I’ve been looking into handlebars for the hill climb bike. I need to buy another pair because I want to chop the ends off (I won’t be using drops in upcoming hill climbs). It’s not the most efficient way to save 50 grams, but it might be easier to pull on the hoods as well.
I looked at the Zipp handlebars, as usual there is a confusing array of names Zipp SL, Zipp Contour SL, and Zipp SLC. There’s not a huge variation in each. Zipp SL the lightest. Zipp SLC the most rigid. Also, be careful – Zipp sizes are centre to centre. A 42cm ZIpp (Centre to centre) is a 44cm in most other brands.
Zipp SL is the lighest handlebar it is 31.8 only in the middle of the bars allowing a more aerodynamic profile away from the centre.It means that you can put clip on aerobars on them. Zipp specificially say you can’t – it isn’t built with suitable clamping point. This is more of a climbers bar, with focus on lightweight, but they are still reasonably stiff.
• Weight (SS 42 cm): 170g
• Clamp Diameter: 31.8
• Clamp Width: 48mm
• Short-Shallow Bend: Yes
• Clip Compatible: No
• Max Brake Lever Torque: 8NM
• Max Torque Clamping to Bar: 8NM
• Drop style: SS
RRP €313 – Zipp at Zipp.com
Zipp Contour SL
Weight 190 grams
Good ergonomics and feels pretty light and rigid. Zipp say that VCLC technology helps to dampen any vibrations.
The 42cm model weighs 185 grams.
The Contour SL version is a bit heavier 15 grams than SL version, but just 15 grams.
Zipp SL at Chain Reaction cycles – £179 RRP £229
Zipp SLC main model
38, 40, 42, 44cm (Center-to-Center)
Drop style both SS and TB (Traditional Bend)
The Zipp SLC main model is 20-25grams heavier than the SL version, but designed to be stiffer and more rigid. They have made more of the bar (60%) the same 31.9 mm diameter as the clamp area. Zipp also state that they have added strength around the clamp for improved sprinting loads.
- SLC2 at Zipp
It is also built to take clip on tribars. It is the compact size across the top of the handlebars.
This represents a pretty good all round handlebar. Many would make more use out of the greater stiffness than a relatively minor weight saving. The main disadvantage is that if you spend a lot of time climbing on the top of the hoods, you may find the wide diameter a little unusual. It is very rigid and hard to get any flex.
The SLC2 are the strongest and most rigid of the bars.