Zipp Service Course SL Stem & Bars

The folks at Zipp may be better known for their wheels and carbon technology, but they seem to have scored a major victory on the Service Course SL line. Zipp released the new line of stems, bars, and seatposts earlier this year, and we had a chance to put some miles on them.

Service Course SL Stem

Selecting the correct stem and bar is crucial to your fit, form, and function on the bike. It needs to be stiff so you’re not flexing away precious energy in sprints and accelerations. It must also be reliable, strong, and light. It should also look good and not break the bank.

No Carbon here. The Service Course SL Stem, manufactured from 7075 aluminum, features a redesigned shape that’s strong and lightweight. According to Zipp, this results in a best-in-class 1.85 grams per newton meter of stiffness. That results in no-flex sprints and accelerations. We couldn’t verify any numbers, but we fell in love with the feel of the stem. It was stiff and left you feeling confident whether you were diving into a corner, riding gravel roads, or sprinting for the local street sign. This is especially important when you start getting into 130mm lengths and longer.

The Service Course SL components are also available in a new ‘Beyond Black’ design with black graphics on the black anodized finish. It may lack flashy graphics, carbon weave, or a wind tunnel-tested profile, but this 125-gram stem (100mm length) will hold its own with any stem in its price range and many twice its price. Not only will it look good sitting aboard your road or cross bike, but you’ll know what you are riding on is good enough for the pro peleton.

Zipp also offers this stem in an OS that fits “oversized” 1-1/4 inch steerer tubes used by frame makers Giant® and Canyon®. For those riding standard 1-1/8 inch steerer tubes, the Service Course SL-OS offers new fit options with included shims allowing the stem to be adjusted for ±4° ±6° or ±8° angles.

Zipp Service Course SL Stem
Don’t let the lack of flashy graphics and a carbon weave fool you. This stem will outperform anything you throw at it.

To meet every rider’s fit needs, the stem is available in ±6° and ±17° angles and seven lengths from 70 to 130mm, as well as a 140mm length for the ±6° stem only.

A 100mm stem, which weighs 125 g and is manufactured from 7075 Aluminum, is designed to be used with a 31.8mm bar and 1 1/8″ stem. The Course SL also features titanium hardware with TORX® heads on all bolts for precision torque readings and ease of adjustment. Make sure you have a TORX® wrench with you on the first couple of rides for fine-tuning.

For $110, you get a great performing stem, titanium hardware with TORX® heads on all bolts, a machined faceplate, and the Zipp name. Not a bad deal

Service Course SL Bar

Designed to be paired with the Service Course SL stem, the Service Course SL bar is available in four different options to give every rider an option based on fit and bend preference. The names are derived from the bars’ reaches: 70mm, 80mm, and 88mm. The drop varies for each. The SL 70 is also available in an ergo bend.

The short reach makes the drops more accessible and means you’re less likely to bash your wrists or knees on the tops during cross. For those of you who are not that flexible, I think you will also appreciate the shorter reach options.

The Service Course SL’s appearance is designed to match the Service Course stem, of course. A polished center matches the Service Course SL stem, while the rest of the bar features a bead-blasted surface to hold the hoods and tape solid.

Carbon may be the in thing, but aluminum is proven and is always in the budget.  With a 31.8mm overside clamp diameter,  Zipp designed the bar to stand up to the rigors of the top professional racers and the most discerning weekend warriors.

At 250 grams, the bar weighs about 60 grams more than their carbon SLC2 bar, but is also roughly a third of the price. The cost on the Service Course SL line of bars is $110.00

We matched up our 42cm bars to a 130mm stem and they have been pretty much flex free during our test period and we walked away with nothing bad to say about the bar and stem setup. For $225.00 plus some new bar tape you can have a new cockpit and new feel to you trusted ride. Learn more at Zipp.com.

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