The New Zipp Vuka
article & images by Nick Salazar
Oct 10, 2012
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.
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.