Jones carbon loop bars: a review.

16 11 2015

It is probably clear that I like loop bars, indeed, I have been using Jeff’s h-bars almost exclusively for a decade.

I have used ti loops, ti h-bars and aluminium loop bars (in the wider 710mm form) previously. They are all fantastic, if the 45 degree sweep is right for you, offering multiple hand positions, most notably fore and aft on the long grip section, meaning weight shifts on the bike can be achieved with ease. This can aid riding steep drops, steep climbs and if you are riding for a long time, by altering the position at the wrist, relieving soft tissue strain.

The bars also offer superb stowage space if using a bar roll. Here, a Revelate Designs sweet roll is locked down and absolutely solid over rough terrain.

The carbon loop bar is the newest model. It saves a chunk of weight – and this is welcome – but the main benefit is the comfort.

The bar soaks up a fair bit more buzz than the ti bars and a lot more than the aluminium bars. I would estimate it is worth 6-8 psi on an average 2.3 29er tyre. Perhaps more.

This comes into play on long rough rides in particular but can be felt at all times. It is markedly more comfortable.

Despite the light weight, I have bounced one off rocks at speed, leading to minor scuffs but no huge damage. I would say the edges are perhaps worth protecting with a substantial grip end plug – I am prone to catching them on trees and rocks.

If you can stretch to them, I would throughly recommend them. They are available in the UK from Biff at The Outcast.

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5 responses

16 11 2015
kenny (somafunk)

Hmm…. interesting regarding the improved comfort regarding trail chatter suppression – is it genuinely that noticeable?. I run a Ti loop bar on my Tripster at the moment but i also have a Carbon loop bar sitting around that i initially bought as a “needless” upgrade yet i have been dithering as to whether to fit it to my Tripster or my Cove Hummer – The Ti loop bar looks the dogs bollox and fits the look of the Tripster as it matches the Ti stem and frame (yeah…i know….utterly pointless bike vanity) but then again the Ti bar would look just as good on my Cove Hummer which is currently sporting a rather uncomfortable on the wrists Easton Haven riser bar.
Choices….choices……seeing as the vast majority of my riding is done on the Tripster a reduction in “buzz” would be very welcome so i guess i’ve just answered my own question.

I’d best get the tool box opened………

20 11 2015
velopest

i believe so kenny, i was surprised! the ti are really nice but the carbon seems much more shock absrpbing. in saying that, i havent tried the 710mm ti bars so this may equalisze things a little more….

happy tool box time!

20 11 2015
Roger W

I’ve just fitted these to a bike. V light but two issues are:
New XT brakes with i-spec ii attachments foul the cross bar junction as it’s smoothed out rather than two tubes joined. This is partly the new i-spec design which isn’t as neat as the original.
Not really a problem as the brakes need to be nearer the ends anyway due to the short lever.

Also i nearly had a hernia getting the Esi grips on! Had to buy some surgical spirit to fit them. Never had that problem with ti or aluminium bars!
Other than that fab bars!

20 11 2015
velopest

hi!, you mean the brake/shifter combo cant move as close to the cross member? yeah, its defo more of a transition. sicne some of the adjustability of ispec was lost i havent used it, with regret, especially as the newer XTR brakes suffer from a slightly flexy bar clamp. as you say i tend to set up the shimano brakes so that in the widest position, i can *just* reach the lever, so im about 3cm from the cross memeber and i cut down the ESI grips accordingly.
as for the ESI, i use either spit (it works quite well) or isopropyl alcohol from Maplins, but like you say you need to be super quick!

21 11 2015
kenny

So they are now fitted and I’m so glad they are on my tripster and not the fat tyred hummer, but before I swapped the bars over I thought I’d perform my own unscientific/unquantifiable test (too much time on my hands?) by removing the Esi long grips from the ti bars and going for a quick spin up the road and back without gloves, the road in question is your typical badly sealed surfaced rural single lane with 2 cattle grids. Christ!…. it felt rough without the grips and the chatter through the bars was rather uncomfortable especially when I hit the cattle grids, once back home my fingers and pads of my hands were tingling.

Back home and fitted the carbon bars then out on the same 2 mile loop as before and WOW!, there is a genuine noticeable difference in hand feel and comfort, especially over the rough tarmac sections where it’s little more than a washed out gravel strewn assault course due to the constant water that runs down the road. I’d never have thought that I’d be able to find any difference but if I were a gambling man I’d be perfectly happy to say with confidence that I can feel the difference between carbon vs ti everytime without fail.

However upon fitting the ti bars to the hummer I’ve found it necessitates longer brake hoses and gear housing/dropper housing so that’s a job for a wet sat afternoon.

Tip for removing Esi grips is to use alcoholic antibacterial hand gel (the kind that needs no water) take a small syringe and squirt gel under the grips, work it round and the grips slide off, a bit of gel smeared round the inside of the grip and around the bar when refitting makes for a stress free refit.

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