Zipp SL Carbon Handlebar $349.95
Zipp is the undisputed king of high end racing wheels for lots of good reasons, one of which is the fact that they offer an ideal wheelset for almost any race or set of circumstances. With the SL Carbon Fiber Handlebar, they prove that they take the same approach to other componentry.
There's a lot to appreciate about the SL. For starters, it's a traditional round bar. Rather than having flat "wing-style" tops like other bars in the marketplace, the SL is built with round tops that constantly taper downward from the 31.8mm clamp area to a 24.2mm diameter at the bends. The drop angle is only 20 degrees, and it has dual radius bends that allow for 15mm of shift/brake lever adjustment. What's the net effect? You can position your shift/brake levers in the high-and-Belgian style if you like, but you can do so without having to rotate your bars heavenward as made most famous by AG2R's Jan Kirsipuu -- do you remember how his drops were angled at almost 45 degrees to the ground?
In addition, the Short and Shallow bar has a dual radius curve in the drops. You'll benefit with the longer, flatter hand surface. We'd be tempted to call it an anatomic bend but be aware that the bend shape is, thankfully, subtle and not overly curvy like many anatomic bars were in the past. The short reach plus the short radius behind the clamp area make it easy to get the crook of your hand "locked" into position for a solid feel in the drops, with an easy reach to the brake levers. The dual cable routing grooves make the SL ideal for Campy, Shimano, or SRAM levers. We put our money where our mouth is here at Competitive Cyclist: We offer the SL ONLY in the "Short and Shallow" option, since we think -- no, we know -- that every cyclist should ride this configuration with a 84.5mm reach and a 128mm drop, it feels sublime.
The SL weighs 170g. When you're building your climbing project bike, the SL is your best choice. But don't let the lightness give you concerns about durability: The SL passed the most stringent tests out there, including the DIN+ standard at the EFBe labs in Germany AND a modified DIN+ test that added an extra 50N to all loads. Lightness doesn't come at the expense of strength. It's available in a 31.8mm clamp in 4 widths -- 40cm, 42cm, 44cm, and 46cm outside-to-outside. One final note: the SL is not compatible with clip-on aero bars. For clip-on use, please choose the Zipp SLC2 bar.
What community has to say
great Zipp quality
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
i cant say enough good things about the quality of Zipp. I got this bar earlier this year and really love the look and performance of them. They are very comfortable as well and do dampen road shock quite a bit. Highly recommended