The Origin 8 Space Bar OR is the new version of the old Space Bar and is now certified for use off road. I have been trail riding it for a few rides now and I have some thoughts to share. I also want to address a couple quirks to the fitting of this “alt” bar for mountain biking.

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First of all, the Origin * Space Bar OR is a much beefier, heavier bar than its namesake. The wall thickness of the bar is as thick as anything I’ve come across lately. The bends are nice, the extensions seem roomy enough for most any control layout, and the all important center clamp section is much better on the Space Bar OR than the previous effort. This last point is even more important when you see how far back your hands are placed from the clamp area. Lots of leverage can be expected here on the clamp from hitting trail obstacles and from lifting on the bars for maneuvering or for climbing. Fortunately, the clamp area is straight and large enough in diameter that a good purchase for the stem can be had and I have not experienced any slipping so far.

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The forward reach of the bar is basically zero, and all of that back sweep only brings you further back towards the center line of the steer tube. Because of this, I went with a 10mm longer stem on this set up than I had with the previous FuBar and I am not sure that is long enough! At any rate, be aware that a long stem will be in order for those that want to maintain their current position in terms of hand/steer tube relationship. (Old 135mm X zero rise stems laying around may be resurrected for this bar!) The rise of this bar is also negligible. So don’t expect to have to swap out spacers with this bar if you want to keep the bars at your current height.

Although my first impression of the bar was that it seemed narrowish, I found that the controls had tons of room. I could easily have mounted shifters, or a fork lock out had my bike been so equipped. The grips got a great fit on this bar. Not too snug, not too loose. I locked them down easily and they seem like they will stay put. So far so good. Now for some trail riding……..

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The fear was initially that because of the bar wall thickness the ride would be harsh. It wasn’t really that bad. It is definitely on the stiff side though. The bar stayed put where I tightened it down all through the bumps, g-outs, and climbing. Another plus. However; I felt that the shorter distance from the steer tube to where my hands were had a slight negative effect on handling. It seemed that my bike was twitchier than it used to be, and that after turning off center, the bars felt as though they wanted to swap ends more than I remember with any other set up. Perhaps a ridiculously long stem would negate this by getting my weight further out as before, but I think the combination of the position and the back sweep is to blame here. Now I have to say that this bike is a quick handling bike as is, and it doesn’t need help in that area, so take this with a grain of salt. If you have a slow steering bike, this might spice it up a notch. But then again, you might get the same effect by using a really short stem and “normal bars”.

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Other than that, the sweep, which is identical to a Misfit FuBar, was comfortable and worked well for me. The bar is tough, nicely made, and inexpensive at about $30.00 MSRP. You can try an “alt” bar set up on the cheap! Plus it is off road rated. Nice to know, but a longer term test is in the offing and I’ll report back with my thoughts later. Until then you can check out the Origin 8 website at or go order up a set of these from your local bike shop.