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Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar, Easton Haven 35 Stem, Easton Grips

Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar, Easton Haven 35 Stem, Easton Grips

Reviewer: 5’8”, 160 lbs

Tom Collier reviews the Easton Haven Carbon 35 bars and stem for Blister Gear Review

Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bars

Days Ridden: 10

Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar

MSRP: $169.99

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

Easton Haven 35 Stem

Easton Haven 35 Stem

MSRP: $99.99

Stem Tested: 40mm, Black

Blister’s Measured Weight: 130g

Available Lengths: 32, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90mm

Easton Mountain Grips

MSRP $24.99

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.

Tom Collier reviews the Easton Haven Carbon 35 bars and stem for Blister Gear Review

Tom Collier on the Easton Haven 35 Carbon Bar and Stem.

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.

NEXT: Package Impressions, Bottom Line

3 Comments

  1. Marcel March 20, 2016 Reply

    I use these grips on the old 711mm haven carbon and love the grips, I tried some but the easton is by far the best for me! while the 35mm clamp seems tempting it’s hard to justify a $200+ street price for the bars/stem over the 31.8, maybe if you want a shorter stem or wider bar then it makes sense to go 35mm, but as an upgrade I can’t see myself expending that much and having a perfectly good carbon bar collecting dust on my pile os mtb parts in my garage!

    • Tom Collier March 21, 2016 Reply

      I’m certainly still using a 31.8 Easton Carbon bar on another bike currently. I like the 35mm combo on my Nomad, but on my hardtail, the extra give on the 31.8 setup is nice.

  2. jim January 7, 2017 Reply

    pretty cool review.

    i run the haven 35 with race face 35mm bars and while the setup is lighter than equivalent 31.8mm the difference in handling is subtle IMO. I ride this for the past 8mo now.

    Running same grips (esi foams) I can’t really feel more or less “vibration” or get more hand fatigue.
    The bars do flex a little less than the 31.8 setup though, which is kinda nice when things get ugly and i sorta like it. at the end of the day, if 31.8 is cheaper its a better deal, but at the same price, the 35 is indeed slightly lighter and slightly better handling.

    ill also add that im quite happy with my suspension setup to absorb small bumps (fox w/ evol) and might have had a different conclusion with a different or older suspension setup.

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