Review: Ritchey Pro Carbon Evo handlebars.

Ritchey Evo Curve carbon bar.

Vicodin, that’s the feeling.

Once we threw on the Ritchey Pro Carbon Evo bars, life on the bike suddenly got more comfortable, relaxed and maybe even  blissed out — at least according to our hands.

There are a ton of beautiful, sculpted carbon bars on the market. It’s a bewildering array of goods but we settled on the Evo Curve after a conversation with Dario Fredrick, the master bike fitter, cycling coach and owner of Whole Athlete.

The bend.

When it comes to understanding how the human body interacts with a bike and how to maximize both comfort and power, few experts are as uniquely qualified as Dario. He’s an exercise physiologist, bio-mechanics whiz, current 40+ MTB Cross Country champion and a yoga instructor who mastered his poses in India.

When Dario talks about the Ritchey Evo Curve, it’s all about positioning. ”The main thing is,  you want the bars to put your hand in an advantageous position in relation to the brake lever. That’s designed into the Evo bar,” says Fredrick. ” This whole bar is flat all the way to the lever. There’s also a bit of back-sweep so it gives a big wide surface for you to put your hand on – that’s more real estate for your hand,” says Fredrick. Ritchey lists that as a 3 degree sweep-back,

Side view.

In our test rides with the Evo Curve, that smooth, flat transition out to the brake hoods gave us a new level of hand comfort and position options. While we can’t claim any engineering insight into the 3K monocoque construction, the vibrational damping was a true pleasure. That’s the Vicodin effect. Even a jarring hit on a fast descent becomes a muted thunk instead of a life-threatening disaster.

In Fredrick’s experience, that high riding comfort score is another reason to select the Ritchey Evo Curve over the rest. “Super-light carbon bars have to be stiffer to maintain strength. So while some bars are stiffer, I’d say this is a real comfortable all-around bar.”

We totally agree with his assessment of the Pro Carbon Evo. They feel too good to take your hands off them.

Vibrational skills.

A few particulars for the numerically-minded: The Evo comes in three widths from 40 to 44cm, with weight going from 255 to 265 grams, drop and reach are 131 and 84 mm.

Ritchey website

Pro Carbon Evo $239.95

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