RIP bar tape? | New £600 PRO Vibe Evo cockpit includes integrated grips

Carbon, integration and futuristic looks

PRO Vibe Evo on bike

PRO’s all-new Vibe Evo is a full-carbon one-piece road handlebar and stem with a high level of integration as well as some intriguing features.

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The Vibe Evo cockpit is claimed to offer five hand positions, and it has built-in replaceable grips on the tops of the bar, while the drops are designed to accept special grips as an optional alternative to traditional bar tape.

The Vibe Evo will retail at £599.99 / €600 and is expected to be available immediately.

PRO Vibe Evo cockpit
The PRO Vibe Evo is aggressively futuristic.
PRO

One-piece cockpits are increasingly common on high-end road and gravel bikes. Many are proprietary but finishing kit makers such as PRO naturally want bike manufacturers to choose their systems instead.

The Vibe Evo is on-trend with internal cable routing, although the inclusion of cable ports either side of the stem suggest partially exposed cables are an option, depending on the groupset and frameset you’re matching it to.

The new cockpit is claimed to weigh 390g and features a pretty standard looking compact drop profile.

Nothing else about this bar looks conventional, however. Its lines are aggressively futuristic, with a combination of smooth aero tops and a large, angular stem.

The transition from the hood area to the drops looks strange without levers fitted, but it’s designed to offer the smoothest possible transitions.

Given PRO is part of Shimano, it’s safe to assume that this bar will be a good match for the brand’s latest groupsets including the much-anticipated Shimano Dura-Ace R9200.

The PRO Vibe Evo doesn’t need bar tape on its tops, with comfort coming courtesy of replaceable grip inserts that sit flush with the top of the bar.

The drops meanwhile can be taped in the usual manner or, if you prefer, PRO will be offering “Ergonomic Drop Grips” from November 2021.

These are rubbery one-piece grips shaped to slide onto the drops and PRO says they provide “relentless grip even in pouring rain”.

If you do opt for tape, a single roll is said to suffice for both sides of the bar.

PRO says the Vibe Evo offers five hand positions: hoods, drops, tops, plus “corner grip” and “pursuit position”.

The cockpit is available in stem lengths of 105mm, 115mm, and 125mm, and bar widths of 38cm, 40cm, and 42cm.

Thanks to a shim, the angle of the stem can be adjusted two degrees up or down when the cockpit is fitted to a standard 1 ⅛in steerer.

With the shim removed, the angle is fixed, but the bar will then fit on 1 ¼in steerers as used by brands including Canyon and Giant, among others.

Aero road handlebars sometimes make it difficult to attach accessories. PRO has addressed this with two bosses underneath the stem designed to accept computer mounts or other accessories.

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Are you dying to ditch bar tape? Let us know what you think of the PRO Vibe Evo in the comments.