Predator Cycles Takes One-Piece Majors Handlebar-Stem Combo to the Trails

Predator Cycles The Major one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem for mountain bikes and Cannondale Lefty fork

We first spotted Predator Cycles at NAHBS in Denver, where they showed The Major, a carbon fiber combination of FSA stem and road handlebars to create a massively stiff one-piece unit. Those are done by creating a huge triangle of carbon from the base of the stem that spreads about 3″ out either side.

The mountain bike version, however, eschews the huge triangulation in favor of a sleeker, more forgiving setup that realizes a good carbon bar assists in muting trail chatter. This particular one was made for Sergio Hernandez, one of Predator’s Pro riders that raced MTB in the off season. Founder and builder Aram Goganian says it comes in at just around 270 grams with the stem. Typically, he builds with FSA components, but the Lefty stem system is a little more custom.

More pics below…

Predator Cycles The Major one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem for mountain bikes and Cannondale Lefty fork

This one had the Hi-Mod carbon upgrade. The Major starts at $600, but can easily hit $1,000 if you go for a lot of bells and whistles for a mountain bike. Other options include a Kevlar outer layer, Hi-Mod construction, extra stiffness for sprinters, integrated computer mount and more.

Predator Cycles The Major one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem for mountain bikes and Cannondale Lefty fork

We’ve got one of their road Majors in for review and will be putting it on the ‘cross bike soon. The exterior finish isn’t as clean and smooth as what you’d see coming from ENVE, but when we post our factory tour from Aram’s shop, you’ll see he’s a pretty small operation that’s a bit more focused on function than form (not that these are ugly). And they’re good enough for Rahsaan Bahati.

Predator Cycles The Major one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem for mountain bikes and Cannondale Lefty fork

Want one? Check them out at PredatorCycling.com.

Comments

Nico - 11/17/13 - 11:19pm

Brake mixing? Weak!

Mark - 11/18/13 - 4:19am

Who came up with the extremely stupid idea to use Hi-Mod carbon for connecting a stem to a handlebar?

ve - 11/18/13 - 5:37am

How does the stem stay attached to the steerer?

And why do they always make things that look lumpy like they were made out of play-doh covered with carbon fiber?

JC - 11/18/13 - 5:39am

Is it a joke…..?

Brian Bak - 11/18/13 - 7:57am

Looks nice :) The high stiffness to weight of the stem handlebar combo makes sense to me. It increases control of the steering. Same thing is strived for in more downhill oriented bikes. (off topic: Why are people so angry in these comments? I think to many posts on bikerumor.com are followed by a lot of angry people feeling the need to share their angriness towards a new product.)

Tim - 11/18/13 - 8:39am

Gotta agree with Brian Bak.

Pantsparty - 11/18/13 - 8:42am

Why 2 different brakes? Whats next 2 different pedals?

Steve thomas - 11/18/13 - 8:58am

Agreed with the above – really, no one is asking you to purchase the product. That’s kind of what we have bike rumor here to do as well … SHOW us new products. It’s a carbon repair company that creates all kinds of toys with carbon for fun, and then happens to sell them. And knowing some of the track riders that love predator bars racing anything from pro 6 days to local events I have no doubt this bar is equally as effective regardless of it’s looks.

1Pro - 11/18/13 - 9:02am

thanks for helping producers of stuff lower the “bar” Steve thomas. it may function just fine but it looks lie hell. take some pride in your work and learn the difference between good enough and ready for prime time. this is not.

duder - 11/18/13 - 9:29am

am i the only one who thinks stiff handlebars are bad? i tried carbon bars on both my road and xc bike, and i went back to lightweight alkoy, because they are so much more comfortable. the alloy bars have a nice amount of give, which makes for happier hands and wrists over rough road or washboard sections.

Quickie - 11/18/13 - 9:52am

Duder your alloy bars shouldn’t be more compliant than a carbon bar. If they are I am worried about your teeth or the soon to be lack of teeth.

Brian Bak - 11/18/13 - 9:55am

@duder: I think your arguments makes sense on a (uncomfortable) bike without front suspension as a road or cx bike. However, on a mtb with front suspension you do not need the extra compliance in the handlebar for comfort. The handlebars are in most cases 70cm or wider and a lightweight compliant handlebar decrease your steering control significantly when !”#¤ goes down :)

Brian Bak - 11/18/13 - 10:01am

I ment lightweight compliant “aluminum” handlebar in the last sentence.

