Finish: Black, anodized matte finish
Bar Clamp Diameter: 25.4 mm (1 in.)
Bend (Sweep): 9 degrees
Material: Double-butted 6061-T6 aluminum
Width: 670mm (26.37 in.)
Bar Rise: 30mm (1.18 in.)
Mfgr Part No.: 30-220-161
Country of Origin: Taiwan
I have used riser-type handlebars (bars with a U-shaped bend) on my mountain bikes for quite a few years now. The added height and width of these bars fit larger riders well, and provide a slightly more upright riding position. I have had good results in the past with the Ritchey brand, so I ordered a Ritchey Rizer HD (9 degree/30mm rise/670mm wide, Model No. 30-220-161) for a mountain bike (MTB) I was refurbishing.
Intended for heavy-duty use, the Rizer HD also bears the designation SC (Severe Condition). It was designed by Ritchey as an affordable handlebar for use on downhill and freeride mountain bikes. These types of MTBs are typically ridden at high descent speeds over very rough terrain. Though I primarily ride cross-country (XC) trails, I am a larger rider and prefer a strong handlebar anyway, so the Rizer HD was just right for me.
The Rizer HD is made of 6061-T6 aluminum. This alloy is less expensive than 7075 aluminum, and bars of made of 6061 are typically heavier in order to achieve the requisite strength. If weight is important to you, look for bars made of 7075 aluminum. For the ultimate in strength, chromoly steel is probably best, as a steel handlebar tends to fold and droop before breaking.
The bar features double-butted tubing: a heavier gauge (thickness) of alloy is used around the stem clamp area, tapering to a thinner gauge further out. The Rizer HD has a 25.4mm outer diameter at the stem clamp, and will fit standard 25.4mm (1-in.) capacity stems (some MTB riser bars use a larger 31.6mm diameter). The 'riser' part of the bar has a gradual 30mm (1.18 in.) rise at its center, while the bar ends are swept back at a 9-degree angle. It is nicely finished in a bead-blasted, matte anodized black.
At 670mm (26.4 in.) wide, this bar would be considered medium-wide in the current market, where manufacturers commonly offer MTB handlebars in a range of lengths from 560mm (22 in.) all the way up to 780mm (31 in.). More width gives a rider more leverage and more control, but slows down one’s ability to flick the bike into turns.
Upon opening the package, the Ritchey bar seemed very well finished, with no noticeable flaws or extrusion marks. I noticed that it had heavy-gauge tubing even at the bar ends, despite the fact that this was the thinnest portion of the bar. The matte surface has the usual degree scale on the clamp area to assist in setting the bar’s angle towards the rider. The bar fitted easily into a four-bolt clamp of a standard 25.4mm threadless stem, and did not loosen or rotate in the slightest degree after being tightened.
While the bead-blasted surface looks great, it did offer somewhat greater friction when installing the bar grips, which fought the first attempts at installation. I left the grips in the sun for an hour to soften them, then lubricated them with alcohol before fitting them onto the bar ends. Once installed, they held tightly without slipping or rotating under hand pressure.
I have used the Rizer HD on many trail rides since purchasing it. It works fine for open trails such as found in the desert southwest, but may be a little wide for forested tracks with limited clearance and tight turns. The bar features a 9-degree backsweep which may not appeal to everyone, particularly XC trail riders. While the other two riser bars I had some sweepback, the ‘moto’ style of the Rizer HD felt a little strange when rotating my hands outwards to grasp the bar. However I soon got used to it, and it seems quite natural now.
The bar's rigidity is a definite advantage on rough trails, and the rise/sweep makes it easier to shift weight rearward for steep descents. I also like the increased leverage that the extra bar width affords.
After using the bar successfully on a full-suspension XC mountain bike, I later swapped it over to a Surly 1x1® frame I was building as a platform for a motorized bike. The Rizer HD proved to be an ideal choice for the heavy motorized Surly, and the long bar length combined with the swept-back grip assists in controlling the bike at speed. The width of the bar also leaves enough room for accessories such as headlamp and speedometer.
While the Ritchey Rizer HD is by no means a high-tech bar, it remains an excellent heavy-duty design for any mountain bike where weight isn’t a prime concern. It is well finished, well-made, strong, and affordable, and that works for me.
Read all 1 Reviews
Write a Review