You've probably never heard of Xtreme components. We hadn't, but they're being brought into this country by Rose Bikes. You've probably not heard of Rose Bikes either, have you? You would if you were German as they're absolutely massive over there selling bikes, clothing and parts by the wagen-load. So rather than being an unknown no-name from somewheresville, Xtreme have a confident provenance.
With a reach of 100mm and drop of 140mm, the catchily and probably mis-named Pro Race Attack IGS-1 bar is a sort of shortish reach, medium drop aluminium handlebar but it sets itself apart from the rest of the crowd at the bar by sweeping gently back, a bit like an old-fashioned Randonnée handlebar. Xtreme Randonnée, it’s going to be next year’s big thing – sell your fixies. You heard it here first.
Measured from the front of the bar, where the rearward curve of the bar makes the most of the taper down from oversized central section to standard bar diameter, there’s 15mm of sweep. Measuring from the rear of the bar there is only 6mm, but it’s enough to put your hands in a cruise rather than attack position when on the tops, giving a less-stretched and more relaxed position. It's a bar shape that's ideally suited to anyone that finds their current postion too rangey, or for any tourist or sportivista who wants a more leisurely posture on the bike – not everyone wants to be in a faster, faster race crouch over the bars all the time.
The extension forward from the tops is near on horizontal compared to other more aggressive bars that dip down into the curve of the bar. This reinforces the bar's more comfortably casual stance, and on the hoods it does give a more upright looking-over-the-hedges attitude. The arc of the drops transitions pretty quickly into a large flat section long enough to get a whole hand in there, and then kink into the very ends of the bars which are very short – about 40mm short – too stubby to fit a palm onto, making the hand rest uncomfortably in the elbow between the drop and the flat... Only good for hanging a damp jacket off then.
A single cable groove, or 'cannelure' as Xtreme call it – we like that word – crimped into the front of the bar helps with under-tape cable behaviour.
Being a bit smaller than the 44cm wide bars the manufacturers weighed to get their published 319g, these are lighter by a whole 2g, but that still doesn't make the Pro Race Attack a lightweight aluminium bar, although we suspect that the intended market isn't too bothered by such weight-weenie matters.
A standard aluminium handlebar that will suit those looking for a more relaxed and comfortable ride.
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Make and model: Xtreme Pro Race Attack Anatomic II
Size tested: 42cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
“The handlebar offset towards the rider has the effect that you can be sportily on tour in a relaxed position - neck and back are not as stretched anymore."
We'd agree with all that, and we think at some point we might have even sportily toured – a guilty pleasure and no mistake.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's a basic 6061-T6-aluminium bar, it's shape the only thing setting it apart.
It's by no means a light bar, but that's not it's raison d'etre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They did exactly what it says on the tin.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The sweep of the bar and leisurely attitude it put us in was a welcome change to the usual race-bred handlebar.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The stubby ends to the bar.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, even though it wasn't necessarily my cup of tea.
Would you consider buying the product? No, it's not my shape of bar.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, to my friend that wants a comfortable 'touring' position.
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I'm on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.