Deity is a core component company that has been doing things their way since the beginning. They are a passionate bunch of hardworking riders, constantly tweaking and improving their products. Deity has recently launched an all-new lineup of components for 2017, and I was eager to get our hands on the goods. Read on to see my thoughts on the Skyline handlebar, Copperhead stem, Black Kat pedals, Waypoint grips, and Speedtrap AM saddle.
The Skyline is Deity’s latest trail/all-mountain bar, featuring a 787mm width as well as 15mm and 25mm riser options. It is available in a slew of colors with attractive new graphics. I opted to cut mine down to 760mm to cater to my personal preference. There are cutting marks on the handlebar, making it very easy to know where to make the slice. The handlebar is constructed from 7075 T73 aluminum, and features Deity’s “custom gradient butted” technology. Basically that means the wall thickness varies at different points throughout the handlebar. Areas that need extra reinforcement for strength are thicker, while lower stress areas are thinner. This maximizes strength while minimizing weight. The Skyline is about on par weight-wise with most other aluminum bars in it’s class: 316 grams.
Deity takes a different approach than most companies when it comes to handlebar clamp diameter. While many other brands have opted for the trendier 35mm clamp diameter, the folks at Deity believe that the wider clamp diameter is too stiff for their trail/all-mountain bars. After riding many 35mm clamp diameter bars over the last few years, I would have to agree - many bars are just too dang stiff, and tend to transfer more vibrations from the trail to your hands. This of course leads to quicker fatigue in your hands, which no one likes. Deity claims that with a 35mm clamp diameter, they had to bump the width out to 825mm to achieve desired flex. They do make a DH-specific bar (the Holeshot), and as one would suspect, it’s 825mm wide. I found the Skyline bar to offer the perfect amount of give, and have not noticed any undue hand fatigue since riding with this bar. A 9 degree backsweep and 5 degree upsweep puts me in a very comfortable position, which is expected as most handlebars are going to be within about a degree of those numbers.
The fit-and-finish of the Skyline bar is what I have come to expect from Deity - top notch. The two tone graphics and bead blasted anodized finish provide a very sleek and high quality appearance.
After running with the Cavity stem for a number of years, Deity went back to the drawing board and developed the Copperhead. The Cavity was a super solid stem, albeit slightly portly in appearance, and not terribly light. With the Copperhead, Deity managed to not only drop to a competitive 140 grams, they also increased strength and stiffness compared to the Cavity. It is CNC machined from a solid block of 6061 T6 aluminum, features laser etched graphics, and is available in Deity’s full run of colors.
Since this is targeted as a trail/all-mountain stem, it follows the same thought process as the Skyline bar when it comes to clamp diameter. The Copperhead utilizes a 31.8mm clamp diameter to mate up with Deity’s trail/all-mountain bars. While their logic makes perfect sense here, I would like to see a 35mm clamp diameter model for those that want to pair this stem with another brand’s 35mm handlebar. That said, this stem is one of the stiffest, strongest stems I’ve ridden - including the 35mm clamp diameter stems I’ve been on over the last few years. Much of the stiffness is attributed to the 55mm wide clamping surface area, which is at least 5mm wider than any other 31.8mm clamp diameter stems we sell. Those concerned that a 31.8mm stem may not be strong or stiff enough, worry not - the Copperhead will have your back.
Deity opted for three lengths with the Copperhead, 35mm, 50mm, and 65mm. It would be great to see a couple more lengths added to this lineup - something shorter than 35mm, and perhaps another length in between the 35mm and 50mm. Renthal managed to squeeze their Apex 31.8mm stem into a 31mm length, which is one of the shortest out there. As bike top tube and reach lengths are trending longer, more folks are seeking very short stems. Granted, 35mm is still pretty darned short, and that’s the length I’ve been riding. I didn’t personally feel the need for a shorter stem, but others might depending on their bike setup. The Copperhead has a nice short stack height of 30mm so you can keep your fork steer tube cut as short as possible, should you desire.
Black Kat Pedals
Deity have always been known for building a great pedal. They’ve been doing it for well over a decade, and they’ve produced many fantastic pedals throughout their time as a component company. One of our best selling pedals of all time was indeed a Deity pedal - the venerable Decoy 2.5. This pedal was strong, reliable, and priced at a very competitive $85. But of course, there’s always something could always use improving - enter the Black Kat, Deity’s new and improved pedal that replaces the steadfast Decoy 2.5. The Black Kat is a much improved pedal all around - it’s thinner, lighter, and offers better grip thanks to the new concave 100x100mm platform. The traction pins are simple allen screws, which can be easily removed from the backside of the pedal. The internals consist of a DU bushing at the threaded end of the axle, and double sealed bearings at the opposite end. Everything is fully serviceable, as we’d expect.
