Handlebars & extensions
You've probably never heard of Xtreme components. We hadn't, but they're being brought into this country by Rose Bikes. You've probably not heard of Rose Bikes either, have you? You would if you were German as they're absolutely massive over there selling bikes, clothing and parts by the wagen-load. So rather than being an unknown no-name from somewheresville, Xtreme have a confident provenance.
A handlebar designed with long distance touring in mind, this style of ‘butterfly bar’ is incredibly popular on the continent, and with good reason. The idea is that you’re maximizing the number of grip and hand resting positions available to you without sacrificing useable space.
Straight out of Shimano's hardware department come these Pro PLT compact handlebars.
Most of KCNC's kit is feathery weight-weenie-type stuff, but this set of extensions feels solid enough, and isn't going to break the bank either. And it's still fairly light to boot.
I should confess, Oval extensions are not new to me, I have used them on various bike but I haven’t used the carbon A900 extensions with this ‘ski tip’ type angling. On test the Oval carbon extensions were paired with an Oval under only aero bar set up and an Oval stem. This makes the Oval aero bar set up perfect for someone wanting to have an aero option on what is predominantly a standard road bike.
Another impossibly light unit from KCNC, this flat bar weighs in at a barely believable 119g. The Bone is constructed from T-7451 Scandium alloy, is 600mm wide and comes in standard and oversized clamp diameters.
Cinelli mini sub8 tri bars are fairly unique, although something of a mixed bag. As their name implies, they're miniature extensions of the Spinacci mould legal for triathlon and ideal for smaller riders with shorter torsos. However, incompatibility with anything but ultra traditional bars coupled with a sizeable price tag overshadows their impressive rigidity and solid build quality.
Oval have developed a wide ranging system that offers unparalleled levels of flexibility while maintaining the integrity of a normal drop bar set up. The SCCS system offers road cyclists the option of adding aero bars without ruining the useful centre section of a standard bar set up.
KCNC are best known for their super-slinky drilled out bits but the SC Force handlebar is a simpler beast, a fairly standard road drop made from T-7451 Scandium alloy that's light and comfy, and not too pricy either.
Benny Hill esque moniker aside, Bill’s Bike Babes race sticks are faithful Cinelli Spinacci copies. Apart from some minor shortcomings (the finish on our test pair could’ve been better) ample adjustability and modest weight means they’re bang on for long runs on the winter bike and budget TT builds using standard diameter drops or pursuit style bars.