FSA Wing Pro Compact handlebars £69.95
Definition: “Ergonomics is defined as the science related to man and his work, embodying the anatomic, physiologic, and mechanical principles affecting the efficient use of human energy.”
Modern bicycle design is finally catching up with the concept of ergonomics. This is long overdue and whilst seemingly obvious is not always first consideration at the drawing board, judging by many bits of kit that have I have come across over the years.
A high performance bike is not much good if it fails to integrate seamlessly with its rider. Manufacturers and retailers are gradually wising up to this and making more effort to improve on the sometimes overlooked aspect of cycle fit. Today’s switched-on cycle retailer will offer more than just the latest carbon fibre trinket or guaranteed “go faster” accessory. They will also be focussed on optimising the way the rider sits on their bike and making sure that once the pedalling position is finalised everything else falls easily to reach …One would expect that to always be the case but I have seen countless bikes that clearly fail to achieve this and result in a strained relationship between bike and rider.
Every now and then a manufacturer will bring out a new product that they claim is specifically suited to a certain group of users. I have used several of these products to help individuals achieve increased efficiency and comfort and whilst they have often addressed some relevant issues rarely do they get it completely right…
The new FSA Alloy Wing Pro Compact handlebar goes further than most and can help dramatically with reach and braking issues that many riders both male and female complain of.
Drawn from AL 6061/T6 aluminium alloy, these bars are finished to a high standard and come in a black shot-peened surface finish which adds to the mechanical resistance of the handlebar. A subtle wing profile is incorporated into the top section and provides an increased surface area for reduced hand fatigue. Whilst some will like this feature, the final chosen angle of the bar can force the hand into one position and as such anyone who prefers a traditional round profile here will ultimately be disappointed. The key design elements of reduced reach and drop combined with a nice large radius bend below the lever mount point is what most will be interested in though. This essentially shallow bar allows for a much less extreme position to be offered with the added bonus of a reduced reach to the brake lever making it ideal for anyone with smaller hands. It has to be mentioned here that the design was tailored to favour Shimano STI users as apparently there are more of them out there!
However I have fitted many pairs of Campagnolo Ergopower levers to these bars and with careful positioning a good result can still be achieved. Many riders trying this bar for the first time, after previously struggling to brake from or indeed ride in the drop at all, are now able to do something that most of us take for granted. Couple this with the reduced forward dimension that these bars offer compared to many and you are on to a winner. Better brake lever access and less shoulder ache are regularly reported by recent converts.
The FSA Wing Pro Compact is a welcome arrival, a functional one and worth seeking out by anyone looking to improve the fit and hence comfort of their bike…