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Speed read: New ENVE SES AR bars built for all roads

By Spencer Powlison

Does your road bike occasionally stray onto dirt? Will you mix in paved sections on the average gravel bike ride? If you're like most riders, the answers are yes, and yes!

The great thing about modern drop-bar bikes is that they easily dabble on all road surfaces. ENVE saw that versatility and built a handlebar to enhance it: the SES AR.

ENVE SES AR handlebars

You might be wondering: "Do we need another handlebar?" The answer depends on the type of riding you plan on doing, and your personal ergonomics preferences. The good news is that now we have even more options to choose from.

For starters, let's consider what handlebars used to look like, before the gravel revolution changed drop-bar bike technology. 

Traditional road bike handlebars have minimal flare — the angle from the brake/shifter hoods out to the bottom of the drops. They also tend to be narrower — between 40cm and 44cm, typically. And some modern road handlebars have aerodynamic tops that are flat or oval-shaped to cut through headwinds. This sometimes offers more comfortable perch for your palms too.

These designs keep your arms and shoulders relatively narrow and aerodynamic. The bar shape and width also make it easier and safer to ride through a tightly packed peloton. On relatively smooth roads, you also rarely need the leverage that wider bars can offer.

If all of that sounds great, you can stop reading at this point. 

However, if you've been looking for some of those features in a road handlebar that is wider with more flare, then the ENVE SES AR handlebars might be right up your alley.

ENVE worked off of its SES Aero design to give the SES AR aerodynamic-shaped tops and internal routing compatible with the newest, sleekest frames. It also tapped into its extensive carbon fiber manufacturing experience to build a bar that's compliant yet stiff. 

To set the SES AR apart from its existing handlebars, ENVE took its proven G-Series gravel handlebars and adapted some of the geometry to meet the needs of all-around riding.

The drops are comparable to its shallow Road bars at 127mm. This makes it comfortable to securely hold onto the drops without putting the rider in a position that's too low. ENVE took that drop dimension and gave the SES AR a comfortable, confidence-inspiring flare. Here's how the drop flare compares across ENVE's models in the 42cm size:

SES AR: 42.5cm at hoods, 47.2cm at drops
G-Series: 42cm at hoods, 54cm at drops
Road compact: 42cm at hoods, 44cm at drops

As you can see, the SES AR geometry is ideal for riders who want something in between a pure road bar and a gravel bar. Plus, this new bar adds the aero features of the ENVE SES Aero handlebar in wider widths (SES Aero isn't available in sizes wider than 41cm at the hoods).

So if you prefer a road bike with gravel-inspired handlebars or a gravel bike without the dramatically flared wide bars that are in vogue, the SES AR is worth a look. 

Start by measuring your current handlebars to see how it compares. If the SES AR isn't quite right for you, it's likely either G-Series gravel bars or ENVE's Road and SES Aero offerings will be a good fit.

ENVE SES AR handlebar specs

Size
Width Hoods
Width Drops
Reach
Drop
Drop Flare
Weight 
38
38.5cm
43.2cm
76mm
127mm
23.5mm
242g
40
40.5cm
45.2cm
76mm
127mm
23.5mm
254g
42
42.5cm
47.2cm
76mm
127mm
23.5mm
260g
44
44.5cm
49.2cm
76mm
127mm
23.5mm
273g
46
46.5cm
51.2cm
76mm
127mm
23.5mm
290g

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