Monday, September 15, 2014

Shimano PRO Vibe 7S Anatomical Road Bar Review

Photo courtesy of PRO Components

First off, I have a confession to make.  I really, really hated taking these bars off my trusty Trek 2.3 testbed.  They were some of the most comfortable, functional, durable, and good looking bars I have ever used, I now understand why they are such a hit in Pro Peletons around the world.  However, in the pursuit of knowledge through ceaseless, selfless testing, I had to do the deed.  Courtesy of the fine folks at Tweaked Sports, of Glendora, California, a brand new set of Ritchey Streem II alloy bars dropped into my hands for evaluation (a write-up will be coming on those later, after I get some miles on them).

Pro markets the Vibe 7S as a “Do-All” road bar, suitable for both racing and training, with the durability of aluminum offering peace-of-mind in the event of a crash.  The latter is why so many pro teams prefer aluminum over the lightness (and cool factor) of carbon fiber bars.  With a carbon bar, the spectre of cracks and delamination are always lurking under the bar tape.  With alloy bars, that lack of a sudden, catastrophic failure is negated (for the most part).

I used a 44cm wide Vibe for 10-months (drop 140mm, reach 80mm), and it was tested on local training rides, Century’s, mountains, the coast, river trails, and even some dirt fire roads.  The bars were some of the most, if not the most, comfortable I have ever used.  The tops are a constant diameter of 31.8mm, from the stem to the first bend, and my size-large hands really liked that.  And, that top bend radiuses just perfectly into the Ultegra 6700 shifters I am currently using, tapering to 23.75mm from the drops to the bar ends.  The anatomical portion of the bar was another thing which fit my hands just right, though the balance of comfort while on the hoods and in the drops meant bar angle was a critical factor in achieving a perfect setup.  Additionally, and a quality of alloy bars which I like, is that you can feel the bars flexing over rough surfaces, so they do indeed dampen out vibrations and harsh bumps; A really good thing.

To sum it all up, would I personally use these bars again, and also recommend them to others?  You bet! 

The Pics:

The anatomical bend.

Wide 31.8mm tops for maximum comfort. Nice "PRO" graphics, too.

The upper radius is well-shaped. Combine a Vibe 7S stem, and the control is excellent.
The Specs:
  • AL-7050 construction for increased rigidity
  • Integrated Dual Cable Routing for brake and shift-cables
  • Available in Round, Anatomic or Compact bends
  • Sizes: 38, 40, 42 and 44cm (C/C)
  • Diameter: 31.8mm
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: from 260g
  • MSRP: $99.00 USD

No comments:

Post a Comment