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
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Awesome! Yeah, you can fit an out front mount aboard those bars. You’ll love them!
Can it be fitted on clamp area the garmin out-front mount well?
Depending on the width of the stem faceplate, it might work. I can’t guarantee it, but it is possible.
Because I can’t guarantee it, if you get a stem, like the Bontrager Blendr, you could use their stem-based out front mounts. I’d consider that as an option.
I’m looking for a carbon bar, and I love these kinds of flat bars (specially this for its price!!)
I’ve got a Giant propel advanced 1 (with ultegra group), and my main doubt is if it’s possible to route both cable of each handle (break and transmission cable) inside the bar. Could you please help me to clarify this??
And, if it’s possible to route both inside the bar, do you know where I can find information about how to do it??
thank you very much in advanced.
Yes, you can route both cables inside the bar. It’s a hassle, unless you are in the middle of a build. You will need to detach both cables to route them through the bars. If you’re running Ultegra Di2, that makes it somewhat easier since you’ll only have to remove and route the brake line. But, removing hydraulic lines is the most painful one of the two.
I’m building up a Giant TCR Advanced and came across this review while researching bars. I’m deciding between the Ritchey Carbon Streem and the Easton EC70. I’m leaning toward the Easton because of the slightly longer reach, but also prefer to build with a SRAM Force 22 groupo. I noticed your comment about the EC70 being built for Shimano hoods. Will I have any issues with the internal cable routing if I run SRAM force shifters on the EC70 Thanks!
Thanks for the question. Yeah, the holes in the model I tested were aligned perfectly for Shimano hoods. I’m not sure if the internal routing placement has changed on the EC70 in the past couple of years, but it should work with Force 22 since you can decide which groove to use for shift cable routing. Just use the outer groove so the cables route appropriately.
The EC70 really is a nice bar. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
Thanks Jason, that’s what I thought with the multiple grooves on a SRAM shifter. The current EC70 holes look like they are in the same position as the Zipp SL-70 bar, which is made by SRAM and presumably compatible, so I assumed the EC70 would be OK. Thanks for the fast response.
Nice review. Do you think the aero shape is really working? I ride around 30kph on average and like to do 50-100km rides. I think comfort would be a big plus. I’ve got a Bontrager Race Lite IsoZone right now (aluminum), but got a new carbon frame on the way, so I was thinking to upgrade my bars as well. I’ve got a Blendr stem so I can mount stuff on that.
Is carbon on its on a reason to upgrade for comfort? If so, should I just get a regular round bar and possibly save some cash, or just go for the EC70 Aero? Feels like a lot of cash for some bars, but if they’re worth it and gain me some air friction reduction and added comfort… I ride 44cm now, and might want to switch to 42cm. Would I notice that?
If you’re buying just a bar for its aero properties, you probably have other items to consider first. For me, I go comfort and function over aero as my first considerations. If the bar happens to be aero, that’s great. The Easton EC70 Aero is a great option though and does happen to have aero benefits. Again, the ROI of any bike purchase is for you to decide.
There are also some great alloy bars, like the Zipp Service Course SL-70 for a comfortable, affordable alloy unit. It has flat tops that add more comfort. It’s also reasonably-light too.
I also ride 44cm and always feel cramped on 42cm bars. You’ll likely feel the same. Good luck and thanks for the question!