The stem and handlebar from the Acros Team Edition promise to deliver a great performance at a fair price. To put this claim to the test, Felix fitted the components to his enduro race bike and put them through their paces. How will they perform after several months of abuse? Read on to find out.
A good mountain bike cockpit should provide a comfortable balance between precision and compliance. However, this is strongly dependent on the rider’s weight, riding style and personal preferences. Felix had the Acros Team Edition cockpit mounted to his Cannondale Jekyll for 7 months to find out whether it could keep up with his relentless riding style. The handlebar comes in a width of 780 mm, with 8° backsweep, 5° upsweep and a choice of 15 or 25 mm rise. The stem uses a 35 mm handlebar clamp and a 0° angle, which puts it perpendicular to the head tube. It’s available in lengths ranging from 40 to 90 mm, in 10 mm increments, with the two shortest lengths making the most sense for enduro use. Felix chose to go with a 40 mm stem and a 25 mm rise handlebar on his test bike. The stem and handlebar cost € 76.95 and € 74.95 respectively.
Felix deliberately decided in favour of the aluminium handlebar since it’s less sensitive to small dings or using the right torque settings. It’s the more carefree option when racing because you can quickly straighten out the brakes and handguards or tighten bolts with a multitool after a crash without having to worry about damaging the handlebar. Even after repeated involuntary contact with the ground or trees, you can go full throttle without having to be concerned about the handlebar’s integrity. For that, we’re happy to accept the 75 g weight penalty, especially since they only cost half as much as the carbon variant. The components look great too, offering good value for money. At the time of testing, only the Team Edition was available, but it’s just the colour of the decals that differ from the “stealth” variant. The workmanship is high-quality and the stem, which is machined from 6082-T6 aluminium, offers a clean finish. Fitting the stem and bar is uncomplicated, and the clamps work reliably.
The handlebar is rather stiff, allowing you to steer the front wheel with spot-on precision, even while ploughing through the roughest rock garden at Mach 10. However, it still offers sufficient compliance to effectively prevent arm pump, especially for heavier riders and heavy hitters, no matter how long the stage. For our 95 kg tester, Felix, who is known for his no-holds-barred riding style, it was the perfect compromise. Moreover, there were just a few small scratches to attest to the months of abuse at the end of the season. The stem was remarkably inconspicuous during the test, the bolts didn’t have to be retightened once during the entire 7 months that it was in use. The only downer is the handlebar’s relatively low maximum permissible weight, topping out at 99 kg. Since its other properties make it so well-suited for heavier riders, this is very unfortunate and can be a deal-breaker.
The Acros Team Edition cockpit is aimed at those looking for high-quality and high-performance components that offer great value for money. The aluminium variant is a reliable and low-maintenance package that is excellently finished and tough enough to withstand the abuse of enduro racing over the long term. Due to the relatively high stiffness, the handlebar is best suited for heavier riders and heavy hitters. However, you should make sure that you don’t exceed the maximum permissible weight limit.
- value for money
- high-quality workmanship
- good compromise between compliance and precision
- handlebar may be too stiff for light riders
- relatively low permissible maximum weight
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Mike Hunger