I decided to switch things up for the upcoming season so I sold the chinese carbon fiber handlebars and went for a compact design. I rode the HB003 bars for almost 4000km so thought it would be appropriate to give them a review. Generally I have been very happy with the performance. Design is little quirky, but I did appreciate the wide wings on longer rides. Especially I liked the little flat spots on top of the curved part of the bar.
Carbon fiber in itself is a very tough material, but you need to be careful in the sense that installing carbon parts should always be done with a torque wrench and carbon paste. Durability never was an issue though. Even though I have tendency to really push it up the hills I have noticed very little flex. I never felt that I could not rely on the bars on fast decents or hitting bumps on the road. The bars reduce road buzz beautifully so they perform well on poorer roads also.
Initially I was disappointed that there was no room for cyclocross levers, but I got over that as I ride on the hoods most of the time anyway. The only reason I’m moving to alloy is that I haven’t found reasonably priced shallow carbon bars. I figured I can drop my bars another cm and still be able to reach the drops. HB003 is pretty high (15,5-16cm) ergo drop so my theory is that it is better suited for casual rider with bars high or by semi-pros that are on the drops all the time. Time will tell if risk pays off and I will be happy with my new bars or whether I will be yearning back my HB003s.