Handlebars: Aero vs Round.

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
integration
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 pm

by integration

Hi everyone, been scouring the large database and haven't found exactly what I'm looking, for so need your help!

I currently have a Zipp SLC2 carbon handlebar in the compact shape. I like the shape but it feels a bit noodley and ready I'm for a change.

Been staring at the Fairwheel handlebar review data and that's thrown in more variables.

So generally an aero handlebar tends to be not as stiff and as light as a round shape... But aero gains! What about things like comfort between the two shapes? Apparently the stiffness of the handlebar affects how there bike handles too? Is there much of a difference between a round bar and aero bar when it comes to handling and descending?

Anyways could use some help finding exactly what I want and like recommendations for either a stiff round bar in a compact size or a stiff aerobar...or a "Goldilocks"bar if it exists. Thanks!

alcatraz
Posts: 2151
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

Even though the shape can contribute to the performance you can't use it alone to judge the bars. I'm sure that there are some aero bars that are stiffer than some round bars. It's got a lot to do with type of carbon and the layup structure as well as the number of layers.

Best is to check several reviews where someone compares two items not just gives a fanboy review.

A heavier rider or sprinter would need stiffness while a lighter rider would think a flexy bar is plenty stiff.

I wouldn't be lazy with reading reviews. Take your time.

If you want aero gains also look to the width of the bars. The wider the more watts lost. A fitter would maybe disagree but I'd say the sweet spot for competitive riding is the narrowest width you can still put out power/breathe and not have your elbows point outward. (they do quite easily for me)

Personally I like the newer chinese integrated bars. Even the light ones are very stiff. I'm a small guy though, and I might have a different riding style.

by Weenie


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onemanpeloton
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:30 am
Location: Edinburgh, UK

by onemanpeloton

Personal preference probably trumps most things here. I like aero tops because I spend a lot of time with my hands there, and round bars just feel too thin. I use giant integrated stem/bar on my tcr and it is super stiff.
2017 Giant TCR Disc
2015 Giant TCX
2016 Cube Stereo 140

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Dr.Dos
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:00 pm

by Dr.Dos

An aero handlebar might save a watt or two, which is nice. But then, if you spend a lot of time in a tucked position, forerams on the handlebar, it's some much more comfortable and sustainable if you are under full load. That said, you might save dozens of watts just because you can hold this position "forever".

More secure as well but only with full bartape or griptape because those potholes kill you much easier lying on a round bar.

integration
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 pm

by integration

How about things like handling, does a stiffer bar contribute to the sharpness in steering? Does an aero bar affect this too?

And what about climbing out of the saddle? Thanks!

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4025
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

integration wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:05 pm
How about things like handling, does a stiffer bar contribute to the sharpness in steering? Does an aero bar affect this too?

And what about climbing out of the saddle? Thanks!
When cornering, all you are really doing is slightly pointing the wheel in the opposite direction to initiate a lean. This doesn’t require a lot of leverage, so no it’s not that important. If anything a little bit of suspension will help damp things in case you hit a reflector or rough patch, making it less likely for sudden/sketchy steering inputs.

For out of the saddle climbing, it’s perhaps a little more noticeable, but that isn’t a situation where I particularly care if there is flex either. It’s a low speed affair.

bilwit
Posts: 1191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

If possible, just try them out and see if you like them on a demo bike or something, I'm not sure they're for everyone (especially considering the weight penalty). I don't notice any difference in handling or performance, it's all about comfort for me. Personally, aero bars feel better on the tops because there's more surface area for your entire palm rather than having to curl your fingers/hand around round bars. It's also way more stable and comfortable when doing the Cancellara thing resting your forearms on them (I also don't really do this for performance either, for me it just feels more relaxed to be at rest in that position when cruising along a straightaway, like laying down--only solo or on the front of course).

rides4beer
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:27 am
Location: SC

by rides4beer

Have round(ish) carbon bars at the moment (Zipp Contour), getting ready to switch to aero alloy bars so I can run clip-ons for TTs (Bontrager Elite Aero). I've noticed a bit of flex in my carbon bars when I'm really cranking on it in a sprint or hard climb, so I'm hoping the alloys will be stiffer, and I'm looking forward to the flat aero sections. I'll be leaving them untaped, but I always wear gloves, so shouldn't have any issues.

