Back in June, I was staring at two century rides and I knew that the aluminum bars on my Scott Foil 40 would do me in. I absolutely loved the Control Tech Carbon Comp bars, so I opted for something along those lines from Easton. So, in came the Easton EC90 Aero bars, just in time for hundreds of miles in the saddle on variable roads.
Easton EC90 Aero Bar Features:
- Flat tops for extra comfort
- Cable channels for improved cable routing
- TaperWall™ with Intelligent Flexibility™
- Compact bend design
- Drop: 130mm
- Reach: 75mm
- Widths: 40, 42 (tested), 44 and 46 — measured C-C
- Weight: 225 grams
- MSRP: $265
Easton EC90 Aero Road Bars Review
Swapping out bars can either be quick and easy or sometimes it can pose several unforeseen challenges that don’t become apparent until you’ve ripped everything apart. Luckily, the cockpit remodeling effort to install the Easton EC90 Aero’s was more on the minimal side and should be manageable by most avid riders. You’ll need a new set of bar tape and you may need to loosen your front and rear derailleur cables just enough to change the exit points from the hoods (shown below). I chose to move the cables to accomodate on on each side of the bar — which worked much better than the focal point in the photo.
Out of the box, I immediately liked the design of the EC90 Aero’s. I’m not a racer, so I spend more time dancing around the tops than I do in the drops. So, the flattened tops and finger divots had me at hello. You see, round bars are well, round, so they have a single pressure-point. Compare a standard round bar to the flat tops of the Aero’s and it doesn’t take long to recognize that they will provide more comfort during long hours in the saddle.
This Summer has been filled with just such long hours in the saddle — both in training and in riding two centuries. I was able to get the Aero’s dialed in just before heading off to the Colorado Triple Bypass. Leading up to that ride, I spent hours in the saddle with the Scott Road Pilot Pro OS bars that came standard on the Scott Foil 40. Those bars were comfortable on shorter rides, but anything longer than 20 miles or on particularly rough pavement and hand problems kicked in — numbness and wrist discomfort.
I’m not the only cyclist that endures numb hands and sore wrists for the sake of the ride, right? We all do it, but being a carbon aficionado, I also knew that those beautiful carbon fibers would help reduce the discomfort and allow me to ride longer. So, in came the EC90 Aero’s.
How has the experiment worked out? I can definitively say that my hand numbness and overall ride comfort has increased. The flat tops delivered the extra real estate I was looking for. And, Easton’s special carbon sauce has significantly damped the road chatter that previously put my hands to sleep. Transitioning around the tops provides excellent comfort all-around while ascending and cruising the flats at speed.
I like that the drops have an ergo bend to them. Instead of forcing your hands into an unnatural curved position, the flat area puts your hands, wrists and forearms into the perfect position. The vibration dampening in the drops is even more pronounced, but you do feel a bit more flex when pushed to the limits. Does that flex put a damper in the bar’s abilities to perform when pushed hard? I don’t think so and I’m sure you won’t either.
The only real quibble I’ve found with these bars is that the pronounced notch in the drops as they curve towards the hoods. It’s so pronounced that you can’t comfortably move your hands beyond it. As such, I couldn’t get the hoods positioned exactly where I’d prefer (just slightly higher). That compromise wasn’t a huge difference-maker and certainly didn’t keep me from enjoying hundreds of comfortable miles in the saddle.
- Absorbs much more vibration than aluminum bars
- Even more compliant than most other carbon bars — awesome for long rides
- Flat tops make long rides much more comfortable
- Cable routing channels keep cables in place
- Finger divots aid in grip
- Sometimes feels flexy when pushed hard in the drops
- Notch where drops transition from ergo to curved is too sharp and limits shifter/brake placement
Bottom Line: Easton EC90 Aero Bars
With their flat tops, ergonomic drops and chatter-reduction, the Easton EC90 Aero bars ride like a dream. After two centuries and hundreds of other miles later, my hands and wrists appreciated the additional ergonomics and chatter-reduction.
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