More gravel specific components are hitting the market and this time from ZIPP and in the shape of a drop bar. The new designs are geared for mixed-terrain riding—whether that’s gravel, mud or singletrack—and said to be favorited by “hoods-dominant position favored by riders today.”

The new all-road bar is available in two alloy models, the Service Course SL 70 XPLR which we look at below and Service Course 70 XPLR. The main difference being price and weight.

ZIPP Service Course SL 70 XPLR Bar
ZIPP Service Course SL 70 XPLR bar offers a comfortable ride on the hoods and more clearance for those rough roads and technical trails.

Both bars are designed to put the rider in an optimal “comfort zone” position for hours of rough riding over mixed terrain. Today’s riders demand a few things out of their cockpit, whether they are doing a two hour training ride from home or a 200+-mile gravel adventure: comfort, control, and the ability to carry what they need. We met these needs by creating a bar with shallow and wide drops, specifically focusing on two crucial metrics—outsweep and flare.

What Makes the Service Course SL 70 XPLR Bar Special?

  • Outsweep is created by rotating the drop below the brake perch outward.
  • Flare is created by rotating the entire drop above the brake perch outward.
ZIPP Service Course SL 70 XPLR Bar
Profile view of the Course 70

On a modern all-road bike a highly flared bar causes the brake hoods to be laid over toward their sides, creating ergonomic issues when riding on the brake hoods. Zipp’s design team sought to develop a new-generation all-road bar for the hoods-dominant position favored by riders today, with the drops optimized for control in high-speed gnarly situations when the hammer drops.

After extensive research and testing, our design team pinpointed a drop design with an ideal 5° flare and 11° outsweep. The bar’s drop shape features our popular

70mm reach, but the drop is a shallower 115mm. This archives modern fit ideals for all road bikes with the drops a little higher and wider than on a pavement only setup.

The result is improved comfort and control—a position that enables you to have your best ride, whether the ride is one hour or 12. Here’s how:

  • With hands on brake hoods, wrists remain in a neutral position for comfort. This is ideal for riders, who’ve long favored this as their dominant hand position.
  • Bar drops provide a wider, balanced, and secure position with drops that are about 6cm wider than the hoods position for technical or intense riding.
  • 100mm wide clamping area on top of bar for packs and mounts.
ZIPP Service Course SL 70 XPLR Bar
When things get a little sketchy a correctly designed bar provides ergonomically optimal access to the brakes and shifters from either the drops or hoods to deliver the required control.

The benefits get real when things get technical. The design helps center your weight on the bike so you can more deftly navigate the road or trail. For example, when you are riding downhill toward a sandy, gravelly creek bed, you need to be in the right position to get through that obstacle while holding enough speed to get up the hill on the other side. A correctly designed bar provides ergonomically optimal access to the brakes and shifters from either the drops or hoods to deliver the required control.

The 70 XPLR also features an ergonomic top with an extended 100mm clamping area for computer mounts, aero-extensions, bags, and whatever else you may need for the long haul.

The Details

  • 100mm clamping area on top of bar Di2® bar end junction compatible
  • 260g ±5% (42cm)
  • Width: 42, 44, 46cm
  • 70mm Reach
  • 115mm Drop
  • 5° Flare
  • 11° outsweep
  • Ergonomic top with 3° backsweep
  • 100mm clamping area on top of bar
  • Di2® bar end junction compatible

MSRP: $ 110
RETAIL AVAILABILITY: September 2019
Learn More: zipp.com