As riders are venturing off tarmac, drop-bar bikes and components are adapting. Disc brakes were just the start and a bar with wider flare can provide improved comfort and control on rough terrain. PRO has released the Discover Medium Gravel Handlebar as a great option to add comfort without going full mustache.
PRO Discover Medium Flare Bars Feature:
- Ergonomic tops with subtle cable grooves
- AL-6066 alloy
- 12-degree flare in the drops
- Di-2 bar plug integration
- Ideal for long gravel rides
- Weight: 280 grams (44cm, actual)
- MSRP: $59.99
Easy on the wallet, easy on any road
Drop bar bikes are experiencing a resurgence and it’s all due to disc brakes and wider tires. With all the fantastic true all-road bikes on the market, it’s time to start being picky about some of the other components, which include drop bars with more flare. It’s pretty amazing, honestly, what a little drop flare can do and in this case, just 12-degrees makes a significant difference.
I swapped out the Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo bars in favor of the new PRO Discover Medium Flare and the difference in hand positioning and confidence has been significant. I’m really liking the added flare as it puts my hands into a more natural position for braking and steering precision. Going with my typical 44cm width in this shape didn’t feel too wide at all. In fact, my hand positions have never been this comfortable.
Alloy bars are certainly more affordable than carbon bars, but, when done right, they can offer comfortable hand positions and decent compliance. As the ability to draw unique alloy shapes has improved, these bars have improved dramatically. Gone are the days where a straight-gauge round bar is the norm. The PRO Discover Medium Flare Bars show us that curved and flattened tops can definitely add comfort and adding holes near the ends can also accommodate Shimano’s endcap Di2 junction box.
Installing the Discover Medium Flare Bars is straightforward with sufficient markings to keep the bars centered and angled properly. They do lack etched areas where brake hoods attach, but the markings made for an easy symmetrical setup. All riding was done aboard the Niner RLT 9.
Overall shape is great as I can dance around the bars quite easily. And, the short reach and drop makes fitting a breeze while also allowing for positions that don’t require unnecessary drop or extreme reach. That 12-degrees of flare makes for easy times getting into or out of the drops. And, on long rides, the flare makes for more natural hand positions to reduce fatigue.
The shape of the bars is quite nice with comfortable tops that include grooves for cables. Wrapping the bars is straightforward and I’m grateful that these don’t feature internal cable routing for brake and cable lines. With the frequency that I change cockpits, internal cable routing is a buzzkill. But, Di2 routing is a different story and these are prepped for Di2 routing so you can use the bar end junction box for a sleek look.
With such a reasonable price, there’s bound to be compromises. I have ridden many alloy bars that provide shock absorption and comfort beyond what’s typical for the material. Unfortunately, the Discover Medium Flare bars aren’t one of those. Yes, the shape is awesome and they provide superb handling and steering precision, but the ride is very harsh. I would highly-recommend thicker bar tape or a Redshift Sports Shockstop Stem to go along with these bars.
- Affordable price point
- Shape is awesome
- Medium flare makes long rides comfortable
- Steering precision
- Di2 integration
- Stiff material makes for a harsh ride
The Bottom Line: PRO Discover Medium Flare Bars
Swapping bars is typically one of the most satisfying upgrades you can do for your bike. The right curves, sweep and comfort can turn an old bike into something fresh and new. With the PRO Discover Medium Flare Bars, you get an excellent shape for long gravel days. I love the added steering precision and hand comfort afforded by the 12-degrees of flare, but I lament the harsh feel of the 6066 alloy.
Buy Now: Available at BikeTiresDirect.com