Carbon fiber drop handlebars are a dime a dozen these days — figuratively speaking, of course — but on paper Cadex’s new AR nevertheless manages to stand out from the crowd.
As the name suggests, the new handlebar is aimed at the “all road” market, and incorporates many of the same features of similar products. Cadex (the premium component arm of Giant) builds the AR with a short 70 mm reach and shallow 115 mm drop, and the drops include a modest 8° of flare. The drops are 40 mm longer than Cadex’s dedicated road bar for more positioning flexibility, too, while the tips of the drops also have 3° of outward yaw, all of which combine to provide a very road-like position while on the hoods, but 60 mm more width at the drops for more control when conditions get a little trickier.
A couple of things set the AR apart, however.
First up is the slightly backswept tops, which promise a more natural wrist position as compared to a more traditional straight section — not exactly truly unique, but not entirely commonplace, either.
More impressive, however, is the AR’s feathery weight. Carbon fiber drop handlebars are often constructed in three sections that are molded separately and then bonded together and overwrapped (much like modular monocoque carbon fiber frames). Instead, Cadex molds the AR as a single monocoque, which the company says not only reduces the weight, but results in a stiffer and more reliable end product.
Cadex is offering the AR in four widths, of which only the 460 mm model hits the 200 g mark. Claimed weight for the 400 mm size is just 185 g; the 420 mm is 190 g; and the 440 mm is 195 g.
Retail price is US$370 / AU$470; pricing for other markets is to be confirmed.
More information can be found at www.cadex-cycling.com.