After a couple months of beating in our very wet PNW spring conditions, the Black Kats are holding up strong, still spinning as smoothly as on day one. As a flat pedal, it does what it’s supposed to and provides loads of grip. My feet remained glued to the pedals even through the roughest of trail sections. What more can you ask out of a flat pedal? Priced at $114, the Black Kat is our best-priced aluminum flat pedal. If it’s still too costly for your budget, I recommend checking out the Deity Compound V2 pedal, which gets you many of the same features, but with a composite body and a significantly lower price tag of $49.
Staying consistent with the rest of Deity’s lineup, the pedals are available in all of their colors, and feature a bead blasted anodized finish with laser etched graphics.
Speedtrap AM Saddle
There has got to be at least a thousand different bike saddles out there. It’s one of those parts that is so subjective, there’s almost no point in trying to write a review. But alas, I’ll give it a shot. First let me start by saying I like saddles with at least a little bit of cush. I prefer not to ride with a chamois, unless I’m on a big ride with lots of saddle time. I’ve often found myself favoring saddles like the WTB Volt and Chromag Lynx DT. Deity partnered up with SDG to build the Speedtrap AM, a fully custom seat that you won’t find anywhere in SDG’s lineup. The dimensions are 280mm long, and 140mm wide. I found the width to be just about right for me, though some folks may prefer something a bit wider or narrower. Again, saddle comfort is very much determined by your body and preferences. Perhaps Deity will eventually follow suit with Ergon and WTB by offering multiple width options.
I’ve found the Speedtrap to offer a nice amount of padding, which means it’s comfortable enough to go without chamois on most of my rides. The downfall to added padding is the weight gain, but I’m okay taking a little penalty there to remain comfortable. At 247 grams, it’s certainly not super heavy for a CroMo railed saddle, but it’s not the lightest either. If you’re counting grams, the Speedtrap Ti saddle will save you 15 grams. Deity uses a synthetic cover material with kevlar sides, which all seems plenty durable. One thing you may notice missing from this seat is a relief channel. Again, this is something that some people notice more than others. Having ridden both channelled and non-channelled saddles, I can’t say I notice much of a difference myself. But those that do prefer a relief channel should probably consider something other than the Speedtrap saddle. Priced at $68 for the CroMo Speedtrap, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better for less. It’s a nice, comfortable, reliable saddle that doesn’t break the bank. And of course, it’s available in all of Deity’s colors, and once again, Deity has done a killer job with the graphics.
I’ve often been skeptical of single-clamp grips. Having ridden other brand’s single clamp grips in the past, they’ve never lasted more than a couple months before developing some sort of play. Naturally, I was a bit hesitant to use the Waypoint grip, as it too has a single locking clamp to hold it in place. Deity claims to have addressed the issue though with a tapered internal sleeve that snugs the grip tight to the handlebar. So far it seems to have worked, as I’ve not developed any play whatsoever in the Waypoint.
I typically prefer a very minimal, slim profile grip, which is exactly what the Waypoint is with a 31mm diameter. The diamond-pattern is reminiscent of the ODI Ruffian, so nothing new there. Deity claims they use a special rubber compound for improved durability and tactile response. So far, the grip does seem to be holding up well, and is not showing any significant signs of wear after a couple month’s use. The grips are 132mm wide, which is wide enough for most of us. Due to the super slim profile, there is very little padding for your hands. If you find your hands fatigue easy, you will probably want to consider a thicker grips that offers more comfort. I’ve also got a set of Knuckledusters that I’m going to give a shot, which offer a unique multi-pattern design and a bit more meat which should make it a more comfortable grip for those with more sensitive hands.
Overall, I’ve been super impressed with Deity’s latest round of components. Everything has worked flawlessly, and I honestly have nothing to complain about. Granted, no bike part is ever going to be perfect for every rider, but Deity does a great job finding a balance between features, cost, and performance. The company is known for building components that get the job done with little fuss - and that’s precisely what can be said about this latest round of parts from Deity.