This month I have been reviewing the Contact SLR TR Trail Riser Bar and Sole-O lock grips for Giant.
The bar is wider than my previous bar, at 730mm. I was unsure about to start with, as I spend most of my time weaving through tight single-track this extra bit of width has proven a little interesting at times.
The Sole-O grips are really nice and give you lots of grip, making it easier to change hand position to suit the type of riding you are doing, whether its down hill, up hill, technical or flat.
The handle bar is incredibly light at 175 grams, making a notable difference from the aluminium bar I had previously. I have tested the bar in lots of different conditions and terrains. It is certainly better for bombing downhill the wider position makes it feel very stable, and it’s easier to shift your weight around. On steep, rocky, rooty sections the carbon takes out some of the vibration too, which is a bonus. However, to start with I noticed it changed my balance on the bike and I found myself too far over the front wheel going downhill. This can be unnerving as every mountain biker knows being too far over the front wheel when going downhill often ends up with you taking a closer inspection of the trail!
Overall the bar and grips are fantastic and I have enjoyed learning how they differ from my previous bar, I have decided to get the bar cut down a little to suit the style of riding I do, which can be done at most good Giant retailers.
I have the charcoal version, the bar also comes in white, both colours look great, but the charcoal matches the rest of my bike, which is predominantly black. The O-lock grips have different colour rings, mine are blue, which was a brilliant choice by Giant as blue is my favourite colour.
At £130 this handle bar is well worth the investment for the stability, control and weight reduction.
Thank you to Giant retailer Cycle World Southampton for fitting the bar and as always thank you Giant for the opportunity to test out your products.