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The Service Course 70 Ergo is part of Zipp's new silver line-up – ideal if you're fed up with stealth black components. The shallow drops give plenty of hand positions, and it is quite a comfortable bar to use, with a kicked-back flare to the flattened tops.
Zipp has concentrated a lot on various shapes and angles when designing the 70 Ergo. It gets its name from the 70mm reach figure of the drops – a shorter measurement than that found on older bars, to compensate for the increased length of the latest shifter hoods; the handlebar is shorter to avoid stretching your position out. This isn't something just Zipp is doing, as you'll find most dropped bars on the market have a similar reach.
Zipp has made some other changes, though, like sloping the bar by 10 degrees between the tops and the curve of the drops. This gives a slightly more natural, and therefore comfortable, wrist angle when riding on the hoods of your gear shifter/brake lever.
Lining up the clamp of the shifter with the top guide mark on the bar, the hood did sit noticeably lower than where I normally have it, but although it took me a few miles to get used to it I did find it comfortable.
The drops have many different sized bends to give various hand positions. I liked the tight bend just under the shifter which allows a good grip of the bar for sprinting or climbing hard out of the saddle, and the flat bottom section for just resting my hands on when riding into the wind.
The drops are also flared by four degrees, meaning they are wider at the bottom than they are at the top, which aids control by widening your stance for more stability.
Stiffness is impressive for whatever type of riding you are doing. I couldn't feel any flex when sprinting or braking hard and transferring a lot of weight forward.
The tops are flattened and slightly oval in shape, which I found to be comfortable. It's not as extreme as most aero bars, but you still feel as if you are spreading your weight out over a slightly larger platform, which takes the pressure off on longer rides.
The tops are also swept back towards your body by three degrees, which adds to the comfort. I've been riding a lot of gravel bars with this feature and I find it helps relax the shoulders a bit.
Cable/hose routing is dealt with by a groove under the tops on both sides, but like most alloy bars it isn't quite wide enough to get both outers in, so you are always left with that ridge under the bar tape. It's not that big a deal, though, and it was only really when I was pulling on the bar when climbing in the saddle that I really noticed.
It is drilled at the end of the drops to accept the wire from a Di2 bar-end junction box, and the 31.8mm diameter clamping section is able to accept clip-on tri-bars in the 40cm, 42cm and 44cm widths, but not the 38cm bar. All sizes are measured centre-to-centre.
Simon pointed out in his review of the new Zipp Service Course seatpost that the matt silver finish won't match more traditional polished silver components, and not everyone will like it. I think the Ergo 70 is a good looking bar, and I do like the silver finish plus the new Zipp logos. You can read my review of the matching stem here.
Priced at £54, it's kind of in the middle price point for an alloy bar. It is £30 cheaper than something like Ritchey's WCS Butano handlebar at £84.99, and not that much heavier really.
On the flipside, you could have the Genetic STV, which is the same weight, for just £29.99.
If it has to be silver, another option is the Ritchey NeoClassic with its polished finish. That'll set you back £35 at rrp.
Overall, I like the shape of the Ergo 70 and it offers plenty of comfortable hand positions. It's stiff and well made, all for a decent price.
Stiff yet comfortable handlebar thanks to some well designed angles and curves
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Zipp Service Course 70 Ergo Handlebar 2020
Size tested: 420mm
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?
Zipp says, "Zipp's Service Course lineup is all about providing options to match every rider with a high-performance, precise fitting bar. The Service Course 70 Ergo packs a powerful punch of everything you'd want in a bar – a design based on feedback from pro bike fitters and pro riders, an ergonomic top section... and a price you'll love. What's more, the Service Course 70 Ergo bar features the distinctive silver finish of Zipp's Service Course lineup, helping your bike to stand out amid the sea of stealthy black color schemes."
It does everything you need a handlebar to do and looks good in silver.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Size 38, 40, 42, 44 cm(Center-to-Center)
Clamp Diameter 31.8mm
Clip Compatible Yes (40, 42, 44cm only)
Ramp angle 10°
Top Backsweep 3°
Drop flare 4°
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a quality handlebar that delivers comfort and stiffness.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The different angles and curves give plenty of hand positions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with wider cable routes.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It kind of sits in the middle of the alloy handlebar price range, highlighted by the couple of examples I refer to in the review.
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 overall score
An all-round decent handlebar that offers plenty of comfort and stiffness, although it's not the cheapest or lightest. The colour looks cool too.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!