Wider IS better — at least that’s my belief. With the BlackBox athlete series bars, Truvativ is providing width, power and shape to meet the needs of their top athletes. Stevie Smith’s bars are stiff and wide — great for both gravity and all-mountain use.
Truvativ Stevie Smith BlackBox Bar Features:
- Material: Butted AL-7050 TV
- Weight: 340g
- Width: 780mm
- Backsweep: 7°
- Bar Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
- Rise: 30mm
- Upsweep: 5°
- Colors: Bright Silver and Blast Black
- MSRP: $83
- Details: Visit Truvativ.com
Trail Testing the Stevie Smith BlackBox Bar
As bars have gotten wider and wider, I’ve been holding steady in the 700-710mm range. Five years ago, even that was considered wide, but today we’re seeing super-wide 810mm bars as commonplace. Well, what’s driving all this width? I’d say it’s a natural progression of the sport, bikes, disciplines and rider awareness.
While wider bars are decidedly for me, manufacturers still make super-narrow 580mm bars for XC racers. I can see that as something viable for super-narrow trails, but to me riding anything narrower than 700mm feels as if I’m riding an urban fixie. Again, rider preference is key here with trial-and-error being the most important process to find that perfect bar width and shape.
Flat bars have pretty much dominated the 29er scene, but with improved frame designs, you can still opt for a riser bar without raising the ride height to a wheelie-inducing level. At 780mm, the Stevie Smith Blackbox Bar is wide and with a 30mm rise, this bar is best suited for gravity pursuits, but can certainly find a home on modern trail bikes. I’ve been riding it on the new Niner RIP 9 Al as a replacement for the standard Niner Flat Top 780mm bar and have found it both better and worse than the flat bar.
After exclusively riding flat bars for years, it was actually nice hopping back onto a riser bar. the upsweep and backsweep of Truvativ riser bars simply feel natural and the Stevie Smith is no exception. The rider position is perfect for mach schnell pursuits and really put me in the perfect stance for aggressive trail riding. Whipping the RIP 9 around was no problem with this bar and steering required less effort on my part.
It almost goes without saying that the 780mm bars will hit more branches and trees in tight terrain and could possibly increase your chances of hooking a passing rider, but the sheer power and precision is worth the trade-offs.
If you already love the benefits of going wide then you’ll love the Stevie’s, if you haven’t, these are an easy set of bars to love for not a whole lot of coin.
- Responsive and stiff
- Excellent rider position for comfortable charging
- 780mm width provides even more trail control
- Leverage galore
- The flipside of all that width is trail clearance (East coast trail riders beware)
- Gram-counters might not like the extra weight
The Bottom Line
Going wide with the Truvativ Stevie Smith BlackBox Bar has been a ton of fun with more control and steering precision. The 30mm rise may not be for all bikes, but for gravity pursuits, this bar is an affordable, bombproof option.
More Info: Visit SRAM.com (arriving at retail soon)