Pro Vibe 7S handlebar and stem review - Road Cycling UK

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Pro Vibe 7S handlebar and stem review


Pro Vibe 7S handlebar and stem review

Pro Vibe 7S handlebar and stem review

Pro Vibe 7S handlebar and stem review

Pro Vibe 7S handlebar £74.99

With all the attention on carbon fibre components these days, it’s easy to forget that aluminium still has a worthy place for those wanting a light and stiff handlebar and stem setup. I recently took the opportunity to fit a Pro Vibe 7S bar and stem to the Cervelo R3 that is currently on test, and the results were impressive. The Vibe 7S pairing is used by Pro-sponsored pro teams including FDJ, High Road and Milram for the spring classics in place of the same-spec carbon alternatives.

Pro use 7075 aluminium for both the bars and stem. The handlebars use a 31.8mm diameter clamp with the diameter continued right out to the bends, providing a large contact area on the tops. The size makes for a good and comfortable grip when cruising. Meanwhile, for the drops Pro offer the choice of traditional round or anatomic; I chose the latter and found the shape to be most agreeable. There’s a nice flat section on the bottom with the angled section providing a good shape for racing. The transition from the tops to the drops is 140mm (measured centre-to-centre), and the reach is 80mm, which I found most favourable.

They’re also very competitive on the scales, weighing just 285g, giving away just 70g to the carbon version in the same shape. There’s a single recessed cable groove and three widths are available in both anatomic or round.

For the stem, Pro 3D-forge 7075 T6 aluminium, with the main shaft triangular shaped. This is said by Pro to offer the best stiffness to weight ratio. While we couldn’t detect a noticeable increase compared to other aluminium stems, it certainly wasn’t lacking. At the front the stem plate is shaped with a distinctive polished ‘V’, with four bolts holding the handlebars in place. Two opposing bolts clamp the steerer tube. Pro quote a weight of 120g for a 110mm stem (I tested a 13cm) which, incredibly, is just 5g heavier than the twice as costly carbon fibre version. The stem features a 10 degree angle.

Both the bars and stem are superbly finished, with the black and strikingly bold white decals giving them a distinctively racy look. They made a good match for the R3, and together go well together. While the bars and stem would undoubtedly look good were they not paired together, I think one should consider running both.

Compared to other carbon bar and stem combinations, the Vibe 7S was noticeably stiffer and resulted in a much more direct and precise feeling to the handling on the bike. The extra stiffness of this setup was noticeable most starkly during out of the saddle sprints, but was also apparent on fast and bumpy descents where carbon bars can occasionally feel a bit flexy.

Verdict

It’s hard not to be impressed with Pro’s Vibe 7S bars and stem. They’re the nicest aluminium bars I’ve ridden, the complete setup is rock solid and they don’t even weigh much more than carbon alternatives too.


good Stiff, light, great finish, decals

bad Trying to think of one but I can’t

performance 9

value 8

overall 9

More at www.madison.co.uk and www.pro-bikegear.com

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