Race Face Cadence handlebar (£29.95) and stem (£39.95)
What’s the most important component on your bike? The saddle, for the most part, but very close behind it have to be the stem and handlebars you decide to fit to your bike, for comfort and getting the correct fit.
Until recently Canadian-based Race Face solely produced components for mountain bikes, but in recent years has turned its ability to produce top drawer components to a range of road-specific parts. There are two ranges: Cadence and the slightly more pricey Revolution. RCUK has been testing the more affordable Cadence.
The Cadence handlebar is made from 7075 butted aluminium, anodised and shot peened, which when combined with the subtle logos and graphics gives a very classy look to any bike. They’re only available in oversize 31.8mm centre bulge size though, with widths ranging from 38cm to 44cm. Double cable grooves are compatible with Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM.
Picking bars with a shape that suits your personal tastes is important for comfort. Race Face has opted for an intermediate anatomic bend, which proved to be ergonomically spot on for the tester. The bars displayed little flex during hard sprint efforts or rigorous climbing, but still didn’t transfer too much road buzz. Riding on the tops is comfortable due to their oversized nature.
The Cadence stem is forged from 6061 aluminium, with a distinctive groove running along the sides. Two opposing bolts secure the stem to the steerer tube, with a two-piece bar clamp made from 2014 aluminium alloy saving a few grams over a one-piece design with extra metal between the bolts. Race Face use an ‘Interlocking U-Shaped Handlebar Clamp Geometry,’ which is claimed to reduce ‘stress risers.’ Testing has so far revealed no unsatisfactory results.
Race Face makes this stem in lengths from 70mm to 130mm (as tested by RCUK), in a 6º rise only and solely 31.8mm clamp size. Weight is 165g for a 110mm size.
With both the stem and bar fitted to a test bike, they make a good combination. They look smart together, with matching finishes and decals that wouldn’t be out of place on any bike fitted too. Race Face has decided to keep things simple with few size and shape options, but luckily the decisions they’ve made have resulted in some top quality products.