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Back 2019-10-03

ZippCast: Product Manager Nathan Schickel on Zipp’s new XPLR handlebars


In this episode of ZippCast, Nathan Schickel—product manager for Zipp handlebar, stems, and seatposts—discusses the design and benefits of the Service Course 70 XPLR and lighter Service Course SL 70 XPLR handlebars.

The Service Course 70 XPLR and lighter Service Course SL 70 XPLR help you go faster by placing your body, starting with your hands, 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.

Edited excerpts from Nathan:

“The way people are riding a drop-bar bike has changed radically over the last several years. The ergonomic needs of the bar specifically have changed as well. What we wanted to do was answer some of those ergonomic issues and provide the bar that riders need.”

“There are a lot of people riding all road or gravel with a highly flared drop bar, and the challenge is that today’s modern bike is controlled by a dual-control brake lever (braking and shifting), and that brake lever is also a primary hand position. When you take that brake lever and put it on a flared bar, it lays it on its side. The ergonomics designed into the brake levers start to disappear when you lay them on their side. We wanted to solve that particular problem.”

“A lot of the bars you see are flared 12 to 25 degrees. We ended up on a 5-degree flare, which helps to maintain that vertical orientation (of the brake lever).”

“We wanted a product that can work in different situations. Having a different option for fit gives people the ability to be more comfortable on their bikes. Once you’re more comfortable on the bike, your hands aren’t going numb. You’re able to find the right position on the bike. It allows you to ride longer. It allows you to ride faster and better.”


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