Top 10 Best Aero Bar Reviews – Expert Buying Guide for 2019
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Bike cycling is fun, not to mention that it also brings about a long list of health benefits. For any cyclist, gaining enough speed to beat your last record will not come until you ensure your comfort on the road.
This is where the aero bars come in!
Aero bars are not all about speed. As a matter of fact, most users can verify that their most notable benefit is the additional comfort they offer.
They allow you to go low when cycling and reduce wind resistance. This, in return, gives you more aerodynamics in the track position, enhancing your performance, comfort and riding speed.
In this guide, we take an in-depth look at the ten best aero handlebars to help you choose the ideal one for your needs.
Benefits of Aero Bars
There is a good chance that you want aero bars for your bike because you want to glide in style like a professional athlete you admire. However, the investment you make will afford you a piece of equipment that has so much more to offer, including:
Cycling is physically demanding, especially if you ride for long-distance. Installing aero bars on your bike will enable you to shift the position of your body whenever you want to relieve pressure and soothe muscle tension.
With the right equipment, you do not have to reduce speed to alleviate aches caused by sitting in the same position for extended periods.
When cycling, aerodynamics is how moving air interacts with your body as you move through it. When in a natural sitting position, wind resistance will affect your ability to increase speed.
Aero bars allow you to bend and narrow your physical profile, lowering the wind resistance. The lower the resistance of air as you cycle through it, the easier it is for you to accelerate.
With reduced wind resistance and enhanced overall aerodynamics, increasing your cycling speed will be a breeze. This is perhaps the main reason behind the popularity of this equipment among specialized cyclists. If speed fascinates you, this could be your ticket to beating your last record.
Reduced Risk of Injury
A cyclist getting injured on the road will unfortunately not make the news. For athletes, injuries happen because of all sorts of reasons, including medical conditions and physical unfitness.
However, injuries caused by poor posture, discomfort, and physical stresses can be reduced by attaching aero bars to your bike.
This small adjustment can reduce the risk of suffering from neck and back pains that arise from improper alignment of the spine when cycling.
A quality aero bar will give you better grip action. This automatically improves your safety by giving you better control of the bicycle even when speeding on unleveled and bumpy roads.
If you have a thing for biking marathons, this equipment could be just what you need to reduce the risk of getting into preventable accidents. Your road bicycle will not technically turn into a triathlon. However, the enhanced control will make you just as steady as professional cyclists once you hit your trail.
What to Look for before Buying Aero Bars
Choosing an aero bar is a very personal quest. Even though most bars come with certain similar components, they also do lack a few very distinct qualities.
Read on to find out the prime features to consider before choosing what to purchase;
The Practical Side of Using Aero Bars
Aero bars are uniquely designed to enhance comfort and speed during long-distance races. They have a clip-on feature that allows you to install them to the pre-existing handlebars on your bike. When using the equipment, you should be able to bend your back and arms and put your head between your shoulders.
The idea is to make your physical profile as narrow as possible and reconfigure it into the most aerodynamic position. In return, you benefit from more speed, reduced wind resistance, and enhanced physical comfort.
The extension rods on the equipment are crucial because they serve as armrests. It pays to ensure that the aero bar you choose has a sturdy metal rod and generous padding.
Another essential thing to do is to ascertain that the rod has a curved lip at the end to provide extra support and prevent your sweaty arms from sliding off when cycling.
Additionally, you need to be able to change the width, rotation, and position of the armrests. This will allow you to adjust the measurements to suit your preferences.
The extension rods of aero bars are perhaps the most vital features to consider. Here, the design of your device will determine whether you should use clamps, integrated stem systems, screw-in metal brackets or quick-release brackets to attach the aero bar to your bike.
Most extensions are made from lightweight metals such as premium carbon, and aluminum. You can also find those that can be adjusted to drop down to a lower position.
If you are like most cyclists, you will be eager to use aero bars with the hopes that they will help you improve your overall performance. The weight of the equipment you choose is hence an aspect that must not escape your attention.
