At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
ITM's Alutech A Alloy is a decently priced handlebar falling somewhere between fully ergo and classic in shape. If it matches your bikefit, you shouldn't be disappointed.
It's a pretty generic design with a moderately ergo shape (meaning not a continuous curve downward to the end from the levers), no wing profile on the tops, no cable channels to facilitate sinking cables into for bar wrapping, no flaring at the drops, and pretty average at 283g in the 420mm variant (380, 400 and 440mm widths are also available). There's 120mm of 31.8mm-diameter clamping section to share out among your stem, lights, computer and other paraphernalia.
Along with markings on the clamping area, setting up was made easier by a decent set of markings on the front of the drops, facilitating brake lever positioning without guesswork or tape measure wrangling. The lack of cable indentations was notable, though – it meant when wrapped the cables were more prominent than usual under the tape.
In use, the contrast with my stock £50 FSA Gossamer RD-315S ergo bar was marked. Even though on paper they only differ in reach by 10mm and have identical 125mm drop, I just could not get a comfortable hand position deep in the drops of the ITM bar, finding the section below the levers dedicated to being 'ergo' was just not quite long enough. It felt like I was gripping a slight curve, with excess pressure on the outside of the grip.
It took a few adjustments of the shifter to get a good enough position in the drops for lever reach too, and the lack of any flare meant I noticed more forearm strike against the bar when out of the saddle in the drops.
In terms of flex and vibration, I have no complaints – I didn't notice either as an issue – and for the price, the Alutech A is going to be fine for many users.
It's not a bad bar, but for me personally – my bikefit, my hand size and my sprinting style – it didn't feel as good as my benchmark. If you're slightly-larger-than-normal of hand, and like your under-tape cables to be nary invisible to the touch, you may want to consider other options; on the other hand (literally), you might like the feel on offer. For the price, there are bound to be riders who would benefit from choosing this bar.
A low-cost, basic yet serviceable bar – just be aware of grip fit in the drops
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ITM Alutech A Alloy 7075 Handlebar
Size tested: 420mm
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?
ITM says: "Manufactured in AL 7075 T6. The compact drops permit correct positioning for maximum steering control: perfect distribution of rigidity and maximum shock absorption."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Available in 380/400/420/440mm sizes
Well enough made, for a handlebar.
Can't help thinking a few very minor tweaks would yield major improvements.
Looks tough enough to last.
Not bad for the price.
For me it wasn't comfortable in the drops, and the lack of a cable channel is annoying.
Not a bad price for a well-made bar (especially if it suits your hands).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A fundamentally good bar, my personal fit issue aside.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The price isn't bad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The ergo curve area, and no cable channel.
Did you enjoy using the product? No, but it's a personal fit issue.
Would you consider buying the product? No, but only because of my own hand size.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they had smaller hands.
Use this box to explain your score
It's an average bar, made slightly better by a low price. Does the job, but could do with a cable channel.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling