New handlebars from Zipp. Contour SL, SL and SLC2

Zipp makes loads of carbon parts. Wheels, stems, handlebars and cranks, all sharing the company’s driving force of absolute performance. Its wheels, in particular, are some of the most sought after at both club level and by in the professional ranks, with CSC and Slipstream pushing their products to the limits in the most demanding races.

It’s clear from the products the company produces that it's constantly striving for more performance, trying to extract as much speed as is possible. It’s a company that understands aerodynamics just about better than any of its rivals, which is why you’ll see some of the fastest riders in the world on board Zipp products.

Zipp is releasing three new drop bars this year, taking everything the company has learnt in its 20 years to produce the lightest and stiffest bars it deems possible. The SL is the lightest bar and the one to pick when you’re trying to shed the grams from your bike, because at 160g (42cm) the model is not exactly portly. Dual cable grooves, a tapered top section and choice of three bends plus a choice of 40, 42, 44 and 46cm widths.

The SL’s are clearly intended for those that want the lightest, but they won’t suit all riders, especially the more powerful types. The SLC2 is essentially a beefed up SL, with strengthening plies strategically placed to resist flexing even under the most aggressive sprint. Yet they tip the scales at a still-light 195g (42cm). Zipp also give SLC2 the thumbs up for attaching their VukaClip low-pro bars for some TT action. Available with the same options as the SL.

Zipp has designed the Contour SL to be more comfortable on longer rides (or for long stages for the pros), by using an aero-shaped top section that is more comfortable to rest your hands on. Weight is just 185g and it is available with two drop shapes and four widths.

New Zipp products for 2009

Disc wheels with PowerTap hubs: 900 Disc and 900 Clincher Disc

For time trialling a disc wheel is often the fastest option, and Zipps offerings are among the quickest available. Teaming up with CycleOps has resulted in the release of the first disc wheels to be built around a PowerTap hub, with the Sub-9 Disc, the 900 Disc, and the 900 Clincher Disc available. Zipp claim the addition of a PowerTap hub adds just 120g to the overall weight. Ceramic bearings are available as an upgrade option.

More at Zipp are distributed in the UK by Saddleback.