Specialized S-Works Hover Carbon Handlebar
Specialized has worked for many years to improve and create options directly related to rider fit positioning and overall comfort. Hence the Body Geometry direction of shoes, saddles and gloves- the physical interfaces were the cyclist meets the bike. Yet the development of component designs that can offer new opportunities or starting points has always been in play, even at the premium component level, such as with this S-Works Hover Carbon Handlebar. In most regards this is a shallow, short reach carbon handlebar, but the Hover designation speaks to lift, or rise, and the top sections of the bar do in fact rise from the horizontal axis of the stem clamp zone by 15mm. While the Hover design can, and is, achieved in alloy, this bar is manufactured with Specialized's FACT carbon construction to offer an optimized blend of stiffness, durability and light weight with some vibration mitigation properties.
The Hover design can be used in a fit environment on an existing bike, say in a situation where the steerer was cut short, or the rider has lost flexibility. It can also be used in fitting a new bike with a forward thinking approach for future or variable needs. Perhaps the rider normally heads out for 2-3 hours on average, but once or twice a year takes on a century or long benefit with friends. Being able to raise the cockpit for the longer rides can be real comfort advantage. Options are good.
As noted, this is a shallow drop, at 123mm, with a complementary 75mm reach. This allows for quick hand transitions, but maybe a bit tight for average to large hands. The drop tapers to a slightly flatter section before the end, which then take standard round form, giving you a physical structure that offers leverage and an immediate tactile safety response. The radius of the bar is fully compatible with current Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo levers in all variations, and puts brake lever reach in the best possible place while still allowing full lever pull and shift functions. Moving off the lever hoods and onto the top, the bar has an ergonomic shape and smooth transitions that create a more comfortable hand and palm support while riding on the tops, but still takes into account the smaller hand emphasis. Even wrapped in moderately thick tape, hand pressure and grip on the shape offers effective control.