Zipp have a great reputation for producing wind-cheating wheels, time trial bars and other go-faster equipment. Taking the TT wing bar shape of their VukaBull design, the company have created the VukaSprint which offers the same aero properties but with the angles of a normal road bar.
The SS – ‘short and shallow’ – shape offers a 128mm drop with a reach of 85mm. The radius flattens after the downward bend, giving a comfortable hold for spells in the drops, and the transition between top and drop has good wrist clearance, which is especially welcome when sprinting.
According to Zipp the deep aerofoil shaped top offers an aero advantage; we can’t say whether or not that’s true, but the wide 2in flats do make for a comfortable place for your hands when riding on the tops. There is a downside to the design, though, as it won’t allow for fitting a computer or lights.
Also, the aero tops fall away from the centre clamp at a very shallow angle, effectively dropping the hoods down from our normal position on a standard bar. The cables are all routed internally, which means the bar’s fiddly to fit, but the clean looks make it worth the hassle.
Taking into account the complex shape and the added material for internal routing, we expected the Vuka to trouble the scales more than an equivalent standard carbon bar. But at a very light 222g for our 44cm test example, that is most definitely not the case. We’re also impressed with the solidity of the bar, which manages to be rigid and stiff without being uncomfortable.
A bar that comes in at nearly £300 needs to be as good as can be, and the VukaSprint doesn’t disappoint. It’s a different shape to normal road bars, designed with sprinting in mind but useful for much more than that, combining superb quality with great ergonomics.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.