Thomson, a company well known for their stems and seatposts, have finally produced what many of us have been waiting for, a road drop handlebar. Thompson lacked the necessary carbon fibre expertise for this project so they’ve worked with Toray, the world's largest producer of carbon fibre.
Thomson’s David Parrett explained to us that unlike most road handlebars, which are produced as three individual parts and moulded together, these are made as one-piece. This makes them stronger, stiffer and lighter, he claims. They’re produced by moulding over an EPS mandrel that creates a very smooth inner surface. Cannondale use it for their SuperSix Evo, as well as other manufacturers.
They are certainly light, the Road bar weighing just 188g (40cm): a very competitive weight. They're available in four sizes and each has a size-specific drop: the wider the bar, the deeper the drop. Drops are: 40cm - 137mm; 42cm - 140mm; 44cm - 140mm; 46cm - 143mm. The tops have a slight aero/wing shape and a short reach (78.5mm). There are channels for concealing cable outer casing under the bars. The price? That’ll be £240.
And for cyclocross riders there’s the KFC-One Katie Compton Signature ‘cross bar. It’s made in the same fashion as the Road bar but there are extra layers of carbon in the layup to ensure it can stand up to the punishment that ‘cross racers usually dish out to their bikes and equipment.
It also has a slightly different shape, with a round top section and flats on the bottom of the bar to create a very round shape when you’ve taped them up. The top is very wide so there’s space for auxiliary brake levers and they’re 10% shallower with a rounder drop. They'll cost £255 and weigh 205g.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.