We showed you Zipp’s new Vuka Stealth TT bar a couple of weeks ago but now we have some more details to share having been to visit Zipp earlier this week.
One of the key features of the Vuka Stealth is the wide range of fit options that it offers.
“Fit is the new aero,” said Zipp’s Dave Ripley. “Everything is about fit now, and integrated bars are just not adjustable, they are hard to fit, right? Well, not anymore.
“If you can’t hold your position for the duration of your event and you wind up on your pursuits, you’re giving time back. All those aero goodies that you bought, you just wasted your money because you can’t hold your position. So there’s a need for a fast bar that’s adjustable.”
With somewhere between 70% and 80% of the drag you experience when riding coming from you rather than your equipment, it’s vital that you get into your optimal position, rather than into a position dictated by the bars you use. That’s why Zipp offer a total of 1,920 setup options with the Vuka Stealth.
The stem and base bar are a single integrated unit made from unidirectional carbon fibre. The base bar’s truncated airfoil shape is built with a depth: height ratio of 3:1, so it’s UCI legal, although Zipp reckon it’s as fast as their VukaAero bar with a non-UCI legal 4:1 ratio.
The bar, designed with lots of input from US pro triathlete and aerodynamics and mechanical engineer Jordon Rapp, is available in three different versions, the length of the integrated stem being 60mm on the short model, 80mm on the medium version, and 100mm on the long one. There’s 10mm of extension available on each stem thanks to a little shim that you can fit when you clamp the bar to your fork steerer. It’s a neat design.
Zipp reckon that the integrated stem makes for a cleaner, more aerodynamic cockpit, increased stiffness and easier installation. All of the base bars are 42cm wide (measured outside to outside) and the hardware is titanium and aluminium.
Each of the key parameters is adjustable even when the bar is fixed to your bike, so fine-tuning the fit is simple. You can raise the stack height of the arm rests and the extensions by adding 10, 25 or 50mm risers; you can adjust the pad width from 140 to 276mm; you can alter the extension length by 90mm; you can move the position of the arm rests in relation to the base bar fore/aft +/- 40mm; you can adjust the extension clamp width +/-20mm; you can alter the angle of the extensions +/-6°… You get the picture.
The extensions, which are sold separately, are available in four different shapes. The extension clamp diameter is 22.2mm so you can fit extensions from other brands in there too.
One of the 1,920 setups is probably going to be right for you. Zipp have used databases from the likes of Slowtwitch (online triathlon magazine) and Retul (bike fit system) to make sure that the bars will keep at least 80% of people happy.
If the vast number of setup options is daunting, Zipp have come up with a Vuka Fit app that will tell you how to set up everything to get the position you’re after. You take the measurements from your current bike set up and plug the details in and you’re told which bar and extensions you need and how to set them up.
One other neat feature is that the internal brake cabling, which Zipp call Rapid Routing, is incredibly user friendly. You feed the cable in at the end of the base bar and it immediately comes out next to the integrated stem with no need to fish about in there with a bit of wire or to get busy with a magnet. It’s clever.
You’re looking at a weight of 695g for the Vuka Stealth without extensions, or 820g with the extensions fitted (medium bar wit Zipp Vuka Race carbon extensions; Zipp’s figures). The price (without extensions) is £799 and Zipp are shipping right now. A 1/4 turn Zipp Quickview mount (which you can see clearly on the pic above) comes as part of the package. It's compatible with a Garmin Edge computer.
Get more info at www.zipp.com.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.