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Verdict: 
Very comfortable, looks great and easy to set up, at a fraction of the price of rivals
Weight: 
238g

Prime's Primavera Carbon Handlebar offers a great aero upgrade for users of both mechanical and electronic shifting. Setting it up is seriously simple and the feel on the road is very comfortable. It looks the business and costs a lot less than some rivals.

  • Pros: Kills road buzz, nice drop, sprint position feels very powerful, easy cable routing
  • Cons: Is it aero? Probably. How aero? Not sure

If we consider a bar upgrade as a weight saving measure then bars are a luxury – not much weight can be saved over a mid-range alloy bar – but a lot of comfort can be added. Getting a decent carbon bar is an easy way to improve comfort, and you can also get an aero profile from carbon, so, as the bar hits the wind first, it's a good thing to make slippery.

With a carbon construction and an aero top section, the Primavera is probably going to be installed on most people's nice bike. To test this, I popped it on my Cannondale Supersix, replacing my trusty Zipp SL 88 bar.

Comfort, performance, design

As Prime's first step into components, it sensibly went down the open-mould route and ended up picking Control Tech's Cougar bar. It's not a choice that it made in five minutes. Professional riders from the Vitus Pro Cycling team were involved in testing several options before they decided that the Control Tech design gave them the ideal combination of comfort, performance and design. It's a sensible way to start.

This carbon bar comes in 38, 40, 42 and 44cm widths and I have the 40cm version here. There is a flare from the stem clamp to the shifter clamp which apparently makes it more aerodynamic without adding weight.

Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar - detail 2.jpg

The end of the drop is also flared, with a 4-degree angle adding a little extra comfort. That drop is slightly shallower than I'm used to at 125mm; that's 5mm higher than my SL-88 bar, which doesn't sound like much but it certainly feels different. Regardless, the drops on the Primavera are a comfy place to be.

The Primavera features some subtle shapes that might go unnoticed thanks to the flat aero tops. The curved section of the drop is shaped like an egg with the leading edge slightly narrower than the trailing edge. It results in the drop feeling thinner in your hand but it's still comfortable.

Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar - drop.jpg

Weight stands at an impressive 238g for this 40cm option. That's a touch lighter than the Pro Vibe Aero Carbon bar that Stu had on test last year which was 261g (42cm), although weight isn't the holy grail that it once was.

Setting up

Having previously set up an internally routed handlebar, I was prepared for the worst – small holes, awkward exit placements and no internal guides – but I'm happy to say that the Primavera is very straightforward to install.

The entry and exit holes are big, which allowed me to hook the cable out with a small pick easily. For the brakes, the housing goes through first and is easy to fish out. Electronic cables need a tool for installation, but you can make one with a brake ferrule and spare cable inner.

There is plenty of space for routing mechanical shifting too – in fact, I think the holes could be a little smaller – but once installed, everything is hidden anyway. With a hole at the back of the stem clamp area, it offers users of electronic shifting the option of where to mount the junction A box. I chose inside the stem for a cheap way to hide everything. The bar is compatible with Shimano's Bar End Junction A box which makes changing and gear adjustments easier.

It's a wrap

Next up is wrapping the bar. I found it pretty easy to wrap. There are no weird bends to contend with, but once you reach the start of the aero section it's a little trickier than usual. Achieving a nice clean finish is possible, but you'll need to cut carefully.

The stem clamp area is very wide, which allowed me to attach my K-Edge Garmin mount and an Exposure Strada SB light with room to spare. That should make the Primavera very user-friendly for general riding.

Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar - detail 1.jpg

Out on the road and the first thing that I noticed compared with my SL-88 bar was the complete lack of road buzz reaching my hands. It's a weird sensation, similar to running wide, supple tyres at very low pressures. Being impressed, I sought out Mendip Council's finest (worst) surface dressed roads. It's only on the really bad stuff that anything gets through.

Pointing the bike up steep climbs, I wasn't able to get any noticeable movement from the front end. It's really nice how this bar combines the stiffness needed for racing with the comfort that would genuinely make a difference to my longer rides.