Even though most cyclists believe that the lighter they are, the faster they can ride; do not forget that the device ought to withstand your body weight. It should be sturdy enough to endure constant pressure, especially if you frequently participate in long-distance races.
Efficient bars weigh at least 400-600 grams.
Some aero bars do not have base bars. Those that have them provide enhanced comfort because you can get into more relaxed positions when cycling. If your failure to beat your last record can be blamed on physical fatigue, it makes sense to consider models that provide these handy additions.
When searching for the best value aero bars, cost is not the sole aspect that needs to be considered. The cost of a device may depend on a range of factors. They include its brand, materials, the quality of its design, and even its overall style.
If you are on the budget, you can find fairly inexpensive clip-on extensions. In case you are interested in features such as customizable handlebars, you may need to have a bigger budget.
You should make a choice that matches your needs and objectives. Competitive racers are, for instance, assured of a good return on their investment even if they choose pricier models.
Irrespective of the investment you want to make, an improvement in your performance will not happen overnight. Proper fitting and practice are essential for your aero bar to work in your favor.
Top 10 Best Aero Bars Review
Investing in tri-bars is a must for any cyclist who desires to gain speed and enhance physical comfort during long-distance rides. So here is our triathlon aero bars review to guide you in your selection.
1. Profile Designs Carbon Stryke Aerobars
First on our best aero bars for road bike review is the Profile Designs tri-bars. This is a super light, yet reliable device that we highly recommend to anyone doing triathlons.
The extensions are curved with a base bar. This offers adequate elbow support when you get down to a lower position. The solid carbon can withstand the whole weight of your upper body, and the pads are quite comfortable.
You can adjust the armrests to customize your aero profile and ensure your comfort during long-distance rides. Just slide them backward or forward on the vertical plane to determine the distance your arms go over your front tire. You can also tilt the bars down or up to tip the handgrips horizontally or vertically.
Another point that cannot go without mentioning is that you can move the pads towards the drops or the steering post. The pads can also be lifted off the elbow rests for adjustment, although most riders prefer to leave them in their factory setting.
The device is unfortunately not designed for quick release adjustments. Hand-tightening the bar bolts may suffice until you hit a bump and all hell goes loose. To avoid this kind of a setback, use your hex key to secure the bolts firmly.
Its Carbon Stryke is compatible with other arm bracket systems that make it possible for cyclists to get into more climbing-friendly positions.
The manufacturers of this model have over two decades of experience up their belts. They are renowned for their remarkable contribution to the advancement of aero handlebars over the years.
2. Profile Designs Jammer GT Aerobars
If your comfort when cycling is a prerogative, this aero bar would be an excellent fit for your needs. It features premium aluminum extensions with F-19 armrests.
Additionally, you get rotational width and length adjustment options for both the armrests and rods. The lightweight jammers (512 grams) enable you to cheat the wind and gain speed. They are compatible with 31.8mm and 26.0mm bars.
With these bars, beating the competition will not be an impossible feat. It is designed to help you get in a comfortable aero position when riding. The F-19 armrests and mounting brackets are lightweight to allow easy handling when in position.
These are the best bicycle arm rests because you can lock them and put the whole weight of your upper body on the extensions. This automatically reduces the muscular effort needed to hold a position when cycling, and you can give your wrists a break.
In return, you enjoy reduced physical fatigue during long-distance races.
The installation process is easy because you do not have to change the position of standard road bikes when setting up the aero bar. However, your hex key is your friend if you want to secure the bolts firmly.
Beyond doubt, the jammer is undoubtedly ideal for cyclists, especially those shorter than 6'0". Taller riders may find the bars to be a little short for their liking. For, these may not have the space to allow them to extend their hands out too far when assuming a more aggressive riding position.
Fortunately, you can always swap the extensions.
