What's Cool In Road Cycling

Kuota Bars & Stem: Prepare To Be Pillaged!

The Folks at Kuota have been making exceptional carbon parts and Frames for a while and the momentum is building for the company as word gets around. Their fabrication quality is top notch and it seems like the world is starting to take notice of the spectacular looking designs. The first part we have to present is the Viking Bar stem combo (with computer mount). And in typical Kuota fashion, its naked carbon aggression is plain to see.

The first thing you’ll notice is the “bigness” and immediate recognition that “those bars are Carbon!” No need to get up close to these to know something is going on. A huge stem area and a fairly deep steer tube-clamping section, along with a very wide initial bar area (just as the bars form from the stem) make these bars exceptionally stiff. At just shy of 340 Grams, it is light enough to be called light, but I don’t have a better example of light and stiff using any standard bar and stem combo. There are oversized parts available, but they ain’t this oversized…

The finish is nice, and I like the subtle graphics along the sides, front and top. What Kuota gives you is a great Carbon weave finish instead of using the entire (massive) surface area as a rolling road sign.

Something else I like about these bars is that they chose to keep the hand surfaces rounded. Not everyone likes the flat surface offered by some other over sized bar brands (although I like both FSA’s and Deda’s version). Round means you have a consistent surface to grab, no matter what angle they fall at.

As a down side, these are a fixed combo, so bolting them on will take some planning, as you can’t just swap stems 2-3 times till you get your position dialed in. I found the reach to the hoods be a little longer, so I should have asked for a size down on the stem length. This is not a problem, simply a condition that will take some planning. And with a retail price that is not cheap, you don’t want to get it wrong. Kuota should have the bar’s dimensions clearly visible for all sizes when fit is not adjustable. And if you go this rout, you should be careful not to cut your steer tube (on a new fork or bike) until you have found the sweet spot, then add spacers to make the bike fit the bars…

The internal cable routing was a nice touch and got plenty of attention from the group (once everyone stopped glaring at the unbelievably cool bike…). A set of grooves to lessen the cable bulge (for Campy installs) would be even better. It was nothing that a little extra attention (added a little left over bar tape to the spot) didn’t fix though.

The standard Computer mount is a lot like the Checkpoint mount from Cinelli, and looks a little nicer. Two spots for heart monitor and computer are here. Kuota also have a super sweet integrated computer system that you can check out on their site.

We chose wireless and the look is clean..

The Bars are manufactured under the same strict ISO 9000 (strong quality controle) standards that Kuota’s stunning frames are, and that is a good thing as well. You get the feeling that there was attention paid to the details. No rough edges, no thin spots in the gel coat. No paint cover-up of “special” areas on these bars. The manufacturing quality is high enough that Kuota don’t need to cover anything. They just look good, plain and simple.

I really enjoy these bars. I did several hard accelerations trying to flex them (and trying to flex the incredibly good Kuota Khan frame, to be reviewed after more riding) and failed to make the bars feel at all sloppy. They simply took everything I had and never gave away anything. They are a very stiff set up (did I say that already?). The anatomic bend is such that I found quite a few good hand placements, and the levers, when set at the top of the available clamping area, fell right where they should. The feedback from the road is excellent, but to some folks that will mean that you do feel road vibration a little more than some more sloppy bar set ups have. The bottom line is that these are exceptional, look great and are a great match with the super slick Quota Khan bike!

When you are done slobbering on your keyboard check out Kuota’s site at www.Kuota.it. For retail purchases, the guys at www.labicicletta.com. are top shelf. Ask for Henry and tell him you saw the review on PezCycling News and he will make you a deal! Stay tuned for the bike review, and if you are looking at buying a Carbon bike, save your money till you see the review here. I think you’ll find it will be worth the wait…

Note that Eurospek is looking for Retailers in the USA! That would include not only the bars, but all the Kuota products!!! Give them a call at 514-219-2980 or email them at [email protected]

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