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Handlebar swap (upgrade?)

Old 05-05-21, 11:27 PM
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Handlebar swap (upgrade?)

Okay, so my '21 Diverge has the Hover Flare bar...and it's not bad, but the 15mm rise coupled with a 12 flare just doesn't really feel right on the bike. For reference, my '15 Diverge also has the same bar, and it frankly is great on that bike...I think the rest of the riding position (a bit lower on the older Diverge) is why the bars seem so different. I am contemplating the Easton EC70 AX bars, they have no rise, so the tops will be 15mm lower (plus 1) and the flare is 16 (plus 2) and of course, they're carbon and permit internal routing of Di2 wiring for the bar end junction (plus 3) along with a recessed channel for the brake hoses (plus 4). What am I not considering? Yes, I know carbon is "fragile" and if I crash they might be junk...
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Old 05-05-21, 11:51 PM
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I'm open to other suggestions too...medium flare, less than 20, carbon and wire/hose integration are strongly preferred.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:27 AM
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Good article here with dimensions of just about every bar on the market.
I'll be curious to hear other opinions. I have Ritchey Venturemax bars and really like the minimal drop (102mm) but hate the bump in the drop. Riding in the drops is a really good idea on gravel descents, and it is so much easier to do when the drops are not so far down.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I'm open to other suggestions too...medium flare, less than 20, carbon and wire/hose integration are strongly preferred.
Shimano PRO Vibe Discovery ticks all those boxes too.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:57 AM
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I recall looking at that bar pre-Covid, but for the reasons I stated above, I passed because the bar I had was good enough in terms of the "comfort" and fit. When I went looking for it yesterday, I found this instead, PRO Discover Carbon 20 Degree. I've guessing this is a newer/updated/repalcement for the Vibe...but it's out of stock everywhere I looked. I'd even consider getting the PRO stem that allows further internal routing.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I recall looking at that bar pre-Covid, but for the reasons I stated above, I passed because the bar I had was good enough in terms of the "comfort" and fit. When I went looking for it yesterday, I found this instead, PRO Discover Carbon 20 Degree. I've guessing this is a newer/updated/repalcement for the Vibe...but it's out of stock everywhere I looked. I'd even consider getting the PRO stem that allows further internal routing.
I have the stem too and it's really nice.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I have the stem too and it's really nice.
So....just the Di2 wiring inside the bar and stem, or brake hoses as well?
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Old 05-06-21, 09:14 AM
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I have the EC70ax and just replaced them because of how bad the Di2 implementation is. There's only one hole, on the right side, to let the wire out from the junction box, all other wires will be outside the bar. I tried fishing a cable through the bars using the Park Tool kit and it just got stuck, ruining the $30 Di2 cable. If you're hoping for good Di2 integration look elsewhere, the Pro Discover bars look nice but have more flair than I wanted so I just went with Enve Compact.

Other than the crappy Di2 integration the EC70ax bars are great, I like that they're not crazy flared out and the drops are comfortable.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jazzguitar View Post
I have the EC70ax and just replaced them because of how bad the Di2 implementation is…If you're hoping for good Di2 integration look elsewhere, the Pro Discover bars look nice but have more flair than I wanted so I just went with Enve Compact.

Other than the crappy Di2 integration the EC70ax bars are great, I like that they're not crazy flared out and the drops are comfortable.
Thanks for the honest description! Wide, massively kicked out flare is definitely not my thing, either. Bummer about the Di2. How’s the flare on the Enve bars?

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Old 05-06-21, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Thanks for the honest description! Wide, massively kicked out flare is definitely not my thing, either. Bummer about the Di2. Hows the flare on the Envelope bars?
The Enve bars are definitely more traditional, the flare is barely noticeable compared to the gravel-specific bars. I think my bars are 42cm at the hoods and 44cm in the drops, they're not straight down but the flare is very subtle at best. I'm not personally a fan of the current huge flare trend and the Eastons, at 12, were about as far as I wanted to go so I was willing to go back to a traditional style bar to get better Di2 integration. I only have a few rides on the Enve bars but I really like them, they're very comfortable and the slightly flatted tops are fantastic. The brake hoses are external but they are set in grooves so you don't even notice them under the bar tape.
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Old 05-06-21, 10:07 AM
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I have the Enve G on my SuperX. 42cm size.

I don't have a lot to add other than I was initially skeptical about flared bars, and tried this one on a whim. I love it, and it really has transformed my riding position. I'm way more comfortable riding in the drops now, especially in corners, bumpy stuff, etc.

I wrote a bunch of words on this purchase here, plus some photos of my bike: Flared bars - have you tried them?

