EB13: Refined Zipp Service Course SL Handlebars Move Hoods Closer, Higher
Zipp has redesigned their Service Course handlebar lineup for 2014, changing the angles and shapes to make them fit modern riding styles better.
As more and more riders sit in a slightly more upright position, traditional bar shapes had to be angled up to get the hoods to sit in a properly flat position. That resulted in weird angles for the drops and hook, making those positions less usable or comfortable. The new shapes aim to create a more natural hand and wrist position while in the drops and improve brake lever reach in all positions.
The ramp angles have been lessened, making the tops a bit flatter as they head to the brake hoods, and the brake perch has been flattened slightly to allow them to be mounted slightly higher without creating wonky angles. The “Short & Shallow” model gets shorter and shallower, too. Lastly, outsweep has increased a few degrees and all measurements are now center to center at the brake perch.
To hold them to the bike, a new carbon stem was created, too…
First, a small graphical primer on the parts of the bar. For the comparisons that follow, the older (2013) shape is on the left, the new (2014) shape is on the right.
The Service Course SL-70 changes from 15º to 10º and gets a more pronounced bend at the brake perch.
This is what it looks like mounted up – note the flatter transition to the hoods.
The “Short & Shallow” model is now called the SL-80 and gets more dramatic changes: Angle at the top changes from 14º to 7º, drop decreases by 3mm and reach decreases by 4.5mm.
Once the SL-80′s taped up, it creates an almost perfectly flat top section to the hoods. Yay!
The “Traditional Bend” bar simply becomes the SL-88 and isn’t changed.
Fitters rejoice, Zipp’s bar measurements are now center to center at the brake perch.
The 2013 models are on the left, new models on the right. The SL-70 also has an “ergo” model with flatter top sections, and there are two budget editions available that use less fancy alloy to come in at half the price. Claimed weights are:
- SL-70 (250g)
- SL-70 Ergo (260g)
- SL-80 (250g)
- SL-88 (275g)
- SC-70 Ergo (305g)
- SC-80 (300g)
All will be available in October, and it’s worth pointing out that prices have dropped about $10 on all models compared to 2013.
Now that Zipp’s putting parts under powerhouse Mark Cavendish, they needed to create something that matched the stiffness of that massive Shimano Pro stem he was running. To do so, they borrowed the ExoGram hollow carbon construction used in SRAM Red cranks and ended up with the new Zipp SL Sprint Stem.
Stiffness comes in at 1.8g/Nm, a number they say beats the old standard of 1.7g/Nm and essentially should be understood as “this thing is massively stiff.” And it does so without being a pig. Claimed weight is just 165g (100mm) using an alloy faceplate and stainless steel Torx T25 hardware. It has a 12º angle and comes in 90/100/110/120/130/140 lengths. Retail is $250, available in October.