The fact that an Enve SES one-piece bar and stem combo was coming soon was far from a secret. It’s been on the radar as a possible inclusion into our list of the best road handlebars since it showed up on Tadej Pogacar’s bike after we spent time with it. Despite that, the specifics haven’t been widely available.
That changes today as Enve releases the SES AR One-Piece bar and stem combo. As of now, you no longer need to be a builder that knows Enve, a customer buying an Enve custom road, or a race team with Enve sponsorship. If you want to clean up the cockpit on your Enve IN-route compatible bike frame, Enve will now sell it to you.
Like the previous AR bar and stem combo, you get the same integrated bar ends, compound flare, and 76mm reach with 127mm drop. However you now have a choice of 20 different skews covering a full range of one-piece bar and stem combinations. The smallest option is a 90mm stem paired with a 38cm bar then options go up from there. Available widths include 38, 40, 42, and 44 cm and each width has options for a 90, 100, 110, and 120mm stem lengths plus 130mm available in 42 and 44 cm. You can also custom order unusual sizes should you need them. Weights range from 330-360 grams depending on size which represents a savings of roughly 85 grams again depending on size.
One detail that is new is the out-front mount. Enve has always chosen to leave the engineering and testing of the out-front mount to fellow American brand K-Edge but in the past the mount meant a separate purchase. This time around there is a new design from K-Edge specific to the one-piece design and it’s now included as part of the purchase price. Along with the out-front mount, each handlebar will ship with 30 mm of IN-Route spacers, and one “bypass” spacer. The bypass spacer allows for external routing of hoses anytime there’s a need to test a setup before fully committing to the work of internal routing.
The path to market
Not only was the existence of a one-piece bar and stem combo not a secret, the journey from concept to market is something Enve has been happy to tell anyone who would listen. In case you missed the details, the story starts with UAE Team Emirates and Tadej Pogačar requesting a handlebar solution that was lighter and more aero. The result, after five months of development, was a one-piece SES Aero Road handlebar and stem that debuted at the 2023 Tour de France. While today’s release isn’t that version, the SES Pro Team One-Piece handlebar based on the SES Aero Road handlebar option will be available Q2 this year, the basic engineering, and business case, is the same.
Up until now, Enve had two aero optimised handlebar options. Those who were looking for the most aero option, even at the expense of a stiffer ride, could choose the Aero handlebar and for everyone else the SES AR road handlebar offered aero with a more forgiving ride feel. Pairing either bar with the Enve aero stem allowed for internal routing with no exposed cables.The end result, before today, was a cockpit that offered both aero advantages and flexibility for consumer fit needs.
The problem is that by definition a two-piece bar and stem isn’t the most efficient solution. Using two pieces in place of one will always mean more carbon and some amount of compromise. So when UAE Team Emirates asked for the absolute best, it was obvious that going to a one piece system made the most sense. Catching the engineering up was a matter of optimising the production to meet the same goals as the two piece design while also pulling back any compromise previously required. That opened up a new challenge though. In fact, it sounds like one of the biggest obstacles to these releases was the business case rather than the technology.
Today’s release of the SES AR One-Piece handlebar comes with a significant MSRP of $1200 / €1449 / £1300. This price comes as a result of Enve, it claims, choosing to keep numbers low, production domestic, and remain more responsive to changing demand.
If you are willing to take the plunge on today’s release, then you’ll still need to negotiate compatibility and that means a frame compatible with the Enve IN-route system. IN-Route is a design co-developed with Chris King Precision Components to allow hidden cable routing. Cables move from the controls through the centre of the bar/stem and down into the front of the headtube. It requires a fork with a “1.125” steerer and running the hoses/wires between the steerer and the larger 1.5” upper headset bearing.”
At the moment, that design further limits accessibility of the new SES AR One-Piece handlebar. Right now guaranteed compatibility only covers a small pool of Enve frames and independent builders who adhere to the IN-route standard. Despite that, according to Enve, “most bikes using a similar system will likely be compatible with the new SES AR One-Piece with some slight modifications.”
A good example of what that looks like is the Colnago V4Rs. That bike is compatible with the one-piece bars when the upper bearing cover is swapped to an Enve specific piece. Although Enve isn’t offering that bearing cover for sale currently, it’s a relatively simple piece. It’s easy to see how it could one day be part of a library of small parts that “ensure ENVE components can be seamlessly integrated with the most popular frame models on the road.”
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Pricing and availability
The SES AR One-Piece handlebar is now available direct via Enve.com and retail partners around the world at an MSRP of $1200 / 1449€ / £1300.
Purchase includes 40mm of spacers covering two 5mm, one 10mm, and one 10mm bypass spacer along with a K-edge computer mount with Garmin and Wahoo compatibility, integrated bar ends, and a hardware kit with bolts and a top cap.