Handlebar advice

I’m looking to upgrade my current handlebars (42 mm zipp service course), mostly because I like draping my arms over the bar tops and these bars are fully round and it’s a bit painful, but also aero gains and the opportunity to get 40mm width which should fit my shoulder width better.
My bike is an older (2016) tarmac with mechanical force 22 so there’s cables all over the cockpit and I think it would be too annoying to change that setup for the moment, so it doesn’t matter much if there’s internal routing. I would prefer to keep my stem as is and avoid integrated bar/stem.
Does anyone have advice on reasonable priced aero shaped comfortable bars in 40mm width?

What’s considered reasonable?

I’d just get something you really want and can swap over to your next bike. Enve comes to mind. The aero benefit is two fold: the bars themselves are aero, but they’re also slightly flared but not goofy like a gravel bar. Narrower at the hoods to help you close off your torso.

I think if you just get some random aero bars on a budget, you won’t really see any gains anyway.

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I was thinking under $300 was “reasonable”.
I don’t know what I want and unfortunately I can’t really go try a bunch out at the moment, so I was hoping to get a few recommendations from the community.
I will take your advice and avoid the random cheap bars though, thanks!

The Prime Primavera are a lot of bar for the money and I really like the shape of the drops. The best feeling bars I’ve used though are the integrated barstem Bontrager ones: but they’re not cheap!


I’m not concerned with an aero-cockpit too much, so maybe not what you are looking for… I find Ritcheys EvoCurve bars quite nice, because to me they just feel right and thats exactly what I expect from a bar.

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A lot of it depends on the shape of the drop you prefer, as well as the reach you’re after.
If you’re not set on carbon, as it sounds like maybe you’re currently on aluminum anyways, the Zipp SL70 Ergo’s or SL80 Ergo’s are both really nice. They have a flattened top, and indent on the bottom for easy cable “tucking”. Personally I prefer the last generation “Beyond Black” color scheme as the logos are basically invisible. You can scoop them up for under $80.
Carbon you have a ton of options… The Cervelo AB06 or AB09 are both a really nice shape, with an “aero” top section, and deep grove underneath for cable routing. They have a pretty compact shape that works well with modern shifters. Black Inc. bars are nice as well. Similar to the Cervelo bars. All of those are just under $300.


Thanks for the recommendations folks! I’m thinking I’ll try out the prime primaveras or the cervelos, depending on what I can find cheap/quick.
Are you supposed to wrap the bar tape on the flat aero sections of these bars? Or does it diminish any aerodynamic benefits?

I wrap mine to the bend. Hard to get even tension on the flatter bit.

If you sweat a lot and don’t wear gloves, bare carbon gets slippy, some people put grip tape or gorilla snot on there to help that, if its an issue.

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This! And they are incredibly easy to route cables through. A nice natural line, and massive holes for gear and brake cables. Also a sensible amount of space for an out front mount.

I had an Aeronova (broke it), and cable routing was horrible. There was a 90° bend from the tops to the hoods.



Lots of options in this space.

internal cable routing cleans things up quite a bit, so get that. Carbon doesn’t necessarily make things lighter or more comfortable here, but it gives the designers more shapes to play with as they make the bars. Watch out for odd shapes where you put your hands - I have some FSA AGX that tore my palms.

If you use the drops, pay attention to the outward point (not talking flare) of the ends as well as the width, reach, and drop - most are 0 or 4deg (Zipp, Easton), “aero/gravel” can be up to 10. I prefer as much as possible.

If you use the center while cruising or standing, note the fwd or backward sweep, as these will vary greatly. Back toward you is generally more comfortable, forward is more aero as it cleans up the 90deg bend on each side.

You can find 3T, FSA / Vision, Easton, and a few other brands for reasonable prices.

Stretchier bar tape needed for the shapes

You basically need to take your whole bike apart to do the internal bar routing, so do this over winter. I’d recommend running heat shrink tubing over your cables from the bars to the frame to further clean things up.

I have an SL6 Tarmac fitted with shimano Pro Aero bars and they are great, comfortable, great shape and look brilliant. Internally routed with all cables makes for a clean set up.
I can take some pics if you wanna see how they look.
One thing I would say is don’t be draping your arms over the bars please …

I’d love a pic of your setup if you get a chance.
Do you mean that draping your arms is riskier for bike control?

This is getting old… I understand advising people to not do this mid pack, or at the front of the paceline, and if thats how you meant it so be it, but I’m hearing this spoken of lately(UCI and elsewhere) as its the riskiest behavior that one could partake in.