What a pity it is that our own tester of weird handlebars has absented himself from the scene. Dave was long an outlier, with his outre Mary bars that were a continual source of sideways glances. Maybe Lee might fancy one for his bike packing rig?
Now, we reach something of an apotheosis of the genre with the carbon Jones H-Bar for 35mm stems.
Why is this significant – as in the cause of a raised eyebrow, rather than the start of a new handlebar trend for mountain bikers? Well, the whole point of 35mm stems is strength, particularly for wide 800mm handlebars, whereas the whole point of H-bars is bikepacking, touring and non-gravity focussed riding. Do you actually need extra strength for that sort of thing?
I would say that was arguable but I suppose it does point to the trend with gravel and adventure bikes to sport ever-longer top tubes with ever-shorter stems. Simply put, most short stems only seem to come in 35mm these days, so Jones is going where the market is. Mind you, the market must surely be small – if dedicated – these things retail at $350!
What you get for that outsize sum is a uni-directional carbon bar that follows classic H-bar lines, with the loop at the front and swept 45° bars offering multiple hand and mounting positions. They are actually wider than the H-bar norm at 710mm vs 660mm for the original H-bar.
That’s not a wide handlebar by MTB standards but is decently wide for gravel and adventure. It’s also a tried and tested width for Jones; they have several bars at that size but not at 35mm. I think you can assume more will follow.
Here’s a gratuitous shot of an H-bar (non-carbon, non-35mm) in it’s native habitat: