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Questions on flared bars (may have been asked, I'm asking again)

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Questions on flared bars (may have been asked, I'm asking again)

Old 07-13-19, 09:46 AM
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Badger6
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Questions on flared bars (may have been asked, I'm asking again)

I've searched a bunch, and I can't seem to "scratch the itch"/"massage the charlie horse" on this. I am a roadie at heart, and my legs tell that story...but here's the deal, I discovered how awesome gravel (and even non-technical single track) really is when I moved to Germany. I've got standard drop bars on my gravel bike (2015 Diverge frame...but it's far from original). But the more gravel I ride, whether for commuting, for pleasure, or for poaching KOMs in Strava, I'm always wondering, do the flares really make a difference? My gravel bike is really more of a do it all bike, shod with file treads, blocks, or slicks, depending on my mood....so while doing it all, flares or no flares? Opinions and snark welcome, I am asking because I have ideas, but am pretty much clueless on this matter.

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Old 07-13-19, 10:56 AM
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I like flared bars so much that I put them on my road bike too. I use the FSA Adventure bars which have a 12 degree flare. I tried some bars with more flare and didn't like them. I prefer the flared bars for several reasons. The first being that the flare angles the brifter and puts your wrist in a more natural/comfortable position on the hoods. The second being that the flare makes the bars wider in the drops and also allows your elbows to be in a proper position to absorb impacts, such as bumps, rocks, etc.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I've searched a bunch, but here's the thing, I can't seem to "scratch the itch"/"massage the charlie horse" on this. I am a roadie at heart, and my legs tell that story...but here's the deal, I discovered how awesome gravel (and even non-technical single track) really is when I moved to Germany. I've got standard drop bars on my gravel bike (2015 Diverge frame...but it's far from original). But the more gravel I ride, whether for commuting, for pleasure, or for poaching KOMs in Strava, I'm always wondering, do the flares really make a difference? My gravel bike is really more of a do it all bike, shod with file treads, blocks, or slicks, depending on my mood....so while doing it all, flares or no flares? Opinions and snark welcome, I am asking because I have ideas, but am pretty much clueless on this matter.
Totally unscientific but last year I dipped my toe into the flared drop world by adding these to my endurance bike. https://www.mec.ca/en/product/6003-9...ture-Handlebar

Not a huge flare but noticable.

I like them while in the drops because my forearm does not have to do a little bend thing to adjust my hand position and/or they lean a bit against the bar for bracing. It's just feels a little more natural and secure to get up into the hooks or use different surfaces of my palm for pressure relief etc... It was a cheap experiment. I now ride more in the drops than hoods which is saying something!

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Old 07-13-19, 11:26 AM
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For me, flared bars' advantages:

1) more comfortable overall
2) keep forearms from banging bars on rough descents when in the drops
3) provide more leverage (because they are effectively wider) on technical terrain

Basically, the rougher the terrain the more advantageous they are.

Disadvantages: wider, less aero, weird.
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Old 07-13-19, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
But the more gravel I ride, whether for commuting, for pleasure, or for poaching KOMs in Strava, I'm always wondering, do the flares really make a difference? My gravel bike is really more of a do it all bike, shod with file treads, blocks, or slicks, depending on my mood....so while doing it all, flares or no flares? Opinions and snark welcome, I am asking because I have ideas, but am pretty much clueless on this matter.
I use salsa cowchipper which is the middle of their 3 bends.
Love it.

A little flair is nice on road bikes too.

Almost as important as if a bar has flair is how the bend is set. Some bars have almost no ramps, some have hard bent hooks, some have drops that come back a lot, etc.

2 bars with 15 degree of flare can feel totally different. You may try one and thinkn15 degrees is too much, but actually like the other one
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Old 07-13-19, 08:08 PM
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I really like the Specialized Hover Flare bar. The shallow drop and flare make a huge difference when riding in the drops during technical descents. Like Dsaul, I will also be putting a flared bar on my new road build.
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Old 07-13-19, 08:56 PM
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They also let you run a bigger handlebar bag if you're into that. Another con is that there are no "ultralight" flared bars yet (sub 200g)
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Old 07-14-19, 05:22 AM
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For a do it all bike I think a reasonable amount of flare, 8 is a good compromise. Get some of the handling and comfort benefits without going too wide and affecting feel/aero/etc. Riding very wide flare bars in a group is interesting because it vastly increases (at least my own) the personal space bubble to the sides. 15 of flare was a bit too much for aggressive road rides.

do the flares really make a difference?
Definitely. Going from regular bars to a model of FSA Adventure bar with 15 flare that gave me the additional width from 46cm to 52cm improved my descending times significantly. On the order of 2-3 minutes for a 15 minute descent. There's just that much additional leverage and control. Of course it's the width more than the flare but both are important I think as the flare gives easier access to shifters and brakes from both hoods and drops.
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Old 07-14-19, 07:57 AM
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I used to poo poo flared bars because they weren't "roadie" but then I bought a Topstone that had them standard. After I rode them a few times I'm convinced, they're pretty nice on gravel.
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Old 07-14-19, 09:26 AM
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Mild flare on my salsa vaya, factory. But I put a set of wood chippers on my Giramondo and loved them instantly. I have wtb adventure drops on my gravel grinder. Not a fan of the angled style flare. The salsa product is best for me. Flares are great for sprinting in the drops. Honk city!
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Old 07-14-19, 10:13 AM
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Rodie with a gravel bike here. I'm still waiting for my "Aha" moment with the FSA Adventure bars I swapped in for the stock Eroica bars. Both are 46cm but I don't really feel opened up on the top. I've only got 4 rides in, though. I don't find the sweep section on the drops very comfortable. Maybe I have big hands.

