Zipp SL handlebar and SL Speed stem £549.98

Featherweight combo

BikeRadar score 4/5

This Zipp cockpit combo has a sweet balance between steering stiffness and a bar that softens the buzz from a harsh road. It’s by no means an overly soft setup, but given the low combined weight of 272g the stiffness is impressive. 

The quality of the unidirectional carbon fibre of the SL bar is outstanding. The 48mm wide clamp section is 31.8mm in diameter, and the brake and stem clamp areas are rated to a maximum of 8nm. It’s not compatible with clip-on bars.

Zipp’s Short and Shallow design gives a hood position that’s 120mm from the centreline of the bar to the middle of the hoods. Combined with a 128mm drop it has plenty of space for hands, yet the semi ergo shape still encourages you to get down on the drops more.

The 100mm SL Speed stem is a multi-layer construction using unidirectional carbon, with titanium bolts and a titanium-and-carbon front plate. The front plate is designed to touch at the bottom to increase stiffness, which also helps you prevent over-tightening. We’re impressed with the finish of fully rounded edges so nothing sharp will cut the carbon bar surface.

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

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