Wore through the bar tape on my road bike so going to redo the housing and cables and while I’m at it was thinking it may be a good time to size down my handlebars (40cm currently). Would like to try a 36cm bar, feel like reducing the width and improving aero dynamics would be more impactful than whether its aero or carbon.
Anyone have preferences for road handlebars that are available in 36cm with a shorter reach (65-75mm)? I’m a pretty small guy (like XS kit) so feel I will probably get a long pretty well with a narrower width bar.
Before going for one of those just wanted to check to see if there weren’t some other options I should consider instead. Preferably something <$150, don’t think I will get the ROI from a fancy carbon bar.
36 is super narrow, I’d expect it could be quite a handful on descents. I run a 38 and it’s OK, but I live in rolling terrain, but it definitely feels twitchier than the 42’s it replaced. I think perhaps 40 would have been better (for me) as I think while the frontal profile is nice and narrow with 38, they encourage the elbows to flare.
Have the SL 70s in 40 on my other bike but the Zipp distributor for Canada is sold out in 36. The specs say they have an outsweep, not sure if they have any flare to the drops. The PLT Ergo Carbon is interesting with the 4 degree flare to allow for more knee room and comfort in the drops, not sure on the price and availability though. Thinking they might be fairly expensive as a carbon bar.
I have the PRO PLT carbon in 36mm and love it. The drops flare out to ~38mm so you get a bit more leverage while sprinting. I have hoods slightly turned inwards to make hood position even more aero. It doesn’t have internal routing though, if you need that.
The Enve Aero Road SES bars are quite narrow at the hoods, but flare out in the drops as well. I am currently riding the 44cm, which are only 39 at the hoods. Still getting used to the wider drop position, as I have been riding 39 bars for awhile, but the drops were in a more traditional position.
Overall, I really like the bars.
(Disclaimer - I am riding for the ENVE Racing team this year)