With no shortage of aero road wheels on the market, ControlTech has a unique take on mid-depth profiles. Their new carbon tubeless Sirocco wheels wave up and down 1cm to balance aero performance with weight & crosswind stability. More known for cockpit components, ControlTech also has a new shapely alloy aero dropbar offering the ergonomic benefits of more expensive carbon options; plus, a new clip-on aero extension that attaches to your stem, a uniquely adjustable seatpost, an e-bike system integration, and new aero stem…
ControlTech Sirocco wave-shaped aero carbon wheels
ControlTech’s new aero carbon Sirocco wheels are the latest effort we’ve seen to propose a new approach to aerodynamics. While ControlTech readily admit that the wheels were developed in CFD, not an actual wind tunnel, they say the undulating rim depth works well to produce air movement across the rim more in line with the deepest portion of the rim, with some of the benefits of the softer profile.
The UD carbon rim waves between 35mm and 45mm deep around the wheel, with the higher depth at the paired spokes. Essentially you should get improved aero performance, with only half the weight penalty and half of the extra resistance when riding in crosswinds that would otherwise come with the same step up in depth.
For right now the Sirocco wheels are first being offered in a rim brake version with conventional QR axles and 20 front & 24 rear spokes. The rims are specific to each spoke drilling to have spoke pairs pull in the deeper section for increased strength & stiffness. While ControlTech didn’t have any disc brake versions to show, we were told that they are not far behind these wheels.
The 35-45mm deep rims measured 17.4mm inside, 23.5mm outside and use a hooked bead that is said to be tubeless-ready. The wheels use straight-pull, machined alloy hubs and are available in Control Tech’s current 2019 catalog with either Shimano or Campy compatible freehub bodies.
These pre-production ControlTech Sirocco aero wheels measures 1591g on our scale (745g front, 846g rear) which doesn’t make them incredibly lightweight for this relatively narrow inner width. But Control Tech says they are designed to pair with 25mm tires for the best aero performance. And at $1400 for the set, they offer solid value for a unique aero carbon setup.
ControlTech Cougar Alloy Aero, ergonomic aluminum handlebar
At first glance of the new aerodynamic & affordable aluminum Cougar Alloy Aero handlebar, you’d be excused for mistaking it for carbon. ControlTech takes advantage of more advanced aluminum manufacturing techniques to combine aerodynamic and ergonomic profiles, plus internal cable routing.
The bar joins two other in the Cougar road family that each share the same compact 75mm reach & 125mm drop, plus varying degrees of aero/ergo shaping. The standard Cougar Alloy (top) is mostly round, then both the Cougar Alloy Aero (middle) and Cougar Carbon (bottom) add indentations at the bends on the top, plus wide flat aero tops.
The $130 alloy bar comes in 40, 42 & 44cm widths, and features a gentle 4° outward flare at the drops for added comfort & clearance. You can’t see it because I am holding the bar here, but it features a subtle triangular shape here in the drop which makes it comfortable in my hand without any pressure spots, making it easy to have a secure grip without squeezing tight.
Looking at the bars on our scale, the $330 Cougar Carbon Aero handlebar is the lightest at 240g of course. This new Cougar Alloy Aero handlebar does add quite a bit of weight at 377g, but with more advanced shaping than probably any other $130 bar. The more simple & cheap $75 Cougar Alloy round handlebar still offers a bit of oval shaping on the tops & triangular profiled drops.
Sirocco Aero Bar with unique clip-on attachment
The new carbon Sirocco clip-on aero bar uses a new short, compact, and upright shape that will likely make it a good fit for riders looking to get aero with a new hand position, but not at the expense of comfort. But what is most interesting about the new aero bar is the modular clip-on system that allows riders to mount it to either the stem or conventionally to the bar.
The way it attaches to the stem is with a special U or D-shaped bracket that mounts around the body of your stem. ControlTech says they will offer mounts for their stems, but also for common stems from other manufacturers. A rubber insert in the bracket allows a secure fit to your stem, then tightened in place with four bolts. I levered on the one they had set up with their stem and did not feel any flex, but suspect you’ll have to be super careful if using any non-ControlTech stem.
So why attach to the stem anyway? One reason is the possibility for more fore-aft stiffness, plus you will likely be clamping to an alloy stem vs. a carbon basebar. As a clip on option, some aero drop handlebars also don’t have a lot of extra clamping area (see those Cougar bars above), so this could offer an option where no other is possible. But the biggest selling point in our book is just flexibility. The new stem-mount system also works with the two standard bar clamps, so you can pick whichever works for you, and the extra position may allow a shorter (less stretched forward) fit for those looking to fine-tune their aero position on the bike.
In addition to the new carbon Sirocco aero bar shape (left), ControlTech also showed us a 3D printed prototype of an aluminum version. So the new modular stem-mount setup will also be offered in their affordable alloy clip-on aerobar as well, also with more fore-aft adjustability.
Hex adjustable offset seatpost
The way it works is simple, by removing the seat guts, the Hex can be rotated & flipped around to the desired setback. Once in place, a small setscrew in the top of the head keeps it from moving around, and clamping the saddle secures everything in place. Of course changing the setback will also require readjusting your saddle height as well. But it shouldn’t be something you would need to do regular, possibly just if you change saddles or get an updated bike fit.
The design is available in either this 252g Cougar Carbon Hex seatpost for $260, or a more affordable Falcon Alloy Hex seatpost for $120.
Bosch e-bike integration
Bosch e-bikes have a new integrated HMI control computer option, so e-bike component makers have been scrambling to make new solutions vs. the mess most e-bikes deal with mow. ControlTech has a few projects in development, including an adjustable angle stem (left rear), a 3D print of what will be a separate alloy stem cap mount (middle right), and a third stem cap mount that will use a Garmin style mount (left front) like new e-bike control unit computers coming from Shimano in the near future.
Falcon aero alloy stem & spacers
Lastly from the interesting new 2019 Control Tech components is a clean looking, semi-aero aluminum stem. The 6061 Falcon Aero Stem gets a boxy, dropped shape (that works with the new clip-on), plus a smoothly integrated stem cap. It comes only in -8°, and 80-120mm lengths.