Easton says they’re a bit of a Palm Reader on this one, and with an ergonomic, flared, off-road-ready carbon bar coming in at just 208g, we’d say they really did read our minds…er, hands.
The new Easton EC90 AX handlebar ticks all the boxes for a gravel bike handlebar, and even tweak the diameter and shape between sizes to better match the likely hand sizes of smaller to larger riders. Here’s the details…
The Easton AX line has been ever-so-slowly rolling out a complete bike’s worth of cockpit and wheel options, from wheels to dropper seatposts, all of which pair perfectly with their very lightweight EC90 SL carbon cranks and gravel-specific 2x chainring combos. There’s an EA90 alloy crankset option, too.
But it was the handlebars that kicked off the AX category way back in 2016 with the original EA70 (A = alloy) and EC70 (C = carbon) drop bars. Those are great, with a wide 16º flare, but the tops are round with no specific ergonomic enhancements for long miles on rough terrain. A more budget friendly EA50 AX handlebar joined the lineup in 2018, which also introduced a wider 46cm option for all models.
Now, finally, they have a top-level EC90 AX handlebar for lightweight builds that simply can’t sacrifice comfort or functionality. Using the same wrist-clearing 16º flare for the drops, the design adds a flattened top section that creates a great perch for your palms.
The lower front edge has recesses for shift cables and brake hoses, and there are bar plug Di2 junction box ports that let you wrap the wire under your bar tape until it can catch up with those.
The center clamping section is 110mm wide, plenty for attaching a computer mount, or light, or both. The outer corners slope off just slightly, making it easy to slide your hands down to the drops, but not so much that they’re slipping off or you’re fighting to keep them on there.
We’ve been testing a bar since last August, look for the full review soon. In the meantime, here’s the complete design specs:
The flare, reach and drop remain the same across all handlebar widths, but the diameter of the tops changes for the 40, 42, and 44 centimeter widths. The 44 and 46 share the same profile.
Easton says the flattened top was put there for riders who rest their forearms on it on longer stretches, but it also makes for a great hand rest, helping to spread the pressure across a greater area. They add that the 46cm width is most often chosen by riders who simply want more space for a bar bag/roll between the drops, not so much because they’re bigger riders with bigger hands, hence the same diameter.
Weight targets came from their road-going EC90 SLX handlebar, which their sponsored racers have beaten up on cyclocross courses around the world. The flatter top area was inspired by their aero handlebars, but they’re not making any aero claims here…just comfort.
Claimed weights are:
- 40 – 203g
- 42 – 208g
- 44 – 213g
- 46 – 218g
This puts it on par with the EC70 AX bars despite the added shaping and diameter on the flats. Available now, MSRP is $269.99 USD ($389.99 CAD).