Introduction Gravel handlebars and bikes are becoming more and more popular, and they started gaining…
INTEGRATED HANDLEBAR: IS IT WORTH IT?
Integrated handlebar is becoming more and more popular. Especially in nowadays high-tech bike industry era and they often fit well on premium bikes. Integrated handlebars feature a very fancy design. With the cables being concealed with the bars going down through the stem and lastly inside the frame. Adjustments on handlebars are also possible without compromising the handlebar design and weight.
Integrated handlebars usually come in a different kind of options. The main two ones are partially integrated and fully integrated. Semi integrated handlebars make possible to change the bars. But stem and headset feature different design to allow the integrated cables to be concealed. And not coming outside of the handlebar.
On the other hand, the fully integrated handlebar which features only one piece from the fork stem to the rider control where one can break and change the gears of the bicycle. Nowadays, the trend seems to be in favour of fully integrated handlebars. (Which are surely lighter compared to the semi-integrated counterpart. But they also come with some disadvantages. Which riders really have to be aware off before proceeding with the fully integrated version choice). Undoubtedly, bike usage and bike fit are 2 crucial factors. Which riders have to consider before contemplating between the fully integrated or the semi-integrated version.
The first issue with the fully integrated handlebar concerns the “fit aspect”. Bring aware of the ideal bike measurements (meaning that you know exactly the measures and dimensions of the stem and handlebars). You can enter a bike shop and ask for a bike with those specific measures equipped with a fully integrated handlebar. One can therefore avoid the unpleasant surprise of riding a bike whose measures are too wide or too short for you as well as an uncomfortable handlebar grip position.
Another essential element to be considered before purchasing integrated handlebars concerns the real usage of the respective bicycle. One can have for instance a bike which serve the purpose of group bike riding and therefore that bike should possibly look neat, smooth, and concealed. However, in case of backpacking or have a more relaxed ride, having a fully integrated handlebar make that more difficult. Therefore, prior to buying the integrated handlebar one should really identified the intended usage of the bike and stick to that as much as possible. In case one have just one bike and needs to be rather versatile, the semi integrated version is definitely the most suitable option (as one can eventually flick the stem or change it). Integrated handlebars are surely more costly to be changed and the process could be very bothersome (as all parts are concealed in).
The last factor to bear in mind is all about travel. Plenty of people nowadays likes to go travelling with their bikes and to do that they usually disassemble the bikes and put them into bike boxes. A very important aspect to consider regards the limitation of different airlines in terms of box sizes. Therefore, the first thing to ensure is that the bike fits into the bike box. Handlebars might be able to be removed without too much of hassle, but it is undoubtedly something one must check at the time of the purchase.
Are integrated handlebars part of the future? Undoubtedly, manufactures seem to prefer integrated handlebars over semi-integrated ones to have slick looking design with all cables being internal. With one-piece handlebar, no joints are present, the bar looks smoother, all cables remained concealed and the overall look and design stays neat.
ALL ABOUT ITM 50 INTEGRATED OPTION
At ITM, we offer both integrated and semi-integrated handlebar option.
Our ITM 50 is considered the top-notch component of all our collection. It is manufactured in carbon monocoque, and it looks aerodynamic, integrated and ergonomic. It features an elegant and unique design integrated with a support for every type of computer cycle. In addition to that, it is equipped with two forward bend. Which allow the rider to enjoy all comfortable and natural position both during the effort and the rest position.
The integrated version (ITM 50 CR) is designed to enable the use of the complete integrated cable routing system. It is compatible with electronic and mechanical gearbox as well for the hydraulic and mechanical braking system. The wires and cables from the handlebar go directly inside the fork and frame tubes.
Both our integrated and semi integrated version feature the interchangeable support. Which is suitable for cycle computer types such as Garmin, Polar, Wahoo and Bryton. LSGP adapter are also available on request to display your favourite GOPRO.
ITM 50 is available in multiple sizes (400, 420 and 440) and it only weights 390 cm.
For more information on our ITM 50, please click here
Should one prefer integrated handlebars over semi-integrated ones? To sum up we can conclude that If one value design, concealed and neat surface, internal cable routing option, the integrated option should be preferred. Nonetheless, semi integrated handlebars make possible to change the bars. But stem and headset feature different design to allow the integrated cables to be concealed and not coming outside of the handlebar. Should one intend to change frequently stem and bar sizes, the semi integrated option should be preferred. Broadly speaking, the trend seems to be in favour of fully integrated handlebars (which are surely lighter compared to the semi-integrated counterpart). Most of bike manufacturers collection are moving towards fully integrated version. And so customers requests do, therefore we can expect this trend to persist in the coming years.