Can a handlebar impact ride characteristics?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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rlanger
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by rlanger

It's probably just the placebo effect of a shiny new bike part (well, matte actually), but I feel like my new bar, the Specialized Aerofly II, has improved the handling and definitely the comfort of my ride.

My previous bar was an alloy Deda Superzero, which I loved, but I wanted something a little lighter and a little more aero. The Aerofly II ticks both boxes, but I am pleasantly surprised at the changes I percieve in the handling.

by Weenie


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C36
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by C36

Different reach or hoods height?


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bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

The shape changes how the bike feels. The material less so.

rlanger
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by rlanger

C36 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 am
Different reach or hoods height?


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75/130 on the Deda and 80/130 on the Spec so not too dissimilar.

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

bm0p700f wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:14 am
The shape changes how the bike feels. The material less so.
I'm going to disagree with this. I've gone back and forth between Zipp carbon bars and Specialized/Easton/Control Tech alloy bars and I can definately tell a difference in how the bike feels in terms of less road buzz. It doesn't affect performance, but it does change how the bike feels and comfort over longer rides.

That being said, I have also noticed that even a ~5mm difference in reach or ~10mm difference in drop really changes the feel for me.
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GothicCastle
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by GothicCastle

Different bar/stem combinations will transmit different road vibrations, which certainly feels different.

I'm also moderately sensitive to flexy bar/stem combos. I really don't like that feeling of play in the steering. I prefer a stiff bar and stem. It makes the steering feel precise.

jfranci3
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by jfranci3

Not handling, but percieved handing.
It can definately change the ride quality of the bike - more so than the tires. This is especially true for larger bar sizes.

Catagory6
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by Catagory6

i've found that just a difference in 2cm width makes a notable difference.
44cm felt like better leverage for sprinting in the drops
42cm felt much more nimble, agile
it actually took a bit of getting used to
riding out of the saddle while on the hoods was much different when switching from 44 to 42
very significant difference
neither was better, just different

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Alexbn921
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by Alexbn921

Bar and stem stiffness makes a big difference in handling and comfort. Going form a flexible stem to a ridge one has the same effect as a noodle bar to a sprint stiff one.

mrd
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by mrd

Deda bars measure outside to outside, Specialized centre to centre so if you compared hood to hood width there will be perhaps 5mm difference so negligible in terms of stability in and out of the saddle in a "blind" test. Different reach and dropor lever position on the bars might be the greatest change. Carbon will absorb more road buzz but less than thicker/better bar tape and gloves. pros riders often ride aluminium bars and stems. Placebo effect of being more aero might be a factor. In reality, under at least 30mph the actual aero benefit of aerofly compared with round will pale into insignificance compared with exposed or internal cabling around the stem etc.

rlanger
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by rlanger

mrd wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:54 am
Deda bars measure outside to outside, Specialized centre to centre so if you compared hood to hood width there will be perhaps 5mm difference so negligible in terms of stability in and out of the saddle in a "blind" test. Different reach and dropor lever position on the bars might be the greatest change. Carbon will absorb more road buzz but less than thicker/better bar tape and gloves. pros riders often ride aluminium bars and stems. Placebo effect of being more aero might be a factor. In reality, under at least 30mph the actual aero benefit of aerofly compared with round will pale into insignificance compared with exposed or internal cabling around the stem etc.
I was riding a 42 Deda and opted for a 40 Spec because of this and they are almost identical in width to the centre of the hoods.

by Weenie


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