EXS R180 Handlebar Review: A Reasonable Priced Option to Save Some Weight and Ride More Comfortable
If you’re an avid road cyclist seeking a top-tier handlebar upgrade, the EXS R180 could be just the thing you need. This handlebar is crafted from lightweight, durable carbon fiber, offering a blend of ergonomic design, comfort, and adaptability that can elevate your cycling experience. The EXS R180’s shallow drop, compact build, and short reach create a comfortable and effective riding position for various cycling styles, be it lengthy endurance rides or brisk sprints. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a casual rider, the EXS R180 road handlebar is a potential option to consider for your next upgrade. In this review, we’ll delve into the details of the EXS R180, examining its features, to help you determine if it’s the optimal handlebar choice for you.
Who are EXS?
EXS Cycling is an emerging bicycle brand hailing from Guangzhou, China. It was founded by a renowned Chinese bike fitter named Kirito Zhang. Unlike many Chinese brands, EXS Cycling is a company that prioritizes technology development, investing significant time and resources into research and testing, and providing technical support to peers. Towards the end of 2020, EXS Cycling commenced retailing its own range of high-end products.
Why Did They Choose Handlebars as Their First Product?
As a bike fitter, Zhang identified an issue wherein many riders were using handlebars that didn’t fit them well. Several complete bikes from Western brands typically come with handlebars that are 42cm or wider, making them too wide for Asian riders. Furthermore, with more and more teenage or female riders entering the sport, there are few brands producing handlebars that are 34 cm or 36 cm wide – which are the sizes that these riders truly require. Thus, Zhang opted to stand out and produce this much-needed product.
The EXS R180 handlebar has a variety of widths available, starting from 34cm and going up to 42cm. It features a 70mm reach, which is one of the shortest options available among major brands. Additionally, this handlebar has a drop of 125mm, which is a neutral measurement that is well-suited for most riders.
Test Data From the EXS Lab
|Hood Position Pull Up (N/mm)
|Hood Position Push Down (N/mm)
|Drop Position Pull Up (N/mm)
|Drop Position Push Down (N/mm)
|Vibe Carbon Compact
|Oversize Compact SL
When compared to some of the major brands in the handlebar market, the EXS R180 boasts a significant advantage in stiffness. While the Pro Vibe carbon compact handlebar is stiffer than the R180, it is also much heavier. On the other hand, the Schmolker is lighter and stiffer than the R180, but its price is over twice that of the R180 handlebar. Therefore, to be fair, the EXS R180 offers excellent stiffness-to-weight performance, and its price is more affordable compared to the bigger brands.
Ergonomics and bike fit are complex topics, but the EXS R180 handlebar offers a shorter reach and minimal drop at the hood area (some brands can have up to a 10-degree drop). This design provides two advantages: you can use a longer stem, which can look better aesthetically, and you can decrease the number of spacers needed while maintaining the correct stack height. For riders who require a lower stack, EXS recommends using a large angle stem such as -12 or -17 degrees.
Di2 bar end junction compatible
The EXS R180 handlebar has a tiny little hole near the bar end, which means customers with di2 bar end junction can easily guide their di2 wire through that hole.
The EXS R180 handlebar features an asymmetrical shape design. The top of the drop position has been flattened, and the top of the bar has been shaped like a “D” for optimal comfort. Additionally, the transition from the bar top to the hood position has been smoothed out for a more comfortable ride.
2 different cable routing choice
The EXS R180 handlebar provides two different ways for cable routing. You can either route your cables in front of the handlebar or lead them through the bottom of the handlebar. Simply choose the option that feels most comfortable for you.
The EXS R150 and R180 handlebars both comply with the international standard ISO4210 and have passed certification by the international third-party organization SGS. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity in inspection, verification, testing, and certification.
The impact resistance strength of the R180 and R150 handlebars is stronger than 3T, EASTON, ENVE, and other conventional product standards (32J).
EXS also offers a two-year warranty and a crash replacement policy. If you break your handlebar due to a crash, you can contact us to get a replacement. Please note that the handlebar must be tightened to the right torque (maximum 4.5Nm), and broken handlebars due to over tightening will not be eligible for a warranty replacement.
In summary, the EXS R180 handlebar is a meticulously crafted product that provides exceptional stiffness-to-weight ratio, comfort, and personalized options. The handlebar’s unique shape, shorter reach, and seamless transition from bar top to hood position make it comfortable for a diverse range of riders. The range of widths available also ensures a suitable fit for Asian riders and those seeking narrower bars. The handlebar complies with global standards and has passed thorough examination by SGS, a reputable third-party organization. Additionally, the warranty and crash replacement policy provide riders with extra assurance. Overall, the EXS R180 handlebar is an outstanding option for anyone seeking a high-performing, comfortable, and customizable handlebar at an affordable price.