Flared VS Narrow Handlebars: Which Are Right For You? | Cycling Weekly

Flared VS Narrow Handlebars: Which Are Right For You? | Cycling Weekly

Flared handlebars. They’ve been widely adopted in the gravel riding world, with the wider stance providing greater control on technical terrain—as well as the secondary benefit of getting your hands out the way of your bar bag.

But are we missing trick by not putting them on our road bikes? Let’s find out.

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39 Comments

  1. Crispin Williams on July 30, 2022 at 12:33 am

    Had this exact conversation with a friend on the bike today. I think it is the future!



  2. John Oliver M on July 30, 2022 at 12:35 am

    I already have 1 on my newly build RB. I thought it was a mistake but it seems to be the next trend.



  3. Sir Prizse on July 30, 2022 at 12:36 am

    I have been riding the Specialized Short Reach bars for half a year and bought 3 of them straight away because I am absolutely thrilled… Not only do they massively reduce the reach, allowing me to ride a longer stem which is more visually appealing, but they have a minimal flair so that the 40 cm bar is 42 cm wide in the drops and that fits perfectly with my position. That way I have enough leverage when sprinting and I can make myself nicely narrow in the hoods.



  4. Tiago on July 30, 2022 at 12:36 am

    400mm, 16 degree flare here. It’s what came with the bike, but I like it. Maybe could do with slightly less flare. That zipp bar sounds good for me.



  5. hornet224 on July 30, 2022 at 12:39 am

    The most important take is that 85% of the wind resistance is from the body. Bar width, flare and profile is inconsequential within reason. What is more important is space on the bar for my accessories.



  6. Ilan Vardi on July 30, 2022 at 12:40 am

    You did not mention "flaring the brakes hoods," that is, angling the brake hoods inwards. I have 36cm Deda handlebars and the centers of my brake hoods are at 31cm.



  7. Rolando Inductivo on July 30, 2022 at 12:41 am

    slightly flared and narrow here. 38cm on top 40cm at the drops 👍



  8. Lyam Guerra on July 30, 2022 at 12:41 am

    What about something like the Easton EA50 AX / EC70 AX? They come in 40cm and have a 16 degree flare. I have them on my all-road/gravel bike and love them.



  9. Daryll Dela Rosa on July 30, 2022 at 12:44 am

    I prefer non-flared bars but rather, my hoods angled inward slightly (like Alaphilippe).



  10. Han Boetes on July 30, 2022 at 12:45 am

    evolution at work



  11. Maciel Mac on July 30, 2022 at 12:46 am

    A Bowman Palace 3! That is a great bike. Love mine😉



  12. Drew Felix on July 30, 2022 at 12:48 am

    I personally love them all around. My road bike now has some 48cm flared bars.



  13. megasmrt ,,/ on July 30, 2022 at 12:48 am

    That’s a nice Bowman Palace there



  14. stevesnailfish on July 30, 2022 at 12:50 am

    Being a flared bar gravel bike and CX bike rider (and MTB’s) , it was a no brainer for me to put an old 6 degree gravel bar on my old road bike…..being an older rider, I find it’s a tad more comfy being a little wider on the tops and comfy on the drops with it being a short drop……I’m not bothered about speed myself….
    Have a go at them if you’re into tinkering…..if you don’t like them then sell them on eBay (at a small hit)



  15. Tom & Rachelles first dance on July 30, 2022 at 12:51 am

    I had a fixie which came with 38s and I couldn’t get out the saddle as well when climbing you cannot get the same leverage when swinging your bike side to side.



  16. Vermont Hills on July 30, 2022 at 12:53 am

    Great video. Thank you.



  17. Gustavo Ordaz on July 30, 2022 at 12:56 am

    I have pro discover 42 with 12° flare in my road bike and it has been a totally different feel for what I’ve been using before, it’s compact, comfortable and very very light, don’t really know if it’s super aero but I feel confident sprinting on the drops and rinding it overall



  18. Piers Samson on July 30, 2022 at 12:56 am

    Main problem is the chimney on that bike



  19. Daniel Sepulveda on July 30, 2022 at 12:58 am

    42 and 40 are fine from my non pro perspective



  20. Calum MacKinnon on July 30, 2022 at 12:58 am

    Getting a lot of ulnar nerve irritation on my flared gravel bars. Still tweaking but can’t quiet figure it out.



