At the Ruta del Sol, Rune Herregodts won from a breakaway on a special narrow integrated cockpit Deda made. At the Volta ao Algarve, Brandon McNulty and many of his UAE Team Emirates teammates are using a not-yet-released Deda Alanera cockpit that’s narrower than what is currently on the market.
Deda’s Fabio Guerini explained that the Italian component company has been responding to rider feedback for its new products.
Herregodts cited the UCI’s recent ban on the ‘puppy paws’ position with forearms on the bars as reason for wanting a narrow bar — and he rolled his shifters in to get more aero still.
“The bar chosen by Herregodts is a custom project that Ridley requested to us,” Guerini said. “The bar is 38cm wide, external to external. Caleb Ewan is also riding with this handlebar this year.”
That bar is available on Ridley Noah Fast aero bikes, branded Ridley.
While Deda and a few other brands measure bars outside to outside (oto); many others like Zipp and Easton measure them center to center (ctc). So what Deda calls a 38, many others call a 36.
The 40 and 42cm ctc widths have been common in the pro peloton, with some sprinters and smaller riders opting for narrower. Adam Hansen rode 20 grand tours in the service of other riders, often riding the front on the flats. He famously used a 36cm ctc bar. And Jan-Willem van Schip, who stands 6-foot-4, has used super-skinny, 32cm bars. Last year Van Schip partnered with Speeco for a custom carbon bar, but the UCI booted him from a race for it.
Deda’s new Alanera for UAE Team Emirates
At the Volta ao Algarve, McNulty and many of his UAE Team Emirates are using a Deda-branded Alanera integrated bar.
Guerini said about half the team is using the 40cm oto bar, which will soon be available to consumers. (It currently comes in 42, 44, 46cm oto versions, in various lengths.)
“UAE Team Emirates is a fundamental partner for the development of our products and we are doing a fantastic job together with the riders and team mechanics,” Guerini said. “According with their needs and feedback, we started working on these narrow handlebars versions. This trend, started from sprinters, has spread in the pro peloton due to the aero benefits provided by riding with a narrow handlebar.”
“In a nutshell, the modern handlebar is narrow and often has an aerodynamic profile,” Guerini said. “It is even better if it is integrated so as to be also very rigid, and Deda Elementi has anticipated this trend.”
Brandon McNulty’s Colnago V3R2 at the Volta ao Algarve.
Deda is making multiple lengths and widths of the integrated Alanera bar. (Richard Mille is a watch brand and sponsor of UAE.)
The shape of the front end of a bike can dramatically affect aerodynamics. Hiding cables (or now hoses and wires) makes a big difference. Getting a flat profile can help. And going narrower — in both the bar and the rider’s arm stance — can definitely reduce drag. As always, there’s a balance; at the handlebar, control, comfort and even breathing are also factors to consider in width.
Without separate bars and stems, the only adjustment to be made for rider preference is the hood placement.
The Alanera is currently available in 90-130cm lengths and 42-46cm oto widths. This 40cm version is coming.
McNulty is on Campagnolo Super Record EPS.
Race transponders aren’t the most elegant looking things, but they are necessary.
McNulty is in second overall at the Volta ao Algarve.
McNulty rides his Prolog Nack pretty far forward on the zero-setback seatpost.
SRM doesn’t dominate the WorldTour peloton that way it once did. Shimano has made a big push with its meter being a part of the Dura-Ace groups that so many teams use. But the venerable German company still has a loyal following.