Mountain Bike Action Product Test: Tag Metals T1 Carbon Handlebar And Stem
Tag Metals T1 Carbon
Handlebar And Stem
Tag Metals is a motocross brand looking to make a name for itself in the mountain bike industry. What Tag Metals brings to the table is years of experience with motorcycle products and a roster of Supercross legends who have made the brand a familiar name across the motocross world. Tag charged into the mountain bike market with a list of products, including handlebars, stems, pedals and more. This month the wrecking crew decided to put Tag Metals’ full cockpit to the test using its T1 carbon handlebar and T1 stem.
Tag made sure to differentiate itself from the competition by offering some unique features. This includes Tag’s Oval Tech construction, which is said to minimize arm pump and handlebar vibration and maximize steering responsiveness. Next, Tag offers its Speed Aligned System, which, when paired with its T1 stem, gives riders numbers they can write down and repeat to achieve the same handlebar position should they switch bikes or want to try a different setup. These marks always make their way to the levers, further allowing riders to keep their setups in check. As far as the handlebar’s geometry, it’s fairly common with a 5-degree upsweep and 7-degree backsweep.
The bars measure 800mm with 5mm-increment cut marks and can be purchased with 10mm, 20mm, 30mm or 40mm rises. Tag offers the T1 handlebars in both 31.8- and 35mm diameters and T1 stems to match. The 31.8 stem has either a 33mm or 45mm length, and the 35mm stem offers 35mm- and 45mm-long options. Tag constructed the T1 stem using a CNC machine and alloy materials.
Stem weights range from 181 grams up to 222 grams, while the carbon handlebars weigh right around 230 grams. Individually, the handlebars cost $159.99 and the stem sells for $109.99; however, Tag offers bundle options to reduce the cost.
Field test results:
We placed Tag Metals’ cockpit on one of our test bikes and quickly found the Speed Aligned System a helpful guide for setting up our handlebars and controls. While we didn’t know the setting we wanted, it was easy to go back and forth trying different ones until we landed on the sweet spot. The shape of the bars felt right once we sat on our bike, and the short stem length complemented our long top tube.
We ended up leaving the bars at full length, but noticed the markings at the bar ends, which would have made trimming them a breeze. Out on the trail the bars felt great, with a solid feel that didn’t beat up our hands; however, in back-to-back runs with other carbon bars, it was hard to pinpoint the advantages of the Oval Tech construction. While the bars did seem to do everything they claimed, it was by such a slight margin that only our more experienced test riders noticed.
All in all, Tag did an excellent job bringing its motocross knowhow to the cycling industry and executed a quality-carbon handlebar and alloy stem. Together, this setup would be a great option for enduro racers and hard-core trail riders looking to gain the utmost control over their bicycles.
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