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Gusset S2 handlebar review

Gusset has updated and oversized its classic hardcore bar so how does the new S2 feel on the trail?

Gusset S2
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Well shaped, 800mm wide aggro bar for maximum control fans on a budget, but potentially too stiff for more subtle and sensitive riders

For

  • Stiff, max feedback feel
  • Seriously strong
  • Cosmetically tough
  • Three different rises
  • Cut and angle marks

Against

  • Unforgiving
  • Potential arm pump issues

Gusset’s 31.8mm Slade bar has been one of our favorite tough-but-affordable bars for years and the S2 is its 35mm diameter relative. It’s literally a solid choice for any riders looking for a lot of strength and feedback rather than smoothness and subtlety.

The 7075 alloy keeps the price affordable and it’s swaged and custom-butted. The 800mm width butted to Gusset’s own design with a full diameter center section that gradually tapers through either 10, 20 or 38mm riser sections. The eight-degree back sweep and five-degree back sweep is the same as the Slide and suited most of our testers well. If you do need to experiment with the position it’s got rotation and cut marks for accurate angling and trimming. The S2 is only 15g heavier than the 31.8mm Slade but the wider diameter has definitely increased the stiffness. That’s great for maximum feedback and precision at slower speeds, smoother tracks or shorter runs and if that’s what you’re after then it’s good value, too. It starts feeling harsh and unforgiving as soon as you’ve got hold of it and it increases the chance of arm pump on extended/impact rich runs. That does reduce if used together with the more flexible S2 stem though.

Gusset S2

The grip features different file and rib patterns to aid grip (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Gusset’s S2 harnesses the extra stiffness and feedback of the 35mm diameter format at an affordable price but the direct feel can make it uncomfortable.

Tech Specs: Gusset S2 handlebar 

  • Price: £54.99
  • Weight: 348g (10mm rise) 
  • Sizes: 800 x 10, 20 or 38mm rise
  • Colors: Black