Cinelli's Vai handlebar has been around for a while now but it's still well worth a look. As the ancient engineering cliche goes, pick any two from light, stiff or cheap. The Vai certainly ticks the cheap and stiff boxes, but light it ain't.
The 44cm comes in at around 400g, hefty in handlebar terms but for a lightweight carbon bar you'll be paying at least at least five times as much to save less than 200g. If you're putting together a money-no-object work of art then a set of featherweight carbon bars like the Oval R900s tested recently are just the thing, but for a more humble build these Vai bars are as good as anyone needs.
Being distinctly stiff and hefty you'd expect this bar to make your biceps vibrate like jelly on a jackhammer. Not so, in fact they're surprisingly comfortable, helped by a nicely shaped semi-anatomic drop. This is a bar that will appeal to rouleurs, sprinters and hefty honkers alike as it won't beat you up on the ride or turn to wet spaghetti in the final sprint to the cake-shop.
They come grooved front and back and there's a simple but effective set of graded lines in the centre to help you line things up.
Stiff, strong and comfy. A classic bar and great value for money.
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Make and model: Cinelli Vai Alloy drop bar
Size tested: 44cm
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 5\' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,