Answer Products ProTaper Carbon 720 AM bars and Rove AM Stem

by Brian Mullin on August 5, 2011

The handlebars are an excellent set of carbon riser bars, that are light, strong, with a wonderful resiliency and feel, and have an optimal width and rise. The made in America stem is one stout beast, that is stiff, well-made and overbuilt, with an assortment of hidden technologies and features. Answer makes some great products, and their AM line of handlebars and stems is a fine introduction to their tough, durable and strong set of components.

ProTaper 720 Am
The ProTaper 720 AM comes in two versions, a 7050 aluminium alloy and the tested carbon model, which is built with a unidirectional 12 outer layer. The ProTaper technology adds material at the clamp and riser for strength and stiffness (the stress areas), and decreases it elsewhere for lightness, and it uses internal and external tapered walls to accomplish those goals. The bars are 720mm wide, with 8 degree rearward bend, and 4 degrees upward sweep, a 31.8mm clamping diameter, and either 12.7mm (only carbon), 25.4mm (tested) or 50.8mm of rise. The clamp section has a trick “Grip Grit” taped layer for anti slippage, and the graphics choices are Gold or White/Smoke.

Impressions
The ProTaper Carbon 720 AM are a superlative set of handlebars, that are stiff, with a perfect amount of carbon resiliency, which gives a hint of titanium like silkiness, which helps take the rough edges off terrain. The 720mm of width and 25.4mm of rise were ideal, and the width is optimal for most trail conditions that will be encountered, especially when dealing with tight trees. They look nice, and have a cool large weave pattern, and really stand out in bright sunlight,. They were easy to install, and the grip tape section where the stem attaches, made slippage non existent. I abused them pretty hard, and tossed them into rock gardens, ledge drops and heinous terrain, and then preformed admirably. They sustained multiple crashes, close encounters of the tree kinds and lots of sideways fall overs, and are none the worse for wear and tear.

Measured Specs:

  • width – 720mm
  • weight – 206.6 grams

Bottom Line
The ProTaper Carbon 720 AM are one of my favorite sets of handlebars. They are light, have an excellent silky tactile feel while still remaining stiff, and have a very functional rise and width (25.4 x 720mm), which is about perfect for a variety of terrain. They have survived crashes and lots of abuse in ugly terrain, and have shown themselves to be durable and tough. They are somewhat expensive for a set of handlebars, but can usually be found for less, and the three rise heights allow a great deal of variety for individual requirements.

Strengths

  • Light
  • Stiff
  • Silky resiliency
  • Grip tape for non-slippage at stem interface
  • Optimal width and rise (720mm x 25.4mm)

Weaknesses

  • Expensive – although reasonable for carbon bars

Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

ProTaper Carbon 720 AM handlebars Specs:

  • MSRP: $140
  • Visit Answer Rove AM website at http://www.answerproducts.com/components/protaper-carbon-720-am/
  • Width – 720mm
  • Weight – 205g & 225g (50.8 rise bar )
  • Clamp diameter – 31.8mm
  • 3 Rise Options – 12.7mm, 25.4mm, 50.8mm
  • UP Sweep – 4°
  • Back Sweep – 8°
  • Material Carbon with unidirectional 12 outer layer
  • Color Carbon
  • ProTAPER® Patented Technology – Lighter, stiffer, stronger
  • Internal and External Tapered Walls – Increase strength to weight ratio
  • Grip Grit area – Non slip surface

Rove AM
The Rove AM Stem is made from 6066 aluminum alloy, that is 2D forged post CNC machined, and uses internal and external tapered walls for strength and stiffness, and decreased weight. The stem has a 40mm stack height, an 8 degree rise, and come in 60, 70, 80 (tested), 90 and 100mm lengths. It comes with a 3 and 5mm spacer, top cap and star nut, and is available in Black, White and Charcoal (tested).

Impressions
The Rove AM is a massively built beast, that is stiff, durable, and moderately light. The clamping system works exceptionally well, and it uses a 2 bolt opposed steerer, and 4 bolts for the handlebar. The bar clamp section is wide, and the X hashed face plate snugs down tightly, and the pattern helps with alignment, and adds a nice flair to the front end of the bike. During installation, everything had a very burly, and overbuilt feel, with large steel bolts and additional material used throughout the build. The stem comes with two spacers with Answer logos, and a nice top cap with a rubber insert that covers the bolt hole. The ride feel was extremely stiff, and no slippage was felt with the handlebars or the steerer.

Measured Specs (80mm version):

  • Weight – 177.5 grams
  • Size – length 81mm, Stack height 40mm, front plate width 49mm

Bottom Line
The Rove AM Stem is a big tough burly beast, that is stiff, and the clamping system works well, without any slipping issues. I really liked the front clamp, as it was wide, with a nice cross pattern to give full coverage and strength, and it added some nice bling. The stem comes with a variety of additional parts, 2 spacers, a starnut, a top cap and a rubber insert.

I like Answer’s statement about the Rove, “This ain’t no Taiwan off the shelf POS!”

Strengths

  • Stiff and burly
  • Clamping system – no slippage
  • Face plate looks nice and assists with alignment

Weaknesses

  • Heavy
  • Bulky and boxy looking

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Rove AM Stem Specs

  • MSRP: $72
  • Visit Answer Rove AM website at http://www.answerproducts.com/components/rove-am/#
  • Rise – 8°
  • Stack Height – 40mm
  • Length options – 60, 70, 80, 90, 100mm
  • Material – 6066 2D forged post CNC machined
  • Color options – Black, White, Charcoal
  • Hardware Stainless with thread lock patch
  • 6066 3D forged post CNC machined
  • Internal & External Tapered walls in stem body -Allows for stiff bar clamp interface without sacrificing weight
  • Includes 3 & 5mm headset spacers and star nut and top cap.
  • 2 bolt opposed steer tube clamp

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