3. Profile Designs T3+ Carbon Aero Bar
These bars allow you to get your body into a streamlined, yet comfortable position. Merely positioning your hands within your body profile and out of the wind can give you a noticeable performance boost.
The adjustable carbon extensions with a drop bend guarantee your comfort, even when cycling on tough terrain. Its armrest pads are significantly sturdier and thicker, especially when compared to the pads of other road bike arm rest models.
Attaching the ergonomic cockpit enhancer to the J4 brackets is a breeze. You can easily adjust the armrests and carbon extension rods to make them a customized fit for your body profile.
It is worth noting that the bars are made from 6061-T6 aluminum. Compared to their carbon made equals, you may assume that they are more massive and hence less ideal for long-distance cyclists. This cannot be further from the truth. These robust bars are designed to carry all your upper body weight effectively.
With proper fine-tuning, the pistol grips will fall into your hands naturally. This allows you to pull against the pedal strokes when riding up a hill for extra power. Such a perk, coupled with the aero advantage you gain on level terrain, can easily calculate into a significant increase in the miles you cover per hour.
If your budgets hardly allow you to upgrade and get a professional tri bike, all is not lost. Installing these bars will leave you ripping all the bonuses of a triathlon bicycle, the only difference being that you will not spend an arm and a foot on the purchase.
4. Profile Design Legacy II Aerobar
It is hard to analyze the best aero bars for road bike and fail to mention the legacy II. The benefits of this device are accumulative, and cyclists are assured of enhanced comfort and efficiency.
Its enriched grip action and improved ergonomics are perhaps the most significant benefits that users notice. You will moreover be able to adjust the length and width of the armrests and with a few turns of your hex wrench. Voila! You are ready to go.
This aero bar weights only 450grams. It reduces the aerodynamic drag caused by a bicycle, which can calculate to as much as 20-25%. Typically, the lower the aerodynamic drag, the faster you can ride.
To make your body profile as aero as possible, you need to get to the lowest comfortable position. These bars are not carbon fiber, although they are sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your upper body.
In fact, they are highly preferred by larger riders who naturally produce more aerodynamic drag and want to compensate for this by using a generally lighter bike.
Because the arm pads cannot be raised or lowered, you may want to get your angle preferences right before attaching them with the adhesive pads. Of course, you have the option of pulling them off to fine-tune your adjustments, although the adhesive could get compromised if this is done over and over again.
5. Profile Designs T4+ Carbon Aero Bar
If you are addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes when you hit the open road on your bike, you should consider investing in the best aero handlebars. This is equally as good as actually acquiring a triathlon bike.
These bars are aerodynamically designed to enhance speed and stability, similar to what a triathlon bike offers. Their adjustability makes it easier for any cyclist, irrespective of their body profile to fine-tune the device. You can effortlessly make it adapt to your physique and your bikes distinct shape and needs.
The J brackets make this aero bar one of the most versatile in the markets. Further, the shallow angle between the shifters and the extensions or rather the ski-bend shape contributes significantly in enhancing the comfort of a rider.
With this J bracket, you can set your F-35 armrests back at 20mm from the base bar's center. You also have the option of moving them forward to assume a different armrest position. Being able to achieve different wrist angles will tone down your recovery time after a race.
To adjust the bars, you merely need to turn a single bolt. This makes installation easy and quite straightforward even for the first timer in installing tri-bars. Getting the bolt secured tightly using an Allen key is common sense practice.
Once you get the adjustments tuned to suit your physical profile, you can look forward to shaving a substantial amount of time off your next cycling race.
6. TT Handlebar High Carbon 3K Aero Bars
When in search of the best aero road handlebars that also happens to be super pocket-friendly, look no further than the TT handlebar.
For a small investment, you can boost your comfort as well as your endurance when going on long bike rides. With your elbows resting on the well-crafted cushions, it will be as though your upper body is on vacation as your legs power the bicycle.
