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Wren Perseverance Drop Bars: First Look


Wren Perseverance drop bars
Wren Sports recently announced a drop bar version of their Perseverance bar. It's built for long distance unsupported bike adventures with an emphasis on all-day comfort and wilderness utility. The expedition geometry and integrated aero loop make it a unique option for adventure bars.

The Perseverance drop bar is currently in production and will be available at Wren December 2022.


The cockpit is a tough part of your bike to get just right and that goes even more so for long distance adventures. The stress on your hands, the ability to have gear carrying flexibility, and the need for multiple riding positions makes finding the right handlebars extremely important, but also really difficult.


Wren sports is currently in pre-production with a drop bar version of their Perseverance Bars. It's a handlebar that they've built specifically for epic, unsupported adventures and their goal is to strike the balance of maximum comfort and adventure utility.



Riding With the Perseverance Bars

These bars were new to me on so many levels I kind of can't believe they've been such a great fit so far. For starters, I've never customized my cockpit outside of pretty standard and traditional drop bars. I've long admired the trend in wider gravel bars with swept drops but just haven't made the switch.


I also only did my first gravel century just this year and have never ridden with aero bars. In a lot of senses I've been a pretty traditional adventure cyclist who hasn't wandered too far from your out-of-the-box gravel bike.


Gravel biking with Wren handlebars
Photo: Cam Evjen

The wider hoods, shallower drop, and integrated aero bar were new to me and so much fun to try out. I was so stoked when they showed up on my doorstep about 10 hours before driving away to the Filthy 50, a local gravel race in Lanesboro, Minnesota.


Then two weeks later I had a local overnighter planned and I got to load up the handlebars with a full width tent which had never fit on my handlebars before.


Climbing in the wide hoods and grinding in the shallow drops felt extremely natural. The Filthy 50 race was uniquely dry, dusty, winding, and slippery and the extra width gave me noticeably more handling confidence.


Now to be fair, these are really purpose built for expedition bikepacking and less for gravel racing. I rarely get out for more than a 3-day bikepacking trip but felt like the advantages carried over really well for shorter adventures and day gravel rides as well.


For non-climbing and non-maneuvering, I would personally prefer the hoods to be a little narrower and just flare out to the existing width of the drops. I'm pretty short at 5' 6" and the width at the hoods is definitely more than I need.


Hand Positions & Mounting Options

The only extra hand positions you really get with these bars is in the integrated aero loop as well as more places to rest your hands on the flats. Some people will wish the aero loop wasn't integrated and others will love that it's always there and ready to send. I'm pretty fidgety even on long rides and enjoy full stretching out, giving my back a break, and getting out of the wind in the aero bars.


The aero loop also gives more mounting options for devices, lights, and cameras.


One thing I really love is that the width of the bars gives room to strap a full width tent right up front. I don't have an ultra light bikepacking-specific tent with short poles and both of my traditional MSR 2-person tents have plenty of room to attach to these bars with bikepacking straps because of the extra width.


All the Numbers

The most notable specs are the width at the hoods and the size of the aero bars. At 530mm width at the hoods, they're just about the widest handlebars you'll find. The Redshift Kitchen Sink handlebars, for example, come in four sizes and 530mm is the widest. The Salsa Cowchipper bars comes in eight sizes with 520mm being the widest. There are a few wider options than the Perseverance drop bars but not many.


Side view of Wren Perseverance drop bars

The second point to notice is the large integrated aero loop at 250mm in length with a 78mm rise. I can't find length specs on the Redshift Kitchen Sink or Farr Aero Gravel Bar but the Perseverance loop appears quite a bit bigger which allows for you to be fully stretched out and tucked downward and the other brands bars' integrated loops only seem to scratch the surface of that.


Full Perseverance Handlebar Specs

  • 530mm width at the hoods

  • 105mm Drop

  • 29 degree flair

  • 6 degree backsweep from clamp to hoods

  • Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm

  • Drop: 105mm

  • Flair: 29 degrees

  • Material: 6061 Alloy

  • Finish: Anodized Gold/Bronze with Black Decals

Aero Loop Specs

  • Rise at the Nose: 78mm

  • Backsweep from Clamp to Hoods: 6 Degrees

  • Length: 250mm

  • Width at Base: 301mm

  • Tube Diameter: 22.2mm


Bike on a trail with Wren Perseverance drop handlebars

Aero Bars for Adventure Cycling?

I'll be the first to say that the aero bar threw me for a figurative loop. I think of them for ultra distance racing but less for adventure riding. Cons are that you can't take them off because they're integrated. Pros are that they give you more hand options for long hard days bikepacking on mixed terrain and wind plus they give your back a break and allow you to stretch out. These are definitely not for everyone, but for certain riders these are going to be perfect for their exact needs on bike adventures. With a 301mm width where the aero meets the handlebar, this particular aero integration is fairly wide which is going to give you more control than racing aero bars to navigate tricky terrain right from the tucked position.



It should be noted that without the armrests (currently in preorder with expected shipping of November 2022), the aero loop is not really an option for long periods of time. You'll definitely need the arm rests for longterm comfort which is also another expense.

Pros

Cons

Thoughtful adventure-specific geometry

Aero loop isn't detachable

Many different hand positions

Hood width is very wide and won't be for everyone

Shallow & wide drops give stability and comfort

Aero loop allows light & gps mounting in front of handlebar bags

Internal cable routing

Even though these bars are built for longer unsupported adventures than I've tested them out for, I really like the comfort and confidence I can feel instantly. The aero loop will likely be more than I need most of the time but I like the having the option to stretch out. Being a short rider, it'll be interesting to see how the 530mm hood width will play out over time, but for now I know it's already hard going back to the narrow bars I was once used to. I think the nicest thing is to have a full range of position and gear attaching options for the spontaneous and varied adventures that lie ahead.

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