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DEITY Speedway Handlebar

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SuperSize Me: New Deity 35mm Cockpit Tested

New supersized cockpit goods from Deity.

Rating: Vital Review

Going from strength to strength, the last few years has seen rider-run, independent component manufacturer Deity cement its place in the market as a producer of high-quality goods that both talk the talk and walk the walk. Deity prides itself in making stuff that not only looks good (and it generally does), but that also works well on the bike. The 35mm cockpit standard is not without its challenges when it comes to getting the feel and stiffness right, which is why Deity took their sweet time before introducing a 35mm line. When they finally did, earlier this year, they came to the table with a full range of alloy and carbon bars as well as a 35mm version of their classic Copperhead stem. We’ve spent 3 months putting a couple of samples through the wringer, read on to find out how we’ve been getting along.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Outstanding quality and finish
  • Very comfortable handlebar angles
  • Strong and stiff stem, easy to wrench on
  • Skywire handlebar offers notable extra comfort
  • Wide range of colors
  • Strong design language
  • Competitive weights
  • Solid stem faceplate makes alignment tricky (can’t see handlebar markings underneath)
  • Lack of instructions/how-to install videos

Deity Speedway Handlebar Highlights

  • Oversized 35mm bore carbon handlebar
  • Designed for DH / Enduro / All Mountain
  • Unidirectional carbon construction
  • 30mm rise
  • 810mm width
  • 9 degree bend x 5 degree upsweep
  • Textured non slip stem clamping surface
  • Textured grip ends
  • Available in Matte Unidirectional Black Carbon with Stealth, Chrome, White, Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Turquoise and Bronze Graphics
  • Backed by a 2-year Limited Warranty and a Lifetime Crash Replacement Plan
  • Weight: 245 grams
  • MSRP: $169.99 USD

Deity Skywire Handlebar Highlights

  • Oversized 35mm bore carbon handlebar
  • Designed for Enduro / All Mountain / Trail
  • Unidirectional carbon construction
  • 15mm rise and 25mm rise options
  • 800mm width
  • 9 degree bend x 5 degree upsweep
  • Textured non slip stem clamping surface
  • Textured grip ends
  • Available in Matte Unidirectional Black Carbon with Stealth, Chrome, White, Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Turquoise and Bronze Graphics
  • Backed by a 2-year Limited Warranty and a Lifetime Crash Replacement Plan
  • Weight: 222 grams (15mm rise) and 226 grams (25mm rise)
  • MSRP: $169.99 USD

Deity Copperhead 35mm Stem Highlights

  • Oversized 35mm Clamp Stem
  • Light enough for All Mountain yet strong enough for slopestyle and everything in between
  • CNC machined from a solid block of 6061 T6 aluminum
  • Detailed chamfered edges and channels throughout
  • Low 33mm stack height
  • 35mm and 50mm length options
  • 55mm wide clamping platform
  • Designed for 1 1/8” steerer tubes
  • High polished ano finish
  • Full ano color range available in Black, Red, Purple, Green, Blue, Orange, Platinum and Bronze
  • Backed by a 2-year Limited Warranty and a Lifetime Crash Replacement Plan
  • Weight: 135 grams
  • MSRP: $98.99 USD

Initial Impressions

When we first laid eyes on the 2019 Deity catalog, we were impressed with the breadth and depth of the offering, and we also thought that Deity has really found their identity when it comes to colors and graphics. Once the new 35mm stuff actually showed up on our doorstep, those positive initial impressions were certainly reinforced. Deity claims to have put a lot of effort into designing their new range, and it really shows in the product. We took delivery of the new Speedway and Skywire carbon handlebar options, the new 35mm Copperhead stem, and a few select extras since “Complete Your Kit” is very much part of Deity’s story too. The bronze finish we received is an all-new color option for this year, available on much of the product range, but there are an additional 7 colors to choose from to match your particular frame and build.

Starting with the handlebars, the finish is impeccable and the graphics are bold without being tacky. All the decals are properly aligned and covered by clear coat to keep them protected. There is a textured clamp area as well as textured bar ends to make sure your bar, grip, and controls never slip. The angles of both the Speedway and the Skywire bars are a fairly classic 9 degrees back and 5 degrees up. The Speedway comes in only one, 30mm rise option which makes sense for a DH race oriented bar, while the more AM/Enduro-focused Skywire offers a choice of 15mm or 25mm rise. The Speedway weighs about 20 grams more than the Skywire, and it was built to be stiffer as well.

Deity Speedway
Deity Skywire 25mm rise

Heavily machined, the Copperhead stem tips the scales at a relatively low weight for such a sturdy piece of kit. The design gives it a very purposeful look, further backed up by the imposing 5mm hardware and the wide clamping area. The finish is impeccable and the anodizing deep and uniform.

As previously mentioned, we received a few extra bits to complete this build. Starting with the pedals, the excellent TMACs put in a very strong showing in our big Flat Pedal Face Off a couple of years ago now, and they have held onto their 2nd place finish ever since. Wide, grippy, and reliable, the addition of the new bronze colorway shown here is the cherry on the cake if that’s your thing. Match it all up with the Speedtrap saddle, some Knuckleduster grips, a Crosshair headset cap and maybe even some machined alloy valve stem caps – that’s right, if it’s matchy-matchy you want, Deity has your back.

