Zipp SL-70 Aero road bar - first look

Sleek shape claimed to save 6.4W at 30mph

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 tops are swept forward for wrist clearance when sprinting. zipp doesn't intend for the tops to be taped:

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.

Zipp says the sl-70 aero's revised upper bend should eliminate the need to tilt bars upwards to get an angled hood position:

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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