Wilde Bikes X Country Bar: At The Finish – by Guitar Ted
Note: Wilde Bike Co sent over the handlebar here on review at no charge to Guitar Ted. He is not being paid, nor bribed for this review and he will always strive to give his honest thoughts and views throughout.
I’ve ridden this Wilde Bicycle Co. Country Bar enough now that I think I have a pretty good read on it. First of all, handle bars, saddles, much of the apparel we wear, etc, is going to be a subjective choice and my take may not be your take. But if you already understand that, you’ll grab what you need from this review and come up with your own analysis. The previous post in this three-part review can be seen here.
I’ve been riding swept flat bars since the early 2000’s and I’ve come to the conclusion that somewhere in the range of 14° and 30° of sweep-back from a perpendicular line running from the stem is about the “right” amount of sweep for my ergonomic makeup. I’ve tried the 45° sweep of a Jones Bar and it is just too much for my tastes and anything near to a straight, broom handle bar is not good either.
So, the 27° degree sweep of this Country Bar is right in my wheelhouse for comfort. By the way…..twenty-seven degrees….that’s kind of a random number. Anyway, it works for me. The up sweep? Yeah…I guess it is what it is, but to me that’s not a big deal. I suppose it helps a rider fine tune hand position somewhat. The width is, again, 800mm. That’s fine for me, although I found myself “choking up” on the bars, similar to what a batter in baseball would do, when I felt like I was stretched a bit to far outwards by the span of the bar’s width at the ends. I liked the options that allowed me, but for anyone who just cannot deal with an 800mm wide bar, Jeffery Frane of Wilde Bicycle Co did confirm with me that these can be cut down.
Now, as for gravel travel; I rode these on gravel and while they are not going to filter out a bunch of buzz, the Country Bar has a subtle “give” to it which I found takes the edge off of sharper hits. I never got “zinged” by this handle bar, even if I inadvertently smacked a half buried root or an unseen pothole. Many aluminum handlebars will really send a shot up your forearms if you hit something without lofting the front end.
Verdict: You can read more of my impressions here, but at the finish, I will say this handle bar is really nicely made and it has a good amount of sweep which may help you ride further in more comfort as this bar has for myself. You may find that climbing and cornering on single track is enhanced, as I did, with the Country Bar.
I would use this on one of my fat bikes but…..I won’t use anything but carbon on those. The reason being that aluminum will make your hands colder faster in cool/cold weather and carbon won’t. There I use carbon and cork grips for the best in Winter comfort. But for any other season these handle bars are really very nice.
Nitto makes these in Japan and it shows. Sometimes you come across components that aesthetically are very appealing and have a certain ‘something‘ that makes them “nicer”. The Country Bar has this and if you are familiar with Nitto you know what I am trying to convey here. Wilde was wise to have these made by Nitto. It sets the Country Bar apart from a host of other choices.
I really like these handle bars. Maybe you would as well. One thing that is obviously true is that they look fantastic and that they are expensive, for an aluminum bar, that is. ($120.00 MSRP) You can get a carbon bar for this price, or even less. That said, if you like metal handle bars, and you like yours to be silver, then the pickings get slim real fast. Black? That maybe harder to justify, unless you are a fan of Nitto or fine looking components.
See more about this handle bar at Wilde Bicycle Co.’s site here: https://www.wildebikes.com/collections/frontpage/products/wilde-x-nitto-b804aa