Zipp is best known for its high-end wheels, but the Indianapolis-based company also manufactures cockpit components, such as its Service Course SL aluminium stem and handlebar, and carbon fibre seatpost.
Zipp SL Stem
- £102 / US$112 / AU$170 / €115
The stem is stiff, a claimed ‘best-in-class 1.85g/Nm of stiffness’ no less, which made for efficient out-of-saddle sprinting efforts.
My 11cm stem weighed 130g, which is lighter than claimed but not ultra-light.
Its stiffness balances well with the comfort of the pro rider-developed handlebar, with its 3-degree backsweep, flattened ‘ergonomic’ tops and drops that flare out by 4 degrees to give a little greater wrist clearance.
Zipp SL Bar
- £109 / US$110 / AU$160 / €123
I’m a big fan of slightly ovalised or flattened tops, which allow a more natural wrist position that’s more comfortable when riding on the tops.
The 42cm bar weighed 280g – 5g heavier than claimed – and is Di2-compatible.
Zipp supplies titanium T25 Torx bolts and a T25 wrench with the stem, claiming Torx is durable, resists stripping better than hex bolts and is more accurate with torque wrenches.
- £156 / US$160 / AU$230 / €175
The seatpost hit the scales at 252g (claimed 249g) at its full 400mm length, which you can cut (carefully) as long as you leave 100mm in the seat tube.
It’s available in 31.6, 25.4 and the 27.2mm diameter I tested, in zero and 20mm setback options. It has been designed with more compliance when riding on the sort of gravel surfaces drop-bar bikes are now often used for.
As with the bar and stem, the carbon and aluminium seatpost is beautifully finished and also complies with Zipp’s mountain bike strength test, making it tough enough for rough riding.
Zipp’s designers have also “tuned it to be more shock absorbing than the ‘comfort’ seatposts on the market’, with flex engineered into it to keep “the rider comfortable over any terrain”. The two-bolt saddle clamp is easy to adjust.
There’s no doubting the quality of the Zipp post, and though there’s more flex evident than from a cheap aluminium post, it’s not as pampering as I’d expected.
While light, it’s not exceptionally so for the money and the same is true for the rest of the cockpit. Well-made Zipp kit but not super-light for the price.