Zipp Service Course SL components review

Guy Kesteven
·5-min read
 Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

Service Course SL is a refined version of the entry-level Service Course without the cost of the Carbon SL range, Zipps best road handlebar range. It also has the widest range of options compared to Service Course and Carbon SL. There are some nice practical touches added to boost versatility and tidy up your cockpit too. Expanded range and clarified sizing means it’ll hit the spot more accurately for a lot of people looking for high performance at a medium price, although you still pay a slight premium for the new Zipp logo.

Zipp Service Course SL-70 XPLR Bar

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

We spent a lot of time riding the Service Course 70 XPLR Bar this year and really liked the wrist-friendly 10-degree backsweep of the top sections. There’s also a useful flare to the drops which puts the lower hand position 3cm further outboard on each side for descending leverage without things looking weird or shifters getting tilted. The ride feel from the 7050 alloy of the SL is crisp without being sharp on faster/harder sections and it’s only 30-40g heavier than a premium carbon-fibre bar. The hard anodised finish is marked for angle adjustment and lever positioning and there are underside grooves for cables/hoses. 100mm of clamping area also gives enough room for bag straps and bolt-on aero bars.

If flare and backsweep isn’t your thing, the Service Course bar also comes in compact drop/70mm reach SL-70 and flatter topped SL-70 Ergo. If you want a more conventional shape the SL-80 has a 125mm drop and 80mm reach and comes in round-top and Ergo versions. Old school roadies and trackies can still get the 130mm drop and 88mm reach SL-88 bar, too.

Zipp Service Course SL stem

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

The stem is essentially unchanged, apart from the new angular logo (first seen on Zipp’s 3 Zero Moto MTB wheels) baked onto the matte black anodised finish. The deep rectangular shape gives it excellent stiffness though, titanium bolts keep it usefully light and you get a lifetime warranty. There are two angles available and lengths from 70-150mm which covers most bases from gravel to full pro. There’s an OS version for 1.5in fork steerers, too.

Zipp Quickview mount

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

Accessory fans will be very interested in the new ‘Quickview’ GPS/computer (above) and GoPro/light (underneath) mount. This swaps out for the standard faceplate on Service Course, Service Course SL and Carbon SL stems and the forged metal construction leaves no concerns about strength, looks very neat and it’s very secure in use. At 61g (net increase once you’ve subtracted the faceplate weight) it’s not much heavier than a plastic add-on mount and if you take the GoPro section off, it’s actually 4g lighter than the Wahoo out front mount it replaced.

Zipp Service Course SL seatpost

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

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Zipp Service Course SL
Zipp Service Course SL

The SL seatpost uses a carbon shaft that’s apparently been “specifically tuned to be more shock absorbing than other comfort seatposts”. The result isn’t a miracle cure for malevolent frame feel but it definitely creates a more comfortable place to sit than a conventional post. The twin bolt seat clamp with 5mm bolts is super practical, accurate and secure too and it works with conventional round metal rails or deep carbon rails. As well as the zero set back post we tested, there’s a 20mm layback version too.

The 400mm length means most riders will need to carefully cut off the excess to make the most of the carbon weight savings compared to the alloy Service Course post. There’s no 30.9mm option either.

Verdict

It’s a bit of a pain to switch out bars and stems for test, particularly when what you’re replacing is probably doing the job fine. However, the bottom line is that all the tape unwrapping, shifter tweaking and rewrapping felt worthwhile once we’d put some time into the Zipp SC SL gear.

The bar sweep and slight flare feel great for mixed surface riding and the stem is seriously stiff without making the whole front end painful. The Quickview mount isn’t unique but it’s a really well-executed solution to cockpit crowding and more secure than most options. The seatpost makes life more comfortable in the saddle and removes any worries about slipping if you hit a pothole hard. The new logo and finish looks really good too, and together with low weight, it makes the carbon like price easy to forgive.

Tech Specs

Zipp Service Course SL Stem

  • Weight: 139g (90mm)

  • Sizes: 70-130mm in 10mm steps in 6 or 17 degree rise/drop. 140 and 150mm in 6 degree only.

  • Price: €114-136

Zipp Service Course SL-70 XPLR bar

  • Weight: 258g (420mm 70 XPLR)

  • Sizes: 40, 42, 44, 46cm

  • Price: €123

Zipp Service Course SL seatpost

  • Weight: 231g (27.2mm uncut)

  • Sizes: 25.4, 27.2, 31.6mm

  • Price: €