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Does Easton EC90 bars flex hurt race performance/efficientc?(12 posts)

Does Easton EC90 bars flex hurt race performance/efficientc?jjdbike
May 27, 2003 5:00 PM
I am a 155 LB weigh wenie. I am a climber not a sprinter. I spin a moderate gear @ 100 RPM on the flats. My skill & fitness are such that I need every advantage that I can get from my equipment (i.e. I am a hacker)! I ride a compact frame & enjoy the stifness. Will I lose some of that efficientcy gained from a stiff fram w/ an Easton EC90?
re: Does Easton EC90 bars flex hurt race performance/efficientc?jimPz
May 27, 2003 5:59 PM
I'm 180 & a sprinter & I don't find the EC90's flexible at all. Also, if you have so much upper body motion, that bars would flex (excluding a sprint) smoothing out your form will have more effect on your efficiency than anything else.

Thanks, but confused by conflicting reviews!?!?jjdbike
May 28, 2003 4:24 AM
Thanks for the reply. I find it very curious that in the reviiew section of this site some say that they are stiff, while others describe them as a "wet noodle." I suppose that jimz is probably right about how much movement one has in their upper-body, but when climbing a steep out of the saddle or in a sprint, much torque is ineviably applied to the handlebars. One would think that flex would equal lost power.
Can anyone comment on this?
Thanks again.
Not the barscyclequip
May 28, 2003 5:31 AM
Take hold of any well-made bar and try flexing it in different directions. Whether aluminium or carbon, good bars are normally stiff enough for a 155lb'er. Most flex will come from the stem/steerer.
Thanks, but confused by conflicting reviews!?!?theweasonator
May 28, 2003 5:41 AM
I have these bars and weigh 162 and would say they are stiffer than aluminum bars. When I stand and sprint on the hoods, they are way stiffer than aluminum. On my old set up with the al bars and chrome moly fork, I could feel a very noticeable flex when sprinting. Now, with these bars and an EC70 fork, it is noticeably stiffer.
Thanks, but confused by conflicting reviews!?!?Spoiler
May 28, 2003 7:20 PM
I worked in a bike shop. Our of curiousity, I went to the handlebar rack where they had some Deda Newtons and Magics ITM Milleniumss, Cinelli's and an Easton.
I tested each one by grabbing the drops on each hand and squeezing them together toward eachother. I could feel an obvious difference between how much flex they had.
The stiffest were the thicker bars like the Newton and Magic. They barely moved. The carbon EC90s flexed noticeably more, similar to a classic TTT Forma or Cinelli Eubios.
Now this isn't an exact scientific laboratory test that simulates bar-to-stem flexing, but I think the differences were so noticable that it has some validity. It wouldn't be too tough for a cycling mag to set up an accurate testing apparatus. Clamp the bars using an industrial type of stationary jaws, hang a 30 or 50 lb weight off of the drops, and measure how far the weight drops.
I suppose Bicycling can't do it because they blew their budget on gripping journalism like "Better Sex Now."
not flexy to meDougSloan
May 28, 2003 6:24 AM
They are plenty stiff for me. Maybe some people are confusing stem flex. I'd say they are as stiff as an aluminum bar in the 250 gram range.

You'll gain stiffness if anythingpmf1
May 28, 2003 7:18 AM
My wife gave me a set of these bars for Christmas and I pit them on one of my bikes. For years, I've been using TTT Prima 220 or 199 bars. The Easton bars are noticibly stiffer. I like their shape too. They have a nice flat part before the hoods.

I'm impressed by them and plan to buy another set.
May 28, 2003 7:27 AM
EC90? I don't think so. If someone is feeling flex, it is probably their stem. Carbon fibre is plenty stiff. The so called "shock absorbancy" of it (overrated, IMO) is really just absorption of high frequency vibration.
Thank you all very much for all the help!jjdbike
May 28, 2003 10:20 AM
Thanks again to everyone. You have cleared it up. Its stem flex, not the Easton carbon bar.
re: Does Easton EC90 bars flex hurt race performance/efficientc?Matt Britter
May 28, 2003 1:47 PM
Since you say your are a climber, you will like the bars. I found that they (combined with all carbon fork) were very smooth on the road.

I did find that the EC90 flexed alot when riding in the drops, specifically in high speed corners (crit races). I changed to a 3T 199 (kept the same stem) and flex went away. I am not a huge guy (5'10 160) but jumping out of corners I could see the EC90's flex back.
Just my $.02
I think they're moderately flexy...BenR
May 29, 2003 9:22 AM
especially when using the hoods to stand on a power climb or cornering hard. They're still very stiff given their weight and won't fatigue as quickly as a super-light aluminum bar. Easton bars seem pretty stiff when mostly pulling straight up in a sprint or longer climb.

For a 155 lb person (I'm 175), any perceived loss of stiffness is probably outweighed by the weight loss and sexiness factor. Personally, I went back to a heavier aluminum bar and eventually heavier but substantially more solid feeling Kestrels. However, you can see that many people my size and up like the Eastons. I just couldn't become accustomed to what Easton calls "intelligent flexibility" (maybe that says something about me?)

More importantly, make sure you like the Easton bend shapes and are willing to probably change to a shorter stem to offset the long hood reach. I bet you want 42's, but will sell you the pair of 44 c-c Eastons that I used for 4 months. email if interested