> 9 ways to make your bike more comfortable

It's a bit annoying that there's no data to prove any aero gains (we asked), and though it certainly looks aero there isn't any tangible benefit like an aero wheelset. 

Money is also an area where the Primavera does well. At £149.99, this is much better value than PRO's Vibe Aero Carbon bar (£299.99). Stu really loved the PRO and if you have the cash you'd be very happy with it, but my money would be going to Prime at half the price.

Overall, while I'm not sure how aero the Primavera bar is, it's certainly extremely comfortable, easy to set up and looks the business. Is this bar worth the upgrade money? Yes, I think it really is.

Verdict

Very comfortable, looks great and easy to set up, at a fraction of the price of rivals

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar

Size tested: 40cm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Wiggle: "In the pursuit of marginal gains, the Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar is the perfect companion for your Aero road bike, thanks to its unique shape, electronic integration and light weight."

Any marginal gain will be very marginal, but the comfort gain is really noticeable.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Wiggle lists these features:

Top Features:

Material: Carbon Fibre
Flared design along the tops improves aerodynamics without adding weight
125mm drop and 78mm reach increases comfort
Compatible with Shimano's new Di2 junction box for a tidier, more aerodynamic finish
Triancular drop design provides a better connection between your hands and the handlebars
Internal cable routing
Bar Diameter: 31.8mm
Bar Bend: 4 degree (outward bend)
Width measured hood to hood
Weight: 235g (420mm)

Product Data

Road: Yes
Time Trial: Yes

Rate the product for quality of construction:

 
8/10

Everything is finished nicely with no sharp carbon edges. It's nice when you go fishing for a cable and your fingers remain uncut...

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

This is easily stiff enough to handle sprints but it doesn't beat you up. It's a great combination.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

This bar has stood up to a few position changes but it's not been treated roughly.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

Weight is good for the aero profile. You can go lighter without the aero profile, and save money if you choose alloy.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

Fabulous. You really have to find the worst road surface to get road buzz in the hands.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

This is still an expensive cycling component and would be an indulgent purchase for many. But it is much cheaper than other options and it delivers on performance.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

For aero gains, any difference isn't tangible; the comfort increase over good alloy bars, though, is great.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The increase in comfort compared to my Zipp SL-88 is really noticeable. On a longer ride, comfort can really help performance.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing. There are two minor tweaks I'd make, but they're not proper issues.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's very good. Half of the price of Pro's Vibe Aero and £40 cheaper than the ITM X-One that Stu tested in 2016. You can spend less. Selcof does a bar sold through Planet X for £89 but it's not the prettiest.

Did you enjoy using the product? Loved it.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes. For the comfort alone.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I'd say two things need to happen for this to get a magic 10. Firstly, some data proving the aero gains; it doesn't matter if it's only 2 watts faster, aero parts need to back up claims with data. Secondly, the cable ports could do with being slightly smaller for a cleaner look.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

23 comments

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peted76 [1496 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Looks VERY similar to my Zipp Aero bars.. great stuff!

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joey54321 [4 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Are you sure they come in 38c width? I can't find them anywhere. 

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joules1975 [606 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I'm not you can call this an open mould design, more a rebranded item from a recognised high quality manufacturer who often provide OEM components to Merida, Giant etc.

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bobinski [305 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

I literally popped these bars and my TCR into the LBS to get fitted only an hour ago. Will report back when I collect.

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Liam Cahill [177 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
joules1975 wrote:

I'm not you can call this an open mould design, more a rebranded item from a recognised high quality manufacturer who often provide OEM components to Merida, Giant etc.

Control Tech to be precise. Wiggle/CRC didn't want the headache of R&D which I fully understand.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Liam Cahill wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

I'm not you can call this an open mould design, more a rebranded item from a recognised high quality manufacturer who often provide OEM components to Merida, Giant etc.

Control Tech to be precise. Wiggle/CRC didn't want the headache of R&D which I fully understand.

How do you know precisely that the carbon layup is the same as the CT, is this stated in the literature?

