When it comes to riding distance the familiar feeling of numbness or fatigue plagues riders. Through trial and error, most find the perfect combo of grips, bars, tires, and fitment to find their relief. For myself, road and gravel riding, both for sport and for touring, numbness in the hands is one of my more consistent nemeses. Over the years I’ve found my recipe for comfort, just to be uprooted the next day as odd numbness creeps it’s way back in.
For short sport rides and distance touring rides, the amount of flex and dampening the bars are able to offer as I pedal down the road mile after mile comes as a surprise. Being used to stiff alloy and carbon bars, I generally have attributed comfort to the grips or tires more than the handlebars themselves.
Limited in their widths, the 760mm is my ideal bar width for essentially every segment of flat bar cycling. Out of the box and installing the bars, the laminated bamboo finish adds an instantaneous visual look of class. For a more stealthy look, the Jenny is more discreet and less of an eye catcher.
The first mile was a bit confusing, not only can you feel the flex, you can see it. Pushing down on the bars you can seem them bow and if it weren’t for the peace of mind of the testing process Passchier has undergone to ensure the strength of the bars, I would not be here telling a story of riding them mile after mile. The flex you feel on the Gump bars is comparable to flexy carbon bars. As the ride progresses to rough fire roads, the comparison to flexible carbon bars is left in the dust. Impact after impact my hands weren’t chattering off the grips and my confidence and control was as good as it gets.
To compare the feeling of the Passchier Gump bars I loaded up two similar bikes, one outfitted with the Gump’s and the other with a SR Suntour GVX suspension fork. A ten mile loop for each on an open fire road with mixed groomed dirt, braking bumps and loose rock. The sensation of both bike was uniquely different, where the suspension absorbed deep bumps, the pairing with alloy bars still let sore hands begin to come to the surface. With a weak grip in the works, the Gump bars were left to extend the condition or nip it.
If you’re following along, the outcome should come to no surprise. The Gump bars managed as they should and gave the relief needed to turn a ten mile loop into an additional 13 miles of trail riding.
I don’t want to feed an disillusion though. I had a fun ride, and my legs were asking where their bamboo relief would come from. When it comes to overall comfort when riding handlebars as mentioned before are often overlooked. When addressing a problem to find relief, the Passchier Gump bars deliver what you’re looking for. For overall bike comfort, saddle, tires, air pressure, etc., all come into play for comfort and performance.
The real winner that Passchier is able to bring to the table on the Gump bars, is the flex. The ability to absorb the impacts of the terrain and relieve your hands is in it’s own way a form of suspension at a significantly more approachable price point then a suspension fork. The amount of flex that Passchier is able to provide is unique and doesn’t sacrifice the control and confidence you need when navigating rough terrain.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and strong handlebar to make some upgrades to your rig, the Passchier Gump will deliver that and more. The only compromise we found with the flex is that it may even be too much flex, but when you’re loaded up and going for a long ride, or purely looking to relieve numb hands, too much flex is easy to look past. Specifically when the flex it provides doesn’t compromise the control while riding. At 760mm width and a 22° sweep, I found them super ergonomic and comfortable for my riding position. For $225 they’re definitely an investment, but for a comfortable, durable and sustainable upgrade to your ride, the Passchier delivers exactly what you need to make those rides longer.
Width: 650mm, 760mm
Colors: Bamboo, Black