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Katie Compton (Trek), winner of the 2008 and 2009 CrossVegas races, did not make the trip to Vegas this year for the third year in a row, but she’s well-represented at Interbike 2012 in photos, posters and now signature products in the form of the carbon fiber KFC One ′cross handlebar by long-time sponsor Thomson.
Although signing to ride cyclocross for Trek Bicycles this year, Compton will continue to ride handlebars and stems from Thomson, not the Trek-owned Bontrager brand. Compton worked with Thomson to develop a carbon handlebar to meet her specific requirements for cyclocross and that bar is finally ready for production.
The KFC One handlebar boasts several unique Compton-requested features, including a wide, round top section that accommodates wide placement of inline brake levers – a favorite of Compton for steep descents. Underneath the flats of the bar are dual slots for both brake and gear cable housing that when taped over form a perfectly round handlebar.
Carbon manufacturing represents a major change for the Georgia-based bike component company that manufacturers aluminum components in its own factory. The KFC One handlebar, like Thomson’s Road bar, is manufactured from Toray carbon fiber in a factory in Taiwan.
Katie Compton’s new $249.95 bar is molded over an EPS mandrel as one piece, unlike some bars which are manufactured in three pieces (two drops, one top flat) and then glued together. The KFC One bar hits the scales at just 195g in the smallest 40cm size, and 210g in the 44cm size.
The new bar comes in only the now-standard 31.8mm clamp size, and has a handsome natural carbon finish. While the company selected three types of fiber to enhance the durability and “road feel” of the bar, it still remains conservative in its expectations of problem-free use, recommending like almost all carbon manufactures that a rider “should stop using any carbon fiber handlebar [in case of a] crash and there is impact to the bar.” Not sure if the bar is for you? “If you crash a lot, don’t buy carbon,” says Thomson.
It’s refreshing to see such honesty from a company, but can any of us say we don’t crash much when tackling the rigors of cyclocross? Compton can, and looks to ride this handlebar to a World Championship in Louisville in February. The handlebar should be available in early October.
Check out all the latest cyclocross product news from Cyclocross Magazine’s Interbike 2012 coverage. We will be continuing our tech coverage well through next week.
Thomson’s KFC One Carbon Fiber Cyclocross Handlebar
Sizes: 40cm, 42cm, 44cm (center to center)
More info: BikeThomson.com