Since this is WW, I won't talk about the weight difference between the bars. :cry:

TLN
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:50 pm

by TLN

Been riding aerobars for a while - mixed opinion:
aerofly: perfect in everything, except, when you're holding hands on bards close to center.
ergonova - werid shape, but I like top part better then aerofly, Also more space for your computer and stuff.
traditional bar - will go to something ergonomic, similar to aerofly, but with round profile. Tried olded Easton classic bars - was dissapointed with shape. I would prefer newer compact design now.

rides4beer
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:27 am
Location: SC

by rides4beer

Got the Bontragers on today, love 'em. Def stiffer than the Zipps, and they cleaned up the cables a bit. Had no issues riding with my hands on the flats uphill, was very comfortable.

9F28107B-2CA0-4CEA-8DCD-0188159B88F3.JPG
IMG_0727.jpg

amngwlvs
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm
Location: Barrie, Ontario

by amngwlvs

rides4beer wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:15 am
Got the Bontragers on today, love 'em. Def stiffer than the Zipps, and they cleaned up the cables a bit. Had no issues riding with my hands on the flats uphill, was very comfortable.


9F28107B-2CA0-4CEA-8DCD-0188159B88F3.JPG

IMG_0727.jpg
Damn those look sweet! Aero, internal routing, alloy and not a million dollars? Whats the catch... oh they weigh 345g. Kidding aside, they look great and as far as aero bars go, seem like they would suit my TCR well. They may just make the short list for new bars.
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

TLN
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:50 pm

by TLN

Agree. Bit smaller then aerofly - will be easier to handle it, bigger clamping area for devices.
How many holes for cable routing? I remember it was pita to route sram red hydro throguh aeroflys because of that.

rides4beer
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:27 am
Location: SC

by rides4beer

TLN wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:30 pm
Agree. Bit smaller then aerofly - will be easier to handle it, bigger clamping area for devices.
How many holes for cable routing? I remember it was pita to route sram red hydro throguh aeroflys because of that.
amngwlvs wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:55 pm
Damn those look sweet! Aero, internal routing, alloy and not a million dollars? Whats the catch... oh they weigh 345g. Kidding aside, they look great and as far as aero bars go, seem like they would suit my TCR well. They may just make the short list for new bars.
I forgot to weigh them before I put them on, doh!! But I'll take the weight penalty for the price, stiffness, and being able to run clip on aero bars (which should shave about five minutes off my local TT course). They're $90 from Trek direct, I caught them on sale for $70, had them at my door in less than two days with free shipping.

There are holes on both sides where the shifters go, and then large elongated holes on the back of the aero section, plenty of room for two cables to come out. :thumbup:

The drops are also flared, which I really like, much more comfortable than my other bars without the flare.

amngwlvs
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm
Location: Barrie, Ontario

by amngwlvs

rides4beer wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:22 pm
TLN wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:30 pm
Agree. Bit smaller then aerofly - will be easier to handle it, bigger clamping area for devices.
How many holes for cable routing? I remember it was pita to route sram red hydro throguh aeroflys because of that.
amngwlvs wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:55 pm
Damn those look sweet! Aero, internal routing, alloy and not a million dollars? Whats the catch... oh they weigh 345g. Kidding aside, they look great and as far as aero bars go, seem like they would suit my TCR well. They may just make the short list for new bars.
I forgot to weigh them before I put them on, doh!! But I'll take the weight penalty for the price, stiffness, and being able to run clip on aero bars (which should shave about five minutes off my local TT course). They're $90 from Trek direct, I caught them on sale for $70, had them at my door in less than two days with free shipping.

There are holes on both sides where the shifters go, and then large elongated holes on the back of the aero section, plenty of room for two cables to come out. :thumbup:

The drops are also flared, which I really like, much more comfortable than my other bars without the flare.
Thanks for the reply. Really liking these! If only Bontrager made a 1 1/4"stem so I could have a matching stem and bars. :cry:
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

rides4beer
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:27 am
Location: SC

by rides4beer

amngwlvs wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:14 pm
Thanks for the reply. Really liking these! If only Bontrager made a 1 1/4"stem so I could have a matching stem and bars. :cry:
I have the Kalloy Uno stem (that's what in that pic), it matches pretty well (with the logos removed of course).

by Weenie


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