Enve is not only a big deal in road cycling, it’s also a well-respected brand in the mountain bike world. So, it’s no surprise to see it now applying its expertise to creating carbon kit for gravel riding.
Enve’s new gravel handlebar is part of its G Series of carbon components for off-road riding, but the bar itself works well over all surfaces.
Enve says that it designed the G Series bar using uni-directional carbon fibre layers orientated to maximise shock absorption over rough surfaces while still maintaining enough stiffness when you’re sprinting or honking on an out-of-saddle climb. Thankfully, Enve’s claims on the bar’s vibration-damping were borne out by my testing.
The bar feels compliant over rocky tracks, and leaves even the worst tarmac feeling ice-rink smooth. Its central round section offers plenty of room for your GPS mount, lights or bag before transforming into a flattened oval, with room on the underside for brake hoses and gear and Di2 cabling.
One unique feature of the G Series Gravel bar is the tapering bar ends, which house Enve’s screw-in bar-end plugs. However, if you want to run Di2 with the latest bar-end junction box, you will need to cut at least one end off, but Enve has rather helpfully printed a Di2 cutline to make this much easier.
The bar’s most striking feature is its flare. The bar pairs a shallow 120mm drop with a short 80mm reach. It’s available in widths of 42cm, 44cm, 46cm and 48cm across the tops, and my 44cm test bar spreads out to a super-wide 56cm at the bottom.
This flare increases through the curve, which means that the lever and hoods are nearly vertical – as they would be on a road bar – making this a great all-road option.
Whereas many gravel bars put the levers at an oblique angle, this offers the control benefits of a flared bar when off-roading without compromising your riding elsewhere. Smart thinking, I’m impressed.
As you’d expect from Enve the G series bar is light, my 44cm bar weighing just 242.3g, and when it comes to performance it scores the highest of marks.
Nevertheless, the breathtaking £360 cost is a huge price to pay, even for a product of this impressive quality.