Handle bars are a very personal thing, one person’s nirvana can be another’s purgatory. I like to think I know what I like after quite a few miles of riding different bars and I’d pretty much settled on one bar at one width. Can this Redshift bar upset my balance? After all it’s a pretty radical looking item with the extra forward loop (also available without) a little rise from the centre and a little bit swept back. Add this to some flare and you’ve got quite a lot going on. Minimum width is 44cm with 47 and 50mm for fans of a wider stance.
I usually run a 42cm bar so went for the smallest 44cm to test and the best bike I thought of to test this was my Singular Swift, which by design is a flat bar 29er and has, because of the longer reach a flat bar bike gets over a drop bar version, been a right pain to fit a drop bar too. I’ve tried quite a few bars on this together with various length and rise stems and have never felt truly comfortable on it other than for short rides in the woods. I’ve even tried a 40cm bar on this bike to get a more upright position, that was a twitchy nightmare! So if the Kitchen Sink Bar works with this bike it’ll work on any bike. I know this bike with a flat bar is great for long distances, I’ve done 100 mile rides on it and run it singlespeed so I know the difference has always been the bar and the riding position this gives. basically it feels too long, which you’d expect I suppose but I’m stubborn and tried the Kitchen Sink bar to see how it faired, even if it’s wider than my normal width
Feel, first of all let me say that I tried this bar with Redshift’s control top and drop grips as they sent me those too and a separate review will be along shortly on those but I thought it only fair to try them without as a better comparison to what I’m used to. The bars feel great in your hand, I don’t like a thick bar like aero road bars tend to be on the part across the middle. These felt great for cruising along and I liked the fact I could hook my thumbs around the forward loop. I didn’t tape the forward loop or up to it on the bars but I think if you were going to use that forward loop as a “tri” bar you’d need to just to give your forearm bones some respite by adding some tape. For the occasional downhill aero position it was fine for me without extra tape. The reach on the 44cm bars is 70mm but interestingly the wider you go the less the reach is as the back sweep takes effect. that’s quite hard to get your head around but take a look at the technical details on Redshift’s website here as they explain it lot better than me. The drop on these is also longer than I’m used to but riding on the drops felt natural and I tend to climb out of the saddle on the drops more than on the hoods to get more leverage so a bar that feels right in the hand is important.
The ride, control is the word that keeps coming to mind about this bar. it’s manners off road are impeccable, the extra width and hand friendly diameter mean you always feel secure. Work the drops on technical sections and the reach to the brake lever blades is spot on. on the rough stuff it’s stiff enough but with enough give to not feel jarring.
Ok so this bar has Messed with my head but did the bar work on the problem bike? In a word, yes. It actually did and that’s why it’s a puzzle. On paper it’s wider than my normal bar, it has a longer drop but it feels totally right on the bike. I’m not stretched out, my arms are slightly bent when on the hoods and reaching the levers with hands on the drops for technical riding is fine. I’ve done up to 50 mile rides on various terrain and my neck and shoulders have felt fine afterwards. Maybe it’s the little bit of rise this bar has paired with it’s back sweep that is making the difference? Whatever it is it now has raised another dilemma. If this bike feels good on a bike that’s not designed for it then how good must it be on a bike that it is designed for?!
Why should you buy this bar? if you have a “problem” bike this bar might just be the answer but if it feels and rides this well on a problem bike it’s only going to enhance the ride of an already good bike. My big problem now it that i need to buy another for my other bikes!
The Redshift kitchen Sink Bar is a great bar for riding anywhere, on road, off road and city (I’ve commuted on it too). personally I think my next one will be without the loop as I didn’t use it that much but if you strap a lot of kit to your bars or do bike packing I think it’ll work for you.
It’s flat out comfy without being flat
you can find more information at the Redshift sports Website here
As with all my tests, this is a real world review. I’m not sponsored and I’m just an average rider like most of you reading this. companies sometimes send me things to test but i always let them know it will be an honest review good or bad