Flare: Turns road handlebars into gravel bars
Most gravel bars are flared in the drops, meaning they are wider towards the bottom. This measurement is called "drop flare," or "flare” for short, and is denoted in angular degrees. The spectrum ranges from a few to over 20 degrees. There are three ideas behind the drop flare: first, there is a lot of reaching into the lower bar when riding off-road. More width means at the same time more lever arm and therefore more control. Every mountain biker knows this. Secondly, when riding actively on the lower bar, the forearms move relatively strongly. Pronounced drop flare prevents painful collisions with the top bar. In addition, more flare provides more distance between the lower bar, hands and knees and thus avoids making contact, especially when you’re riding slowly and at corresponding steering angles.
To achieve the ideal gravel handlebar width, you have three possible reference points: Upper bar width, width at the height of the brake lever and the lower bar width. Our tip: As a rule of thumb, the handlebars should correspond to shoulder width at your preferred grip position, and be more or less flared at the bottom depending on the area of use. If you're essentially riding at high speeds on bad roads or gravel tracks, hold back on the drop flare. If you ride your gravel bike more off-road and on single trails, a larger flare will help you.