Easton EC90 SLX3 Handlebar $249.95
The handlebar of champions
You've seen them before, albeit covered with tape, but the Easton EC90 SLX3 Handlebar has been the drop of choice for Evans and the BMC Racing Team throughout the recent Grand Tours. Why? The reason is obvious. Not only is the EC90 SLX3 the lightest handlebar in the Easton quiver, but it also features the most sophisticated and comfortable shape of any bar that we know of. Top all of that off with an ultra-rigid, variable carbon fiber layup, and you start to understand why Yellow and White jerseys flock to the EC90 SLX3.
For the construction, Easton threw out the rule book on carbon construction and started from scratch. Sure, the bar is comprised of Easton's venerable EC90 carbon fiber, but anyone can make a stiff bar. Easton's goal was multi-layered -- provide multiple hand positions and add compliance while adding rigidity. Believe us, this is easier said than done. To bring this tall order to fruition, Easton developed its TaperWall technology. This process starts in a computer model where Easton identifies the points on the handlebar where rigidity needs to be focused, compared to where compliance is more beneficial. From there, the model dictates where to add more surface material and where to add less. By constructing around these focused points of stiffness, the overall weight is minimized to around 195 grams, while the strength, comfort, and durability are all increased. The end result is a lively bar that sets the bar (pun intended) for responsiveness and shock absorption.
And if TaperWall wasn't enough for you, the SLX3 underwent even more scrutiny through Easton's Intelligent Flex custom-tune. This is a process that Easton applies to all of its carbon fiber forks and handlebars. Basically, it works similarly to truing a wheel. You might have an incredible carbon rim, but if the spokes aren't at the perfect tension, your investment is all for naught. Intelligent Flex strategically adds flexibility and uniformity throughout the bars in order to bring out all of the subtle characteristics of the carbon, turning amazing into phenomenal.
As for the shape, the SLX3 has been given a shallow, variable-bend drop and compact reach. This concept allows easy transitions to multiple hand positions, either at the drops, shoulders, or hoods. Additionally, it makes access to the levers a breeze from anywhere on the bars, regardless of if you're using Campagnolo, Shimano, or SRAM.
The Easton EC90 SLX3 Handlebar is available in the colors Black and Red and in five widths from 38 to 46cm. The drop is uniform across sizes at 130mm, with a reach of 75mm. Please note that this handlebar is only compatible with 31.8mm clamp diameter stems.