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Handlebars

S&M Grand Slam handlebars

S&M have produced the most popular handlebars in BMX for many years. Why? Well their reputation for being both reliable and strong is a start, but the fact they are American made still goes a long way. S&M stand by their products offering a life time warranty to the original owner, if that doesn’t instill confidence then you better lock yourself back in that padded cell of yours and throw away the key.

S&M Grand Slam

While S&M’s handlebars have evolved over the years and continually become lighter and stronger there have been a few mutations of the original slam bar to suit riders of all shapes and sizes. S&M now offer over a dozen different sizes to fit out any 20inch or cruiser.

As much as the name Grand Slam sounds better for a tennis racquet than some BMX bars, these bars are the big daddy of all that S&M has to offer. The Grand Slams are “4Q baked” heat treated cromo, the process strengthens the bars and allows you to run a thinner cromo, reducing weight. At 29 inches wide and 8.25 inches tall the Grand Slams are built specifically for the big boys of BMX. At 6’2″ tall I thought I would give the bars a try after running 28inch wide bars for so long. It’s funny you know, I have seen kids from about the age of 14 years and up run pro size S&M bars, people over a foot shorter than me, and obvously narrower across the shoulders, and for my whole racing career I had thought that 28 inches was the maximum legal width for racing bars. When I found out it’s now 29 inches I moved the bars from my dirt jumper to my race bike.

S&M Grand Slam handlebarsThe Grand Slams aren’t for everyone, but if you are a big rider, or just someone looking for a wider grip the one inch can make a huge difference. I discovered this when doing gate practice, I was able to get better leverage through the bars while getting the power down on my first few pedals and it felt like I could get up to speed quicker as a result. Jumping felt a while lot more stable. My body position from the extra height not only felt more comfortable but feels more efficient.

The Grand Slams are a little heavier that the Race XLT or Slam XLT bars, but the differences don’t top there. The sweep and up sweep also change, the 1 degree of sweep is only a small difference but the grip, to me, felt very comfortable and a lot more natural.

Grand SlamRace XLTSlam XLT
Wide29″28″28″
Rise8.25″8″8″
Sweep11 degrees12 degrees12 degrees
Up Sweep1.5 degrees1 degree1 degree
Cross Bar7/8″5/8″3/4″
Weight2.1lbs1.6lbs1.7lbs

One thing about BMX racing is too feel comfortable but also confident on your bike, with S&M Grand Slams you will get that and a whole lot more. Now I just have to get a set for my dirt jumper and wait for S&M to make some wider cruiser bars. Big boys race cruiser too you know.

I love these bars and I know that a whole bunch of guys out there will too, if you are over 6′ tall do yourself a favour and take a look at them for yourselves.

Available in Matt black, Army Green and Chrome.

S&M Grand Slam

Rating
20/20:

Value for money:5/5
Weight:5/5
Functionality:5/5
Looks/Finish:5/5

Comments:

  • Made in the USA, built to last
  • A tad heavier than most pro size bars but worth it for the extra size
  • A big bar for a big guy, very stiff and strong, what more could you ask for?
  • As always from S&M a perfect finish and perfect welds.

For more information about S&M Products check out www.sandmbikes.com

Reviewed by Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com August 8 2008

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