Deep Dive: Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions
This S-bend aerobar provides wrist comfort without sacrificing aerodynamics.
Zipp worked closely with top bike fitters when designing these aerobars. The result is a fit-focused bar with a wide range of adjustability that can be mounted above or below the handlebar. The extensions are available with either a 70mm or 110mm rise, and feature a S-bend shape that rolls 20mm inward to improve wrist comfort.
Anyone who has tried to ride in an aerodynamic tuck for extended periods of time can tell you that it can be a very uncomfortable experience. The longer the ride, the more discomfort an athlete can experience, and areas that might start off with barely noticeable twinges can eventually turn to throbbing pain. The wrist is one of these spots where a proper position can make all the difference. The good news is that aerobat manufacturers have taken notice and have worked to create bars that allow the wrist to be held in a more neutral position. With the knowledge that the ability to maintain an aerodynamic posture is essential to shave precious time off of bike splits, aerobar designs of late have not only aimed to optimize aerodynamics outright but have tried to do so in a comfortable manner.
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Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions: The Basics
Zipp says that the Alumina Evo Extensions included with the Vuka Clip bar were designed to feel as if the rider is shaking hands with the bar. As the name suggests, these extensions are made of aluminum, and were designed with a neutral hand position while providing a firm grip and without sacrificing aerodynamics. The bars feature a highly adjustable design, with the ability to adjust the length of extension, inward roll of the extension, and the position of the forearm pad relative to the extension. Zipp even includes angled spacers to adjust the tilt of the forearm rest relative to the extension, with all adjustments being easy to make. The bars come ready to have cables routed through them if the athlete chooses to do so, and the 31.8mm diameter clamp means they are compatible with just about any round handlebar on the market.
Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions: The Good
Just as Zipp aimed to do, the Evo extensions do relieve a great deal of wrist pain on longer rides. This is not to say that a rider should expect to slap them on their bike, head out for a long ride, and be in blissful comfort for the duration. Some adaptation is still required, as is the case any time that new equipment is installed no matter how well-designed. The increased comfort is mainly a result of a small design tweak, the 20mm inward roll of their S-bend shape, which is also what gives them the Evo moniker. The adjustability of the Vuka Clip with Evo Extensions simply means that adaptation could be accomplished in less time. Molded armrest cups are generously curved and hold the forearms firmly in place even with elbows close together in a narrow position, while low-profile but still well-cushioned pads complete the package and provide outstanding comfort for the long haul.
Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions: The Bad
The included Torx hardware provides a few advantages over similar hex-style hardware, namely that they are less likely to strip and have a shorter head, which can reduce weight and potentially reduce frontal area in some applications. However, their inclusion will require many users to purchase a tool to install or adjust these aerobars. With the Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions priced very competitively, many beginner athletes will be attracted to them, but might be confused or disappointed that they likely don’t have the correct tools to install or adjust them. The advantages that Torx hardware provides might provide a noticeable advantage with carbon products, which Zipp is well-known for, but with these aluminum bars that’s less of an issue. Perhaps their inclusion here is as much about consistency across their product range as it is about the particular advantages in this case.
Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions: The Conclusions
Overall, the Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions are a highly adjustable bar that provide a great deal of comfort in a performance-oriented product. Their price-point makes them accessible to even beginner athletes, while the level of performance and adjustability should also make them appeal to even the most advanced athlete. The unique shape of the S-bend style extensions is the key to what makes them stand out, as the wrist is held in a neutral position that is both aerodynamic and comfortable.