Pro goes Superlight and aero with new road cockpit components

Pro is finally starting to go after the weight weenies with the 153-gram Vibe Superlight drop bar and 92-gram stem.

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Shimano subsidiary Pro hasn’t always been known for being on the cutting edge of the weight game, but those days are apparently over with the introduction of its new Superlight collection of road cockpit components. The claimed weights are definitely eye-opening – the new bar and stem are 75 grams lighter than anything Pro has offered in the past – but so is the idea that the new parts might not be overly pushing the boundaries of safety, either.

The Pro Vibe Superlight bar

Headlining the new collection is the Vibe Superlight carbon fiber drop handlebar, which is claimed to weigh just 153 grams in its narrowest 38 cm size. Pro builds the new bar from Toray T1100 carbon fiber for high stiffness and low weight, but adds Innegra polypropylene fibers in strategic areas to boost the impact toughness. The Innegra plies aren’t intended to wholly prevent the bar from suffering damage during a crash, mind you; rather, they’re meant to prevent a catastrophic failure so you can at least hopefully make it home without having to call a cab (or an ambulance). 

Pro isn’t bothering with aerodynamics here, instead focusing on comfort with a 31.8 mm clamp diameter that maintains much of that shape and size across nearly the entire length of the tops to fit better in your hands. That said, the Superlight also isn’t aimed at casual endurance riders, either, with an aggressive 80 mm reach, 130 mm of drop, and Pro’s most traditional-style bend with no flare.

Just three sizes are available: 38 cm, 40 cm, and 42 cm, measured center-to-center. Retail price is US$450 / £380 / €420.

The Pro Vibe Superlight stem

Has anyone else noticed how good computer renderings are these days?

Shimano has never shied away from using forged aluminum instead of carbon fiber if its engineers deemed it the more appropriate material for the task, so it’s no surprise to see the new Pro Vibe Superlight stem being made of forged 7075 alloy. Nevertheless, claimed weight for the shortest 70 mm length is a scant 92 g.

The extension sports a squared-off profile, and the steerer clamp is dramatically pared-away to reduce weight. Up front is a skeletal-looking four-bolt aluminum faceplate with titanium M5 bolts. Shimano is only offering the Superlight stem with a 31.8 mm handlebar clamp diameter, although the steerer clamp is available in 1 1/8″ or 1 1/4″ sizes. Available lengths run from 70 to 120 mm (in 10 mm increments), all with +/-6° angles. 

Retail price is US$175 / £160 / €160.

Despite the weight-weenie goals, Pro has still made the Superlight stem (and bar) compatible with a variety of internal Di2 wire and hydraulic brake hose routing – although it’s not entirely clear at this point which bike brands will be a good fit in terms of aesthetics. Of course, external routing is still an option, too.

“The cables enter close to the shifter at the forward bend, where the hole is big enough to fit a (hydraulic) brake hose and Di2 wire,” a Pro representative explained. “They then travel internally towards the stem area, where the cables can either exit before the stem (for externally routed bikes) or inside the stem. Going inside the stem, you can then go directly into the steerer tube, including D-shaped steerers (like Ridley or Factor, for example), or directly out at the bottom. Seen from below, the exit out the bottom can also be used to get cables from an external routed handlebar into the steerer tube area.”

New expander plug and computer mount options, too

There aren’t many great options for oversized expander plugs, so it’s good to see Pro offer this in both 1 1/8″ and 1 1/4″ diameters.

Completing the ensemble are the new Gap Cap Expander Carbon steerer plug and Vibe computer mount.

The compression plug features a conventional aluminum double-cone expanding wedge design with a knurled body to provide a firm grip on the inner steerer tube wall. Up top is a carbon fiber top cap held in place with a countersunk aluminum bolt.

Pro is offering the expander plug in 1 1/8″ and 1 1/4″ sizes, with the smaller option tipping the scales with a claimed weight of 24 g – 16 g less than Pro’s current plug. Retail price is US$35 / £30 / €35.

The angle adjustment is a welcome feature on Pro’s new computer mount.

The Pro Vibe computer doesn’t break any new ground, but it looks well designed nonetheless. Made of 6061 aluminum and size specifically to fit Pro stems, the new computer mount attaches to the stem faceplate holes (with longer M5 bolts), and can be attached in the high or low position depending on rider preferences. The hinged base provides further adjustment, and the molded plastic computer puck can also be set in the short or long position. Pucks are included for Garmin, Wahoo, and Bryton computers.

Claimed weight is 37 g, and retail price is US$70 / £60 / €55.

Pro even gets into the mini-aero clip-on game

Does this look familiar? Well, when someone has a good idea, others are bound to follow.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, hopefully the folks at Farr aren’t too upset as the new Pro Compact Carbon Clip-on is basically a knock-off of the Australian brand’s Carbon Aero Bolt-On.

Made of Toray T700 carbon fiber, the Pro Compact Clip-on clamps to compatible 31.8 mm-diameter bars to provide a more aerodynamic hand position for long days in the saddle. The upper surface is textured so there’s presumably no need for tape, and upfront is an integrated computer mount. Underneath is another accessory mount for things like lights and cameras. Pucks are included for Garmin, Wahoo, and Bryton computers.

Claimed weight is 135 g, and retail price is US$180 / £150 / €160.

Pro says all of these new bits will be available sometime in the first quarter of 2023. Australian pricing for all of the above is still to be confirmed.

All of Pro’s new cockpit components are covered by a limited lifetime warranty (although curiously, Pro specifically states a “ten-year expected lifetime”). More information on all the new bits can be found at www.pro-bikegear.com.

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