UNDER THE RADAR FOR MANY UK RIDERS, THIS COMPONENT BRAND HAS A CHOICE OF HARDWARE THAT FITS THE BILL FOR US HERE AT DIRT. WE TAKE A LOOK AT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM REVERSE.
German brand Reverse have been designing and producing mountain bike components for over twelve years now, and have a comprehensive range of products. There’s a strong emphasis on hardware suitable for gravity and downhill use as well as lighter weight options to suit a trail bike. This brand sits up there alongside RaceFace, Easton, Renthal and Answer – well designed and engineered products with a solid reputation for reliability and a good dose of style.
With Nico Vink riding their kit it’s no surprise that Reverse have looked to him for input and as such put his name to a signature handlebar. A bar for serious gravity use that will take a real beating. In a similar way to UK brand Renthal, there’s a feeling of longevity in the hardware from Reverse – products that you can rely on in the long run. They don’t seem to be hiding behind any marketing gloss or hype.
Reverse work in close cooperation with the EFBE testing lab and their downhill team – Solid-Reverse Factory Racing.
NICO VINK SERIES 810 HANDLEBAR
This signature bar looked bang on to us and we fitted it to a test downhill bike without any reservations. A full 810mm width may be more than many riders want or need – but hey, a quick trim and you can suit yourself. At this width you need a bar that will give the control and ride quality for aggressive riding but without any undue flex or strength compromises. This 7075 aluminium bar is double butted and comes with a standard 31.8mm clamp size (that’s fine by us…) and in two rises – 35mm or a lower slung 18mm. The shape, with a 5° upsweep and 7° backsweep, is the same as the well regarded Renthal Fatbar; no bad thing at all. At 390g, it’s no featherweight but it will certainly go the distance even with the heaviest of riders on board.
Shape and dimensions of bars, along with grips, are a very personal choice, but we feel this aluminium Vink model is certainly worth considering, whether it’s an upgrade to an original equipment (OE) handlebar or a pre-season refresh on a well used DH bike. We ran these on a 2017 Kona Operator with a direct mount stem from Reverse.
Here are some test notes on this bar from Dirt’s Ieuan Williams:
‘From the stealth look to the 810mm width, this bar ticked all the boxes from the get go. Reverse have made this Nico Vink bar with a great shape that compliments everything I like about a downhill bike’
LEAD 770MM HANDLEBAR
‘Our all-round weapon, suitable for XC to DH use with ample 770mm width and comfortable 25mm rise’ – these are the words from Reverse when describing this lighter weight, mid width aluminium bar.
A 4° upsweep and 9° backsweep gives a different shape from Vink’s signature model and with this bar running in at just shy of 300g it’s more suitable for a bike build that has an eye on a lower weight. Talking of custom builds, the Lead bar is available in various colours or as black with numerous tints to the graphics.
BLACK-ONE ENDURO 50MM 31.8MM
Reverse say they have built the Black-one stem ‘on the safe side’ – rather than trimming the size and weight down to a bare minimum. Aimed at the all-mountain and enduro rider, this stem will likely as not be paired up with a 780-800mm wide bar so stiffness is a priority. Reverse has opted for a wider bar clamp to help reduce twist. A 31.8mm clamp and 50mm length is standard fare these days and we’d certainly like to see a 35mm or 40mm length option and many riders will be looking for the larger 35mm bar clamp too. Maybe Reverse has these coming? At 144g this stem is not the lightest and sits mid pack at the weigh in. This is a solid and dependable stem with a good finish.
SEISMIC 32MM AND 34MM GRIPS
With a measurement of 145mm, these grips are noticeably wider than all the grips currently on the fleet of Dirt test bikes. These silicone grips have double lock-on clamps for security and are designed to give excellent traction in the wet (or dry…) and help damp down vibrations. Increased control is the aim here. many of us here at Dirt HQ have made a recent return to wider diameter grips in recent years and here Reverse offer this model in both 32mm and 34mm diameters. A good option to have.
Factors affecting arm pump come down to suspension design, frame sizing, bar and stem height, tyre pressure, rubber compound and fork settings, so it’s not a given that your grips will remedy a poor set up. We think it will come down to personal taste whether people like the Seismic Ergo or not – we certainly like the feel of the grips riding with and without gloves. The width and diameters are a good fit. We’d probably do away with the outward lock-on clamp to prevent your hands riding on metal but maybe a grip of this width need the double clamps to prevent twisting, especially on a DH bike? We’ll keep them fitted and give them a long-term test…