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Easton EC90 Aero Handlebar

6
£279.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Sleek aero bar with full internal cable routing capability, including compatibility with Shimano's bar end junction box
Compatible with Di2 internal cabling
Plenty of internal cable ports
Sleek look
Expensive
Tapered flat section
Weight: 
236g

As its name suggests, the Easton EC90 Aero handlebar is aimed at improving aerodynamic performance. Whether it does is impossible for me to verify, but it's comfortable to use and I think most people would agree that it is a very good looking bar. The Easton logo in white across the top only accentuates this; I thought it was too nice to cover up, which is why I taped the bar to the edge of the logo, to keep it showing.

It's impossible for me to test whether the bar makes a genuine different to aerodynamic performance, but I suspect that if it does it is fairly small. That aside, the shape is comfortable – more so than a standard round bar. The ability to rest your hands on the flat top section can be really beneficial, especially on easier, straighter sections of road.

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I wouldn't say it's the most comfortable bar I've ever used, but it does seem to offer some damping benefit; even after longer rides my hands felt comfortable, with no aches or pains, as can happen with some.

2020 Easton EC90 Logoshowing.jpg

It also remains stiff enough when sprinting or pulling up hard on climbs. There have been suggestions that stiffness can be a weakness of a bar this shape, but I'm pleased to say that this one isn't affected.

The EC90 Aero has been updated from the original version and now fully supports internal Di2 cabling, which means you can use a Shimano bar end junction box (EW-RS910) and wire the cable fully internally to the hoods. On many aero shaped bars there can be a section of reinforcement where the hoods clamp, which isn't needed here.

2020 Easton Aero Road Bar EC90 42cm 4.jpg

Cabling for the rest of the handlebar is also well designed, with large entry ports either side of the stem clamp area. These are large enough for a hydraulic brake cable and mechanical gear cable outer.

2020 Easton Aero Road Bar EC90 42cm 6.jpg

The exit ports are also large enough to fit cables through with ease, with options to come out either side of the hoods, so regardless of what groupset you use it should be suitable.

A little help may be needed to guide the cable through should you wish to use the port on the inside of the hoods; I used a Park Tool IR 1.2 cable routing kit which made the job very simple.

The centre rounded section is wider than some bars of a similar size, and when used in conjunction with the EA70 stem (review to come) there was enough space to fit an out-front Wahoo computer mount.

2020 Easton EC90 Aero Centre2.jpg

Having tried a few other similar aero handlebar designs, including the Enve SES Aero and FSA A-Wing, I know that this isn't always the case.

2020 Easton Aero Road Bar EC90 42cm 2.jpg

The shape of the EC90 Aero bar is fairly typical of most modern road drop handlebars, with 125mm of drop and 80mm of reach. There is also 4 degrees of flare, which is enough to help the wrists clear the bar when sprinting in the drops, without making it too wide in the drops.

2020 Easton Aero Road Bar EC90 42cm 5.jpg

The one aspect of the bar that I wasn't overly keen on was the way the flat top section tapers to where the bar bends towards the drops. With other designs, including the Enve and FSA mentioned above, the flat section stays wider for longer, and personally I find that even more comfortable.

2020 Easton Aero Road Bar EC90 42cm 3.jpg

Value-wise, this is without doubt a lot to spend on a handlebar, although the PRO Vibe Aero Carbon bar is even more at £299.

There are cheaper options, though, such as the Prime Primavera that Stu loved, and if you are OK with aluminium, the Bontrager Race Lite Aero is just £69.99.

Another one to consider is Easton's EC70 Aero bar, which shares the same shape but is £80 less, with a claimed weight increase of just 25g.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best drop handlebars

If you want every aero advantage possible, or just love the look of aero road handlebars and want the extra damping performance and stiffness that carbon can offer, the Easton EC90 Aero bar is worth considering, and it is one of only a few similar bars that allows internal Di2 routing for a Shimano EW-RS910 junction box.

Verdict

Sleek aero bar with full internal cable routing capability, including compatibility with Shimano's bar end junction box

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Easton EC90 Aero Handlebar

Size tested: 42cm

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?

Easton says: 'The EC90 AERO features an improved anatomic sculpted wing top section, and provides more comfort during long days in the saddle while bar-end flare provides wrist clearance for sprinting. The sleek matte carbon finish and aerodynamic performance match the Easton EC90 SL Aero55 wheelset. Available in the three most common widths: 40, 42 and 44 centimetres.'

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

Easton lists:

- MCD Drop Technology

- 125mm drop

- 80mm reach

- 4 Degree Flare

- Aero profile with internal routing

- EC90 Carbon

- Aero Series

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very nicely made with good internal hose routing options and nice decals.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Impossible to test and see if performance is aided, but still a high quality bar with nice features.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Unlikely to be an issue and Easton has a very good reputation.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

There are lighter aero bars available and some that are lighter and cheaper.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Damping on small bumps is reasonably good, and the flat top sections give a nice comfortable position for hands, although I have used other bars that give even more comfort.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It is a lot of money for a handlebar, although many others are a similar price, and it's cheaper than the PRO Vibe Aero.

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

I'm unable to test any claimed improvement in aerodynamics, but personally I found it more comfortable than a traditional round bar. The internal cable routing is easy to route with all options, including Di2 bar end junction box (EW-RS910) compatibility.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The internal cable routing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing huge, but I have used other bars that offer a little more comfort.

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

Cheaper than the PRO Vibe (£299.99), which offers similar performance and construction, but quite a bit more than the Prime Primavera (£149.99). If carbon isn't a must, there are even cheaper aero bar options, such as the Bontrager Race Lite at £69.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe, if I really wanted a Di2 bar-end junction box (EW-RS910) compatible aero bar.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had a big budget and wanted a high performance aero bar.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Easton EC90 Aero is well designed with good internal routing options. This updated version now also supports having a Di2 junction box, which might appeal to some, but it's still a very expensive handlebar, albeit with some performance advantages.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb,

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