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Brand-X Carbon Ergo Racing Road Bar



Cheap for a carbon bar, but not particularly light or stiff

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Road cyclists like carbon things, and this Brand-X Carbon Ergo Racing Road Bar is carbon, so that's good. It's not especially light, though, and neither is it especially stiff. If you want a bit of comfort from the drops and you're not a sprinter, it might suit you well, but for most uses you'd probably be better off looking at alloy for this kind of money.

Brand-X uses a fairly standard compact geometry for this bar: an 80mm reach and 125mm drop, with a 3-degree backsweep. Our 44cm bar weighed in at 286g; claimed weight for 42cm is 228g, although I'm guessing it would be a bit more than that. It has a undirectional carbon construction, with channels for cabling, an ovalised section on the tops and a textured finish where you're clamping stuff onto it.

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In use I found it very comfortable. The tops are ovalised just enough to make a difference, and the drop position isn't especially aggressive, which will suit most riders. On the drops it's especially comfy, but the comfort comes from a fairly large degree of flex. Sprint for a sign and it feels pretty vague at times – this is not the bar you want if you put a lot of power through your bike. If you're slighter of build and you're building up a fast long-distance machine it might fit the bill very well.

On the whole though, I'd say that the lure of carbon at this low price is outweighed by the fact that you can get some good alloy bars that are lighter and stiffer. Something like the Zipp Service Course Short 'n' Shallow or the Bontrager Race Lite Isozone would offer better stiffness, and the latter has a clever pad system for extra comfort too. There are plenty of other options too, for less than the £100 you'd pay for the Brand-X bar.

Overall the performance is decent, but it's a pretty specific use case where the benefits of this design would be worth spending the extra over a lighter, stiffer alloy bar. If you're a light rider looking for comfort then it's worth a look. If you're a powerful rider looking for precise control, this isn't the bar for you.


Cheap for a carbon bar, but not particularly light or stiff

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Make and model: Brand-X Carbon Ergo Racing Road Bar

Size tested: Black, 31.8mm, 430mm, 78mm reach, 125mm drop

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?

Brand-X says: "The Brand-X Carbon Ergo road racing bar is a compact bar that is designed from the ground up with ergonomics and comfort in mind featuring a compact ergo bend with a short 80mm reach and shallow 125mm drop. The UD Carbon construction features a textured finish in the stem and control clamping areas. The top section features an ovalized profile for increased comfort. Recessed channels for cable routing and centre markings for ease of set up."

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


Finish: Gloss lacquer top coat

Graphics: Subtle water decals and centre markings.

EN-R Approved

Colour: UD Carbon


Width: 39cm, 41cm, 43cm

Compact ergo Bend: 80mm reach/125mm drop

Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm

Backsweep: 3 degree

Material: UD Carbon

Finish: Gloss lacquer top coat

Graphics: Subtle water decals and centre markings.

EN-R Approved

Colour: UD Carbon

Weight: 228 grams (42cm)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

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

Okay, although it'll be too flexy for some.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product


Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Flexy and not especially light.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not especially.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your score

It's a decent cheap carbon bar but in most cases you'd be better off with an alloy one for the same money.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track


Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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