Mitch - 11/18/13 - 10:40am

Why is everyone saying that it looks ugly or lumpy? That’s what UD carbon looks like. It’s functional. It performs a purpose. People buy things like that. Predator is a business that is performing a needed duty for bicyclists by repairing frames and making cool products like this, and they also support the sport of road cycling by sponsoring a team that recently got approved as a US professional cycling team.
I see more intelligent comments on Youtube than I do here.

pmurf - 11/18/13 - 10:55am

I think Steve Thomas nailed it – this is a carbon repair company producing custom products for their race team, and they probably only sell them because they were asked to. 1Pro, the product’s don’t look “prime time” because they are not intended for the mass market. If Ritchey or ENVE produced something with this level of F&F, sure, s**t all over them for it – but as the target consumers here are racers looking for all-out function who don’t care about aesthetics, why waste the paint or resin making them look better?

1Pro - 11/18/13 - 11:49am

its called standards. and if it looks like crap then it probably is. but to each his/her own.

i bet the guys at predator want to do better and they eventually will. its not helpful when people encourage the proliferation of crap. help them raise the bar so they have a future.

K11 - 11/18/13 - 11:50am

@pmurf – way waste the paint or resin, not for the as you put it the pro application, but went you are actually going out and selling this product at $600 to easily $1000…

it better perform AND look f#*kn’ amazing.

Gillis - 11/18/13 - 11:58am

It’s the Klein Ground Control come full circle

Gillis - 11/18/13 - 12:06pm

OOPS! I mean Mission Control.

Alex - 11/18/13 - 12:17pm

So, it’s a production stem and handlebar wrapped in carbon fibre. I’m all for a product like this when it’s designed and manufactured from scratch, however it seems a little strange to wrap off the shelf parts, i mean, you’re never going to be quite sure what’s happening within that wrap and the bond / interface stability between the aluminium and carbon.

That being said, it’s obviously working as they are already out there being used. And it seems to be filling a niche.

Although when spending that amount of money, you should really expect a nicely finished product.

Velo Zephyr - 11/18/13 - 12:44pm

Alex, carbon fiber has basic physical properties which can be measured or calculated, just like any metal. It is possible to know what to expect from a carbon part, even if it’s custom and one-off. This handlebar/stem arrangement can yield parts that are lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, AND STRONGER (yes stronger) than the components used underneath.

FramesAndOrRepairs - 11/18/13 - 1:01pm

I’m pretty sure Predator touts themselves as a custom framebuilder and not just a repair shop making side projects. The Major has been their bread and butter for years, long before sponsoring a professional team. Their aesthetic has always been a bit… lumpy.

bmalmq - 11/18/13 - 1:17pm

I met these guys this year on the USA Crit circuit. They race frames that were broken and then repaired in-house. It was cool that each racer I talked to knew what the pre-repair frame was (now stickered Predator, just like this bar). Some were racing on these wrapped bar/stem combos for road, too. I think Tyler has it right in writing that Predator focus on function before form. They know their market and it’s generally not going to be someone who wants gorgeous finishing/decals/overlays. It’s a customer who wants a functional improvement that they (like the Predator race team) can feel 100% confident in riding.

Trkatt - 11/18/13 - 1:43pm

Bikerumor hosts the nicest people. You guys all have such glowing compliments. The lesson I learn from this web-site, “don’t try to innovate because, everyone will just hate.

paradino - 11/18/13 - 3:08pm

it reminds me of these: http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/3300/eurobike2011209.jpg

samwinter - 11/18/13 - 3:43pm

If Mother Teresa did something on a bike and BR wrote about it you guys would take a dump on it.

Anthony - 11/18/13 - 4:26pm

I like the idea, and love the fact that dudes are just out there trying new things, and being innovative.
My only question about this one is “did you guys never have to fly with your bike, or pack it into a bix or bag?”

SomeGuy - 11/18/13 - 7:06pm

I personally would be impressed if Mother Teresa did something with a bike. Seeing as….well, you know that whole not living thing.

solarider - 11/18/13 - 8:46pm

I love a bit of high end bike bling, but this just looks so homemade.

Agree with the comment about clear coated playdough! Surely that uneven carbon layup creates voids that are potentially a source of weakness.

With the adjustability, stiffness, price and weight of individual bar and stem combos, I just don’t see the point.

PFIZZ - 11/19/13 - 2:15pm

There is NOTHING wrong with 2 diff brakes, it can be better that way. I use a Saint front brake ans Zee rear brake on my dh rig. Saint has a TON of stopping power and needed for the front, the rear needs just enough because too much and it locks up. Plus it saves money. Quit being so PC about bike comps and ride

Adam - 11/27/13 - 5:39pm

For $600-$1000 the craftsmanship is not good, particularly the finish. I’d rather purchase precision mold carbon/engineered alloy and pocket a couple hundred. Sorry dude

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