Gravel Grinder News: Shimano PRO Introduces Flared Drop Bars, Bags- by Guitar Ted
The world of cycling information is full of press releases, and here at RidingGravel.com, we are not interested in becoming a mouthpiece for marketing firms. So a lot of what receive as press releases does not see the light of day here. However; when a relevant, interesting product does pop up, we will share it here. Just such an instance occurred over the weekend, and it has to do with the flared drop bar category.
Shimano’s PRO brand introduces Discovery Series flared drop bars. This is the Jumbo Flare
Flared drop bars are becoming more common these days, but it is still interesting to see Shimano’s PRO brand debuting these flared bars. We feel it is a signal from Shimano that the component giant is taking a serious look at the category of gravel/all-road cycling. The recent Shimano XC-5 shoe, which we reviewed here, and the introduction of the clutch style rear derailleur under the Ultegra banner are also strong indicators, in our opinion, that Shimano means business in this category.
The 12° flared “Medium Flare” bar from PRO
There are two handle bar offerings, both which immediately conjure up images of another adventure cycling based company’s handle bar offerings. The “Jumbo Flare”, seen above, is the analog to the popular Cowchipper Bar and the “Medium Flare” is very reminiscent of the Cowbell Bar.
The press release did not specify what type of aluminum would be used to manufacture these bars, nor what the pricing and availability would be. Here’s what we do know:
PRO Discover Medium Flare
– Weight: 270 grams
– Sizes: 40, 42, 44cm
– Drops flare out 2.35cm on each side
PRO Jumbo Flare Bar
– Weight: 280 grams
– Sizes: 42cm and 44cm
– Drops flare out 6.7cm on each side
The Discovery Top Tube Bag from PRO
PRO Discovery Bags: Along with the handle bars, PRO also introduced four new bags for adventure/all-road/gravel use and they reflect four pieces most often seen on these types of bikes. The Top Tube Bag is the bag most often seen in gravel races and this particular bag features the ability to be bolted on or attached by two removable hook and loop closure straps. The bag features .75 L of cargo space and has a port for the charging of electronic devices or batteries.
The “Frame Bag” is the bag you see a lot of times at longer gravel events where storage of food and extra clothing is called for. The 5.5L bag has two sides which are separated. The “drive side” has a bigger compartment for larger items and has an internal divider, which is removable, and a front hook and loop attachment which has a couple of optional placements.
There were no dimensions given for this bag and no mention of any optional sizes.
There were also two other bags introduced, both of which are more attuned to the bike packing crowd. The 15L sized “Seat Pack” is the typically seen, roll top affair which attaches to the seat post and seat rails. Then there was the 8L waterproof Handle Bar Bag. Both images of these bags are in the gallery below.
Comments: As mentioned above, we don’t think these products are “earth-shattering news” in and of themselves. There are literally loads of bags and several flared drop bar choices out already. The main thing we’re getting out of this is that Shimano is behind the products and they being who they are, well, it portends that the solidification of this niche into the near future is all but assured. Shimano doesn’t, typically, do anything without a lot of research and consideration, so from our perspective this introduction is only the tip of the iceberg, as it were, from Shimano. We not only see the gravel/all-road segment being solidified by this product introduction, but we expect Shimano has even more interesting product up their sleeves yet to be revealed.