EDIT: Also just want to add that carbon bars feel a lot different than aluminum. They feel way more smooth, especially when riding in the drops.
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Old 05-06-21, 11:21 AM
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I’ve got carbon on both of my road bikes, and it makes a huge difference in the drops. That’s my primary motivator for the gravel bike. I just checked out that thread, great info and testimonial. Thanks! Enve G is on the list!
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Old 05-07-21, 02:42 AM
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Based on the recommendations and honest assessment of the Easton bars, I sprang for the PRO Discover Carbon bars and the stem. Should have everything early next week. Im currently on 42cm bars, but those were sold out everywhere here in Europe, so given the choice between 40 or 44, I opted for the 44, assuming that going wider would be both easier to transition to and will add to the control. Im assuming the brake hoses will be too short now, so Im prepared to rerun those and bleed the brakes on both ends.
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Old 05-07-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
So....just the Di2 wiring inside the bar and stem, or brake hoses as well?
I don't think brake hoses will fit in there.
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Old 05-07-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I don't think brake hoses will fit in there.
Certainly, not a deal breaker!
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Old 05-07-21, 09:46 AM
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Let us know what you think after you get them. It was a coin toss decision for me between those and the Enves, ultimately I went Enve because I had a coupon but those Discovers sure look nice!
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Old 05-07-21, 11:40 AM
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I absolutely will Jazzguitar. I'm excited to be doing some mods and upgrades to the bike. More to follow...
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Old 05-11-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I don't think brake hoses will fit in there.
Sorry for the size, tried to shrink it...

Used an old piece of hose to test out the entry holes in the top of the bend (that are lined up exactly with where the hoses need to go coming off the GRX shifter) and exit holes on the bottom of the bar....looks to be a winner! Routing will be a bit tricky, but with a some patience, an internal routing tool, and a beer or two, the brake hoses will run nicely within the bar.
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Old 05-11-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Sorry for the size, tried to shrink it...

Used an old piece of hose to test out the entry holes in the top of the bend (that are lined up exactly with where the hoses need to go coming off the GRX shifter) and exit holes on the bottom of the bar....looks to be a winner! Routing will be a bit tricky, but with a some patience, an internal routing tool, and a beer or two, the brake hoses will run nicely within the bar.
Oh shoot, I just realized my previous post was vague. I meant the brake hoses won't fit in the stem, they certainly do fit in the bars. Looking good!
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Old 05-11-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Oh shoot, I just realized my previous post was vague. I meant the brake hoses won't fit in the stem, they certainly do fit in the bars. Looking good!
I definitely asked if they'd fit in the stem AFTER routing through the bars. I didn't realize there was an exit hole so situated. It's all very clear now. I think this will be a great improvement in the cockpit. More pics to follow in a few days once I've got it installed....maybe some "in process" and of course something in the Flandrien "wild." More to follow.
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Old 05-18-21, 03:05 PM
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Bars are installed, cables and hoses run, brakes bled, and bars wrapped. It is amazing how much different the bike feels...the Future Shock and the tall stack combined to put the bars pretty high (not MTB high, but it felt close). Having a straight top drop bar, and swapping out the 80mm stem for a 90mm (to compensate for the back sweep of the bar tops), the reach to the bars feels the same as before, but now at a more suitable seat to bar drop that I prefer. I haven't ridden it yet... but, here's how it looks installed. Very clean, just how I like it!


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Old 05-19-21, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Chilepines View Post
I have Ritchey Venturemax bars and really like the minimal drop (102mm) but hate the bump in the drop. Riding in the drops is a really good idea on gravel descents, and it is so much easier to do when the drops are not so far down.
I have the Ritchey Venturemax Comp ergo (24deg) and like the ergo bump in the drop, especially going up a steep hill. and yes, I also find the flared drop gives good control in the technical buddy bite. A friend of mine has the same bike as mine, same redshift stem, only difference is the roady handle bar and his bike is twitchy in the techy bits.

To the OP, why do you need carbon? do you really need to save a few grammes on a gravel bike?
I tried a 12, 24 and 35 deg and found that 35 was too much especially on the road and 12 was more comfortable than nothing but didn't really improve control.
If your gravel is road orientated (hence carbon???) then 12 is probably better.
If your gravel is off road/single track/forest path biased then 24 is definitely the way to go in Aluminium, not carbon
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Old 05-19-21, 06:54 AM
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The bike is looking awesome! Nice job on the wrap.

Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
To the OP, why do you need carbon? do you really need to save a few grammes on a gravel bike?
Carbon handlebars improve the ride quality, especially on gravel. Any weight savings is a negligible side-effect and usually not significant (I think my carbon bar shaved 75g, so definitely not a $/g value).

It's definitely a luxury upgrade, but a really nice one.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
To the OP, why do you need carbon? do you really need to save a few grammes on a gravel bike?
I didn't need carbon...but, I can afford it, and it's kinda cool to have a gravel bike that now weighs in under 9kg (w/o pedals and cages).
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Old 05-19-21, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The bike is looking awesome! Nice job on the wrap.
Thanks. I wrapped each side 2 times (wrap, unwrap, rewrap) to get the tape to stretch right. I learned to wrap bars after years of good enough wrapping from a guy who used to wrap bars for Gerolsteiner (among other things), it's an art for sure. Truthfully, though, I'm not happy with the tape off at the top. I'll leave it for now, since I will be flying to the states on Friday with this bike...I'll fix it when I get back to Belgium in June.
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