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.
This A710 unit was a revelation. I have been after an aero set up that allows me to get as low as possible on a conventional drop bar road bike without sacrificing space on the top of the drop bars which I like to use for climbing. The Oval A710 under only system completely frees up the bars on a bike, they don’t ever meet. The aero extensions are held in place by a unit that fixes on as an alternative stem end cap and wraps around underneath the bars, gives a mount for the arm pads and allows the extensions to pass, uninterrupted, below the drop bars. Oval claim you can make over 43000 adjustments, I didn’t have the steadiness of hand to adjust to that level but they are adjustable enough with extension length and arm pad width to satisfy most needs.
The one thing that came up straight away as a problem was the 5mm pads that are supplied as part of the system. They just aren’t thick enough to allow your arms to pass above the drop bars without having to rest your forearms on the bars (even with the installation of the highest of the two supplied risers). This is fine on a smooth road but on a bumpy road the feeling of cracking my forearms repeatedly on the drop bars of my bike was neither comfortable nor worth enduring. Thankfully Oval do a range of pads of various thicknesses for their aero set ups, I opted for the 10mm pad which cured the problem completely. Now this system is comfortable, it's aero, its unobtrusive and it is competitively priced. At around £120 for the entire system (in either 31.8 or 26mm sizes) including an alloy aero extension it's a very good option for anyone after a high quality, flexible aero system for your road bike.
Competing with the likes of Profile’s t2 carbon, the Deda Clip Black Carbon and the Bontrager Race X-Lite clip on bars the Ovals equip themselves well. The weight differences between opting for the carbon solutions above or the alloy Oval system on test here is negligible but the carbon systems certainly look good. Where the Oval trumps the rest is that they allow you to still use your road bars. They are two separate pieces of equipment whereas the other options clamp onto the bar near the stem and the arm pads sit above the bars rendering the central section useless. This has annoyed me in the past, the Oval system has sorted this out. You can spend more and go all carbon with Oval but this costs big bucks and doesn’t save that much weight.
The best solution I've found so far for those wanting to get aero while retaining the use of their drop bars. Go for an under only unit to do this, any 'over' section will result in compromise.
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Make and model: Oval UnderOnly SCCS Complete Clip-On bars
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 24 Height: 5ft 10 Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: felt ar4 My best bike is: i like my felt and my orbea ora tt bike equally
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, triathlon