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by Dave Rome
October 3, 2020
Photography by Pro Bike Gear
Pro Bike Gear, the component and accessory arm of Shimano, has just announced a smorgasbord of new products. The saddle line-up has been given an update, there are a number of new alloy handlebars, and the brand’s gravel bag offerings have grown, too.
Pro has long offered a wide range of saddles, most of which were built on the data and science belonging to bikefitting.com, another Shimano-owned company. Now many of the traditional length saddles in the range are getting updated as the result of new research into pressure mapping (effectively the loads between the rider and saddle) and a stronger focus toward designing each saddle for a particular type of rider.
Somewhat similar to Fizik’s approach, Pro’s Falcon, Turnix, and Griffon saddles are now each designed to suit riders with particular flexibility and/or bike positions. Additionally, there’s a choice of different widths available to use based on what the company’s saddle selector suggests. That saddle selector is effectively a gel-based pad that Pro Bike Gear dealers use to measure one’s sit bones.
The following performance-based saddles have been updated with refined shaping, padding, and constructions. More specifically, all models now feature a revised carbon fibre reinforced base that’s said to be more compliant, a subtly shorter total length, and a larger centre channel for improved pressure relief. They’re all available in either a Performance or Team version which respectively feature stainless steel (US$180) or lighter-weight carbon rails (US$220).
The Pro Falcon.
The Falcon is designed for flexible riders who maintain an aggressive riding position. This saddle is offered in 132 and 142 mm widths.
The Turnix is also popular with mountain bikers.
Pro suggests the Turnix saddle to those with medium flexibility. This model is available with or without cut-outs and in widths of 132, 142, and 152 mm.
The Griffon is the most padded of the performance saddle range.
Then there’s the Griffon, a saddle aimed at the least flexible riders. This saddle is only available with a central cut-out and in widths of 142 and 152 mm.
Finally, Pro is now offering a new lower price point version of its most popular saddle, the short-nose Stealth. The new Stealth Sport (pictured up top) shares the same shaping and padding as its more expensive and pre-existing siblings, but a change to chromoly rails drops the price to US$120. This saddle weighs 270 grams, some 65 grams more than the mid-tier stainless steel-railed version.
Pro has launched a few new handlebars for road and gravel riders, and many of them should prove to be good value options.
The Vibe Aero Alloy Pursuit handlebar offers a shape that’s uncommonly seen in alloy.
The new Vibe Aero Alloy Pursuit handlebar (US$TBC) aims to borrow the features of the Pro Vibe carbon handlebars, but in 6066 alloy and at a reduced cost. The key features here include an aerodynamic profile and internal cable routing for Di2 integration. This Pursuit model introduces a 10-degree flare at the drops and a 12-degree forward sweep from the stem clamping point to the hoods. The shape is said to help riders maintain a more aerodynamic position.
Don’t want all those curves? The new Vibe Aero Alloy (US$120) is effectively the same handlebar as the Vibe Aero Alloy Pursuit but in a slightly more traditional shape with just a six-degree flare at the drops, a 78 mm reach, and a 130 mm drop. This bar is claimed to weigh 330 grams (40 cm width), some 70 grams heavier than the carbon version. It’s available in widths of 38, 40, and 42 cm.
The PLT Carbon Ergo.
There’s a new carbon handlebar, too. The PLT Carbon Ergo (US$250) introduces an ergonomic top section to the pre-existing PLT range. Like the original PLT, this new carbon model retains the popular compact shape and the variable reach and drop figures based on the selected width (36 – 46 cm).
There are two new handlebars designed with gravel in mind.
At just US$50, the budget-conscious LT Gravel Alloy is constructed with 6061 aluminium and is offered in sizes ranging from 42-46 cm, each with a stubby 65 mm reach and 10-degree flare at the shallow drops (100 mm drop). A 42 cm version of this bar is claimed to weigh 310 g.
The LT Gravel Alloy is a new affordable gravel bar from Pro.
Made from a stronger 6066 aluminium, the new Discover Alloy 20 handlebar (US$80) is 45 g lighter than the LT Gravel Alloy and 75 grams heavier than the carbon version it’s based on. Designed with Shimano GRX in mind, the bar features a wider 20-degree flare at the drops, a 5-degree backsweep, semi-internal cable routing (Di2-friendly) and ergonomically-shaped tops. This bar will be offered in 40, 42, and 44 cm widths (measured at the hoods), each with a 110 mm drop and 75 mm reach.
Pro introduced its range of Discover bike packing bags at last year’s Eurobike, and now the brand has expanded into more premium Team options. All Team models are said to be approximately 45% lighter than the standard versions, offer improved durability, and are fully waterproof with welded seams.
Pro’s new Discover Team bags feature a fully waterproof design and lightweight material.
The new Discover Team Frame bag (US$120) boasts a 5.5-litre capacity and a 135-gram figure on the scales. Also impressively light is the new Discover Team Seatpost bag (US$160), which offers a 10-litre capacity and bungee cords for further carrying needs. Ready for snacks, a phone or a power bank battery, the Discover Team Top Tube bag (US$70) offers a 700-millimetre capacity and weighs just 83 grams.
The regular line of Discover bags grows by one with a new small-sized (2.5 L) two-compartment handlebar bag (US$50). Additionally, the pre-existing Discover Top Tube Bag (US$45) and Discover Frame Bag (US$70) have been updated for easier access (and likely reduced paint rub in the case of the top tube bag). Like the rest of the original Discover range, these feature a heavier material construction to the new Team bags.
International pricing and availability are to be confirmed. Further details can be found at pro-bikegear.com.