For a fairly bog std mid range bar, and let's be honest, CT are not big dogs in this area in any case, £150 is not that competitive for what it is.

Also you state the 40cm bars are 238g but further down in the tech you've put the 42cm bars at 237g?

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ktache [1850 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Good to hear you again BTBS, some of us were worried about you

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Good to hear you again BTBS, some of us were worried about you

Ta.

I think I copped a ban, for what I've no idea, got no response when I emailed RoadCC.

I've been reduced to non sweary on CUK forum,lol

I've also been giving lots of input on Jake Oliviers' latest BS on various Australian Cycling pages

Avatar
Liam Cahill [177 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Liam Cahill wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

I'm not you can call this an open mould design, more a rebranded item from a recognised high quality manufacturer who often provide OEM components to Merida, Giant etc.

Control Tech to be precise. Wiggle/CRC didn't want the headache of R&D which I fully understand.

How do you know precisely that the carbon layup is the same as the CT, is this stated in the literature?

For a fairly bog std mid range bar, and let's be honest, CT are not big dogs in this area in any case, £150 is not that competitive for what it is.

Also you state the 40cm bars are 238g but further down in the tech you've put the 42cm bars at 237g?

All I know is that they went with a design from CT, who while not huge with their branded products, do provide their designs to quite a few brands.
No, I can't speak about the carbon layup. CT doesn't state it and neither does Prime.
CT offers the bars in a 38cm width and I thought that I saw them on Wiggle too but it seems like they're offering 40cm as the narrowest. Can confirm that the 238g is correct for the 40cm on our scales. We didn't have the 42cm, probs a typo so I'll get that changed.
If you can find a carbon 'aero' bar at under £150 RRP then I'd be surprised.

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Tass Whitby [85 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds]<p>
[quote=joules1975
wrote:

Also you state the 40cm bars are 238g but further down in the tech you've put the 42cm bars at 237g?

That should actually have been 235g, but it's what Wiggle/CRC/Prime claim, so we've clarified that too.

Avatar
bobinski [305 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

 

Well I can confirm that at 240 ish g they seem to weigh next to nothing . 

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ChrisB200SX [1036 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Excellent timing... I've been struggling with how to figure out what choices are out there for carbon aero road bars (and how to narrow down the choice), these certainly seem more than good enough for the price, £130!

~50g weight penalty for what will probably be a saving of a few watts, result.
The claimed weights seem to align with what CT claim, so I would think the layups are probably the same.

QUESTION: as they are flared, do you think I could opt for a 40cm when I currently use a 42cm? I feel my current Cinelli NEOS 42cm is marginally wider than I need. I've got broad shoulders for a short guy but I spend a lot of times in the drops and I'm reasonably flexible.

Also, in the absence of any aero claims/data, could you perhaps measure the depth and height of the wing sections to give us an idea of the ratio and perhaps a subjective feel on how much they feel like a proper wing cross-section (thicker at the front than the rear).

Avatar
Liam Cahill [177 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
ChrisB200SX wrote:

Excellent timing... I've been struggling with how to figure out what choices are out there for carbon aero road bars (and how to narrow down the choice), these certainly seem more than good enough for the price, £130!

~50g weight penalty for what will probably be a saving of a few watts, result.
The claimed weights seem to align with what CT claim, so I would think the layups are probably the same.

QUESTION: as they are flared, do you think I could opt for a 40cm when I currently use a 42cm? I feel my current Cinelli NEOS 42cm is marginally wider than I need. I've got broad shoulders for a short guy but I spend a lot of times in the drops and I'm reasonably flexible.

Also, in the absence of any aero claims/data, could you perhaps measure the depth and height of the wing sections to give us an idea of the ratio and perhaps a subjective feel on how much they feel like a proper wing cross-section (thicker at the front than the rear).

I've got a few friends that have swapped their 42cm bars for 40cm. Can't say that they really noticed any negatives. The flare adds a cm to the width at the ends, so the 40cm bar is 41cm wide at the end of the drop. 0.5mm difference on each side so I'd say you'd be ok. (please don't send me your chiropractor bill when this ruins your back!)
The areo bit of the top section is roughly 10cm across, 2.2(ish)cm deep, 5.5cm long at the largest point tapering to 4.5cm where the bar tape starts. The deepest bit seems to be in the middle. Hope that helps?

