Back in June, we posted a ‘First Look’ about the Wren 350 Series Bar and Crazy Lightweight Stem that’s been bolted to the Steer Tube of my fat-bike, and today I’m going to share my thoughts on how all that worked out. If you’d like to see just how light these Wren components are, just click here for the full rundown of the specifications. The bottom line on the weight equation is that the Wren bar/stem features a wider bar and saved 25g over the setup that it replaced.
Let’s start with a little bit about my amigo, Mr. Kevin Wren. Kevin is a card-carrying fat-biker (rides a Wyatt Maverick) And he’s a storied veteran of the bike industry (worked at Shimano back in the day) Wren goes to the plate against the big guns of the bike game every day. We all love a good underdog. The Wren inverted fork has a strong following in the fat-bike market. We love to see companies like Wren continue to develop new products for the fat-bike world. Kevin is a complete breath of fresh air in the bike industry. He’s one of my favorite people to talk to at Sea Otter or Interbike and he’s always full of great stories about this and that, you know…business trips to Taiwan and what-not. Wren makes inverted forks as well as high quality, lightweight components. We recently reviewed their Tinker Juarez World Champion Signature Carbon Waterbottle Cage and today I’m going to share some thoughts about their handlebar and stem.
Let’s start with the bar. I thought that 780mm wide bars were wide enough until I rode 840’s. Now, I know what you’re think’n…”what about all these f*cking trees?” I ride out at Kettle Moraine quite a bit. There’s about 40 some-miles of singletrack there. There are two spots where the 840’s are too wide. I can live with that because the leverage that these bars provide is worth slowing down at those two spots. If I were to choose a name for these bars, I’d go with something like “Ass Kicker” because they allow me to just rear back and donkey kick the pedals up climbs as I’ve never been able to accomplish before. The bar feels totally solid when pulling back on standing climbs. I’m not saying that this exact width in the magic number for everyone…but I am saying that until you go wider, you’ll never know if your wide bars are wide enough.
With all of that width, there’s a lot of space for extra hand positions, bags, lights, Wahoo, etc. For a portion of the test, I ran bar tape near the center of my bars for riding into the wind and utilize another hand position. The Wren bars feel like a great old school downhill low-riser bar. That style of bar has been my favorite set-up for mountain biking for the last twenty or so years, but I never could get a set as wide as the Wren bars. I freak’n love these bars. I’ve been running them on my murdered out Fatback set up for summer singletrack and they’re totally moto. They’ve made all of my other bikes with 760-785mm wide bars woefully inadequate. (MSRP $160 USD)
The Wren alloy stem is the lightest ISO Certified unit on the market. It comes with great, easy to understand directions for the correct tools to use with the torque settings for the binder bolts. My stems stay pretty buried, hidden between a pair of feed bags and flanked by a top tube bag and a Wahoo! The best bicycle components just disappear and go to work and then they stay working. That’s what the Wren stem did from day one. The Wren stem is a rare find in high-end bike jewelry that combines lightweight, high quality at a very competative price. (MSRP – $80 USD)
I’d recommend putting Wren Sports on your radar for your next build. I’m going to keep running these bars all winter and Dear Santa, I want some of those Tinker waterbottle cages for my gravel bike!