I was out of town over the Thanksgiving holiday visiting family. Before the trip, I talked to a friend who mentioned that he had an extra bike that I could ride if I did not want to bring one along. We ride the same size bikes and he always has some pretty nice new stuff, so I took him up on the offer. Instead of loading up one of my bikes, I only had to pack shoes and a set of pedals. Not only was it easier, but also I am always anxious to try out new bikes. The loaner bike turned out to be a very nice Litespeed Vortex with Dura-Ace 9 speed, Ksyrium wheels, and assorted carbon parts. One part in particular that I ended up liking was the Easton EC90 carbon handlebar. If you are not familiar with the model number, that is one of the bars that has the chamfer shaped bend when viewed from the top. Basically, there is an angled flat section between the hoods and the flats at the top of the bars. I have seen these bars for years now, but this was my first time riding them for an extended period of time. I am not sure how many other people do this, but sometimes I slide my hands up from the hoods a few inches so that my thumbs are looped over the front of the bars and my hands are kind of backwards in the corner of the bends (yeah it sounds awkward, but I bet that many of you do it too). When I rode like that with these bars, it felt great, like they were made for that position. Great! I found a new product that I like, but am I the only one? It seems that the newest Easton carbon bars are back to a more traditional round bend, or at least that is the shape that most retailers are currently selling. I wonder why? Maybe the response to the older shape was not as great as expected. Maybe it was just time for a change. I don’t know. My guess is that the shape was just a little too different for many people to give a chance.
If somebody out there actually knows if and why Easton changed the shape of the EC90 or why the similarly shaped Modolo X-tenos is being closed out in several catalogs, let me know. I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I think it is a great design.