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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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