When I built out my carbon Ibis Ripmo in 2018, my goal was to come up with a lightweight all-mountain setup that I could ride just about anywhere. I would describe my riding style is more attack and smash through things, and I like to carry a lot of momentum through turns. I’m 6’ and weigh 160 pounds with all my gear on. I’m also very picky about contact points on my bikes - handlebars included. I originally decided on the Race Face Turbine R 35 Stem (40mm) and the Race Face Next R 35 carbon handlebar (20mm rise) cut to 770mm, and this setup worked well.
We Are One Da Package - Rider Review
The bike turned effortlessly, and always provided a solid platform for climbing, but the one thing I did not like was the amount of feedback from the trail. Every rock, root, and hole on the trail could be felt in my hands. At first, I was ok with this balance, as building out an all-mountain setup is all about compromises and finding balance. As I ventured out into trails like Pisgah’’s Bennet Gap or Avery Creek, I started to notice things like arm pump, tired hands and arms, and just an overall harshness that I had not really experienced before. Of course, these things cannot be blamed entirely on a handlebar/stem setup, but it was a noticeable issue on these types of rides.
After those longer descents at Pisgah, I started looking into different handlebars (and stems) and what I might be able to do to take some of that feedback or harshness out of my setup. I was initially thinking of going with a 31.8mm setup, but also found the One Up Components handlebar and Da Package both interesting. I already use One Up’s pedals, and there is a lot of good information available on their handlebars
I was having trouble finding real world information on Da Package, but the reviews for their wheel sets all seem positive. I was also impressed with the quick email responses to my product questions from Dustin (the owner of We Are One). Being a huge fan of The Lost Co’s YouTube channel, I reached out to them to see what they thought. I ended up buying Da Package, mostly because I liked the idea of the 3 piece design that would hopefully deliver the best of both the 31.8mm and 35mm standards.
We Are One does a great job of explaining the design idea of Da Package at their website, but basically they believe that the interface between a regular stem and carbon bar can have irregular clamping forces. This can lead to harsh interactions between the two components
To compensate for this, the design of Da Package is based around three components. Da Stem, Da Bar, and an aluminum alloy sleeve. This design spreads the clamping force through the whole area of the aluminum alloy sleeve and also ensures that the sleeve cannot slip. Da Bar uses a clamping diameter of 33mm, which also means that these components can only be used as a complete system. There is no mixing and matching of the stem or bars here, and you are all-in with Da Package
There are 35mm and 45mm stem lengths available, but the customization options end there.
Stem Material: 7075 aircraft aluminum
Stem Length: 35mm and 45mm
Sleeve Material: Aluminum alloy
Bar Diameter: 33mm at clamp
Bar Length: 800mm (can be cut to 740mm without effecting guarantee and warranty)
Bar Rise: 20mm
Bar Sweep: 5-degrees up and 8-degrees back
Permitted Total Weight: 264.5 lbs
EFBE Tested: Category 5 Component
Warranty: Limited 5 Year Warranty
Claimed Weight: 320g (35mm) and 338g (45mm)
Manufactured: Kamloops BC, Canada
Unpacking and Installation
The very first thing you notice when unboxing Da Package is that it comes in a cloth purple bag with gold embroidered fanciness - very similar to a bottle of Crown Royal.
Removing Da Package from the bag reveals a beautiful piece of gear. The cleanness of no logos, no torque numbers, or anything else is just so different. There are grooves on each side of the handlebar in 5mm increments to guide cuts, and I cut these down to my preferred width of 770mm. I always like to weigh products to see how close they are to the manufacturer’s claims. In this case, Da Package with the 45mm stem weighed 342g. Once I cut the bars to 770mm, the weight dropped to 337g
Installation was super easy, as the bars were already placed in the sleeve and stem when I received them. I mounted Da Package by putting on the stem and torquing it to spec. I then rotated the bars to the position I wanted and torqued to spec. The final step was attaching the controls, which were all torqued to spec (2 Nm), and I re-used the ODI Elite Pro Lock-On grips from my previous setup
I wanted to get in a lot of riding on varied terrain, before writing this review, and I knew there were many things I wanted to evaluate. My first few rides were on smooth flowing singletrack, and honestly Da Package didn’t feel any different than the old Race Face setup. The lateral stiffness or steering response was quick and light, and the bike still turned great. I was unable to notice any flex when pulling the bars in technical sections or on climbs.
Everything felt stiff, in a good way. As I was hoping, Da Package really started to shine in the chatter or small chop. With my previous setup, I felt every little thing I hit on the trail, and with Da Package I still do, but the sensations are noticeably muted. There is just enough feedback to receive the input, and that is it. On longer descents, my hands and forearms were less tired, and episodes of arm pump were also reduced, and I think this was due to the inputs being more subtle than before. Big hits or drops felt the same on Da Package, but this isn’t surprising as I never really feel the bars actually flexing. I was initially worried that the controls and grips might slip or move at 2Nm torque, since the carbon fiber has a shinier finish than my previous setup, but everything stayed in place as expected.
Da Package offers the best of both the 31.8mm and 35mm standards with no compromises in performance. The steering is responsive. It provides a great platform for climbing, and it also performs very well in technical sections when pulling on the bars
For me personally, the ability of Da Package to mute chatter in the trail while maintaining the other qualities is its strongest point. This characteristic alone was what I was ultimately after, and I feel like I didn’t have to make the typical all-mountain compromise with Da Package. Aside from the performance, it truly is a beautiful piece of gear. Be prepared for lots of questions from people you meet on the trail, as it almost always starts a conversation.
While there are no compromises in appearance or performance, there is some compromise with Da Package in its limited sizing options. Like all contact points, handlebars are a very personal preference for each rider. Some riders will find that the two stem lengths available for by Da Package (or the rise or sweep) simply won’t work for their setup. Before installing, I placed Da Package directly on top of my current stem to get an idea if the overall position was going to differ significantly. While certainly not the most scientific process, I think it could be helpful for those that are worried that the “two sizes fits all” approach might not work for them.
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