In case you were wondering – what you’re about to read is the first of its kind (at the time of publishing anyway). There are so many road handlebar reviews and comparisons but barely any for aero road bars. With the surge of aero bikes in recent years, I am a bit surprised. Hopefully this comparison will help you as it has helped me.
So, what makes an aero bar aero? Basically, a low profile. They are also inherently heavier so weight weenies may want to steer clear, pun intended. All the big players offer an aero bar and a few have integrated aero options too but none of the latter are what I would consider lightweight. I may have missed a few but the brands I looked into are; 3T, Blktec, Bontrager, Canyon, Cervelo, Easton, ENVE, Haero, MCFK, New Ultimate, Ritchey, Schomlke, Specialized, and Zipp. Armed with only my ideal reach and drop goal, I kept an open mind hoping one would stand out as the clear choice for me and it did so let’s start there.
ENVE SES Aero Road Bar (SKU# 300-1003-102) – my reasons for selecting this as my next purchase:
- The cables route internally
- The reach and drop were very close to my current DEDA Superleggera
- I am a fan of the bar-end plugs ENVE integrates
- The rider assumes a very aero profile when riding the hoods
It’s quite common these days to find the pro peloton using a narrower bar than most of us have been fitted for. There may be other reasons why but mostly it has to do with aerodynamics. ENVE does this by making their aero bar 5cm narrower in the hoods (35, 37, 39) than the drops (40, 42, 44). Another benefit that isn’t marketed is should you be riding in the drops when shifting the bike side-to-side during an out of saddle effort, there’s no bar in the way of your wrist. BONUS!
Below is a table I used to compare the non-integrated aero bars.
|Make & Model||Reach (mm)||Drop (mm)||Flare||Sweep||Weight (gr)||Cable routing|
|3T Aeronova LTD Stealth||104||127||Yes||No||205||Int|
|3T Aerotundo LTD||113||139||Yes||No||185||Int|
|Bontrager XXX Aero||93||123||Yes||No||230||Int|
|Cervélo Aero Road Bar||80||120||No||No||N/A||Int|
|Easton EC70 Aero Bar||80||125||Yes||No||255||Int|
|Easton EC90 Aero Bar||80||125||Yes||No||230||Int|
|ENVE SES Aero Road Bar||77||127||Yes||No||233||Int|
|S-Works Aerofly Carbon Bar||80||130||N/A||N/A||250||Int|
|Ritchey WCS Carbon Streem II||70||126||No||Yes||235||Ext|
|Zipp SL70 Aero Bar||70||128||Yes||Yes||240||Int|
Only a select few had any reported time or watt savings. When marketing an aero product, it helps to have this data although I am likely not fast enough to realize the optimal result. This was a fun and exciting journey for me and I hope my information helps you along your way.