The New Zipp Vuka

 Oct 10, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

This is the new Zipp Vuka Aerobar

Zipp has a new prototype aerobar, and it looks very snazzy indeed. I saw the bar on Jordan Rapp's bike, unlabeled. But the bar is undoubtedly made by his sponsor Zipp. I identified the bar by its hardware - not only were the pads borrowed from the Vuka Alumina and emblazoned with Zipp logos, but the attachment hardware is undeniably similar to what is on the current generation of Vuka Alumina parts. Zipp representatives were tight-lipped about the bar, but did own up to the fact that it's theirs, and would only say one word about it: "Vuka."

Let's break this thing down, because there's some cool stuff going on that I can already see, and probably a bit more that I can't see. For simplicity, I'm going to call it the New Vuka.

First of all, this is a one-piece solution. The bar and stem are integrated together, allowing for a very clean overall shape, without excess hardware sticking out in the wind. But Zipp has added a novel solution to maintain an element of adjustability in the effective stem length. That is, the New Vuka has a system of spacers that can be placed in front of the steerer tube, essentially changing the length of the integrated stem. This measurement is only important as far as the base bar reach is concerned, because the arm cups and extensions have a huge amount of adjustability as we explored in our review of the current Vuka Alumina. Speaking of extension and pad adjustability, I'd be willing to bet that the bar will have under-mount hardware for putting the extensions below the bar with the arm cups above. That's how the Vuka Aluina works, and there seems no reason why it wouldn't be the case here. Not everyone needs that flexibility, but it's nice to see Zipp put it in the product for those who do.

Kammtails, slick cable routing, and an adjustable stem length are some of the novel features in the new Vuka bar.
The overall shape of the bar is smooth, and mostly flat, although there appears to be a cm or two of drop. The rear end of the bar is truncated in a kammtail-esque profile. Cable routing is all internal, and the front brake cable cleverly exits out the center of the bar (making it a perfect complement for a centerpull brake like the Omega.

As mentioned, Zipp wouldn't provide any official info other to fess up that it's indeed their bar we're looking at. So I can't tell you anything about pricing, availability, or weight. But this looks like a pretty finished product, so I'd expect to see something fairly soon.

Have a look at the gallery for all the details I could grab on the New Vuka, as well as a little more information in the captions.

Tags » aerobars,  extensions,  hawaii2012,  zipp
  • The new Vuka has just a tiny bit of drop, not too excessive. I like this a lot. Its integrated stem also provides a very clean surface for the wind to glide over.
  • This adjustable stem length mechanism means the integrated stem won't be a liability for fit purposes.
  • Those huge arm cups are an asset to Zipp's new bars, and have been ported from the Vuka Alumina to the New Carbon Vuka.
  • The truncated rear sections look very much like kammtail shapes to me. This has aerodynamic benefits, but also allows the bar to stay nice and stiff without resorting to lots of extra material. This also means the cable ports can be nice and big without compromising the shape of the bar.
  • Cables are kept nice and tidy on the New Vuka.
  • There's even a little loop behind the cable port to help route the cable next to the bar, keeping things as hidden from the wind as possible.
  • From the top, you can see how the adjustable stem mechanism works. Potentially, you could stack several of those spacers together, increasing the stem length if necessary.
  • This shot really reveals the truncated shape of the base bar.
  • Not a lot to see from below - the New Vuka is sleek and looks FAST.
  • You can see that the hardware on this bar is almost identical to that on the new Vuka Alumina - that was the first tip that this was indeed a Zipp product. And the boys from Speedway admitted that indeed, this is a Vuka product.
  • It looks like Zipp has also created a product to make BTA installation very easy. This clips on to your extensions, has bosses for a bottle cage, and a spot in back for your computer.
  • BTA bottle, computer, and just a little bit of hardware. This is a nice easy solution for those who can't be bothered to zip tie things to their bike. Personally, I do like taking the time to get the zip ties right - it saves weight and keeps things simple. But there's nothing wrong with taking this kind of route too.

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