The folks at Zipp may be better known for their wheels and carbon technology but they seem to have scored a major victory with the Service Course SL line. Zipp released the new line of stems, bars and seatpost earlier this year and we had a chance to put some miles on them.
Service Course SL Stem
Selecting the correct stem and bar is crucial to your fit, form and function on the bike. It needs to be stiff so you’re not flexing away precious energy in sprints and accelerations. It must be reliable and strong but light. It also should look good and not break the bank.
No Carbon here. The Service Course SL Stem, manufactured from 7075 aluminum, features a redesigned shape that’s strong and lightweight. According to Zipp this results in a best-in-class 1.85 grams per newton meter of stiffness. That results in no-flex sprints and accelerations. We couldn’t verify any numbers but feel in love with the feel of the stem. It was stiff and left you feeling confident weather you were diving into a corner, riding gravel roads sprinting for the local street sign. This is especially important when you start getting into 130mm lengths and longer.
The Service Course SL components are also available in a new ‘Beyond Black’ design with black graphics on the black anodized finish. It may lack flashy graphics, carbon weave or a wind tunnel tested profile but this 125gram stem (100mm length) will hold it’s own with any stem in it’s price range and many twice it’s price. No only will it look good sitting aboard your road or cross bike but you’ll know what you are riding on is good enough for the pro peleton.
Zipp also offers this stem in an OS that fits “oversized” 1-1/4 inch steerer tubes used by frame makers Giant® and Canyon®. For those riding standard 1-1/8 inch steerer tubes, the Service Course SL-OS offers new fit options with included shims allowing the stem to be adjusted for ±4° ±6° or ±8° angles.
To meet every rider’s fit needs, the stem is available in ±6° and ±17° angles and seven lengths from 70 to 130mm as well as a 140mm length for the ±6° stem only.
A 100mm stem weighs in at 125g is manufactured from 7075 Aluminum. The stem is designed to be used with a 31.8mm bar and 1 1/8″ stem. The Course SL also features titanium hardware with TORX® heads on all bolts for precision torque readings and ease of adjustment. Just make sure you have a TORX® wrench with you on the first couple of rides for any fine tuning.
For $110 you get a great performing stem,titanium hardware with TORX® heads on all bolts, machined faceplate and the Zipp name. Not a bad deal
Service Course SL Bar
Designed to be paired with the Service Course SL stem, the Service Course SL bar is available in four different option to give every rider an option based on fit and bend preference. The names are derived from the bars’ reaches, respectively 70mm, 80mm and 88mm. The drop varies for each as well. The SL 70 is also available in an ergo bend as well.
The short reach makes the drops more accessible and means you’re less likely to bash your wrists or knees on the tops during cross; For those of you who are not that flexible, I think you will appreciate the shorter reach options as well.
The Service Course SL ‘s appearance is designed to match Service Course stem of course. A polished center matches up with the Service Course SL stem while the rest of the bar features a bead blasted surface to hold the hoods and tape solid.
At 250 grams the bar weighs about 60 grams more then their carbon SLC2 bar, but is also roughly a third of the price. Cost on the Service Course SL line of bars is $110.00
We matched up our 42cm bars to a 130mm stem and they have been pretty much flex free during our test period and we walked away with nothing bad to say about the bar and stem setup. For $225.00 plus some new bar tape you can have a new cockpit and new feel to you trusted ride. Learn more at Zipp.com.