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Speeco releases strange aero cockpit that costs €1,500

Joe Robinson
3 Dec 2020

New custom handlebars invert the reach of a conventional stem and bars for all the aero gains

Dutch high-end racing component brand Speeco has released a new aero handlebar-stem cockpit that is super narrow, looks super fast but also a bit mental.

The new 'Aero Breakaway Bar' is a customisable one-piece carbon cockpit that Speeco says has been designed to tackle that age-old issue of not being aerodynamic enough while racing in the breakaway.

They have been developed with Dutch rider Jan-Willem van Schip. Now of the Beat Cycling team, you will remember him from his Roompot-Oranje days when he raised eyebrows using 32cm track handlebars with splayed hoods on the road.

Often resting just his wrists on the narrow bar, while it was certainly aero, it caused controversy among fellow cyclists including Adam Blythe who considered it highly dangerous.

So along with Van Schip, Speeco has looked to produce a set of handlebars that can reconcile that tucked breakaway position without the dangers of not having control of the bars.

It has done this by inverting the stem and bar reach. The stem has been chopped down to 70mm, with the rest of the reach being made up in the extended handlebars tops.

The particular set showcased by Speeco are very narrow on account of them being Van Schip's, however being fully customisable there would be nothing stopping you from going full Chris Horner with a set of 46cm bars.

The drops' curve is tight but again customisable, while the extended tops come with 3D printed moulds for your forearms. Speeco says this allows you to adopt a stable and comfortable TT-esque position riding on the hoods.

According to Speeco, the overall shifter position has remained the same which suggests that handling should carry over from regular bars while the sensation of changing gear should also feel the same.

To keep things fast, Speeco has also designed in an integrated mount for the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS computer which can be swapped out for alternatives such as Garmin mounts too. All cabling will also route through the one-piece cockpit internally for more drag savings.

Looking at them, you would think these are illegal for UCI-sanctioned use but that's not the case just yet. And it is worth saying that while some flaws are obvious – such as having the control to stop and manoeuvre the bike in a bunch – they are probably much safer to use than the puppy-dog, hanging the hands over the bar approach that too many in the peloton revert to.

The only thing really holding you back from owning a set of these ultra-aero bars is price. That's because retail comes in at a mighty €1,500 with €500 deposit.

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