Deda Newton Bar £49.99, Stem £69.99
Dedacciai started making tubesets back in 1993, using a steel alloy developed for offshore oil platforms. This was the basis for the Dedacciai Zero 18MCDV6HT tubeset, which became famous when a certain Spaniard went on to use it to win a couple of Tours de France. Dario Pegoretti built many of these early prototypes and Team bikes, but that as they say is another story. Due to this early success, Dedacciai’s tubesets became highly desired by many of Italy’s finest frame builders because of their light weight and great strength. So, the natural progression to making tubular things such as handlebars, stems and seatposts seemed an obvious move for the Italian company.
Now named Deda, the offshoot company began producing a range of components in 2000. In its first season Deda managed to notch up a few notable wins with the yellow jersey in the Tour de France and the world road race championship. If you do go to the website, check out the palmares section as there hardly seems to be a race which has not been won in the last six years using Deda products.
The attention to detail really does make this handlebar and stem combination the choice of champions. The ‘cockpit’ is a key element to optimising a rider’s position and this must have been at the forefront of the design team’s thoughts. For the first five years the bar has been available in three options, Belgium (Deep), Shallow (which is a classic Italian shape) and the Anatomic. This year with the addition of the Supernatural bar (Anatomic Shallow drop for Shimano 10spd levers) Deda offers the most variety in any pro level handlebar available to the general public. Combined with four width options, this offers a lot of choice.
The same attention to detail has been applied to the Newton stem. Available in 82 degrees and an 86 degrees option with stem lengths from 80-150mm, fit should not be an issue. (Note. 86 degree option does not have the smallest or largest lengths available and only comes in 10mm increments)
The one negative comment would have to be that the end styling of the graphics seems to have been done by two separate departments, as the bar uses a blue and white colour scheme and the stem opts for a red and white. For the dandies out there this poses an aesthetic conundrum which in part can be solved by the addition of computers and similar attachments to the bar itself, hiding the unmatched graphics. Thankfully I am pleased to say that for 2007 bars and stem will now match in the graphics department.
Placing multiple bends in a handlebar can produce extra stress on these critical areas and to counteract this Deda uses a process that seems to be very similar to a ball blasted surface to the end product. This combines with triple butting off the tube wall thickness to give a 30percent increase in strength and 25percent increase in rigidity (compared to their standard handlebar). The four bolt stem is CNC machined from 2024 T3 alloy with the addition of titanium hardware; this is a great addition as there are no rust issues to worry about and will save a few grams for the weight weenies out there. You are best advised to use a torque wrench when setting up the stem as the extra springiness of the Allen bolts can leave you unable to judge by hand how much force you are using to tighten the bolts, as I experienced myself on one costly occasion.
The stem uses Deda’s own version of the oversized measurement; 31.7mm rather than the standard oversized measurement of 31.8mm. I couldn’t see a reason listed for this on the website (one and a quarter inches is 31.75mm. Ed.) and as my Italian is non existent I didn’t make a call to the factory, but as long as you use the matching bar and stem you should never have a reason to worry. The stem is beautifully made and in use the stem had a positive feel, even though it is a lightweight piece of equipment (120mm – 135g quoted weight) it never felt like it was twisting under load while either climbing or sprinting. The rest of the time it just did its job of steering with no problems.
Due to the oversized nature of this bar, riding on the tops offered me a more comfortable position compared to a regular 26.0mm bar, suiting my larger hands. This is particularly useful while climbing or for recovery when you’ve done your turn on the front. While riding in the bottom of the hook you can feel a small amount of flex. This is probably a good thing because if the bar was too rigid at this point it could quite easily bounce the rider around. Over the years I have used many different bar shapes and like many other people have struggled with the anatomic shape in general. Many of these bars fail to offer any improvement over the classic shapes that have been with us since the mid 60’s. I do feel that this is one version that does not suffer from any of those problems. I would recommend this bar, as it has a familiar feel while at the same time offering distinct positions. Maybe that is why the devil is in the detail. Most USA designed anatomic bars are too deep and have too much forward throw, which would require the user to change the stem to gain the same position, thankfully not an issue with this bar.