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TECH NEWS

Pro launches £600 Vibe Evo integrated handlebar, along with new Stealth Curved saddle

The new bar is claimed to be grippy without bar tape for full aero gains

Pro, Shimano’s components brand, has released two new products alongside giving its Stealth saddles bit of a design refresh. But before you fans of the original Stealth saddle start worrying, the fit is staying as is. The changes are purely aesthetic.

Pro Vibe Evo bar

The Pro Vibe bar range has been around for a number of years and now, Pro has decided to give its integrated design a full rethink with an angular design that certainly looks rather futuristic. Pro has cut away the corner of the bar where it sweeps around from the shifter to the tops. This, Pro claims, helps the rider to avoid knocking their forearms when down in the drops.

One of the most noticeable features is the grips on the tops. Pro says that they wanted to offer comfort and control on the top section of the aero bar. With a round handlebar, you’d wrap your bar tape to within a few centimetres of the stem, but with an aero handlebar, the flat top section is designed to be left unwrapped in an effort to get those aero benefits.

Pro Vibe Evo Bar 2021-09

Bare carbon isn’t the grippiest of surfaces, so Pro has placed replaceable grips in the tops to afford you some extra purchase on the bar. This also means that you do not need to continue your bar tape beyond the shifter, leading to what could be - your tape wrapping skills depending - a very tidy finish.

The grips, when combined with the cutaway corner, combine to give what Pro is claiming to be a 'corner grip' hand position. It is hard to see in the pictures, but there is also a small trough that is designed to better hold the rider's forearms in place when they are in the 'pursuit' position with hands on the hoods and forearms horizontal.

Pro Vibe Evo Bar 2021-10

Around that shifter clamp area, there is more going on. The top grips extend a little way to allow you to smooth the transition from the bar to the shifter body. The cover has a sticky backing so that it stays in place.

If you choose to go with the above setup for your wrap, Pro says that one roll of tape will be enough for both sides, allowing you to hang onto a spare roll for a mid-season refresh.

Pro Vibe Evo Bar 2021-07

The bar in this area is itself shaped to aid the smooth transition and this has also given Pro plenty of space to offer large cable entry ports for easier cable routing.

If you don’t want to use bar tape for your half wrap, Pro says that it has got the specially designed Ergonomic Drop-Grip. Constructed from a high-grade rubber their textured finish apparently ensures both comfort and ‘relentless grip’ even in the pouring rain. We have been told that these will be available from November.

The bar can also fit the standard steerer diameter of 1 1/8in which allows you to use a shim to change the angle of the stem. Or, with the Shim removed, the bar can be fitted to larger 1 1/4in diameter steerers from the likes of Giant and Canyon.

For computer holding duties, an out-front mount attaches to the underside of the bar. This offers no only a degree of fore/aft adjustment, but also allows you to angle the computer to suit your needs.

The bar in question has already been doing a bit of winning. Fabio Jakobson won for the first time since that awful crash, taking stages 2 and 5 of the Tour de Wallonie. If someone hadn’t been chopping onions close by, we might have spotted it.

Fancy one? The new bar comes with a claimed weight of 390g and it'll set you back a sizeable £599.99, but they're available now.

Stealth Curved

Pro Stealth Curved 2021-14

Pro say that the curved version of the Stealth saddle has been designed to suit riders that tend to move around quite a bit in the saddle.

The key features that differentiate the curved model from the standard Stealth are a raised tail, dropped sides, marginally narrower nose and added curvature along the length of the saddle.

Pro Vibe Stealth Curved 2021-15

The new curved model is available in Team (£179.99) and Performance (£129.99) levels with the difference being found in the rail material. The Performance model uses INOX rails and has a claimed weight of 204g. The Team model uses the same upper and base but switches to carbon rails for a claimed weight of 161g.

The redesigned Stealth saddles have mostly been given a facelift with a more angular design which Pro says has been inspired by the latest bikes and components. Really, the changes are aesthetic. You still have the bridge system running across a large central cutout. The nose remains wide and flat, while the padding is still firm. There has been a claimed 7.5% weight reduction, but if you were a fan of the original Stealth saddle, then chances are you’ll get along with the new one too.

freewheel.co.uk

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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