Enve Carbon Road Handlebar Compact Drop Review
Finding the ultimate handlebars can be a highly personalized affair. In my quest for the ideal combination of reach, drop and bend, I tested the Enve Carbon Compact Handlebars and found them to perfectly suit my needs. Much like Enve’s wheels, these bars are intelligently designed and leave nothing to be desired. Functionality was the top priority in constructing these bars, but the matte black finish is stunning as well. Small details like the recessed cable routing and integrated bar end plugs raise the bar (pun intended) in the high-end handlebar category.
Compact handlebars have skyrocketed in popularity because they allow you to be more comfortable thanks to the shallower drop, especially if you have flexibility issues. As a racer, I spend a lot of time in the drops in both training and racing so you won’t find anything but compact bars on my ride. The smooth lines of the drops offer several comfortable positions. Whether you’re hammering out a sprint or gripping closer to the levers while braking, there’s a designated spot for your hands. The tops are flattened, creating the perfect perch for your palms.
Some bars look pretty sleek, but when you actually mount them on your bike, they just don’t feel right. These bars feel like they were designed just for me. I wouldn’t change a thing in terms of the shape of the bend and the amount of reach and drop. There are two grooved channels on the underside of the tops that allow you to cleanly route the cables. One of my favorite features is the integrated bar end plugs. Just flip up the little rubber tab when you’re wrapping the bars, then flip it back down over the tape for a super-pro look.
At 209 grams for a size 42cm, these bars are competitive with other high-end carbon offerings. Only the $400 3T Ergonova LTD Carbon bars, which are a feathery 185 grams, can claim a significant weight savings.
The $349.99 price tag puts these bars on the high end of the spectrum. But contact points are no place to skimp. If you’re willing to invest in a comfortable saddle, you should be willing to take care of your hands and invest in a comfortable set of bars.
These bars are ideal if you’re seeking a true compact set of handlebars, enjoy the feel of carbon, want to keep your bike as light as possible and don’t mind spending a little extra for a premium product. Enve has mastered the art of working with carbon and these bars are one of the many representations of that expertise.
Perfectly contoured ergonomics, lightweight and thoughtfully designed.
A shallow drop and short reach combined with smooth lines and infinite hand positions make these high-end carbon bars the perfect option for the cyclist unconcerned with price.