Roval - the wheel (now component) brand belonging to Specialized - has bolstered its 'Alpinist' climber's range with an integrated cockpit and seatpost.
The brand unveiled its new Alpinist CLX wheels earlier this year, and the additions to the family aim to offer riders more componets designed to drop their system weight. Both are featherweight. Neither is cheap.
The cockpit (£450) will be available in ten different configurations. A 420mm bar and 110mm step weighs in at 247g. For comparison's sake, one of Cycling Weekly's test team's go-to component brands Black Inc offers an Integrated bar/stem priced at £533 which weighs 320g in the same configuration. The 'Level' offering at Ribble comes in at 330g for £399.99.
The bars fit a standard 1-1/8" steerer and offer a -6 degree angle. The bar does not cater for internal cable routing, but GPS mounts can be added.
They come in widths of 400mm, 420mm and 440mm. Anecdotally it seems many racers opt for narrow handlebars, to reduce frontal surface area and therefore save on drag, making a narrower option seem like an unfortunate omission. However, the choice is presumably based upon sales data and that of Retül fits, with the big 'S' owning the 3D measurement system used by bike fitters worldwide.
The seatpost (£195), at 300mm in a 27.2mm diameter, comes in at 136g. It'll be available in a 360mm length too and comes with a 20mm offset. Again a Black Inc carbon model costs £246 and drops on to the scales at 158g.
Both the cockpit and seatpost have been designed to be compatible with any bike that uses the same standard steerer or seat tube shape and size.
It seems to be no coincidence that the round bar and lightweight seatpost come soon after the launch of the new Tarmac SL7, which saw the lightweight climbing bike merge with the Venge aero road bike to become the brand's do-it-all racer.
Whilst we awarded the bike a high scoring 9/10, we noted on test that the popular chassis had taken on some of the harshness associated with aero machines - which not all riders would appreciate. For those riders, we advocated trying the SL7 with the Alpinist wheels over the deep Roval Rapide's fitted, and a round bar.
The new Alpinist handlebar certainly seems poised to be a ready swap for potential SL7 customers looking for a lighter (and possibly more compliant) handlebar, and we expect it's likely to make appearances beneath pro hands when the roads go upwards.
Roval Alpinist cockpit £450
400mm x 80/90/100mm
420mm x 90/100/110/120mm
440mm x 110/120/130mm
Roval Alpinist seatpost £195
300mm x 27.2mm, 20mm offset
360mm x 27.2mm, 20mm offset
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