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Aero handlebars?
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I've been riding my Bianchi Oltre a lot over the pandemic, over my Felt TT. Road bikes are just a lot more comfy (shocker).

This past week I upgraded to carbon wheels --after 15+ seasons of training & racing, I've never had "real" wheels. I've always just kept the stock ones. But a guy on my team owns an LBS and had a pair of Easton EA90 Aero 55s --new, that someone no longer wanted, so I got them for a song.

I've always been told carbon wheels would be faster, better overall, I see so many people with them but wondered how much of that was hype and that they just look cooler.

But wow, I'm REALLY impressed with these: definitely faster, stiffer, more comfortable, more reactive, a lot lighter (400g lighter than my fulcrums), they handle better, and yeah they do look cooler (sound cooler too). But yeah, it's not hype.

I'm now thinking of rounding out the upgrades with aero / carbon handlebars.
--I looked at the Easton EC 90s (match my wheels) but I thought I'd jump on here to see what ST recommends.
The Vision Metron look promising. Black inc has a sick set. What should I look for -they need to work with my D12.

Thanks all,

I can't seem to embed a pic but if you're curious...
https://64.media.tumblr.com/...5d98e1d45c24fb5e.jpg

~~~~~~~~~
Empire Tri Coach
Team Gatorade Endurance
USATF Coach | NYRR Distance Pacer
Dad of twins
Last edited by: Mendeldave: Nov 9, 20 7:03
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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I can't find it right now, but thought saw somewhere before that watts saved for going from a full round bar setup with lots of handlebar tape and no hidden cables to a "good" aerobar and stem combo with tape ending just after the hoods "bare tops" was almost on par with a savings of an aero wheelset.

Maybe I'm wrong, but thought I had heard that.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, that's an impressive savings!

Also, that's pretty economic considering the cost of wheels v cost of handlebars!

~~~~~~~~~
Empire Tri Coach
Team Gatorade Endurance
USATF Coach | NYRR Distance Pacer
Dad of twins
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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If you wear gloves when you ride this is a pretty aero choice:

https://bikerumor.com/...ngs-tapeless-design/
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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I have the Easton EC70s aero handlebar and am very happy with it. Not sure what the difference between that and the 90 is other than it's a touch heavier.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Aero handlebars? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
I can't find it right now, but thought saw somewhere before that watts saved for going from a full round bar setup with lots of handlebar tape and no hidden cables to a "good" aerobar and stem combo with tape ending just after the hoods "bare tops" was almost on par with a savings of an aero wheelset.

Maybe I'm wrong, but thought I had heard that.

I heard the same thing from an interview with the Specialized guy who does the “Win Tunnel” videos.

Like the OP, I’ve mainly been riding my road bike since COVID, most recently with a Bianchi Infinito CV that I bought a few weeks ago. Stunning bike, very comfortable, and a great complement to my Cervelo S Series aero road bike, which has a much more aggressive fit.


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Re: Aero handlebars? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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jimatbeyond wrote:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/324294663881
+1 on the knockoffs. I've bought 2 from Aliexpress of this exact design. The exact model I bought is no longer available (changed to this model), but I wouldn't hesitate to go the same route again. Got some 400mm for Summer's roadie and 420mm for my own. They're sturdy and look great.

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Re: Aero handlebars? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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I have been eyeing RXL bars - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TXF3DR9/
Anyone used them? They look real good and have a ton of good reviews on Amazon.....

Next races on the schedule: San Diego RnR 2021, Arizona 70.3 2021, Indian Wells 70.3 2021
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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Nothing to add about the bars, but the wheels look great on the bike. Were they worth it? I'm seriously debating getting some
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Re: Aero handlebars? [duganator99] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone with experience around bontrager integrated vs their aero xxx + xxx stem?

Going to order an Emonda soon and trying to decide between the two.

The one piece comes stock with SLR but I’m going SL Pro and upgrading a couple things.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
If you wear gloves when you ride this is a pretty aero choice:

https://bikerumor.com/...ngs-tapeless-design/

I have these, not installed yet (currently have the S-works Aerofly II)

The Sacra can be installed with bar tape and comes with bar plugs. They are very stiff and very light. I got the widest option and they are just 209g. FYI, the company closed, but if you message them on Facebook they will still sell you one since they have stock.

Note, they have a 100mm drop, which is likely less than any other bar you'll find.

OP, the EC90 is really nice and there are always bonus points for matching. I would recommend the EC90, Sacra, or S-Works for non-integrated. If you are considering integrated, then Vision is a nice option. Farsport F1 may be the best bang for the buck, for integrated. Lighter than Vision, Black Inc, and others, while also being cheaper.

If someone recommends Chinese knockoffs, what I hear is "I dont wear a seat belt and I haven't died yet." For such a critical critical component I'd prefer to be 99.99% sure I won't break my teeth instead of 95% sure.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a little confused. Isn't the EC90 a Chinese knockoff?
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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I have used a few different aero bars over the past five years and I have been very impressed with Enve aero bars. I used them with Di2 and they worked great for routing. Highly recommend.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [jstonebarger] [ In reply to ]
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jstonebarger wrote:
I'm a little confused. Isn't the EC90 a Chinese knockoff?

