Friday, September 23, 2011

Specialized S-Works Barmac bar and stem review

Specialized has changed the one-piece bar and stem game entirely with its excellent and innovative S-Works Barmac. Not only is it adjustable thanks to the wedge system, it's a wonderful shape and manages to give a precise and stiff ride without feeling harsh. The weight is a little higher than a similar price and quality separate bar and stem setup, but the Barmac gives a ride quality that rivals the best separate setups out there. It's a solid and high-performance feeling carbon combo, but with a surprising amount of comfort to its bump-dulling properties.

All-in-one setups have never really been top of our list because of the lack of adjustability – you're stuck with the stem angle, and the usually harsh ride. Specialized has come up with a solution to that though: the Barmac uses a wedge system to give five possible stem angles.

We chose a stem angle to set the bar rotation position, which is fixed, and then used headset spacers to set the bar height. Surprisingly, this setup is quite comfortable too; it's on the stiff side, but it takes a lot of buzz out and the bar is a very pleasant shape whatever position you're riding in.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.

By: Road Bikes & Gear

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