Easton EC90 SLX3 bar and EC90 SL stem £419.98

Top for performance, comfort and low weight

BikeRadar score5/5

There are lots of features in this bar and stem – helicoiled bolts on the stem, markers you can see when fitting the levers, surface treatment… Suffice to say they are both very well designed and engineered bits of kit, which is what you’d expect at these prices.

If you’re looking for performance, comfort and low weight then this bar and stem combination is at the top of the game. it all comes at a cost, but although the price is high, these carbon beauties are well worth it if you find the shape to your liking. The stem is stiff and light, and the front cap is a clever bit of design that makes tightening it down evenly onto the bar a doddle: you simply tighten the two top bolts until the cap faces touch, and then torque up the bottom two bolts. This ensures a fairly even clamping force on the bar, reducing the chance of uneven clamping that could potentially cause premature failure. The bar has a subtle flex to it which dulls vibrations and takes the edge off bigger hits, but also gives a connected and precise feeling when ridden hard.

You get what you pay for and performance is truly fantastic. The bar is supremely comfortable yet stiff and precise, and the stem is stiff and light, yet also very kind to the bar in terms of clamping stresses and ease of installation. The traditional drops and round tubing make for a bar that simply works very well, no matter what.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.

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