Unite's Renegade Handlebars - Better than it says on the Tin!
Recently a customer ordered a Unite Renegade handle bar in the 20mm rise option as one of several products he purchased to add a little sparkle to his pride and joy and to give him something to do and cheer himself up at this unprecedented time of lock-down.
What's more he was kind enough to let us take a closer look at them (prior to delivery) to see if they matched the claims that Unite make about them.
The Renegade handlebar is possibly the only Unite product not manufactured in the UK (though it is designed here). It's made in Taiwan from 7050 Aluminium and is bang on trend at 800mm wide and features a 35mm clamp area to increase stiffness. Available in two levels of rise (20mm & 30mm), both variations have an 8 degree back-sweep combined with a 5 degree up-sweep, to produce a comfortable and relaxed riding position. Interestingly, this fits bang in the middle of a couple of other Great British Manufacturers contenders: Renthal's Alloy Fat Bar & Fat Bar Lite that have a 7 degree back-sweep and Burgtec's Ride Wide Alloy Enduro Bars that have a 9 degree back-sweep (all have a 5 degree up sweeps).
Laser engraved graphics and cut lines from 760mm out to the full 800mm (in 10mm increments) add to the overall finish. With those specs and dimensions, you're unlikely to use these bars for anything less than All-Mountain Trail riding. Consequently, 760mm seems the shortest you'd want to go when you factor in the typical geometry and fork offsets that you're likely to encounter on Bikes that fit that bill. Especially when combined with an appropriately short stem somewhere between 35 & 50mm in length (Unite's matching renegade Stem for example comes in 35mm or 42.5mm).
Interestingly, Unite lists the weight as 310 grams. We can only presume that this is including packaging as when we weighed them they came out substantially lower at only 285 grams without packaging and 305 grams with packaging. That's a saving of 8% for the weight weenies amongst you, and means that they compare well with the other bars mentioned above. Indeed Renthal's Fat Bar & Fat Bar lite come in at 305 grams and 270 grams respectively (the Fat Bar Lite is only 760mm) and Burgtecs Ride Wide Alloy Enduro bars come in at 300 grams. These are manufacturer claimed weights however and it would only be fair to compare them using the same set of scales for a true comparison.
Unfortunately, the current lock-down caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic means that neither our customer or ourselves have been able to give them a full on the trail trial. However, as soon as the lock-down restrictions relax somewhat, we'll make sure we give them a full shakedown and come back to you with a ridden review.
First impressions from our customer were "They seem great so far, not had much chance to test them properly. But the finish seems really good". So, a positive start for Unite's Renegade Bar!
Consider this though, Unite's Renegade bar retails for £44.99. When you compare that to the Renthal's (£71.95) and Burgtec's (£64.99 - £69.99) that's not too shabby at all, and makes us all the more keen to ride them for a proper review. Until then, stay healthy, stay safe and we'll see you out on the trails!