Velobike Velobike Bunch Bars
Pou Auaha / Creative DirectorGlenn Catchpole
Ringatoi Matua / Design DirectorGlenn Catchpole
Kaitautoko / ContributorsBen Rowell, Valerie Poort
Leading from the front the Bunch bars demonstrated to the judges the power of user centric and collaborative design research to discover novel solutions for the global track cycling market. The Bunch bars cleverly mixed an aggressive yet flowing aesthetic and precise high performance manufacturing to create a design that is bringing home golds on the track and taking kiwi design to the world.
When it comes to track cycling, the smallest of margins can make a big difference. The Velobike Bunch Bars empower track cyclists with the greatest advantage in aerodynamics and recovery during endurance races.
The innovative handlebars were developed through a rider-centred design approach. We wanted to understand how an athlete engages and moves around the handlebars during longer distance races. We designed new handlebars with innovative features that support the rider in five key aggressive aerodynamic postures and stages of recovery. This needed to be achieved while conforming to a rigorous set of rules set by the international cycling federation UCI.
The concept was snatched up by international athletes and federations, with prototypes tested and refined in time for regulated equipment submission deadlines.
Designed to debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, the Velobike Bunch Bars won two gold and two silver medals. Soon after, Velobike Bunch Bars went on to take first place in two world championship races.
This success at the highest level, combined with solving problems many track riders face, have led to the Velobike Bunch Bars being the most sought after endurance handlebars in the market. They have established the reputation of Velobike’s innovative approach to product development on a global scale.
Velobike Bunch Bars have 5 grip positions:
Traditional drop grip. Provides comfort and maximum control.
Drop grip. The rider’s hands can slide up the vertical section of the drop - lowering the elbow for greater aero without needing to let go of the bars.
Hood grip. Popular amongst road cyclists, the hoods (horns) provide maximum comfort in recovery positions. The raised grip position opens up the airways for quicker aerobic recovery.
Pursuit grip. A safe and stable grip for the greatest aero advantage. When your palms are held up against the horns, the forearms become horizontal, eliminating their frontal area from the drag equation. The horns are the narrowest and furthest forward section of the bars. This position is the ultimate fusion between pursuiting and bunch racing.
Top grip. A flat and horizontal top section provides a stable platform to sling your madison partner or to rest after the race.
Manufactured from Japanese Toray carbon fibre, the bars maintain a key mix of being lightweight yet stiff for maximum power output during races.
“Super comfortable, excellent grip feel and loved the different options for hand position. I felt locked in, in every position and super aero. Bike handling is excellent in every position. Excellent bars and a must buy for any bunch rider who wants to feel connected to the bike and go faster.”
- Kyle Gordon (Spellman Dublin Port UCI Track Team)
“It’s been probably one of the biggest innovations as far as equipment goes in the last few years for us.”
- Ben Rowell (Head Mechanic for Cycling New Zealand)