Whisky Spano Drop Handlebar: First Look
Whisky Parts Co just introduced the all-new Spano Drop Handlebar, which features a novel bump-squelching design with a progressive flare at the drops. We had a chance to take a look at one before launch. Learn more and find an original photo gallery of the bars here…
The Spano Drop Handlebar is the latest somewhat eccentric, full-carbon bar in Whisky Parts Co’s lineup. The Spano was made for gravel cyclists and features a unique design that utilizes flattened tops to promote bar flex and provide added comfort by cutting down on wrist and hand stress on rough surfaces. The Spano also has a progressive flare design that starts with 12 degrees at the hoods and ramps up to 20 degrees through the drops, which was intended to keep the levers at a more traditional position and provide a wide flare at the drops. The Spano has a relatively short 68mm reach with a 100mm drop, making it more of a modern-fit all-road bar.
Whisky sent us one to test, although we haven’t yet had the chance to properly do so just yet. However, we did get a collection of photos of the bar mounted up, plus an actual weight. Read on for details…
Our sample 48cm bar tipped the scales at light 243 grams. Similar to the alloy Spank Wing 12 Vibrocore bar we tested, the flex is noticeable while pressing down on them when mounted to a stationary bike. They’ll likely be effective in taking the edge off of bumps in the road and vibrations on gravel. Joe Cruz had this to say about the Spank bars, “The sensation is somewhat difficult to describe, but it’s as if sharp quick ripples in the road are blunted.” I would expect the Whisky Spano bars to offer a similar feel, maybe even offering more vibration dampening considering they’re carbon instead of alloy. And as a bonus the Spano comes in a wider 48cm option with shorter drops, and it’s 110 grams lighter than the 42cm Spank Joe tested.
The Whisky Spano bar is available in five widths, measured center-to-center at the hoods: 40cm, 42cm, 44cm, 46cm, 48cm. Bar widths are 6cm wider when measured center-to-center at the drops. The 48cm version definitely feels wider than most carbon bars I’ve tried (which typically max out at 46cm), although I do wish they could make a 50 or even 52cm version.
All in all, I can certainly see this being an interesting (albeit pretty expensive) option for gravel endurance racers and long-distance gravel bikepackers. Perhaps more the former than the latter, however. The 31.8mm clamp area is only 10.1cm (4″) wide, so mounting some bags might be an issue, particularly those with wider handlebar straps. For a point of reference, the Bags By Bird Piccolo straps are spaced about 8.26cm (3.25″). It works, but the straps are just on the edge of the transition.
The Spano has an ASTM Rating of Condition 3 and retails for $280 USD. Learn more over at WhiskyParts.co.
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