Sea Otter 2012: Zipp release new alloy and carbon aero bars

By Ben Delaney in Monterey, California, USA | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9.30am

At the Sea Otter Classic, Zipp showed a few variations of their new Vuka Alumina aluminum aero bar system, and also displayed four new Carbon Vuka extension bars, including one that integrates SRAM or Zipp shifters.

Vuka Alumina is a highly adjustable modular setup, with some smart details like Torx bolts at the crucial junctions and internal cable routing without tight angles. Consisting of a base bar, two types of extensions, adjustable arm-rest clips and three heights of riser stacks, the pieces can be used as a system or with other companies’ products, as the extensions are the industry-standard 22.2mm and the base bar and arm-clip clamps are the standard 31.8mm.

Similarly, the new Carbon Vuka extensions can be used with Zipp’s carbon VukaBull bar, the Vuka Aluminum bar or any other 31.6mm base bar. The most interesting Carbon Vuka extension is the VukaShift ($200, €141), which integrates an anchor that SRAM or Zipp shifters can bolt onto, instead of the traditional design of sliding a shifter body into the end of the extension. The system is only compatible with SRAM 900 TT, 500 TT and R2C Aero shifters, plus Zipp's VukaR2Cs. Zipp claim this design "brings the shifter closer by almost an inch", but the same position could be achieved by cutting a standard extension.

Other Carbon Vuka extension options include Straight (shaped as it sounds), Ski Tip (a straight bar with a sharp bend) and Vuka Race (an S-bend design). Each of those three costs $130/€92. The Alumina extensions are $55/€39 and come in Race and Ski Tip. The Vuka Alumina base bar, made of 6066 aluminum, is $80/€56, and the arm-rest clips are $120/€85. Riser kits, which come in 10mm, 25mm and 50mm increments, are available for $25/€18 per pair. Adding fit options, the extensions can be mounted above or below the base bar. All of the new products will be available in May.

All of the Vuka pieces use Torx bolts. Zipp product manager Nathan Schickel told BikeRadar: “Aero bars are notorious for stripping bolts, as people over-tighten small bolts trying to get the security they need. The Allen head is designed to control torque through cam’ing out the head if you over-torque it. The Torx bolt, on the other hand, is designed to be used with a torque wrench to control torque, and therefore can be tightened much more securely without fear of stripping out the head.” Speaking of torque, Zipp recommend 7n/m on the base bar clamp and 4n/m on the extension clamp. 

An exploded view of all the new vuka alumina options (plus the already-out zipp r2c shifters and sram tt brake levers): base bar, two types of extensions, arm-rest clips and three heights of riser kits:

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An exploded view of all the new Vuka Alumina options (plus the already-out Zipp R2C shifters and SRAM TT brake levers): base bar, two types of extensions, arm-rest clips and three heights of riser kits

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