The new Bend H-bar from Jeff Jones builds on a legacy of creative tinkering started over a decade ago by the man himself. The idea behind the new $85 Bend H-bar was to create a svelte version of his signature Loop H-bar without. Less material means less places to mount things like GPS, lights, bell and other gadgets, but, like Swedish design, sometimes cutting things down to their essence makes for a better product.
The 660mm Bend bars have the same 45 degree sweep, half an inch of vertical offset and 31.8mm clamp diameter as his signature Loop bars. The rise and sweep puts you in a natural, upright position, relieving pressure from your hands a bit, which provides a comfy ride while giving you better overall control and less arm and hand fatigue in the long run.
Climbing and descending both benefit from a “float like a butterfly” feeling. Relaxed hands and arms can more easily react to changes in terrain. Climbing while standing puts the bars near your waist which relieves pressure from your back and centers you over your bike for less “wrench and stomp” and more “all together now”.
The long bar ends give you plenty of room for brake levers and shifters as well as ample room to move about. I ran the bar in conjunction with ESI’s Extra Chunky foam MTB grips, which are super comfy and do a great job of shock absorbing on my rigid ride. In addition to the standard hand placement, I found that you can ride in a bit more aero position on the bent part of the bar.
The Bend H-bar is also compliant with EN MTB standards (European Standards), which means it was rigorously tested for durability in harsh mountain bike terrain, unlike a lot of bent bars which only meet city or touring compliance.
This is an exceptional component for anyone looking for a comfy, stripped down bar, and like all things Jones, can be used in myriad situations from trail to tarmac.