New Zipp SL70 Aero Road Handlebars Makes Ergonomics Fast & Light
The new ZippSL70 Aero Bar takes their slightly ergo round Service Course edition and makes it a bit more slippery. The shape falls into their revised sizing system introduced last fall, giving it a fairly shallow reach and drop with a slight outward sweep to the lower handles.
The large, flat wings of the top section fall within UCI regulations, and they aren’t just for aerodynamics based on shape alone. Tony Martin says he’s been using them to mimic the position of a TT bike:
“I used it in the Prologue of Tour of Dubai and I can say that it is a fast handlebar. The Zipp SL-70 Aero is the closest thing to get to the position of TT bike even on the road. It looks good and it gives me the opportunity to go in an aero position with the arms inside the handlebar.”
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Underneath, it gets the stealthy Rapid Routing system from the Vuka Stealth triathlon bars, making both mechanical and electronic drivetrain installation easy and tidy. While it’s hard to compare for usage, the SL70 Aero is supposedly 30% stiffer than the Vuka Sprint. But it’s not clip-on compatible. Other claims, from Zipp:
- Distinctive wing-shaped top designed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the same supercomputing software used to design Zipp Firecrest wheels.
- A traditional round-tube handlebar top creates drag of about 0.74 Newtons, which they found requires about 7.5 watts of effort at 30mph (48.3kph) to overcome. The SL-70 Aero exhibits just 0.11N of drag, which means a savings of 6.4 watts over a round bar.
- Sizes: 38, 40, 42, 44 cm (center-to-center)
- Weight: 240g (42cm)
- Material: Unidirectional carbon
- Reach: 70mm
- Drop: 128mm
- Ramp angle: 10 degrees
- Drop outsweep: 4 degrees
- MSRP: $350, €300, £266
- Retail Availability: March 2014