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Race Face SixC 35 Carbon Bar and Atlas DM 35 Stem

Noah Bodman reviews the Race Face SIXC Carbon Bar and Atlas DM 35 Stem for Blister Gear Review

Race Face SixC Carbon Bar

Race Face SixC 35 Bar

Size: 800mm

Clamp Size: 35mm

Blister’s Measured Weight: 219 grams

Price: $169.99

Stated Features:

  • Manufactured from UD Carbon with matte clearcoat
  • Carbon optimized flex for improved small bump compliance
  • 8°Back Sweep x 5° Up Sweep
  • Available colors: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow

 

Race Face Atlas DM 35 Stem

Noah Bodman reviews the Race Face SIXC Carbon Bar and Atlas DM 35 Stem for Blister Gear Review

Race Face Atlas DM 35 Stem

Length: 50mm

Clamp Size: 35mm

Blister’s Measured Weight: 118 grams

Price: $99.99

Stated Features:

  • Machined from 2014 Aluminum
  • Weight saving single bolt faceplate
  • 50mm length, 0mm Rise. (+5mm with spacers)
  • Ø35mm handlebar clamp
  • Direct Mount Style: BOXXER

Mounted to: Canfield Jedi

Reviewer: 5’9” 155 lbs

Duration of Test: 1 month

Test Location: Whitefish, Montana; Whistler, BC

Race Face certainly isn’t new to making handlebars, nor are they new to making carbon bars. But with the Race Face’s new SixC bars (pronounced “six”), they’ve created a full width, 800mm bar that’s designed to withstand the rigors of riding DH in a package that’s as light (if not lighter) than most XC bars.

By the Numbers

I tested the SixC bar in the 20mm rise variant with a 35mm clamp diameter. For this 35mm diameter, the SxcC is also offered in 10mm and 35mm rise versions, both of which also come stock at 800mm wide and with a 8° back / 5° up sweep. They also offer a 31.8mm clamp diameter version that only comes in a ¾” rise, has an 8° back / 4° up sweep, and is a bit narrower at 785mm.

All of the bars are matte black with an assortment of color options for the printed graphics. The graphics include the normal handy dashes for getting everything centered in the stem, and there are also pre-marked cut lines on the ends of the bar.

I cut my bars down to 780mm since 800mm is a bit wide for me. RaceFace says that the bar can be trimmed down to 750mm without any issues (the potential issue being that the carbon layup farther in on the bar may not be designed to deal with the clamping forces of brake levers and shifters).

My bars weighed in at 219 grams uncut, and snipping 20mm off of them brought the weight down to 214g. For reference, that’s about 6 grams lighter than an Easton Havoc 35 Carbon bar of the same rise / width, and 81 grams lighter than an aluminum Race Face Atlas 35 bar of the same rise / width.

The Ride

I rode the SixC bars for about a month mounted to a Canfield Jedi via the Race Face Atlas DM stem that I’ll cover in this review. I’ve been spending some time this season aboard a variety of 35mm bars, and as I noted in my review of the Gravity Grid bar, I find them all to be noticeably stiff—as stiff, if not stiffer, than the stiffest of the 31.8mm bars that I’ve ridden.

Noah Bodman on the Race Face SIXC Carbon Bar and Atlas DM 35 Stem, Whistler, BC.

Noah Bodman with the Race Face SixC Carbon Bar and Atlas DM 35 Stem, Whistler.

The upside of that stiffness is that the bike goes where you tell it to, when you tell it to. Maybe more importantly, they give a lot of feedback – I feel like I’m a bit more in touch with the front end of my bike. If the front end is starting to wash, there’s less “vagueness” in the system, and I can react just a tiny bit quicker.

The downside of the extra stiff 35mm bars and that extra feedback is that they tend to beat the hell out of my hands. Anyone who’s spent a long day riding rough trails knows that hand fatigue can be an issue. Riding some of these 35mm bars this season, I’ve noticed more hand fatigue than usual, and I’ve been getting hot spots in new places on my hands (despite using the same gloves, grips, brakes, etc.).

It’s that issue – the hand fatigue – where the SixC really shines compared to other 35mm bars I’ve tested. It’s still a very stiff bar and has all the advantages of the 35mm clamp, but it’s noticeably more forgiving on my hands. This isn’t to say that hand fatigue is a non-issue, but the SixC is the least fatiguing of the 35mm bars that I’ve ridden. Even after repeated days of hacking through torn up chunder in an unusually dry and dusty Whistler bike park (unusual for June at least), my hands were in relatively good shape.

NEXT: Comparisons, Durability, Atlas DM Stem, Etc.

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