When it comes to finding the right bars for me I always seem to struggle a little bit. I like my bars wide and with a bit of a rise on them, previous to these 800mm monsters the widest I’d gone was 750mm with a (frankly ridiculous) 75mm rise. When climbing and on technical sections I always felt my previous bars let me down so I decided to go wider… a lot wider!
Nukeproof Warhead 800 Riser Bar
Obviously the first thing I noticed upon picking up these bars is just how long they are. The Nukeproof Warhead 800 are wide, really wide! For a couple of minutes I was sure I’d made a mistake as I was pretty sure that these beasts wouldn’t even fit between the trees on most of my local trails. It seems like Nukeproof know some people may have this issue so they provide you with handy markers if you do need to cut them down.
So, minutes after unwrapping the bars I had chucked them onto my brand new 40mm Truvativ Hussefelt stem and took them for a spin.
Wow. Just wow.
For under £40 I had completely transformed the handling of my bike. The lower and wider bars gave me much greater control and precision over the front wheel, combined with the short stem it was suddenly so much easier for me to gain a good position over my bike. I always recommend a shorter stem and wider bars to people looking to improve the overall feel of their bike, but apparently I hadn’t even gone wide enough!
It isn’t just attacking trails and navigating technical climbs where I found the wide bars helped me out, even on the climbs I was finding that I was opened up more making this chore a doddle. Granted, wider bars aren’t great everywhere – cycle gates on public footpaths are now a pain, going through tight tree sections becomes a lottery and when you do clip your handlebars you bloody know about it!
How do they stack up?
Over my years of riding I’ve gone through a fair few bars, from short flat xc bars to expensive carbon riser bars and even experimented with dirt jump bars on a trail bike. I’ve also broken, bent, scratched and nearly impaled myself on a wide range of handlebars, so this isn’t a review based on gentle use. No, I have well and truly abused the Nukeproof Warhead bars for the last 5 months.
The finish on these bars is great and it stands up to hard use, but if you come off in a rocky section they will scratch but so far I haven’t done anything past cosmetic damage – that’s including an off that sheered off a brake level and left me with a broken rib! I briefly had a set of Spank Spike bars that I bent when hammering down PedalHounds at Cwmcarn, but the Warhead bars have taken all this and a lot more in their stride.
I’ve clipped them on trees, taken them on and off a few times, had a couple of pretty hard crashes and slammed them down some of South Wales and Forest of Dean’s gnarliest routes and these bars haven’t budged an inch. Turns out that they aren’t branded Nuke Proof for no reason, these bars are extremely durable!
If you’re looking for a wide set of bars that can handle daily abuse without slipping, cracking, snapping or wearing excessively then I’d definitely look at grabbing a set of Nukeproof Warheads. I managed to get these in the sale for around £25, but after having ridden with them for the last couple of months I would happily pay double that as these are nothing but quality.
These aren’t going to be for everyone though, if you’re not particularly board or ride in tight areas then these could be a hindrance. Nukeproof do the same bar in 760mm form if this is the case and, although I haven’t tested them personally, I’m sure they’ll be just as good as the ones I use!