  21. KIP CC on July 30, 2022 at 1:01 am

    Using Easton AX.

    Comfort wise, It’s the best bike decision I made. 42cm on top flaring to 44cm the drop, compact.

    Aero wise, not the best, But gave me more confidence while using the drops.



  22. Adam Hayes on July 30, 2022 at 1:01 am

    what’s a ‘road bike’ ?



  23. robert phillips on July 30, 2022 at 1:01 am

    Purchased a new set of Specialized Carbon Aero2 Bars. Fabulous 👀👀 & gr8 2 rest on. Problem is on the drops out of the saddle my lower forearms just above my wrists become jammed. It’s very uncomfortable. Head stem lenght is perfect. Set up is spot on. Wish they were flared like these bars. I could try a 10mm longer head set 2 👀👀 what happens 😀😀🚴🏼‍♂️🚴🏼‍♂️



  24. Solar Noon on July 30, 2022 at 1:01 am

    I optimized my aero position by cutting back on beer



  25. John Reeves on July 30, 2022 at 1:03 am

    I just don’t like flared bars, I even have road bars on my gravel bike.



  26. Toby Colin on July 30, 2022 at 1:04 am

    We used flared bars back in the 70s. Bike packing was how people went on their holidays in the 50s, 60s and 70s. There is nothing new just watch carry on camping for some tech tips. 13/8 multi surface tyres,flared bars and bar end or stem shifting.



  27. Ian Dn on July 30, 2022 at 1:06 am

    Can’t wait for UCI to ban it on grand tour 🤣



  28. Job91 on July 30, 2022 at 1:08 am

    for people that enjoy riding a normal bike none of this matters



  29. Le Kobiashvili on July 30, 2022 at 1:13 am

    I’m not against bars having wider drop section in principle. It’s just that putting the shifters tilted sideways is ridiculous. They are not designed to be used like that and I find this position very uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to rest on them, it’s uncomfortable to twist your hands to use the levers too. The hood is the most used position after all and should be top priority.



  30. lexington476 on July 30, 2022 at 1:15 am

    I’ll pass, I’ll stick with my 44cm shallow drop straight road bars.



  31. Coach Rob Wille on July 30, 2022 at 1:18 am

    These bars are nothing new been around on touring road bikes since the 70s, a narrow flat bar with a clip on is always going to be best



  32. Greg Morrison on July 30, 2022 at 1:20 am

    I’ll stick with 38’s on my road bikes and 40’s on my gravel bike, personally I don’t get the flared bars thing.



  33. Nick Athos on July 30, 2022 at 1:21 am

    Check out satori x race aero



  34. Todd M. Taylor on July 30, 2022 at 1:22 am

    Knowing that being in the drops isn’t the most aero position, I’d be fine if my road bars didn’t have drops at all. I ride on the hoods, which are angled inwards, most of the time and on the tops when climbing.



  35. Jonathan F on July 30, 2022 at 1:22 am

    I prefer flared bars on my road bike, mainly because I’m a climber and can really leverage the bars on the uphill. On sketchy downhill descents on rough fire roads with loose sand/gravel/debris, flared bars give way better control in these conditions.



  36. Phoebe Tan on July 30, 2022 at 1:24 am

    I love my Zipp SL-70 XPLR on my gravel bike. The curves somehow makes it very easy to reach the brake levers in the drops. Important for someone with small hands… I’m actually thinking about trialling in on my road bike…



  37. Lisa Rogers on July 30, 2022 at 1:25 am

    I have gravel bars on my road bike. I went from a 44cm to my current 42 cm Prime Kanza gravel handlebar. They have a 125mm drop, 75mm reach,16° flare and a 20mm rise. It also has a a more aero tops. They were twitchy when I first used then and got out of the saddle for about 10 seconds. I am now used to them and can "comfortably" climb out of the saddle. If that’s even possible.



  38. Harv Renalds on July 30, 2022 at 1:27 am

    That chimney standing proud is the biggest problem here🤢😖



  39. Kiwi Pete's Adventures on July 30, 2022 at 1:27 am

    Why would any Roadie ride a road bike with any handlebars narrower then 48cm? It’s just unsafe and making bike handling harder.