Investing in a great set of carbon bars has the potential to significantly change your bike. The right bars will add road dampening, comfort and can also sharpen handling while reducing weight. With the PRO Vibe Carbon compact handlebar, you can get all that with an extra dose of integration — particularly if you are running Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2 groupsets.
PRO Vibe Carbon Compact Handlebar Features:
- Internal cable routing for all cables
- Di2-specific routing for PRO Vibe stem
- Innegra fiber strengthens vulnerable areas
- Compact shape is comfortable on the tops, hoods, and drops
- 80mm reach and 130mm drop
- Weight: 225 grams (44cm, actual) – 370 grams with 110mm stem
- MSRP: $379.99
PRO Vibe is Di2’s best friend
Shimano’s venerable Di2 groupset remains the most popular electronic kit on the market. And, it makes sense that PRO would build a Di2-friendly cockpit, so that’s what we’ve got with the PRO Vibe Carbon bars and PRO Vibe stem. One little caveat (I’ll have to admit it), I didn’t install it with Di2, but did initially install it with SRAM Red eTap HRD on the Cannondale Synapse eTap instead.
The Vibe Carbon bars come with internal routing and guides to make brake cable routing a breeze. There are no divots underneath to run cables (unfortunately), so if you want your bars to be as uncluttered as possible, you’ll want to plan your cockpit accordingly (which I was able to do with the Pinarello Dogma F10). That becomes more of a project should you have hydraulic lines since re-routing those is more involved than wires and cables.
When routed internally with Di2, the cables are neat and tidy. With eTap, I did still have the hydraulic lines run on the underside of the bars. For the most part, it wasn’t an issue, but after riding with it completely concealed, it is a superior look and feel. Again, plan ahead if you’re going to use these bars.
In the saddle, these bars have a classic feel to them, but with a compact shape. I say compact, but these are on the fringes of the compact category with their 80mm reach and 130mm drops. Many modern drop bars trim 5-10mm from those measurements, but these are still “compact.”
Along with the Di2-friendly routing options, the Vibe Carbons feature large, round tops for the ultimate in responsiveness. The gradual curve to the hoods differs from many bars and makes for more progressive hand placement options instead of just tops or just hoods — so you can naturally creep up or back and anywhere in-between.
To be honest, I prefer flat tops as a perch for long days in the saddle or endless climbs. Those flat tops are also awesome for rough roads and gravel as vibrations dissipate better. Back to the PRO Vibe bars… their large, round tops may not have the comfort of flat or aero ones (like the ENVE Compact Road Bar or Black Inc Barstem) but the wider you get the better. As mentioned, I had both 42cm and 44cm versions in my testing and found the 44’s to be more comfortable on gravel rides (though still not class-leading). Thicker bar tape could help add comfort, if needed.
Some bars have extended drops for larger hands or yet more hand positions, but these are pretty short. I can tuck my hands deep in the drops and reach the shifters but there’s not much room to move further back towards the ends at all (which is something I do sometimes on long, flat roads just to mix things up).
I’ve had the PRO Vibe Carbon Bars paired with the PRO Vibe Stem for a perfect combo. The handlebar and stem combo allows for internally-routed Di2 cables with an exit port just behind the stem for a clean look. This stem features a -10 degree rise for a more aggressive fit. I’ll add that the Innegra fibers reinforce these handlebars in case of a crash or demanding use.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com
The Bottom Line
PRO's line of cockpit bits has been developed by riders at the highest level of cycling. Using that feedback, the PRO Vibe Carbon bars and matching stem are an outstanding choice when going Di2 from the start -- especially with the new end plug junction box. I only wish they had flat tops and external routing options for hydraulic lines.
- Smooth top-to-hood transition
- Innegra fibers add confidence and durability
- Integrated Di2 routing is super clean
- Responsive and stiff for precise handling
- Works great Di2 end plug junction box
- Round tops make it easy to attach accessories
- Upgrading after-the-fact will mean re-routing wires or disconnecting hydraulic lines
- Tops don't offer much in the way of ergonomics or comfort
- Short drop extensions