Those stock aluminum bars that came with your bike usually make better boomerangs than long-distance companions. Upgrading the fit, feel and performance of your bike can be as easy as a few clicks, Brown Santa and a quick install away. There are plenty of options, but the Easton EC70 Aero Carbon bars should be on your list.

Easton EC70 Aero Carbon Handlebars Features:

  • EC70 carbon layup with TaperWall technology
  • Flattened tops for comfort and aerodynamics
  • Matte UD carbon finish
  • Internal cable routing
  • 80mm reach / 125mm drop
  • Widths: 40, 42, 44 (C-C)
  • Weight: 255g (42cm, stated)
  • MSRP: $249.95
Easton EC70 Aero Bars Review

Aero shape, flat tops and compact drop make the EC70’s great all-rounders.

Sleek, comfortable and slippery in the wind

Easton offers two primary levels of carbon fiber layups — EC90 and EC70. Going for the top-shelf models will certainly drop a few grams, but going with the EC70 will never disappoint. That has been the case with every EC70-level component I’ve tried and stands true with the EC70 Aero Handlebars.

Starting out with a great compact shape with 80mm reach and 125mm drop, the EC70 Aero’s will likely be a plug-and-play affair with your current cockpit. The star of the show is the shallow 125mm drop which allows for easy transition from the tops or hoods to the drops without contorting your body in the saddle.

EC70 Aero Bars on the BH G7 Disc

The EC70 Aero’s came stock on the racy BH G7 Disc.

When considering a new set of bars, it’s important to know what width you should ride. This is primarily determined by your shoulder width and also by user preference. I typically prefer a 44cm bar, but these 42cm bars are in the ballpark. Certainly, before investing in an expensive carbon bar, talk to your bike fitter and be sure you’re getting the right size.

Easton EC70 Aero Bars Review

The internal routing is nice, but can be a pain unless you’re willing to re-route everything.

The EC70 Aero’s feature internally-routed cabling, but hydraulic hoses pose a little bit of a challenge with that. Yes, they can be routed inside the bars, but it requires routing when the hydraulic brake lines are being installed. If you’re putting these on aftermarket, you’ll have to be fine with internal shift cables only unless you want to detach and re-bleed your brake lines (challenging but not impossible). As it was, with just the hydraulic brake lines were external and, once wrapped, I didn’t notice it at all.

Internal cable routing is not only sexy, but improves aerodynamics and eliminates he need to wrap bar tape along the tops. Speaking of the tops, the EC70 Aero’s feature wide, flat tops that are perfect perches for long climbs. One negative is the lack of bar space for mounting accessories, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on a Garmin, a Bontrager Ion 100 R headlight or other items.

Easton EC70 Aero Bars Review

Nice, flat tops provide comfortable hand positions with aero benefits.

Overall, I really appreciated the lateral stiffness of these bars while still reducing chatter. And, the 80mm reach combined with 125mm drops really makes these an easy swap for most bikes. With those measurements, I could dance around the bars with ease and get as aggressive as I needed while descending in the drops.

The Good

  • Extremely-comfortable shape
  • Should easily plug-and-play with your current setup
  • Excellent price point for carbon aero bars
  • Flat tops are both aero and comfortable
  • Nice and stiff while reducing chatter

The Bad

  • Internal cable routing can be a pain and this is built primarily for Shimano hoods with a cable on each side
  • Could have a bit more chatter reduction

The Bottom Line: Easton EC70 Aero

I’m a big fan of Easton’s budget EC70 lineup across-the-board and the EC70 Aero bars are no exception. You save some coin and still get to enjoy top-notch performance. These are some of the finest aero road bars on the market while remaining perfect for all-rounder duties.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com

 

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 –sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

9 Comments

  1. Hi Jason, came across your site during my carbon bar research. Your reviews have been extremely helpful and I’ve enjoyed the other reviews and articles as well.

    I’m not a racer and do more of long miles on gravel and bad roads. Based on your feedback I’ve narrowed it down to the Easton bars and am also looking at Enve’s road bar.

    Between the three Easton’s which would you say are the best in terms of compliance?
    Do the EC70 Aero EC70 SL behave the same way?
    How does the EC90 compare? I think those have been revamped since the ones you reviewed in 2012.
    Do you have any experience with the Enve bars?

    Thanks.

    • Hey Vig, thanks for your comments and readership! And, when it comes to bars, there are several options that I prefer for rough roads or gravel. For me, it absolutely must have flat tops. That alone makes a huge difference. The EC70 Aero bars are a great set of bars in that regard. The Ritchey WCS Carbon EvoCurve is a fantastic bar along the Zipp Contour SL. One of the most comfortable bars on the market today is the Bontrager Pro IsoCore VR-CF. In reality all of the above are great bars at cutting down on road chatter.

      If I had to choose my personal preference, it’s the Ritchey WCS Carbon EvoCurve. Your results may vary, but that’s my favorite. The new EC90’s are really stiff, BTW. I have one now and while it’s nice, it’s not as smooth as some of the others.

      • Hi Jason, thanks for your reply. Compared to the Easton EC70 Aero would you say the Ritchey has better chatter control, and how do you like the more oval top shape compared to the flatter aero profile?

        Thanks for the tip about the Bontrager Isocore, it looks to have nice drop/reach proportions in the 125/75 version. Have you had a chance to ride it on a regular bike? I’ve heard good things about it but wondered how much of the effect was from the Domane SLR frame.

        PS: would love to read your impressions of the new Roubaix. The Roadmachine review was outstanding.

        Best,
        Vig

        • I have yet to ride the Bontrager IsoCore on another bike, but I’m hoping to get it on a BMC Roadmachine 01 that I’ve got in the works. It’s hard to say the differences between the Ritchey and the EC70 right now. It’s been too far separated. But, I do still believe that the Ritchey is one of my favorite bars overall. The Zipp Contour SL is a close second.

          All are good options… hard to pinpoint something exactly, but you can’t go wrong with the Ritchey.

  2. Thanks. Last question. How would you rate the previous EC90 SLX3 in comparison to this group? They are on sale at chainreaction for $135 (!)

    • To clarify, I think you tested the previous (orange) EC90 Aero that I assume would behave similarily. Thanks.

      • The old orange EC90 Aero is very noodly and would certainly be the most comfortable of the bunch, but it wasn’t stiff enough to inspire confidence when pushed hard. My guess is the SLX3 would behave similarly, but it does have round tops so stiffness may be a bit higher than the Aero version. Hard to say, but that’s quite a great price!

  3. Jason, Great review. I am looking for the EC70 aero.This review helped me out a lot. I am planning to put a front GPS mount. Based on the pictures, it should work fine.

    Thank you.

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