These handlebars weigh about 340 grams and are made from T800 High carbon fiber. They are lightweight, and this means a reduced aerodynamic drag for you. The device is well built and has a sleek, smooth finish for extra comfort.
Arm pads play a significant role in boosting your overall comfort, especially if you are out on a long-distance ride. This device has notably comfortable armrests, compared to the pads of other handlebars within the price range.
Even though the sturdiness of these tri-bars is impeccable, their design is not suitable for use on mountain roads. Riding in tough terrain could make them snap or break. This is merely a small price to pay for the aerodynamic boost offered by these lightweight bars.
Adding this device to your road bike or triathlon will afford you a piece of the action by drastically improving your speed. You can shift the angle of your body to reduce wind resistance and by extension, the time you spend covering a specific distance.
7. Redshift Clip-On Aerobars
Transforming a regular road bike into an aerodynamic tri machine can only take a moment's notice as long as you have the right tools!
These are the best clip on aero bars, and they allow you to get into a comfortable aero position when riding. They are excellent for local road races and group rides.
The quick-release clamp lock has a retention mechanism that keeps the bars locked in place without shifting. Just attach them to a customized position when you need to use them and remove them when you want to get back to riding your regular road bike.
Another outstanding perk is the adjustability of this device. You can dial the aero position that you find suitable for your body profile and riding needs. Besides being able to adjust the extension bars, you can also change the pad width to suit your riding style.
What makes these bars to appear on top of our review list is that they give riders a truly integrated aero position. Note that in this case, it is not necessary to compromise your usual road setup.
You can even opt to install additional mounts to help you carry your water bottle and other gear without breaking a sweat.
The bent extensions remove pressure off your wrists and hands. This guarantees enhanced comfort levels during long bike rides and alleviates wrist and hand numbness.
8. Feamos Cycling Aero Bar
If you are not new in shopping for aero bars, the chances are that this device has at some point attracted your attention. It is a superb equipment for cyclists and is made from aluminum alloy, which makes it robust and reliable.
For the majorities of long-distance riders, comfort means everything. You can get this tri-bar installed on your mountain or race bike to enhance your overall performance. The installation process is straightforward, and you get a complete set that is ready for installation.
The clump fit bar tube has a 22.6mm-25.4mm diameter and hence compatible with a decent number of long-distance mountain travel bikes.
If you are looking for the perfect add-on for your bike, this is a piece of excellent equipment to consider. It gives you more control over your bike, even when accelerating to cover more distance with each passing hour.
The solid handgrip allows you to ride more confidently and give your entire upper body a break when riding on good road conditions. Reduced wrist and hand fatigue will afford you quicker recovery time after a race or long ride.
The aluminum alloy used in the crafting of the bars provides the support you need once the physical demands of cycling start getting the best of you. Just lean over to reduce resistance and support your elbows on the comfortable armrests.
9. Zipp Vuka Clip-On Aero Bar
This tri-bar is made from high-performance carbon fiber, which makes it sturdy, yet super lightweight. It offers unmatched adjustability with both below and above-bar configurations.
With this aero bar, you can fine-tune the armrests, to get in a position that reduces your body profile. This promises enhanced speed and aerodynamics. In fact, the height, width and angles of the pads can all be adjusted with minimal effort.
Cyclists who want tri-bars that offer alluring speed and comfort benefits without breaking the bank should consider this device. It is a speed weapon that may afford you the honors of leading in races time and again.
The design of this tri-bar makes it remarkably easy to install. Whether you are new to aero bar trends or not, the features of this equipment are worth considering.
If you are going to invest in an aero bar, then you may as well choose to focus on trustworthy brands. Herein, Zipp is one of those well-known brands for producing bike equipment and accessories of impeccable quality.
There are various reasons why the shift cable housing may get a little loose from the center. In most cases, this is blamed on riding on mountain roads or challenging terrain.
10. 3T Revo Team Handle Bar
Last but not the least is the 3T Revo handlebar. These are the best triathlon aero bars for those seeking the thrill of literally flying with their bikes. This device is made from carbon fiber, and its lightweight structure makes all the good difference during group races.
