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Demare wins Tour de France stage on new PRO Vibe Aero bar

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Arnaud Demare's new PRO Aero Vibe handelbar at the start of stage 4 of the 2017 Tour de France

Arnaud Demare's new PRO Aero Vibe handelbar at the start of stage 4 of the 2017 Tour de France (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Knees' Pinarello Dogma features an integrated Di2 junction box in the down tube

Knees' Pinarello Dogma features an integrated Di2 junction box in the down tube (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Knees has a single layer of tape, and you can see the drops' ovalized shape a bit better than on the FDJ bikes

Knees has a single layer of tape, and you can see the drops' ovalized shape a bit better than on the FDJ bikes (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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On Knees' bike you can see how the Di2 wire comes out of the stem, just behind the visible stem bolt, and how the K-Edge is secured on the stem bolts in between the stem body and the faceplate

On Knees' bike you can see how the Di2 wire comes out of the stem, just behind the visible stem bolt, and how the K-Edge is secured on the stem bolts in between the stem body and the faceplate (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Knees also had a new K-Edge Garmin mount with a sleek connection via the lower stem bolts

Knees also had a new K-Edge Garmin mount with a sleek connection via the lower stem bolts (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Christian Knees (Team Sky) had the Vibe Aero on his bike before the Tour began

Christian Knees (Team Sky) had the Vibe Aero on his bike before the Tour began (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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On Cimolai's bike, the top of the bar looks aero; the dropsÉ not so much

On Cimolai's bike, the top of the bar looks aero; the dropsÉ not so much (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Demare's teammate Thibaut Pinot (at right) has a new junction box in his non-aero bar

Demare's teammate Thibaut Pinot (at right) has a new junction box in his non-aero bar (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Demare (up close) and his teammate Davide Cimolai both have the Vibe Aero, and both have double tape

Demare (up close) and his teammate Davide Cimolai both have the Vibe Aero, and both have double tape (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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This type of internal routing is fairly straightforward for carbon aero bars

This type of internal routing is fairly straightforward for carbon aero bars (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Demare runs a blank FSA stem for its -17 degree angle. Since the Vibe Aero needs a compatible stem to route the Di2 wire down through the stem, mechanics routed Demare's wiring alongside the brake cables to a traditional junction box

Demare runs a blank FSA stem for its -17 degree angle. Since the Vibe Aero needs a compatible stem to route the Di2 wire down through the stem, mechanics routed Demare's wiring alongside the brake cables to a traditional junction box (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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A hole at the center allows for clean Di2 wire routing

A hole at the center allows for clean Di2 wire routing (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Aero Vibe's drops are elongated for an aero benefit, which is quickly negated by two layers of bar tape

The Aero Vibe's drops are elongated for an aero benefit, which is quickly negated by two layers of bar tape (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Demare had a double tape wrap on his Aero Vibe

Demare had a double tape wrap on his Aero Vibe (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The drop is ovalized down until the end, where a Di2 junction box, or a standard bar-tape plug, can be installed

The drop is ovalized down until the end, where a Di2 junction box, or a standard bar-tape plug, can be installed (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Aero Vibe slenders substantially just below the shifter-clamp area

The Aero Vibe slenders substantially just below the shifter-clamp area (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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And of course PRO also has this integrated Stealth EVO bar/stem, used by a certain Chris Froome at the Tour de France

And of course PRO also has this integrated Stealth EVO bar/stem, used by a certain Chris Froome at the Tour de France (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

While Peter Sagan's ejection was the big story at the Tour de France today, FDJ's Arnaud Démare was still plenty pleased to win the sprint finish, and Shimano staff were happy to see him do so on its new PRO Vibe Aero handlebar.

While a number of aero bars feature internal routing, the PRO Vibe Aero bar is also configured for Di2 with a hole at the bottom centre of the bar. The Vibe Aero also features ovalized drop sections that — when unwrapped — present a narrower frontal profile to the wind than a normal bar.

 

A hole at the centre allows for clean Di2 wire routing

Wrapping any bar with handlebar tape of course changes the aerodynamics a bit. Engineers of aero bars with flat tops are often dismayed when pros choose to run tape around the flattened top section, hampering some of the aero gains that the engineers worked for. But there is usually a compromise on bikes between engineering ideas and real-world application.

Interestingly, Démare has not one but two layers of bar tape on the narrow drops. While a few riders like Alberto Contador run double tape all the time, typically we only see the double thickness on riders' bikes at Paris-Roubaix.

Another strange visual on Démare's long-and-low aero cockpit is the rather enormous Garmin Edge 1000 computer that the whole FDJ team uses. It is a very good computer for navigation, but no one has ever claimed it to be the sveltest option on the market.

 

The Aero Vibe's drops are elongated for an aero benefit, which is quickly negated by two layers of bar tape

Five holes on the PRO Vibe Aero

Besides the obvious holes at the ends of the bars (which can house the new Di2 junction box), the Vibe Aero has five holes. On each side of the bar there is a hole behind where the shifters are mounted to take in brake and shift lines underneath the bar tape. Then closer to the centre of the bar there are holes where these lines pop out. Finally, there is a hole in the centre of the bar.

Shimano Europe sports marketing officer Bert Roesems said such a design could only be executed in carbon.

"With carbon, you can make as many holes as you want," Roesems said. "With alloy, you just can't make holes like that [without compromising structural integrity], especially where it connects with the stem. That area is the worst."

 

The drop is ovalized down until the end, where a Di2 junction box, or a standard bar-tape plug, can be installed

When paired with a new PRO Vibe stem, a Di2 wire can run from a junction box mounted inside one of the bar ends, through the bar, and pop out just behind the bottom of the stem faceplate.

On Knees' bike you can see how the Di2 wire comes out of the stem, just behind the visible stem bolt, and how the K-Edge is secured on the stem bolts in between the stem body and the faceplate

Démare doesn't use a PRO Vibe stem, though, instead running an unmarked -17 FSA model to get a low position. So, on his bike, mechanics run the Di2 wires from each shifter through the bar and then out alongside the brake cables. They then attach to the old-style junction box rubber-banded to the stem, the way the first Di2 systems were configured.

Démare's teammates have the new Vibe stem, however, and some are using the bar-end-mounted junction box.

Team Sky's Christian Knees has the new Vibe Aero, new Vibe stem and bar-mounted junction box on his bike. He also has a trick new K-Edge mount for his bike.

 

Christian Knees (Team Sky) had the Vibe Aero on his bike before the Tour began

Sky's leader Chris Froome has been using PRO's Stealth Evo integrated bar/stem for some time now.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look, and be sure to visit Cyclingnews throughout July for full coverage of the 2017 Tour de France.