Zipp SL-70 Aero – First Look
The latest trend to road bikes is the flat-top drop bar, which saves watts, allows for more positions (or, at least more positions to be ridden comfortably), and just look cooler than their round-tube bretheren. Bontrager has a bar out, as does Easton and Vision, but now Zipp has joined the mix with their SL-70 Aero, and we have to admit, it’s a serious looker.
The good part about having Zipp enter the arena is that they have a tendency to do it right, and the SL-70 Aero is no exception. It features a 70mm reach, 10 degree ramp angle so that the bar doesn’t need to be upturned to be comfortable, 128mm of drop for extra wrist clearance, and weighs just 240g in 42mm width. Better still, Zipp claims that their new bar is 30 percent stiffer than the Vuka Sprint and will save 6.4 watts at 30mph over a “traditional round-tube bar,” which is somewhere in the vicinity of a 2% overall power reduction requirement and let’s be clear: the winner of the Tour is only separated by that same 2% from the guy who came in 18th. Remember his name offhand? Neither did we.
The best part is that all of this comes for a price of just $350. By Zipp’s own admission, a set of 808 Firecrest will buy you a 32 watt reduction at the same 30mph, for around $2800 US, which works out to about $87.50/watt saved. The new SL-70 Aero comes out to $54.69/watt saved; a difference of over $30/watt! By any measure, the power savings of the bar, when compared to its price, is a no brainer – if you’re in the market for a road bar, look seriously at the Zipp. We know we will for our next road build.
[All images courtesy of Zipp and (c)2014 Joe Vondersaar]