Tom Ritchey made ergonomics the design principle for his handlebars a few years ago when more people started riding their drop bar bikes over varied terrain. He personally designed a flared riser bar that would make riders more comfortable on long-haul gravel rides or multi-day bikepacking adventures. Ritchey has since evolved its handlebar ergonomics with a super-wide drop flare bar featuring a shallow 80 mm drop that claims unmatched ergonomic comfort and stability.
Ritchey Beacon Handlebar
The Beacon’s most notable feature is its super-wide 36° drop flare. This allows you to span out into a more comfortable position while at the same time adding stabilizing control. This also allows plenty of space to mount a handlebar pack.
A flare for safety
The bars’ unconventional aesthetics take their inspiration from randonneur riding, where changing hand positions under load can easily result in a loss of balance. The Beacon’s very shallow 80 mm drop, plus its shorter-than-usual reach, narrow the distance between tops and drops so that the transition between the two is less hazardous.
The Beacon borrows some design cues from Ritchey’s other bars, like a gentle backward sweep to shift weight off of the rider’s hands and wrists. This also allows for a more natural hand position when riding in the tops.
Ritchey Beacon drop bar sizing & specs
The beacon will be offered in three sizes, which are measured at the inside of the drop. That means that even though the sizes are listed as 40, 42, and 44cm, the outer widths at the drops are really much wider at 55, 57, and 59cm. Note that the product details also list a 46cm version, that isn’t shown on the chart above.
Who is the Beacon for?
The Beacon was imagined for adventure touring and bikepacking, either on asphalt or gravel trails. But then given the bars’ disposition toward control, the Beacon could also make a good choice for urban riding.