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Merit Rodla integrates aero loop in light carbon gravel bar

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This lightweight Merit Rodla carbon handlebar takes the adventure gravel bike cockpit to new extremes with a bigger integrated loop and interesting shaping throughout. Built around a longer mini aerobar loop out front, the Rodla bar offers several ergonomic hand positions optimized for mixed-surface endurance riders, plus more accessory mounting opportunities than ever…

Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar

The general integrated loop shape of the Merit Rodla carbon handlebar isn’t new. A few companies have mashed-up the mini aero bar with various road or gravel drop bars. We first rode the alloy Farr Aero Gravel drop bar that debuted back as 2019, or Redshift’s 2020 Kitchen Sink.

But Merit really takes it to the next level – not just in their shift to lighter weight, better vibration-damping carbon…

Modern gravel alt bars

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, alt bars all c. Merit

Alt bars used to be super niche, limited to the likes of Jeff Jones. But now, there’s really no limit to cockpit customization. I mean, Black Sheep will custom fab you a 1-piece looped gravel bar & stem combo out of titanium these days (if you have $700 to spare). Or you could bolt-on a few different Farr aero loops or even a compact PRO clip-on to a lot of conventional flat or drop bars.

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, testing

But, Merit’s new carbon Rodla bar seems to offer much of the best of all of these different options in one single lightweight, strong, and integrated package.

So, what’s so special? Tech details

 

You get an 15cm forward extension of the loop past in front of your stem. That’s key as the ~10cm of most mini aero loops (that try not to stick out further than your shift/brake hoods) just isn’t really long enough to shift your weight further forward to a real aero tuck or to take much of the weight off your hands. (Farr’s recent Carbon Aero Bolt-On Large stretched out to 15.2cm, and it’s a huge functional improvement in my opinion.)

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, side dimensions

You also get a 15° upsweep of the loop for a more relaxed angle of your wrists in an aero tuck, with your forearms resting on the bar tops.

The entire front loop is the 24mm standard diameter of the drops of many dropbars, so you can mount plenty of extra accessories up-front or hanging down below the loop. It’s NOT however the 22.2 standard of MTB bars at the grips or aerobar extensions, so attaching accessories might require a little spacer creativity with 31.8 mounts, although I suspect most with rubber spacers will work.

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, top dimensions

The tops are also unique. The bar itself features a conventional modern 31.8mm clamping area – yet a full 11cm wide so you can attach plenty more accessories like GPS mounts or a bar bag next to your stem. But those tops also flare out to an even wider 37mm across their flattened top (x 26.7mm deep) to better spread the rider’s weight through their palms or forearms in a relaxing aero tuck. Wrap the bars to or past the loop depending on how cushy you want your cockpit to be.

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, routing

The UD carbon Merit Rodla bar also is compatible with internal routing – featuring grooves & ports on the underside of the bar and an opening in the 31.8 clamp area to direct internal cables into the body of a stem with fully internal routing. The bar also includes textured surface treatment at the stem & hoods for better low-torque grip, and printed-on angle guides for easy setup.

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, front

Merit Rodla loop bar – Sizes, pricing & availability

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, angled

The carbon Rodla gravel loop bar comes in three sizes – 44, 46 & 48cm, measured c-c at the hoods – with real weights of 356g. It’s not ultralight as Merit prioritizes a durable carbon layup, but it’s still more than 100-150g lighter than comparable alloy loop bars. The base dropbar feature a compact bend with 75mm reach and 110mm drop, and a wide 25° flare in the drops.

Merit Rodla integrated aero loop carbon gravel handlebar, top

It sells for 260€ and is in stock now direct from Merit’s GravelBike.cz e-commerce portal. But quantities are limited in this first batch, and once these sell, restock is likely going to take a while.

So, act fast if you need to upgrade your alt gravel cockpit before winter sets in.

MeritBikes.com

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85 COMMENTS

    • Ive had my fair share of bike upgrades, and let me tell you, the Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar is overhyped. Dont waste your money on it. There are better options out there that actually deliver on performance. Keep searching.

  1. Wow, this Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar sounds like the ultimate cycling accessory! Cant wait to try it out and feel the aero power! #gravelbikelife

  2. Wow, this Merit Rodla loop bar sounds like the ultimate gravel bar for all the adventurous cyclists out there! Cant wait to try it out!

  3. Wow, this Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar looks like something out of a sci-fi movie! Cant wait to try it out on my next gravel adventure!

    • Flat handlebars may be fine for some, but dont dismiss the benefits of loop bars so easily. They offer better hand positions, more control, and improved comfort on long rides. Dont knock it till youve tried it!

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but the Merit Rodla loop bar is just another overhyped gimmick. Gravel biking doesnt need game-changers; it needs real innovation. Save your money and stick to the classics that actually work.

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but comparing a gravel bar to James Bond seems a bit far-fetched, dont you think? Its just a bar, after all. But hey, to each their own excitement! Hope you enjoy it.

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but the Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Save your money and invest in actual upgrades that will make a difference on your bike.

    • Aero loop on a gravel bar is for those who actually care about performance and speed. If youre looking for a comfy grip, maybe you should stick to your cozy armchair. Some of us actually want to push our limits and ride to the edge.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Merit Rodla loop bar is overrated. There are plenty of better options out there for gravel bars. Dont get caught up in the hype.

    • I dont understand why people are so obsessed with these overpriced bike accessories. Its just a fancy carbon loop bar, nothing groundbreaking. Id rather spend my money on something more practical. But hey, to each their own, right?

  4. Wow, this Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar sounds like the ultimate upgrade for off-roading enthusiasts! Cant wait to try it out!

  5. Wow, the Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar looks super sleek and innovative! Cant wait to try it out on my next gravel ride. #gamechanger

  6. Wow, this Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar sounds like the ultimate upgrade for my bike! Cant wait to try it out and see if it lives up to the hype.

    • Ive tried the Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar and honestly, its nothing special. There are better options out there that actually deliver on their promises. Dont get your hopes up too high, pal.

    • Ive tried the Merit Rodla carbon loop gravel bar and honestly, it didnt live up to the hype. Its just another overpriced gadget for bike geeks. Stick to what works and save your money for something worthwhile.

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