Dutch custom components manufacturer, Speeco Tech, is making headlines today after launching a radical new handlebar concept that it calls the ABB (Aero Breakaway Bar).
Working with BEAT Cycling's Jan Willem van Schip, Speeco has sought to develop a handlebar that allows a more aerodynamic position while simultaneously aiding control and safety.
Speeco looked at Van Schip's position on the bike during breakaways and posed the question: "why are our stems so long, and our handlebars so short?" The position they found is one that will be familiar to any fan of pro cycling viewership; with hands positioned near the hoods, contact between Van Schip and the handlebars is limited to his wrists.
As a one-piece handlebar-stem system, the ABB tries to solve this problem by reducing stem length and increasing handlebar reach.
It uses a short 70mm stem with a minus 17-degree angle, and the majority of the effective length comes from the reach section of the handlebar itself. By shaping this tube section into a slightly concave form, Speeco says this enables a large contact area with your forearm, to not only increase comfort but also control of the bike in the aerodynamic, pseudo-time-trial position. Other aero considerations include the more normal feature that is cable integration, as well as an integrated aero mount for your Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.
In the images shown the bars look incredibly narrow but the finished product would be fully customised to your dimensions. Speeco says that the shifter position remains unchanged from a traditional setup and, that as a result, the handling of the bike would remain unchanged.
Should you find yourself enamoured with the radical new design, they can be yours for a cool €1,500.00.
And if the name Jan Willem Van Schip sounds familiar, that's because it is. In Spring of 2018, the 26-year-old entered the limelight when he found himself in the day's breakaway at Scheldeprijs, aboard his Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij team issue Isaac bike. The eye-catching and headline-grabbing feature of the 194cm Dutchman's bike was his handlebars, which were a Japanese track handlebar that measured just 32cm wide. This cockpit showed a commitment to the narrow is aero mentality, so it's perhaps unsurprising to see that Van Schip is in the headlines once again with Speeco.
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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