MBA Product Test: Oneup Components EDC Stem And Carbon Handlebar
Oneup Components EDC Stem And Carbon Handlebar
It wasn’t long ago that OneUp Components launched its first line of products, putting it on the fast track to becoming the innovative company it is today. We still fondly remember its 42-tooth cog designed for 10-speed drivetrains that boasted the ability to offer 90 percent of the benefits of a 1×11-speed system at 10 percent of the cost. The kit included a 42-tooth granny gear and a 16-tooth cog to smooth out the jumps between gears and boost the range.
OneUp later went on to develop its EDC tool system that ☝️we tested in our November 2017 issue.☝️ In our own words, we called the EDC system a “game-changer for any rider who is looking for a clever way to attach a toolkit to his bike; a toolkit that will always be there any time it’s needed.” The only downside to this system was that the fork’s steer tube had to be tapped and threaded to install the EDC top cap. While the included tools to perform the job were nearly foolproof, it was still a hard sell to make riders cut threads into the internal part of their fork’s steer tube. OneUp knew something different had to be done to make this innovative product more user-friendly.
Around two years later, OneUp reinvented the traditional way of pre-loading headset bearings by introducing an all-new EDC stem. Along with the new EDC stem, OneUp launched a unique carbon handlebar to complete the package.
This month we tested OneUp’s bar and stem combo on our Pivot Mach 6 dream build. Here’s why OneUp’s cockpit made its way onto this managing editor’s most prized possession list.
EDC stem tech features: What sets the EDC stem apart from traditional stems is its integrated preload system. To design a system that removes the top cap and star nut, OneUp had to come up with a clever design. The integrated system uses an internal wedge, along with a wedged steer tube spacer to take the slack out of the headset. Instead of first tightening the top cap and then pinching the stem bolts, the opposite procedure is required. First, align your stem straight and then torque the stem bolts to 9 N/m. The next step is to tighten the small lower bolt on the stem to remove slack. This design removes the need to run a star nut in the steer tube, allowing room for the EDC tool to slide right in.
OneUp offers the stem in either a 35mm or 50mm length. The EDC stem has zero degrees of rise and is only available for 35mm-diameter handlebars. Top caps are available in seven different colors to best match your ride. This aluminum stem weighs around 170 grams for the 50mm length. The EDC stem can be purchased directly from OneUp’s website for $115.
Carbon handlebar tech features: To complete the cockpit, OneUp introduced the Carbon handlebar. This 35mm-diameter bar was designed to blend the best characteristics of a 31.8mm and a 35mm handlebar. OneUp used a 35mm clamping diameter to ensure stiffness where it’s needed and then quickly tapered the bars using an oval shape to reduce vibration and allow for flex. Traditional carbon bars are constructed with shapes similar to that of their aluminum counterparts. OneUp, through the use of carbon fiber, was able to make a unique handlebar shape that’s strong, lightweight and vertically compliant.
The bars are offered with an 800mm width, and rise options including 20mm and 35mm. Also, you’re not limited to just one colorway. The bars are sold with subtle black logos that can be made flashier by adding a graphics kit over the top of them. These kits only cost $5 and are available in six different color options. OneUp Carbon handlebars sell for $138 and weigh around 220 grams.
Field test results: The OneUp EDC stem takes a little longer to install than your average stem. If you’re placing the stem on a built bike, then you will have to remove the star nut from your steer tube. We were lucky enough to skip this step since we installed the stem on a bike with a new fork.
Once the star nut is removed, the stem is then ready to install. Regular stem spacers are used under the stem, and provided snap spacers are used above. We then aligned our stem, torqued our bolts and tightened the preload system till our headset felt snug. Overall, the process was straightforward, and we had no issues getting our stem installed properly.
We then mounted our handlebars using the etched lines on the bar to find the correction position. After that, we slid our EDC tool into our steer tube and headed out for the trails.
With any bar and stem test, we tend to take it easy during our first descent to ensure everything is tight. After our first descent, we began to push our equipment a bit harder and found it kept getting better and better. The stem stayed snug, and our headset was tight. The EDC tool was rattlefree, making us almost forget that we had it with us.
Our attention then moved to the Carbon handlebars. The unique shape alone gives these bars an awesome look, but their performance proved to be even better.
It wasn’t exactly a drastic improvement over a traditional carbon bar, but something about OneUp’s handlebar just felt better. On long and rough descents, our hands felt less fatigued due to the added compliance. We wouldn’t call these bars flexible, as they still feel quite stiff when pushing and pulling them, but they did manage to take the edge off—almost as if we backed off our fork’s compression a few clicks.
OneUp’s new cockpit design might come with a higher price than your average bar and stem combo, but its innovation and performance in our eyes are well worth the added price.
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