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It’s too bad that nothing rhymes with “aluminum.” It seems like there’s a whole “steel is real” sort of rebirth that’s going on in alloy components right now, but there is no hope for a correspondingly simple catchphrase. And maybe it’s for the best, because aluminum doesn’t make a big deal of itself. Which is why we’re going to keep this short and to the point.
Today, PNW is updating their Range alloy handlebars and stems. For the most part, they feature a series of small gains that add up to a significant performance boost on the trail. The stem has abandoned the blocky profile for a slimmer CNC-machined look and, depending on the length, it’s dropped as much as 40 grams. It’s available in a 40- or 50-millimeter length.
And the handlebar has been stretched to 800mm from the previous Range’s 780, but PNW didn’t just add 10mm to each side and call it good. The butting and shaping that happens on the rest of the handlebar has been extended further out to match the wider length, allowing PNW to shave nearly 25 grams. Despite that reshaping, though, the new Range bar has the same measurements as the previous. 30mm rise, 5-degree upsweep and a pretty generous 10-degree backsweep.
There is one measurement that changed, or was at least added to the lineup: 35mm. No, the traditionalists who want both aluminum and a 31.8mm diameter can still get it on the Range, but PNW has added a 35mm option in both the bar and the new stem. It has the same rise, width, upsweep and backsweep as the 31.8mm Range, but is a tad lighter thanks to what the larger diameter offers. It’s also a tad stiffer, but PNW makes it a point to say they waited this long to offer a 35mm bar specifically because they were working on getting that stiffness down to a comfortable level.
The handlebars are currently in stock, and the stems aren’t far behind.