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by James Huang
May 5, 2016
It’s back! After a one-year hiatus, we’ve resurrected our monthly product showcase where we highlight gear that has landed on our doorstep, providing firsthand impressions of their performance — good or bad. This month, we’re featuring some parts and accessories from our new U.S. office in Boulder, Colorado.
Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:
Easton E100 handlebar
Edco Monoblock cassette
Gore Bike Wear One Gore-Tex Active Bike Jacket
Rudy Project Tralyx sunglasses
Just Enough Tools JET Roll III tool roll
Ass Savers Fendor Bendor fender
Easton reserves its ‘E100’ badge only for its most premium products and in this case, it refers to an ultralight carbon fiber drop handlebar that weighs just 176g for a 40cm sample — in line with company claims. The 80mm reach and 125mm drop is in keeping with other compact-style bars, although the ‘Maximum Contact Drop’ shape is especially flat so as to provide more surface area for your hands. Double grooves are molded in for use with all current Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM levers, and markings on the drops are included for faster setup.
As impressive as the E100 is, the drops still feel shorter than the numbers would suggest given how they angle so sharply rearward just below the hoods.
The E100 may not seem that light in terms of total grams saved, but it’s more impressive when viewed in terms of percentages with a substantial 15% decrease as compared to an Enve. Those missing grams don’t result in an overly flimsy feel when sprinting or climbing, either; the E100 is quite stiff with the notably damped feel typical of good composite handlebars. Don’t just take my word for it, though — independent lab testing by Fairwheel Bikes has confirmed my subjective findings, too.
Easton is no stranger to carbon fiber technology and it’s applied its know-how to good effect here.
As good as the E100’s structural attributes are, I unfortunately never quite got on with the MCD bend. The drops are very comfortable with lots of surface area for your palms but they angle rearward unusually abruptly and feel more cramped than other compact bars of similar dimensions, which is exactly the opposite of what I usually look for in a high-end handlebar aimed at the racing crowd. The tops are pleasantly oversized for a sure grip and the transition to the hoods is appropriately flat, though, so the E100 seems like a good choice for riders with deep pockets that don’t necessarily need or want an aggressive position.
Price: US$350 / AU$579 / £300