This handlebar is part of the latest gravel range of components released by PRO Components. The PRO Discover Medium, or Ergo, has a flare of 12 degrees, a flat section for your hands, is Di2-ready, and its alloy construction offers plenty of stiffness while keeping the weight down.
- Pros: Great shape, decent price
- Cons: No additional abrasive material to stop the hoods from slipping
Most off-the-peg gravel and adventure bikes we see coming through the door here at road.cc have a handlebar that flares out at the drops in relation to the hood position. The wider stance gives you a bit more control and stability when descending in the drops on a loose surface, but retains a more usual narrow width for when you are riding along the road on the hoods or tops.
A lot of brands have settled on 12 degrees of flare per side, which pushes the bar width out by about 5cm at the bottom compared to the top, and I find it a good option. I can feel the extra width and it gives me the confidence to push things a little on the gravel without feeling like my arms are stretched too far apart.
That's just my opinion, and if you want to go for a much larger flare then you can opt for the 'Big' Discover bar which has a 30-degree flare. That comes in just two width options, a 42cm or 44cm, and the drops width increases by 13.5cm.
In its technical drawings, PRO lists this Medium flare bar as Ergo, because the tops are slightly flattened to give you a little more area to rest your hands on. It's not as wide as some of the racing wing shaped handlebars we see, but it offers a comfortable area for grip.
There is a slight groove underneath for accepting brake hoses and cables, plus the drops are drilled to accept the latest Shimano Di2 bar end junction box.
With a drop of 110mm and a reach of 75mm, it is quite a compact offering, so the option of using the drops regularly is available to most.
There are markings on the sides of the bar to align your shifters, but where most brands add a sandpaper style effect to stop the hoods from shifting, PRO has kept it smooth. I did have a couple of times where the shifters slipped on really rough terrain; the clamp has to be done up very tight.
PRO has used a 6066 grade of aluminium alloy for its construction and stiffness is absolutely fine without feeling harsh. Even hauling hard on the bar I couldn't really feel any discernible flex.
It's light, too, at 265g (40cm measured centre to centre), making it nearly 50g lighter than the more expensive Ritchey Comp Ergomax: £44.99 versus £52, so it delivers on the value front too.
On the whole, I really like the PRO Discover. It offers plenty of stiffness and comfort thanks to plenty of usable hand positions.
Great addition to the gravel and adventure market with a balance of performance and value
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PRO Discover Medium handlebar
Size tested: 40cm/12 degrees
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 Discover is part of PRO's latest gravel and adventure range, and thanks to a well thought out design it is very good to use off and on road.
PRO says, "At home on the road, bridleway, gravel path or singletrack, these are true go-anywhere, do-anything handlebars"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
PRO lists these features:
12 degree flare for optimal riding position
AL-6066 construction for increased rigidity
Shimano DI2 integration
Ergonomic top section for multiple hand positions
The ideal handlebar for long gravel rides
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great on the gravel when it comes to stiffness versus comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A very usable shape for pretty much all riders.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of rough surface/grip for the shifter clamp.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It offers pretty good value for such a quality component and is in the right ball park against the opposition.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A handlebar with a well-thought-out shape that doesn't cost a fortune.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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.