PRO Vibe Aero Carbon Bar & Stem review£400.00

Aero Di2 cockpit

BikeRadar score4/5

This PRO cockpit combination mates the new 3D-forged 7075-T6 aluminium Vibe stem with the Di2-friendly Vibe Aero carbon bar.

The stem’s new sleeker-looking forged faceplate is retained by four reversed titanium bolts that are angled inwards for fairly easy access from behind, and widely spaced for great lateral stability. Its rigid inverted triangular shape leads to a teardrop-shaped steerer clamp with matching top cap, and a neat Garmin mount is available separately.

You could tape the tops, but it’ll rather undermine the point of fitting an aero bar, and even untaped, the tops are grippy when climbing

My 120mm, -10 degree example weighs 162g including top cap, not super light, but its low weight is balanced with pro-level durability. I chose a 40cm-wide bar instead of my usual 42cm to slightly narrow my frontal area, and including its numerous plastic internal Di2 guides, it weighs 249g.

The tapering, wing-shaped tops are 47mm at their widest, while the ovalised aero hand holds in the drops are a slim 18mm, but the bar is round elsewhere. Indicators on the stem and bar perfectly angle the winged tops for a 73-degree head angle.

Four holes deal with internal cable routing, and Di2 wires can travel from their bar end junction box, through another central hole and exit from a slot behind the faceplate if necessary. Although ideal for Di2 users, this bar works just fine with other gear systems too.

A small step after the bend keeps your bar tape relatively flush with the bar’s flat aero sections. You could tape the tops, but it’ll rather undermine the point of fitting an aero bar, and even untaped, the tops are grippy when climbing.

The aero drop sections are most noticeable when out of the saddle, as there’s less to lean on than a round bar, but with a grip adaptation they’re easy to live with.

This pairing certainly soaks up road vibrations, impressively smoothing the feel of all road roughness short of cobbles, and without exhibiting any undue flex whether hauling up 20 percent climbs or sprinting flat out.

An aero bar that feels as stiff as any I’ve tested isn’t a huge surprise, but one with no comfort penalty is. The Vibe Aero is a very specific bar at a wallet-busting price, and although it’s almost impossible for me to quantify its real-world benefits, this cockpit will reduce both drag and discomfort.

PRO Vibe Aero Carbon Bar & Stem pricing

  • Bar: £300 / $400
  • Stem: £100 / $130

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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