Easton entered the world of mountain biking with its revolutionary Hyperlight aluminum handlebar in 1986. For the better part of the two decades that followed it stood as the industry standard. Drawing on its 50 years of tubing manufacturing know-how, Easton introduced its first EC70 flat carbon mountain bike handlebar in 1999—know-how that started with aluminum arrow shafts during the 1930s and 1940s. The 2011 Easton EC70 XC Riser handlebar and EC90 SL stem are prime examples of Easton’s vast experience in carbon fiber tubing.
For 2011 Easton redesigned the EC70 family of handlebars. The EC70 XC Riser now comes in a wider 685-millimeter (31.8-millimeter diameter) model and a 660-millimeter (25.4-millimeter diameter) model. Both share a 5-degree upsweep with a 9-degree bend. Utilizing a new shaping and further refined TaperWall butting, the stronger EC70 XC Riser is designed to take on the rigors of high-end trail riding as well the demands of racing.
The EC90 SL stem is one of the lightest stems around. Our 100-millimeter stem came in at 118 grams—that’s just 1.18 grams per millimeter of stem. The EC90 SL utilizes Easton’s TaperWall know-how and combines it with their propriety DST (Distributed Stress Technology) and Top Lock faceplate, making the EC90 SL both a well handling and durable stem.
We mated our 685-millimeter wide EC70 XC Riser handlebar and EC90 SL 100-millimeter stem together on a full suspension 29er. While black does not always go well with some bike paint schemes, the matte black carbon of the EC70 XC Riser and EC90 SL is subtle and adds a classy and purposeful look.
Once on the bike and out on the trail, the stem combo proved razor sharp steering and corning. The wider 685-millimeter EC70 XC riser helped better control where the wheel was going. But for those coming off narrow XC flat bars, the extra width of the bars will require the rider to bob and weave through tree gaps a narrower bar would shoot straight through. The comfort of bars is found their shape so one should not be afraid to rotate the bars to where the feel is best. This will be different for each rider.
The EC 90 SL stem is aimed squarely at the cross-country rider. Our stem weighed in at 118-grams with a +/- 10-degree rise. The EC90 SL stem is best mated to the ultra lightweight XC hard tail or 100-millimeter full-suspension carbon XC rigs. While the EC70 XC Riser bar blurs the line between light weight and burly, they are intended for not only the cross-country racer needing a low-rise handlebar, but also meant to cross over to high-end trail bikes. Meant for riders who nimbly pick their lines instead of plowing straight thru the rough sections of the trail, the EC70 XC Riser will lighten up a high-end trail rig, while not giving up durability. Both the EC90 SL stem and EC70 XC Riser handlebar come with a superb finish that shows off Easton’s attention to detail.
Easton’s EC90 SL is a featherweight stem designed not only for the road but also the ultra lightweight XC bike. Even at 110 grams for the 100-millimeter stem, this stem is among the lightest a rider can bolt to a bike. And the EC70 XC Riser’s 685-millimeter width lends itself not only to 29ers but would also do wonders to tame the steering on long travel 26-inch full-suspension bikes as well.
EC90 SL Stem
Price $240 Colors: matte black unidirectional carbon fiber Rise: +/- 10 degrees Sizes: 80-130-millimeter Clamp diameter: 31.8-millimeter Weight: 110 grams (100-millimeter)
EC70 XC Riser
Price: $140 Color: UD Matte Carbon Degree Bend: 9-degree bend, 5-degree upsweep Clamp diameter: 685-millimeter for 31.8-millimeter; also available in 660-millimeter for 25.4-millimeter Weight: 155 grams