Plugs’ to protect handlebar ends from crash damage. The Syntace plugs are CNC-machined from 7075 aluminum alloy for strength and fit precisely into the handlebar. Very schmick compared to regular plastic plugs!

Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Review: Bar Plugs
Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Review: Regular vs Syntace Bar Plugs


Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review: On the trail

Out on the trail the Vector Carbon bars feel fantastic with excellent absorption and damping qualities, reminiscent of my Syncros Titanium Pro handlebars but without the unnerving flex! Compared to aluminum, the Vector feels light and alive without compromising steering precision.

Having run 720mm bars for the last few years I’m glad I resisted the initial urge to trim the 740mm Vector back down to 720mm. While it did take a few rides to reset my awareness of where the bars ended, the extra width is a perfect match for the slightly larger 650b wheel.

Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review
Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review


Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review
Syntace Vector Carbon High5 Handlebar Review


The Bottom Line

Super light, super strong with a super feel. The Syntace Vector Carbon High5 is by far the best MTB handlebar I’ve ever had!




4 Responses

  1. Mate, I’d love to hear your comments on the bar’s sweep. How’d that work for you on the HDR? How would it compare to “regular” sweep bars you’ve tried?

  2. Hiya Izzy in terms of hand/wrist comfort it’s been an upgrade.

    Not sure what you mean by ‘regular sweep’, esp given how sweep is measured can vary company to company, along with how the bar is fitted. Practically though when fitted on the HDR the Vector Carbon is lower and wider compared to my old handlebar with similar backsweep – all of which is pretty much what I was after.

  3. Whats the long term verdict on the handlebars? Have they held up to the abuses of trail riding?

  4. The Syntace Vector Carbon has held up great, including quite a few minor brain fades e.g. clipping trees. Carbon handlebars have a great feel to them, it’s not too surprising to see them making their way onto DH bikes.

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