Review — PRO Vibe Superlight Handlebar

Introduction

Bars are often overlooked when it comes to upgrade options yet they are vital contributors to handling, comfort, and performance. The PRO Vibe Superlight handlebar is a T800 unidirectional carbon option from the component super brand, PRO. They are a compact bar available in a size 42 and 44. Weights are from 175grams depending on the size, the reach number is 80mm and they have a generous drop of 130mm – for a compact bar that is. It’s a fully Di2 compatible gig.

Shape, fit and tech

The shape of the top of the bar makes it possible to set the brakes up with a smooth or flat transition from the tops onto the brake hoods – just the way I like them. The compact drop has a contemporary variable radius shape which puts less strain on the wrists by offering more range of adjustment – or hand positions when in the drops and quite crucially this makes it easier to reach the brake levers. The internal cable routing was actually simple enough to mount. The oversized tops are super ergonomic providing a better grip when climbing and offering a larger surface area or contact patch to rest hands when cruising. PRO added high-performance Innegra fibers to boost strength without compromising weight, allegedly making the bar ‘bombproof’ for the harshest conditions that the Pro Tour might ever encounter.

On the road

The weight saving over an average alloy bar is a whopping 42% and the impact of that on the road I might add, is significant. During out of the saddle efforts the bike is tangibly more spritely and on longer rides that translates into saved energy which is less tangible, but a known. Another significant advantage of a carbon road bar is the damping the material brings to the ride characteristics, the Vibe Superlight carbon bar absorbs the spikey, bone jarring vibrations of tarmac which an alloy bar cannot. I really could feel this, it’s not engineering BS or marketing hype. The ride is simply far smoother.

I found the compact shape enables a relatively discomfort free long drill in the drops and when getting in and out of the saddle my forearms were not knocking on the sides of the tops. Also, when on the hoods the oversize tops provide a little more contact area to rest the forearms on which makes for a more relaxed upper body.

As with all PRO products the bars carry a lifetime warranty that is based on an expected lifetime of 10 years. Their components are developed with many big name teams in the pro peloton and undergo intensive testing to a minimum safety benchmark of 110% of the accepted industry standard.

Summary

Providing excellent fit and comfort through their contemporary shape with real damping properties to boot, I could not fault these bars at all. A true high-performance upgrade.



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