Superleggera translates as 'super light' and at just 180g (for a 42cm wide bar) you can see why Italian company Deda Elementi have used it to name their flagship bar. It's not the lightest and definitely not the cheapest carbon handlebar we've tested but it has got a couple of aces up its sleeve.
Let's get that price out of the way right at the start, £271.99 for a carbon tube is a hell of a lot of money but if you've just spent three or four grand on a frame, another grand or so on a groupset and a couple more on wheels you're probably going to want to spec your finishing kit to match.
Deda use HR40, a high modulus carbon fibre that has a tensile strength around 400GPa making it ideal for something like a handlebar that's going to see plenty of stresses. Basically it's stiffer than standard modulus so you can use less material (for less weight) to get the same effect or use the same amount of material to create a stiffer product.
It seems Deda have gone somewhere in the middle as although it's light the Superleggers doesn't move a millimetre even under heavy sprinting. The bar is absolutely solid but thanks to carbon's shock absorbing properties never uncomfortable unless you are really on a rough stretch. Even then, it's still much less harsh than an alloy bar.
Deda have used the acronym RHM for a while now and it stands for Rapid Hand Movement. They're basically saying you can move your hands quickly to any other part of the bar while riding and while, yes you certainly can, it's no easier than any other bar on the market. I like the bar shape, though; it's compact at 75mm reach and 130mm drop and has a mix of modern and traditional styling to it. By that I mean the drops are curved throughout yet the radius of the curve changes to replicate the newer anatomic style, offering plenty of hand positions.
The ace up the Superleggera's sleeve is the cable routing. The channels passing under the bars are deep and completely swallow the cables so once taped there are no lumps or bumps at all. All the clamping areas are roughened so there is little chance of the stem or shifters slipping once tightened up to the recommended torques.
Overall the Deda Superleggera is a lovely handlebar that performs brilliantly though its stiffness will be better suited to the racers than the big mileage riders. The cost is pretty eye-watering but it's not that far away from the likes of the 3T and Bontrager bars we've recently tested and the Superleggera sits in the middle of those two on weight as well.
Deda also offer this 31.7mm diameter bar in their 35mm diameter version and a range of sizes, 42cm, 44cm and 46cm all measured outside to outside.
Top end bar with a top end price tag and performance to match
road.cc test report
Make and model: Deda Superleggera Black Bar
Size tested: 44cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Superleggera is Deda Elementi's flagship handlebar so they've got pro performance in mind. They are certainly comfortable and stiff and wouldn't be left wanting on the most exotic of bikes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Shape: RHM Rapid Hand Movement
Material: Carbon HR40
Ø Handlebar: 31,7 mm
Reach: 75 mm
Drop: 130 mm
Sizes: 42 - 44 - 46 cm outside to outside)
Weight: 180 g (42 cm)
Finish: carbon UD; polish on black (POB)
They certainly feel well made although it's hard to tell with carbon products. They were plenty stiff enough with no creaking though.
In terms of stiffness and comfort the Superleggeras perform well.
Crash damage could be an issue compared to metal bars but they certainly don't feel fragile.
Sit favourably around the other carbon bars we've tested.
A lot of shock absorbency but still on the stiff side. I wouldn't fancy doing a 200km audax on them.
Tough one this, the more money you spend the gains get less in cycling and its no different here but if you absolutely want to shave every gram of weight off the Deda's are on par with the competition on price. Taking that into account I'd say the Deda's are worth the money in the looks, weight and performance department
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As far as handlebars go the Deda Superleggero certainly performs and you can feel the weight difference and directness in the steering once you start riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Those deep cable grooves, very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can be harsh on long rides.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A smart looking race bar with a good balance of stiffness and comfort for two to three hour rides. The price is steep but if you are considering carbon bars anyway you're already going to be expecting to pay £200 '' and as it happens, you can find this bar on line for about that.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.