Shock-absorbing Flexx handlebar features pivoting sides
We've already seen a number of suspension handlebar stems that help absorb shocks by moving up and down. The Flexx handlebar is different, though, in that the two sides of the bar itself are what do the moving.
Designed specifically for mountain bikes, the Flexx is manufactured by Utah-based Fasst Company MTB. And while the bar has been available in carbon fiber since 2018, it's now also being offered in less expensive 7075 aluminum alloy (with titanium hardware).
The center-tube section of the Flexx is relatively normal, and can be clamped within a regular stem. It has bushing joints at either end, however, which connect it to the bar's left- and right-side tubes. These joints allow those side tubes to pivot vertically (in line with the bending motion of the rider's arms) by up to five degrees relative to the center tube. And because they do not move horizontally, there's reportedly no adverse effect on steering.
The setup comes with four sets of elastomer damping inserts (soft, medium, hard and extra-hard) that the user places within the joints to dictate the firmness of the suspension.
Fasst produces three versions of the Flexx handlebar: the Enduro, DH (downhill) and E-MTB. The Enduro – which is the most general-purpose of the bunch – is 800 mm wide and reportedly tips the scales at 450 g in carbon and 550 g in aluminum. It's priced at US$425 and $325, respectively.
A somewhat similar device, the Bam Bar, was designed to absorb shocks by flexing instead of pivoting. There's currently no word on its availability.