Best xc bars/stem

creaky

The obviative
^^^
That's not a bad answer actually.
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Stems are not a key personal item so long as they are the right length and allow you to get the correct bar height (I.e. stem angle may help with this). Thomson are the industry standard but you will pay twice as much for the quality machining and light weight as you will for something that functions just as well.
HTML:
Handlebars are very personal. Carbon bars are great but whatever you get you will need to like the height, width and sweep.
 
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redbruce

Eats Squid

Stefan

Likes Bikes
^^^
That's not a bad answer actually.
HTML:
Stems are not a key personal item so long as they are the right length and allow you to get the correct bar height (I.e. stem angle may help with this). Thomson are the industry standard but you will pay twice as much for the quality machining and light weight as you will for something that fun Fiona just as well.
HTML:
Handlebars are very personal. Carbon bars are great but whatever you get you will need to like the height, width and sweep.
I found a Thompson Elite stem to be quite heavy (around 200 grams I think), and I really dislike their seatpost design too. Lots of companies make nice stems. But yes, what you said. Functionally, 4 bolts are better than 2 (can you even get mtb stems with 2 bolts anymore?).

OP question is too open and has insufficient context to be answered properly.
 

disappearin

Likes Dirt
I found a Thompson Elite stem to be quite heavy (around 200 grams I think), and I really dislike their seatpost design too.
My 90mm 0 degree Thomson x4 stem weighs 166grams. They also make a nice, light titanium bar but as stated previously they aren't cheap...
 
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0psi

Eats Squid
I don't mind Race Face kit, but I've found it hard to get in Aus recently.
They changed distro not long ago so there is usually a bit of a transition period where there isn't as much stock in the country. Should be fine now if the new distributor has taken their first shipment.
 

The Duckmeister

Eats Squid
why are all xc bars like 550mm-630mm?? i got stock 730mm giant bars with my anthem and wouldnt want any smaller!
Actually you'd be hard-pressed to find much that short these days without a hacksaw!

The best bar is what you're most comfortable with. In contrast to the quoted post, I utterly detest huge (>650mm) bars on XC bikes - they just feel too cumbersome. That said, if I ever wound up on a big-wheeler (I still love my 26er), I'd go bigger than my current 580mm, just 'cos you do need a bit more grunt on the bar to overcome the inertia of the big wheel. My long-winded point is, it's a totally personal preference, there is no definitive right or wrong answer.
 

Yellm

Likes Bikes
Why does everyone rate the Thomson stems so much? They are HEAVY (since when are they light weight?), simple CNC manufactured, and have a mirror smooth CNC clamping area which requires a reasonably high clamping torque. This is oppose to a 3D forged stem which can be much lighter, high strength and have a shot peen finish which acts as a friction surface and hence low clamping torque is required... good example being the Syntace stem mentioned below... and there are many more...
 

timrob

Likes Dirt
Hands down, i would recommend;
Answer Pro Taper AM 720 (1/2" rise, carbon or alloy)

The best back/up sweet that i have used, just ordered a new set for the new bike :)
 

harmonix1234

Eats Squid
Easton EA50 are actually a greatly underrated bar.
Bottom of the line on the Easton catalogue, but really strong and have a really nice shape. They can be cut right down and still have plenty of room for shiters and brakes too. Not feather light, but bars are one place I don't mind having some heft.
Come in a 685mm standard, hi rise or low rise.

Awesome bars and cheap as chips.

For stem, I rate the PRO stuff.
The PRO PLT is a middle of the range stem, so not real expensive but super stiff, looks great and light.
My 90mm stem comes in at 105 grams and it's stiffer than my Ritchey WCS that cost twice as much.
 
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