If my road bike wasn't in storage, I'd swap in those bars with the flat ergo drop section. I thought those were the most comfortable.

Time will tell, I guess.
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Old 07-14-19, 02:51 PM
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After running Cowbells, I will never run non-flared drops again on any bike, even a dedicated pavement bike.
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Old 07-15-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
After running Cowbells, I will never run non-flared drops again on any bike, even a dedicated pavement bike.
I just got my first taste of the Cowbell yesterday and I really like them. Short reach and drop, good bend at the levers, and a nice long flat drop without too much flare. Pretty nice product, and it comes in carbon. Might have to get that.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:49 PM
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Having smacked my arms on the bars while in the drops on my road bike, I can def appreciate the flares on my gravel bike.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
They also let you run a bigger handlebar bag if you're into that. Another con is that there are no "ultralight" flared bars yet (sub 200g)
3T Superghiaia comes in sub 200g.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:53 AM
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$400 for handlebars to ride on a gravel road! Wowsers...
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Old 07-17-19, 09:08 AM
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If you dare, check out the Darimo Ellipse gravel bar. Even lighter, even more $$$, but takes a different approach than flared drops.
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Old 07-17-19, 10:30 AM
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My bike, Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 came with compact road drops 42cm wide, I switched to a Salsa Cowchipper 42cm and it felt really good, gave a lot more confidence riding downhill in the drops made the hood position more confortable overall great stuff. I later switched to the Pro Discover Big Flare handlebar, shorter reach, less drop and even more flare, that handlebar felt even better right from the start. After my months of riding flared bars I borrowed a bike with non flared drops and it felt very weird as if the bars were bent inwards, If I were to get a dedicated road bike I'd still want some flare on the bars.
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Old 07-18-19, 08:52 AM
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Has anyone gone too far with flare and regretted it? My bike (Trek Checkpoint) is 85% commuter/pavement, but i'm interested in some shallower drop bars and like the idea of the flare ergonomically as well as for control. I'm leaning toward Cowbells (12deg) or Ritchey Evomax (12deg) or Easton AX (16deg) as they aren't as extreme. Would i regret not going for more?

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Old 07-18-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
Has anyone gone too far with flare and regretted it? My bike (Trek Checkpoint) is 85% commuter/pavement, but i'm interested in some shallower drop bars and like the idea of the flare ergonomically as well as for control. I'm leaning toward Cowbells (12deg) or Easton AX (16deg) as they aren't as extreme. Would i regret not going for more?
My first bars were Origin8 Gary OS Sweep and I liked them...until I tried other bars and realized I didnt like them. In retrospect, there was too much flare(29deg) and sweep(15deg). I made do because ignorance is bliss, but my current Cowchipper bars are the perfect(currently) mix of flare(12deg on each side) and sweep(none).
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Old 07-18-19, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
Has anyone gone too far with flare and regretted it? My bike (Trek Checkpoint) is 85% commuter/pavement, but i'm interested in some shallower drop bars and like the idea of the flare ergonomically as well as for control. I'm leaning toward Cowbells (12deg) or Ritchey Evomax (12deg) or Easton AX (16deg) as they aren't as extreme. Would i regret not going for more?
Short answer: no. I find the super wide bars to be pretty extreme and IMO they don't fit your style of riding. I've used both the Cowbells and the Ritchey Evomax. Both are good but I like the more compact drop of the Cowbells (and I'm a Ritchey fanboy).
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Old 07-19-19, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Short answer: no. I find the super wide bars to be pretty extreme and IMO they don't fit your style of riding. I've used both the Cowbells and the Ritchey Evomax. Both are good but I like the more compact drop of the Cowbells (and I'm a Ritchey fanboy).
Yeh, that's what i'm thinking too. Thanks!
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Old 07-19-19, 07:23 AM
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If you want to give flared a try, I don't hesitate to recommend the FSA Adventure. Modest flare, compact drop, and under $40.

Be aware though that they run narrow-- the width measurement is at the ends of the drops, so a 46 is supposed to be 44 at the hoods, but it's closer to 43. This is the only reason I replaced mine, I wanted wider everywhere, at the hoods as well as the drops.

But they will let you know if flared is something you want.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
Has anyone gone too far with flare and regretted it? My bike (Trek Checkpoint) is 85% commuter/pavement, but i'm interested in some shallower drop bars and like the idea of the flare ergonomically as well as for control. I'm leaning toward Cowbells (12deg) or Ritchey Evomax (12deg) or Easton AX (16deg) as they aren't as extreme. Would i regret not going for more?

I own the Easton EC70 AX. They are about as wide as I would want to go on the road, not so much because of the flare of the bars themselves but because of the angle at which it places the shifters/levers. The bars themselves are super comfortable.

This is a size 42. The top of the hoods are actually 42 cm apart. I've not measured the drops.




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Old 07-19-19, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
Rodie with a gravel bike here. I'm still waiting for my "Aha" moment with the FSA Adventure bars I swapped in for the stock Eroica bars. Both are 46cm but I don't really feel opened up on the top. I've only got 4 rides in, though. I don't find the sweep section on the drops very comfortable. Maybe I have big hands.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you want to give flared a try, I don't hesitate to recommend the FSA Adventure. Modest flare, compact drop, and under $40.

Be aware though that they run narrow-- the width measurement is at the ends of the drops, so a 46 is supposed to be 44 at the hoods, but it's closer to 43. This is the only reason I replaced mine, I wanted wider everywhere, at the hoods as well as the drops.
Well that explains my lackluster reception to these bars then!

What did you get instead?

Anyone want to buy a barely used set of FSA Adventure "46cm" bars?
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