The last time we took a look at the alt cockpit solutions from the Swiss designers at Zirbel, it was about their short clip-on aero bar extensions. Before that it was a low profile twist shifter that works with any of the electronic drivetrains out there. Now Zirbel is combining those two with a new pair of carbon Wisent handlebars for a fully integrated electronic cockpit on either riser mountain bike bars or flat bar road bikes. The result is either the most stealthy Di2 mountain bike setup we’ve seen or a crazy complex flat bar road setup with lights, camera & shift wires all routed cleanly through the bar…
Zirbel Wisent bar & Twist Shifters
At the heart of the internally routed setup is Zirbel’s tiny, thumb-operated Twist Shifter that replaces a regular Di2 trigger shifter. Even compared to the remote Di2 Sprint or Satellite shifters, the Zirbel Twist Shifters are much tinier and almost disappear when mounted on the bar.
Zirbel can set up a Wisent cockpit for riders of 1x or 2x groups, with or without a Di2 display, and will even customize the shifter rings with varying grips & grooves or colors as you prefer – the standard MTB setup gets smaller ridges that work well with full-finger gloves, while the urban setup gets more pronounced ridges for glove-free use.
The Wisent bar itself comes in either flat or riser variants, both of which are constructed of matte finished UD carbon with 9° of ergonomic backsweep. The bars have a wide 31.8mm clamping area, and each are available in either 680mm or 750mm widths (that can be trimmed down 90 or 60mm, respectively.) The flat bar at 750mm weighs 182g (168g at 680mm) and the riser actually a touch lighter at 176g for the 750mm (163g for the 680mm.) Adding that Twist Shifter gains just 17g a piece.
Zirbel Plug and Fly
Zirbel also does what they call Plug and Fly, which puts the Di2 battery inside the bar to balance opposite the shifter & Di2 display, leaving all of the electronics sorted out neatly inside the bar. Then you only run a single wire from the bar back to the rear derailleur if you use a 1x Di2 setup.
Whether putting all of the Di2 system inside the bar is maybe up for discussion, but dropping the stock XT shifter itself means you have less weight on the bar to start with (still dropping 26g off the bar, even with relocating the battery there!) And there’s no denying that Zirbel has put together a tidy Di2 setup.
The price of a Wisent Cockpit depends on whether you are going 1x or with a double, and what derailleur system you are pushing. But a Wisent riser bar with a single ring XT Di2 Twist Shifter & battery mount in the bar sells for 250€ ready to plug your Di2 components in.
Zirbel Velocity Racer
The more complicated looking setup is actually on latest version of the Zirbel’s Velocity Racer – a top-spec urban commuting flat bar road bike. Add in a GoPro & a Knog light for good measure.
It basically combines all of Zirbel’s tech into one creation, mating the Twist Shifters to an electronic road groupset from any of the big three to a flat handlebar that also gets their clip-on Zirbelaci aero bar extensions to bring back some hand position adjustability.