On The Trail

Wrenching on Copperhead stem is a pure pleasure, with proper high-quality hardware that spins as smooth as butter even without adding any grease during assembly. We love the choice of large, 5mm allen bolts, no need to worry about stripping any threads or bolt heads here. Make sure to keep even gaps between the front plate and the stem and torque to 4.5 nm or so (5.5 nm for the stem to steer tube bolts) – we never had the stem slip or the bar move on us during 3 months of rigorous testing. The only small inconvenience we noted during installation is the lack of alignment markings on the stem itself, and the fact that the face plate is solid makes it hard to see the markings on the bar underneath it. Easy enough to work around by looking at the sides of the stem, but still worth pointing out.

The finish of the handlebars is exemplary, and the fine tolerances of both the bars and the stem meant that everything fit together perfectly and remained solid for the duration of the test.

Both the Speedway and Skywire handlebars feature textured areas under the stem clamp and under the grips, to avoid any undue slippage. As previously mentioned, the finish of the handlebars is exemplary, and the fine tolerances of both the bars and the stem meant that everything fit together perfectly and remained solid for the duration of the test (we cut both our bars to 780mm, FYI). Controls are easy to lock in place, and the single-clamp grips never showed any signs of wanting to move around either. The low stack height of the Copperhead stem makes it easy to tune in your preferred stack height as well.

On the trail, we found the angles of the handlebars spot on. 9 degrees back and 5 degrees up is a fairly classic combo which felt natural from the very first ride. 35mm carbon bars are notoriously stiff, but Deity’s bars manage to maintain a certain degree of comfort – particularly the lighter Skywire bar. Don’t go expecting any noticeable flex, these are still stiff and direct bars, but we found that the Skywire added a bit of a “filtering” effect on the trail, taking the sting out of the choppy bits. As for the Speedway, it is certainly a burly piece of kit, made for heavier and/or more aggressive riders who favor a super direct feel. We found it still offers comparable comfort to the better carbon bars we’ve tested over the past couple of years, which is a good achievement for such a stiff, heavy-duty item.

Things That Could Be Improved

As mentioned in the previous section, the stem lacks alignment markings and because the face plate is solid, it’s hard to see the markings on the handlebars underneath it. It’s not hard to work around the problem, but a couple of alignment markers along the side of the stem would make it easier. Its’ also hard to find any installation instructions, which means you’re left guessing when it comes to where to leave the face plate gaps when installing the stem, as well as what torque values to use. Deity are good with answering customer queries, but a small printed user guide would be a helpful inclusion in the box.

Long Term Durability

This test has been going on for three months now (and counting), and we’ve yet to uncover any signs of premature wear or any other problems. A couple of crashes left some minor scuff marks on one of the bars, but the damage is minimal and the rest of the finish is holding up just fine. When swapping between bars we noticed some minor marks left by the controls, once again the scuffing is minimal and well contained (and definitely par for the course, we don’t know of many handlebars that don’t get a bit rough under the controls). Given the impeccable finish and the obvious amount of attention to detail in the design and manufacturing process, we expect years of loyal service from all the Deity components tested here.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Deity took their sweet time joining the 35mm cockpit party, but when they did, they certainly made an entrance. The graphics have matured and the product catalog is impressively deep, with everything from $57 alloy bars right up to the carbon race goods available to ensure there is something here for every budget. The quality and finish are exemplary, and the performance on the trail is there to back up the fresh looks. Your biggest problem now might be just picking a color, with so many to choose from.

More information at: www.deitycomponents.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord

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8 comments newest first

New?

I bought a Deity 35mm bar (820mm) a couple of years ago.....

What did I miss?

| Reply

My Deity 35mm bar and stem is noticeably more comfortable and compliant than the 31.8 stuff it replaced

| Reply

I cannot understand this industry push to 35mm bore handlebars. There is no actual benefit to it. And for some products, it makes arm pump even worse.

| Reply

100% with you. If my dirt bike doesn't need 35mm stuff, my mountain bike absolutely doesn't. That said, though it wasn't touched on too much here, I know Deity took their time because they had similar feelings and had to figure out how to keep flex & feel in check with the larger clamp.

Overall, I'm sure these are stiffer than the 31.8 stuff (otherwise, what's the point!?) but this is probably a better option for those that have a 35mm stem and want something a bit more forgiving. Without some objective testing equipment however, who knows.

I've been a huge fan of Deity's stuff for awhile now. Awesome company. Bang for the buck incredibly good. Good feel. I'm sticking to their aluminum 31.8 stuff for the foreseeable future.

| Reply
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Specifications
Product DEITY Speedway Handlebar
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Material Carbon Fiber
Material Details Unidirectional carbon construction
Damping properties reducing hand fatigue
Textured non-slip stem clamping surface
Textured grip ends for added bite
Clamp Diameter 35mm
Width 810mm
Rise 30mm
Upsweep
Backsweep
Colors Matte unidirectional black carbon with stealth, chrome, white, red, green, blue, orange, turquoise, or bronze graphics
Weight 0 lb 8.6 oz (245 g)
Miscellaneous Developed and designed exclusively with DEITY's in-house molds
Combines strength, weight, and ride quality
Recommended max torque spec range (4 - 4.5 Nm)
Backed by a 2-year limited warranty and a lifetime crash replacement plan
Price $169.99
More Info

DEITY website

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