The reverse design of the bars makes the process of attaching them to the base bar wing a bit different. In this case, you should not attach it to the grip's back, and you need to instead connect it to the front area for an enhanced grip.
Even though this reverse design seems a little intricate, especially for newbies in using aero bars, it offers some very appealing perks. For instance, you get to be in better control of your bike when riding through bumpy roads. The S bend assists in further ensuring your control and comfort.
If you often participate in top-level competitions, then this is the best equipment to use. It is uniquely designed to enhance your safety because your hands cannot slide forward. This is a feature you will appreciate when navigating sketchy terrain, descending steep hills or riding on particularly rough grounds.
Pro riders will also like the base bar wing. It offers better aerodynamics because it provides a sharper angle of attacking the wind. This gives you an advantage over riders using devices with the standard base bars.
On the downside, this speed weaponry is not ideal for riders with larger hands. If the hand grips are too small for you, this can cause unwarranted frustrations during a race.
How to Install Aero Bars
Now that you have purchased the best tri bars, you want to get them installed and hit the road in style. First, make sure you have adequate working space and you can move around your bike with ease.
Get the bicycle secured on a work stand and have a tape measure, grease, and an Allen key set within reach.
Get the handlebars prepped for the installation of aero bars. You need to roll back or cut off the bar tape to expose the metal. Any cables around this area should be moved before you install the device. Get the handlebars cleaned to remove dirt and grease.
Take the aero bar bolts and grease them. Get the bars loosely clamped on the handlebars and make sure they are positioned to enhance your riding comfort. Install the greased bolts carefully to make them finger tight.
You can now tighten the bolts using the Allen key. The best way to do this is to alternate several turns on each bolt to ensure uniform pulling up of the clamp.
Change the elbow pads position to alter the width and length of the bar. Narrow down the width as much as possible, as long as you do not compromise your comfort. On the other hand, adjust the length of the tri-bar to provide elbow support.
If you buy a device with two separate handlebars, install the first bar, then the second one using the above steps. Make sure you use the same measurements on both bars (use a tape measure if necessary). The distance from the clamp to the stem should be even on both sides.
Take a step back and look at the positioning of the bars. They need to be adjusted to uniformly make them point upward slightly and be parallel to the ground. If their positioning looks great, fasten the clamp bolts and get the bar tape trimmed and secured.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I expect in terms of improved performance?
Usually, the energy levels of a cyclist, as well as his positioning after installing tri-bars, determine how much momentum can be gained. On average, it is possible to achieve a speed of about 40km/h. You may, however, gain more speed if you use narrow base bars instead of the wider ones.
2. How do I choose an aero bar style that is ideal for me?
First, you must consider your needs in terms the length of your rides, the state of the terrain and how much momentum you intend to gain. Making a desirable choice will now be easier, and you solely need to take note of the ratings, reviews and features of different tri bars available in the markets.
3. Is it safe to use tri-bars in crosswind races?
Using aero bars narrows your body profile and enhances your aerodynamics against the wind, so yes, it is safe to use the device in crosswind races.
In fact, the equipment gives cyclists an edge above their competition if they assume the positions of attacking riders. Just ensure that you have the confidence to pull the needed stance down steep hills.
4. How do I choose between aluminum or carbon aero bars?
Both options are excellent, and their main difference is in their weight. Carbon bars are lighter in weight although the aluminum bars are typically cheaper. If your goal is to go on wild fast pass races, then perhaps purchasing the carbon bars would make better sense.
5. Is the gripping ability of aero bars reliable?
Yes, the quality brands offer excellent gripping systems. This gives you better control when cycling.
If you are not financially endowed in a way that you can afford a professional bike, the best aero bars will come in handy. Even though they are still considered unconventional, they are quickly gaining popularity for all the right reasons. They are a must-have accessory for bike trips and ultra-racing events.