The Pro Vibe 7S Compact Bar is very stiff, well made and comfortable for day-long rides. It isn't as light as some, but this doesn't take away from what is a very good unit.
While researching this bar I found perhaps my favourite site on the internet: Chris Froome Looking At Stems, which shows firstly that he loves looking at stems, and also that he rides the Pro Vibe 7S Compact Bar. It is the bar of choice across most of the Sky Team, so I was keen to see if it lives up to their standards.
A little technical info about the bar: it's a compact design (but also available in anatomical, round and track versions), comes in 2cm intervals between 38-44cm, and they all have a standard 31.8mm diameter.
Fitting the bar is simple and there is a useful angle and centre guide which works well with the Pro Vibe 7S Stem that I tested alongside the bar (review to come), given its cutout in the centre. It made it very simple to get the bar centrally aligned and at the right angle for me. It also has dual cable routing, which made it simpler to run both brake and gear cables down larger channels.
Once on, the first thing you notice about the bar is that it is wonderfully stiff. When combined with the Pro Vibe 7S Stem there is practically no movement at all. Maybe this is why Froomey spends so long looking at his stem – is he trying to see if there is any microscopic deflection? I used this setup while sprinting hard and wrenching on it on tough climbs and found barely any movement whatsoever. It seems Pro made a good choice with the 7075 aluminium material.
Given that it's compact, it's easy to move your hands around on, and I found I could quickly and easily shift from the hoods onto the drops and onto the tops quickly. There was also no wrist bumping when riding in the drops.
The bar is slightly heavier than others in the same price range, coming in at 287g, but this isn't a huge amount given the advantages you get from the additional stiffness it provides.
In terms of looks, the bar we received was simply black with a single Team Sky blue line on the lefthand side. This design won't be for everyone, but I think it looks good. If you are averse to the FKW label, it's also available in black with white graphics.
According to distributor Madison it has a price tag of £74.99 (though some places quote an RRP of £69.99), but can be found cheaper if you shop around. The price seems about right, given the level of stiffness this bar offers.
Overall, I was impressed. Others may be lighter, but in the long run I would prefer having the stiffness this bar provides rather than saving 20g. When combined with the Vibe 7S Stem, there is very little that would move it.
Very good bar with no hint of flex or twisting, no matter how hard I tried
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pro Vibe 7S Compact
Size tested: 31.8mm diam, 42cm width
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's a stiff bar aimed at those who want the stiffness of carbon but without the expense.
Pro says: 'Made from strong, lightweight and stiff 7075 aluminium and with a compact, ergonomic design providing the optimum hand position whether on the drops, tops or hoods.'
I would say this is an accurate description, it certainly has the stiffness and the pro peloton pedigree to back this up.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Used by numerous professional cycling teams
Dual recessed groove cable routing
31.8 millimetre clamp diameter
Available in a range of widths
285 grams in 40cm width
Very well made, the fact that there is no bend or twist at all is testament to that.
Performed really strongly throughout, whether climbing, sprinting or just sitting on the hoods.
Aluminium construction is good and can't imagine it would break easily.
There are others at this price that weigh less, but very few that offer this kind of security.
Easy to move my hands around, but the stiffness means it may not be the best for long days on rough roads.
The RRP of £74.99 seems about right.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it does exactly what is needed with no flex, bend or twisting. It made climbing, sprinting and cruising easy. It's also simple to fit thanks to the guides, especially when combined with the matching stem.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's genuinely one of the best I have used in terms of stiffness, either carbon or aluminium.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Maybe need to shove on some extra padding if you're on rough roads all day.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Genuinely strong and stiff bar that performed very well. I can see why it's the choice of Team Sky.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.