Looking to make your bike faster? You may want to consider some aero handlebars such as the Enve SES Carbon Aero bars, but are they practical?
Reportedly developed in the wind tunnel and optimized for the road the Enve SES aero bars have proved popular with the Dimension Data team, with several of the riders choosing to use it on their bikes. It is available in three widths, but be warned, the bars have a large flare from the drops to the hoods.
I tested the 40cm bars, as 40cm is my preferred bar width. However, the 40cm Enve SES bars are 40cm wide at the drops and only 35cm wide on the hoods, centre to centre. This is dramatic and considering most riders spend the majority of time riding on the hoods you should make sure you get the right size.
Although the narrow hoods enabled me to get into a narrow aero position, it felt uncomfortable on long rides and slightly unstable in other situations. The flare isn’t for everyone, but it does give you the option of getting more leverage from the drops (which are wider) when sprinting.
A photo I took while on a 200km ride with the bars. Note how narrow the hoods are.
I had a couple of other issues with these bars which, for the price, should be perfect. Firstly, routing cables through the bars is a tight squeeze and rather difficult. By comparison, 3T supplies its bars with cable guides installed, which makes life easier. Secondly, once you attach your stem, there is no space for a side mounted Garmin out front mount.
Video: How to get your handle bar set up properly
To get my Garmin mount to fit, I had to fit the bars slightly off centre – a bodge. Stem plate mounts do exist, but this is something else you have to buy. At 233g, the Enve SES bars are not as light as the 3T Aeronova aero bars but are very stiff and look superb.
Be aware that the Enve SES aero bars come up narrow on the hoods, as the flare is large. This product could be improved in a couple of areas but they are good quality and well made