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Santa Cruz 800 Riser bar review

The Santa Cruz 800 Riser is an expensive but excellent handlebar choice - for all disciplines

Santa Cruz 800 handlebar
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Santa Cruz’s signature lifetime warranty and sweetly balanced ride feel built into a big price big width bar

For

  • Awesome balance of rich trail feedback without numbing buzz on longer, harder runs
  • Lifetime warranty is very rare on bars and they’re still a reasonable weight
  • Subtle branding makes it cross-brand compatible

Against

  • Higher price than most carbon bars but warranty makes that an investment, not an indulgence
  • Only one 20mm rise option in 35mm

There are lots of branded handlebars clamped into matching bikes as standard issue pieces, but Santa Cruz’s 800 carbon handlebar is a really good performer in its own right. Subtle branding means it won’t look weird on another bike either.

Performance

At 233g for the full 800mm width, it sits mid-pack in terms of tough carbon-fibre bars but saves 70-100g over an alloy equivalent. Trim marks make it relatively easy (use a proper carbon saw) to chop down too, although there’s a 50g lighter 760mm version in the same shape, which does have slightly more obvious branding than the gloss-on-matt logo 800mm bar. Both risers only come in 20mm rise and 35mm stem size but there is a 20g lighter 780mm flat bar in 31.8mm diameter. They’re all covered by the same no-questions lifetime warranty as Santa Cruz's carbon frames and wheels, which is a real bonus for regular wreckers and offsets the steep cost over time.

Santa Cruz 800 handlebar

The Santa Cruz 800 bar only comes in a 20mm rise option sporting a 9-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep  (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

On the bike, the 9-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep are bang-centre of standard bar shape and Santa Cruz has obviously worked hard to get a similar goldilocks feel from the exclusive layup. A relatively early, elongated taper through the bend means they suck out a lot of sting before it gets to your grips. That means no buzzing hands or numb forearms even on extended, constant clatter-and-clout descents. Even at full width, there’s no distracting flap or bounce if you properly wallop something, and front tyre feel stays clean for precise control. That’s made them our regular max leverage choice for over a year now, during which they’ve proved cosmetically tough, too.

Santa Cruz 800 handlebar

The gloss-on-matt finish is subtle yet hard wearing (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Typically, for Santa Cruz, these carbon bars aren’t cheap but they’re a classic comfortable shape, with an excellent well-controlled, comfortable ride feel backed up by an exceptional lifetime warranty. Big stack fans might be disappointed with the lack of a taller rise though. 

Tech Specs

  • Price: £150.00
  • Width: 800mm
  • Rise: 20mm
  • Backsweep: 9-degrees
  • Upsweep: 5-degrees
  • Clamp: 35mm