When looking for drop bars it can get confusing.
What flare do I need?
We thought we would give you a quick rundown on how we see it!
Traditionally drop bars were chosen based on the rider's shoulder width. While this works well for Road bikes it is not quite the same for Gravel and Adventure bikes. Offroad or on rough terrain a wider bar will give you more control and reduce fatigue. Generally, riders will go a size or two up from what they would traditionally use on a road bike when selecting bars for a Gravel or Adventure bike. For those who like bike packing, this will also allow some extra room for bar bags.
Flared bars are wider at the drops than they are at the hoods. They offer more control over standard bars for this reason. The big question we often get asked is what flare do I need? Well, it isn't really a simple answer!
Road bars traditionally run a 4-6 degree flare while Gravel bars run up to a 12-25 degree flare. That said flared bars are becoming more popular on Road bikes in the pro peloton, but not for the reasons you may think. Pro riders are running narrow flared bars to get an aero advantage when riding on the hoods with a wide flare to maintain control when riding in the drops. This setup may appeal to the Gravel racers focused on speed also.
12-25 degree bars are generally aimed at off-road use where the benefits of control and stability are more important and aerodynamics doesn't play as big a part. The most common sizes for Gravel are 12 and 16-degree flared bars. They provide a good combination of aerodynamics and control on and off-road. If you are unsure of what you like or are new to flare bars this is a good starting point.
The wider 25-degree flare bars are usually only seen on Adventure and bike-packing bikes. They give a wide platform for maximum control off-road and provide plenty of room for bags, aero bars, and accessories.
Extra features like Spanks Vibrocore system are also a great addition to a flared bar as it reduces vibration, arm pump, and fatigue. Flared Bars are also available in carbon, aluminum, and titanium. All three materials have their strengths and weaknesses. Carbon is lightweight and can help absorb vibrations but if you are planning on running bar bags you need to be careful of the strap contact points as the straps can wear into the carbon. Aluminum is strong and resistant to wear if you are running bar bags while titanium offers a great combination of strength, wear resistance, and lightweight.
Hopefully, we have provided you with enough information to help you choose the perfect bars for your setup to tackle Australian conditions.
You can check out our range of drop bars HERE.