I'm pretty sure he's referring to the real, expensive ones.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [jstonebarger] [ In reply to ]
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EC90 is also a Chinese brand of bicycle components.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone knows how I could source one of these handlebars? Looks to be an one-off, but if it's available, I'd like one in 38 or 40 cm width

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Re: Aero handlebars? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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I was referring to the actual Easton ones. Not the Chinese knock offs :-)
Sorry for the confusion.

Also, lots of great advice here to work my way though. Thanks everyone!

And for someone who asked about the wheels -I’m a believer. They’re definitely faster. No regrets buying them so far. (Though they are tubular so I’ve got to figure out how to deal with that before I NEED to deal with that!)

~~~~~~~~~
Empire Tri Coach
Team Gatorade Endurance
USATF Coach | NYRR Distance Pacer
Dad of twins
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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Carry a razor blade to cut the tire off when you get a flat.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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jimatbeyond wrote:
EC90 is also a Chinese brand of bicycle components.

I did mention "matching" in response to OP having Easton wheels. Also, if I was referring to the knockoff then the last part of my comment wouldn't make sense either.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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I got the 90s, LOVE them.

70 is the same shape, just a different print and slightly heavier.

I covered up my top with the super thin silca nastro aero bar tape to give good forearm grip while riding with invisible tt bars since you obviously don't wrap the aero tubing ;)

Love it.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Mendeldave] [ In reply to ]
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From an aesthetic standpoint I am all for aero carbon bars. That said they are no where near the upgrade of moving to carbon wheels and its a big cost for limited benefit. The differences in weight, stiffness and comfort between high end alloy bars and/or or stems and carbon versions is negligible and really comes down to a personal preference about shapes. For example I would honestly be shocked if you would notice the difference between the Zipp SL-70, SL-70 Aero and Course SL-70 in a blind test. For me any advantages of going carbon are outweighed by the practical benefits of alloy bars. I don't have to be as concerned about torque or banging the bars around a bit during transit. I try an take care of my equipment but sometimes a bike gets knocked over and I damaged a set of carbon bars on my TT bike under these circumstances. Alloy is just a bit more robust in surviving knocks and bumps.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [scott8888] [ In reply to ]
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I too would rather stick with alloy bars. However, your post makes no mention of aerodynamics; just appearance, weight, comfort, stiffness, and cost. While light and attractive are preferable, I really care about 4 things in this order: safety, comfort, drag & cost. The safety aspect is probably debatable, but I think I'd rather alloy bars in that respect. I think they're less likely to sustain significant damage or have manufacturing defects without you noticing. Comfort will be very user specific so no point getting into any details here. There is a lot of potential for drag reduction over conventional round bars, and while hydroformed alloy tubes are being shaped far more extensively now than in the past, carbon still offers more opportunity to optimise shape. I would expect you could reasonably easily use an aerodynamic handlebar to outperform deep section wheels when calculating performance gain versus cost.
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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The marketing data on the aero savings of aero handlebars makes them seem worth it.

Before I've only ever had round topped aluminum bars on my bikes. The couple of carbon bars that I have tried (a lightweight, round topped, and an aero flat topped) were much flexier. It's nice when you are cruising in the drops as it acts like suspension, but you definitely have to get used to it for sprinting!
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Re: Aero handlebars? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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Ai_1 wrote:
I too would rather stick with alloy bars. However, your post makes no mention of aerodynamics; just appearance, weight, comfort, stiffness, and cost. While light and attractive are preferable, I really care about 4 things in this order: safety, comfort, drag & cost. The safety aspect is probably debatable, but I think I'd rather alloy bars in that respect. I think they're less likely to sustain significant damage or have manufacturing defects without you noticing. Comfort will be very user specific so no point getting into any details here. There is a lot of potential for drag reduction over conventional round bars, and while hydroformed alloy tubes are being shaped far more extensively now than in the past, carbon still offers more opportunity to optimise shape. I would expect you could reasonably easily use an aerodynamic handlebar to outperform deep section wheels when calculating performance gain versus cost.

Yeah, pretty much this.

Savings of going from a round top section to an aero top section is about the same as going from something like a front wheel going from Flo30/Zipp 101 to a Flo60/ Zipp 404/ Jet 6.

So not quite there wrt watts saved by an entire wheelset, but that cost/saving ratio really is a lot better than what wheels provide.

A decent round handlebar is $75; a decent aero road bar is $300; watt saving is ~5. $225 for 5 watts

A decent 30 mm wheelset is ~$550; a decent 60 mm all-carbon wheelset is ~$1300 (I'm thinking Flo here). $750 for 8 watts. Gets a lot more expensive if one were buying other brands.
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