Berm Cycle Titanium Rover Retro Bar-$269
The retro riser bar has seen a triumphant comeback due largely to the growing klunker scene, but also because they’re freakin’ awesome. Berm Cycle, a Singapore-based component company recently expanded its titanium handlebar lineup with the Rover, a beautifully crafted retro-riser bar.
The Rover sample landed at Fat-bike.com HQ just in time to get my titanium Esker Hayduke dialed in for Single Speed USA in Decorah, IA. Out of the package I was impressed by the welds, the 800mm length, and intrigued by the 16-degree back sweep. The Rover is designed around a 22.2mm clamp size, but also comes with a shim to fit a standard 31.8mm stem. The setup was pretty smooth but the added height strained my front brake housing to the limit. I’ll have to swap out the hose for a few more millimeters to get the perfect configuration. I spent some time dialing in the bars to fit in the stem but after a few minutes of adjustment, I got it dialed in.
Here are some more specifications of The Rover:
• 800mm Length
• 16° Backsweep
• 7° Upsweep
• 80mm Rise
• Diameter 22.2mm
• Comes with 31.8mm titanium shim clamp
• Weight 433g excluding shim
I didn’t anticipate how much this bar would change the position from my previous bar setup. The 80mm rise launched me back to 1981 racing BMX bikes at The Ranch in Menominee Falls, WI. The upright position was a welcomed change from my other mountain bikes over the years. Coupled with a single speed, my Hayduke was transformed into a 80s-style BMX ripper.
The Rover’s 800mm length is on par with my Enve M7 bar offering great leverage for climbing but that 16-degree sweep puts this bar in an entirely new category. I’ve heard other retro bars like The Rover described as a “Dad fit”—far from aggressive, almost cruiser-like. I can’t say that description is too far off. The upright riding style is a new experience if you’re accustomed to XC or even a down country handlebar set-up.
The first big test for The Rover was the old-school, hand-built rocks and roots found at the Decorah, IA trail network. My last ride here was close to 20 years ago when I used to come down to the Decorah Time Trial MTB race. Little has changed there. No flow trails to be found, but I found the terrain to my liking and The Rover set up with a rigid Enve MTB fork was a great companion for the ride. The titanium bar comes in at a hefty 433g compared to the 230g M7 bar I swapped out. But keep in mind that anyone mounting a retro riser bar is probably willing to add 200g to their bike for the immediate style points added by The Rover bars.
Looking to see how The Rover works for an adventure setup I loaded up the Hayduke for an overnight. Immediately I realized the narrow 22.2mm diameter tubing is going to be a problem for my Blackburn Outpost front roll. I didn’t see this as a terrible loss because I’m not a huge fan of that setup anyway. The J-Pak front roll uses Velcro straps, so I ran with that bag instead.
I really liked this for bike packing. The upright position made for a super comfortable ride. The wide bars and sweep back added to the overall stability with an overnight load. This bar is a great bike packing choice.
The Final Word
The finish and design of The Rover bar will immediately bling up any bike. The rise and sweep make for a smooth riding setup. I guess a drawback of this bar is the price tag. Yet at $268, The Rover is a bargain compared to a custom titanium bar from Black Sheep or Oddity. Another consideration is the narrow tubing. Shims are needed to mount some bike packing gear and lighting. But most riders can easily accommodate for this. You can order your Rover bar directly from Berm but expect a little shipping delay as they ship from Singapore.
For more information visit – https://www.bermcycle.com/product/rover-handlebar/
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