Avatar
ChrisB200SX [1036 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Liam Cahill wrote:
ChrisB200SX wrote:

QUESTION: as they are flared, do you think I could opt for a 40cm when I currently use a 42cm? I feel my current Cinelli NEOS 42cm is marginally wider than I need. I've got broad shoulders for a short guy but I spend a lot of times in the drops and I'm reasonably flexible.

Also, in the absence of any aero claims/data, could you perhaps measure the depth and height of the wing sections to give us an idea of the ratio and perhaps a subjective feel on how much they feel like a proper wing cross-section (thicker at the front than the rear).

I've got a few friends that have swapped their 42cm bars for 40cm. Can't say that they really noticed any negatives. The flare adds a cm to the width at the ends, so the 40cm bar is 41cm wide at the end of the drop. 0.5mm difference on each side so I'd say you'd be ok. (please don't send me your chiropractor bill when this ruins your back!) The areo bit of the top section is roughly 10cm across, 2.2(ish)cm deep, 5.5cm long at the largest point tapering to 4.5cm where the bar tape starts. The deepest bit seems to be in the middle. Hope that helps?

Thanks  1 useful info.
22mm extra at the bar ends, so probably more like 5.5mm wider per side where hands will be in the drops.

Sounds like ~2.5:1 which is nowhere near as much as I'd ideally like, but they are rather cheap with internal routing so there should be aero gains over my standard set-up. I'll probably order a set later.

Looking at the 3D view on Wiggle, I reckon the wing shape is actually going to create downforce, which will obviously create some drag (probably still a lot better than round bars anyway).

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srchar [1477 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Does anyone have a detailed pic of the internal cable routing on these please?

Do each of the brake and gear cables use a single length of cable outer from shifter, through the bar, out and to the cable ports on the frame (or front brake)?

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SparkyMTA [3 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I bought one that isnt on my bike yet.

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SparkyMTA [3 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

....and another

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SparkyMTA [3 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Although there is a hole a couple of inches from the bar end to bring cables to external of bar, there is a hole through the internals, so all cables can be hidden.

I am upgarding my Infinito CV to Di2, and wanted the bar end charger.

Cheers

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srchar [1477 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Thanks Sparky. I've just placed an order with Wiggle.

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HowardR [261 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Re: "That drop is slightly shallower than I'm used to at 125mm; that's 5mm higher than my SL-88 bar​"

Unless your bars are already slammed as far as is possible the other way of looking at that is that you can get the tops a bit lower whilst keeping the drops in the place that your already comfortable with.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [177 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
HowardR wrote:

Re: "That drop is slightly shallower than I'm used to at 125mm; that's 5mm higher than my SL-88 bar​"

Unless your bars are already slammed as far as is possible the other way of looking at that is that you can get the tops a bit lower whilst keeping the drops in the place that your already comfortable with.

Already slammed on a SlamThatStem top cap for me.

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Chris Hayes [441 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I would urge caution on these as I find aero bars a bit uncomfortable on longer rides(they may be bearable on a 40 or other TT, however - but I don't do these rides anymore).  It may be down to the  flat blades leaving less scope for adjusting your grip than conventional bars (I use Thomson carbon), but I end up fidgeting and cramping.

I've had a set of FSA Aero bars -  I think they are called wing, but are carbon - since the mid-noughties and have to say that I really struggle with them.  Just put them on a refurbushed Vortex frame to give them another try....but can't see them staying there. 

I also had a similar experience with the bars on the Wilier Cento10Air...so its not just my old, overly stiff FSA lay-up.....

 

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hawkinspeter [3848 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Just fitting a pair of these now.

When it comes to putting bar tape on, should I end the tape where the flat parts (i.e. the tops) of the bars begin or should I wrap some tape round there as well? I'm unlikely to put my hands on the flat bits for any length of  time, so it's more just an aesthetics question.