Sacra Ace is a Japanese bicycle component brand that has some bold claims for their new Ace drop handlebar. How about a potential 12.4 watt savings over the competition, plus a grippy design that doesn’t need any bar tape? The drop shape should also suit short-and-shallow lovers, with a mega-short 100mm drop and 70mm reach.

Sacra Cycling ACE aero road drop handlebar

The world of handlebars seems to be getting funkier by the day, and Japan-based Sacra Cycling has a new entry for those seeking speed. The Ace bar is all about aero with a dramatically deep top wing section. Surprisingly, they state that the bar manages to be UCI compliant – and only weighs 200 grams in size 40.

Initial sketches can be seen above (including fish), for what would eventually become a very slick-looking finished product.

The drops have a unique shape, and are said to be coated with a non-slip surface. Sacra claims a 30 to 50 gram savings by foregoing handlebar tape. The drops are also VERY shallow, with only 100mm of drop (most “short and shallow” bars measure ~120-125mm of drop). The cam tail shape is said to enhance aerodynamics.

As for that aero performance, Sacra presents the chart above. They also provided the following detail about their testing:

“Wind speed was 48 [km / h], and the angle of the bike was set to ± 12 ° every 2 ° to measure the air resistance of the bike. On average, the resistance was reduced by 12.4 [watt], and good results were obtained even with the bar tape attached. The effect of the aero wheel is about 15 [watt], so you can get an effect similar to an aero wheel. This makes it possible to experience the aero effect not only at high speeds but also at low speeds. If you hold your hand behind the steering wheel while driving, you can clearly see that the air turbulence is about 1/4. A top-of-the-line component with improved watt cost effectiveness.”

The Ace bar is available now for 36000 yen, excluding tax. A second version with added vibration absorption adds 20 grams and bumps the price to 42,000 yen.

Sacra-Cycling.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. The wind speed is nearly twice the vehicle speed at the top of the wheel, where power loss in drag is actually highly concentrated. So their comparison to the wheel is likely bogus, especially since power loss is a sensitive cubic function of wind speed.

    The most effective tool to reduce power loss is then to minimally shield the upper wheel, rather than playing with slower frame surfaces. Secondarily, then is too minimize drag on uppermost wheel surfaces. That means minimizing exposed wheel surface areas, including the tire size. However, if the upper wheel is shielded, tire sizes can grow without much loss in efficiency, increasing traction and ride comfort.

    • Fairings aren’t allowed on race bikes.

      The tire travels forward at 2x the vehicle speed, but that is not the same as a 2x increase in airspeed because only a small fraction of the wheel is moving at that speed relative to the vehicle.

      All that aside, a 12.5 watt savings from a handlebar is really large. Even @ ~$365USD, you’d be hard pressed to get much more drag benefit / dollar anywhere else on the bike.

  2. ignoring the reality of the watts savings (compared to what?), the drop section on the that bar looks very small. No way my size large hands would fit in my preferred position. Add to that the narrow cross section of the drops and it looks like an uncomfortable handlebar.

  3. Of course, the number look impressive. Because it is a bit misleading.

    Test speed 48 km/h. Watts are 115.5w vs 103.5w. Ask yourself what is the wattage you need to ride 48 km/h?

    Yes likely 500-ish watts. So they are testing bike without human and show the impressive number. While in reallity with rider on it’ll be like 515.5w vs 503.5w, 2% decrease. Still quite good but not so out of place of other aero shaped handle bar vs traditional round one.

  4. If aero bars are about being aero, why aren’t they offered in narrower widths? The aerodynamic benefits of narrower width bars vastly exceed that of any possible tube profile.

    • Based on what? Unless the rider has the discipline to keep their elbows in the perfect position, it’s probably more beneficial to just fit the rider in the most power efficient position and cut as much drag out of that as possible (see Miguel Indurain).

    • Yep, pretty ridiculous. I’ve even checked on the Chinese commerce websites looking for aero bars narrower than 40 cm, but they are not to be found.

      • Have you looked at the Enve SES aero bars? 35cm at the hood, 40cm at the ends. As a smaller rider, I measure as a 38 but don’t feel like the 40 at the ends is too far out. Absolutely love them!

          • Absolutely true, although they did sell me a replacement bar for half price after an accident. Also, there’s often 20% coupons for Competitive Cyclist. Not sure if they allow for use with Enve, but would definitely make it bit less painful

  5. There are a lot of interesting work that can be done on bars. but here I think we are tricking people…
    – geometry: 100mm drop versus 120-130 drops = less surface trag (and likely the drops hidding behind the brake lever)
    – the drops have a very narrow profile (again, less frontal area) but that put a question mark on how you can hold this part, more oval shape are not for everyone taste. now Asian tend to have smaller hands, then it may be ok for some… but doubt for all

    – no bar tape, that’s 3.5 to 5mm less around all the bar for frontal area… perfect if you can still properly hold the bar (Damare for example put double bar tape on the Vibe bar that is narrow on the drops…initially for aero purposes)

    What is surprising is that they ignore the narrower bars that is the easiest option to reduce frontal area for the bar and the rider.

  6. “Since the lower handle is specialized for aero, it is not necessarily a handlebar suitable for everyone. Handlebar for those who do not use the lower handle much. There are many such situations, for example, wouldn’t you have never gripped the lower handle during a long ride? So first, it’s for long rides or triathlons” — from the website. Why not just remove the drops? That would surely shave some good watts

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.