Zipp's latest SL-70 Aero carbon road bar makes some heady claims: namely, that it can save 6.4W of effort at 30mph over a round-tubed bar, and that it's 30 percent stiffer than the old VukaSprint. Even if those figures are only partially true, riders who are perpetually in search of free speed now have another option in the aero arms race.
Of course the SL-70 Aero's defining feature is the UCI-legal airfoil-profile top section, which is very flat and thin to help slice through the air. Although the internally routing isn't fully guided, the exit point is positioned so that housing naturally pops out at the end. Zipp doesn't intend for the tops to be taped.
Internal cable routing for the aero-section tops
Opinions may be mixed on the merits of untaped bar tops but the shape of the drops will probably keep most people happy. The new SL-70 Aero's anatomic bend uses a relatively shallow 128mm drop and average 70mm reach, while the forward canted tops create plenty of wrist clearance for sprinting. Zipp doesn't expect SL-70 Aero users will rotate their bars upward, either, as the bend shape has been designed so that the lever bodies will naturally already be tilted a bit.
The forward cant of the tops should create plenty of wrist clearance for sprinting
Sadly for amateur triathletes, though, the SL-70 Aero isn't approved for use with clip-on aero extensions.
Claimed weight for the SL-70 Aero is 240g and it will be offered in 38, 40, 42, and 44cm sizes (measured center-to-center). Interested buyers should be able to find them on store shelves now with a retail price of US$350/ £266 / €300.
We've got a set en route so stay tuned for a full review soon.