Berm Cycles Ti Route Loop Bar Review
Since 2020, Berm Cycles has been creating titanium components and apparel for high-flying MTBers from its headquarters in Singapore. Earlier this year, they introduced a bar aimed at the adventure biking crowd called the Route Loop bar—a titanium multi-hand position bar that features an optional bike bag. Immu had the chance to test the bar and bag combo out on a multi-day trip through the mountains near Chiang Mai. Let's go.
Vincent Van Gogh once said, "What is done in love is done well". I doubt Van Gogh was referring to mountain bike companies at the time, but the expression does apply to Berm Cycle from Singapore. Berm is a titanium frame, component, and apparel brand that put all its love and passion into its products. They build great stuff and share them with the world at reasonable prices.
Before departing on an adventure ride throughout the Chiang Mai area, we received and installed the Ti Route Loop Handlebar with its soulmate, the Route Loop Bar Bag. We knew this trip would be a heavy ride and a perfect chance to have the bar and bag undergo some hardcore testing. Both were installed on a Soma Valhallen hardtail with 27.5 x 2.8'' tires and fully equipped with all bikepacking accoutrements.
The look of the Route Loop Handlebar might be unfamiliar to some riders, however, this style of multi-hand position bar has been on the market for many years. Bars like the Jones H-Bar and Surly's Moloko bar have been building legions of bikepacking fans all over the world. Is the only advantage to the ability to place your hands in multiple spots to find a comfortable riding position? Come and have a closer look with me and let's find out.
When installing any set of handlebars make sure to select the proper stem size to ensure optimal comfort and reach. Also, always test a new bar and stem before heading out on an adventure. The Route Loop Bar lacks any installation guide marks so we needed to find the center of the bar first. We simply measured the bar's length, divided it in half, and made a small mark to line up through our stem clamp. This may seem trivial but having alignment marks always helps set the bar position quickly.
We found that installing the bars at a 10-15° tilt provided the most comfort for our hands and wrists. We also added a pair of Jenson ESI 8.25″ Extra Chunky shock-absorbing grips to the bars and then wrapped the loop and crossbar sections with tape to allow for a more stretched or aerodynamic riding position. We did, however, leave a gap in the tape on the front loop for additional gear.
Specs & Features
The Route Loop Bar is made of aircraft-grade titanium and weighs in at only around 510g with a length of 710mm, a 31.8mm diameter stem clamp, and a standard 22.2mm diameter grip. A key characteristic of the Route Loop Bar is its 45° sweep. 45° may seem extreme if you come from a much straighter bar. However, after a bit of an adjustment period, we found that 45° really does allow for a great mix of control and comfort. Together with the loop part and crossbar section, not only do you have a lot of options for placing and relaxing your hands but also for mounting additional bags and gear.
Placing your hands at the end of the grips will take you to the most upright position. This position is perfect to relax your hands, wrists, chest, shoulder, and back. Some riders might prefer this position when riding rough trails or cranking up steep hills as you can take full advantage of better control from the widest part of the bar. Rest your forearms across the crossbar and the loop when you want to go faster in an aero position, fight with the headwinds, or just move your dull hands during an all-day ride.
Route Loop Bar Impressions
Beyond the advantages of multi-hand positioning, I give the Route Loop Bar 10 out of 10 points for being crafted out of titanium—not something you come across every day. Compared to other Chromoly or aluminum options this bar is lighter by about 100-200g which plays a significant role in controlling and handling. The 710mm width also feels comfortable and stable which helps with improved control while crossing obstacles and descending rough terrain.
Our positive impressions of the bar are pretty clear-cut when riding fully loaded. Our part of the world has some very steep and rugged climbs which often lead to hike-a-biking. In these moments, you feel every gram of weight on the bike and are happy to shave it off where you can.
Let's not miss out on the smashing quality of the Ti Route Loop Bar; it is stiff, durable, and will definitely stand up well to corrosion. The bar should be high on any adventure cyclist list. Its ability to handle various conditions from paved, unpaved, single track, buffalo trails, river crossing, and different weather conditions makes it a real contender.
Introducing The Route Loop Bar Bag
The optional Route Loop Bar Bag is a custom-made bag designed specifically for use with the Route Loop Bar. It's handmade in Singapore as a collaboration between Berm Cycle and Andy Bikepacking Bags. The bag is made of military-grade CORDURA 1000D with a waterproof zipper, top transparent zip cover to store your map, industrial strength Velcro, and strap; the ideal choice for making loop spaces functional. The Route Loop Bar Bag is available in three colors; black, multicam camo, and woodland camo. We received the bag in woodland camo that perfectly matched our frame bag. The black and camo would go well with most of the adventure bikes but I would also love to see more colorful versions from them.
A quick note here: do not overpack the Route Loop Bar Bag. Overpacking can cause stress and break the waterproof zipper mechanism. This happened to us (luckily after our trip was over) filling the bag with snacks! The zipper separated from its rail but was easily fixed.
The Ti Route Loop Bar is a fantastic lightweight, multi-hand position bar. The titanium makes the bar stiff, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Adventure riders would love this bar and could benefit from its features on any multi-day, hardcore bikepacking trip. The weight savings of 200g really does make for better performance in controlling and handling a loaded bike. Bear in mind, the key to the most comfortable position for your hands and wrists is selecting the perfect stem length, bar lifting degrees, and bar grips.
The current price of Route Loop Bar is one of the more affordable titanium options on the market at $300 USD. Bundled with the Route Loop Bar Bag, the whole unit comes out to $400. Get it here!
|Comfortable with many hand placement options|
|Lighter weight provides great control with a fully loaded bike|
|Sharp, ergonomic design|
|Tough, durable, and resistant to corrosion|
|Can be used off the bike|
|Extra space for gear like GoPro, lights, GPS devices, etc.|
|45 degrees sweep requires time to adjust|
|No installation guide/mark on the bar|
|No installation manual provided|
|Sensitive waterproof zipper on Loop Bar Bag|