WHEN FLEX CAN BE YOUR FRIEND

Fasst Flexx handlebars bring suspension to your hands

It’s been over a decade since we first set our eyes on the unique Flexx handlebars. The company got its start in the dirt bike world when the Flexx handlebars were on motocross bikes. More than just a standard handlebar, they’re actually designed to provide suspension for your hands. The name says it better, though, as they literally flex, and depending on different replaceable elastomers, you can achieve varying levels of rigidity. At the time we were definitely intrigued but also curious about whether they would hold up over time or if they were just another gimmick to sell. 

Eventually, Fasst decided to try their hand at bringing the suspension handlebar concept to mountain bikes. As popular as the handlebars have proven in the motorized two-wheeled world, we wondered if there was any advantage to be found on a much lighter mountain bike, especially since the majority of today’s mountain bikes all have front suspension.   

Tech features: Fasst Company designs and manufactures its handlebars in the USA, and accordingly stamped on the handlebars is an American flag. They offer both an 8-degree and 12-degree backsweep in either aluminum or carbon versions. We tested the aluminum 800mm-wide Flexx bars with a 25mm rise and 8-degree backsweep that weighed 600 grams. The diameter of the bar is 31.8mm, and the overall travel of the Flexx bars is 5 degrees based off of the stock width. 

Fasst offers four different levels of compression and rebound elastomers, ranging from soft to stiff. They can be applied according to your weight or if you just want a stiffer or softer ride quality. Fasst claims they have customers who’ve used the same elastomers for 10 years with no noticeable wear. You can purchase individual elastomers on their website for $10 if you want to change them out. 

Field test results: The first bike we tried the Flexx bars on was the Norco Bicycles Sight VLT, which we already had spent a good deal of time on. We had to swap out the stock stem with a 31.8mm-diameter compatible stem. The bars were set up with the red elastomers, which ended up being perfect for testing on rough technical downhills that included the occasional “let the brakes go” high-speed segments. 

Our test riders’ average weight was 170 pounds, and the red elastomers were just right for them. We tried going down to the softer yellow elastomers, and they worked okay on certain things, particularly longer rides without too much technical terrain. For the majority of our riding we stuck with the red. 

The ergonomic feel was almost exactly like the stock 800mm-wide Deity Skywire Norco handlebars. So, getting used to them was virtually seamless, except now we had the suspension or flex factor to the ride. When we went to pull upwards to jump something, there wasn’t any loose feeling in them. We thought they might take away a little bit of front-end feel but they didn’t. Even though they were noticeably heavier out of the box, it wasn’t noticeable when riding on the trail.

Some of our friends thought the handlebars were a little unconventional looking. Certain displays, like the Shimano display we had on the Norco, will need some sort of spacer inside the clamp of the display in order to grip the handlebar. During the testing process, we influenced a few guys on the trail to actually buy them and got positive feedback. 

Hits

• Great for wrist and hand comfort 

• No loss of performance

• High quality and made in America

Misses

• Heavier and more expensive than most

• Smaller diameter than most stock mountain bike bars

Price: $324.99, aluminum version; $424.99, carbon version

Contact: www.fasstmtb.com