How To Choose Aero Handlebars | Maintenance Monday

How To Choose Aero Handlebars | Maintenance Monday


In association with Profile Design. All views expressed in this video are the presenters’ own.

There is no doubt about it, aero-bars, tri-bars or whatever you want to call them – Make you more aerodynamic and therefore faster! But how to choose?

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Ex-Professional Cyclist Simon Richardson explains everything you need to know about making your decision.
Essentially there are 2 basic choices to make, either a fully integrated bar or a clip-on version.

Without a doubt the easiest to install are clip-on bars, but the fully integrated bars are likely to offer the biggest gains. However, it’s a personal decision and the best thing to do is visit a bike-fitter for assistance.

Visit the Profile website:

Watch more on GCN…
How To Fit Clip-On Aero Bars – Make Your Road Bike Into A Time Trial Machine 📹
How To Choose The Right Handlebars For Your Road Bike 📹

Photos: © Bettiniphoto / & ©Tim De Waele /

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81 Comments on "How To Choose Aero Handlebars | Maintenance Monday"


  1. I dabbled in taping a couple of my mum's old vibrators on the front of my handlebars. Didn't make me any faster, should have removed the batteries.

    Reply

  2. Would a "round" body like mine be more aero than a "fit" body like Matt? I would guess that the air would flow smoothly around my belly.

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  3. Dear god please make sure you don't clamp any cables.I remember when a guy brought his bike into my shop after he had installed aero bars.He denied profusely and started to get angry and say that the clamped cables had nothing to do with the shifting.Best $80 full cable change I've ever done.

    Listen to your local certified bike mechanics,Contrary to popular belief we do have your best interests in mind!

    Reply

  4. HELP!
    I experience a bad crash a couple of days ago and can't figure out how it happened?
    I was going around a sharp bend, while pedaling out of the apex the rear locked up bucking me from side to side until i got ejected of the bike. upon further inspection i see the chain had fallen off but would that cause my rear wheel to lock up?

    Reply

  5. Pro tip: If you want to have children, try to put a saddle with a wider nose on your bike. This won't create as much pressure on "the eggs" as much as a narrow saddle. Example: Specialized power saddle(my personal choice)

    Reply

  6. I'm staggered how no one yet relized that if you put your wrist narrower that the elbows it is much easier to maintain that position than if you keep your forearms parallel. Just try to do simple plank and put your forearms parallel then try again and bend them slightly inwards and you will see how much your middle deltoideus is relieved.

    Reply

  7. Hey GCN, this is Sattva Vasavada here. I am a 15 year old cyclist, and am aiming for winning my country's (India) national title and I absolutely love your channel!
    I know this is the wrong place to talk to you about this, but I couldn't find your gmail address.
    India is in bit of a problem. Our parliamentary committee has a report for banning cyclists from main roads and highways. This is a serious concern for all cyclists in India. We won't have anywhere to train outdoor if this resolution is passed.
    This is the petition's URL:
    https://www.change.org/p/every-citizen-of-this-nation-reject-parlimentary-committee-report-on-banning-cyclists-from-main-roads-highways?recruiter=22566113&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-reason_msg

    .All cycling clubs in India have signed the petition for preventing this.
    It would be a great help to us if you could encase our problem in your upcoming GCN Show.
    We sincerely hope that you shall do the needful for not letting us cyclists getting banned from roads.

    Thanking you,
    Sattva Vasavada

    Reply

  8. For next video or QNA. As a normal amateur rider who just wants an aesthetically pleasing bike is it just personal preference over the Campagnolo bora 50's or 80's or is there a limit as to how deep a rim you can have before you go overboard unless you are a pro.

    Reply

  9. I can't remember if you guys ever did a video comparing aero bars to riding down on the drops with elbows bent?

    Reply

  10. They don't allow long aerobars like these in a lot of Tri race series. For training and fun I also like Profile Design.

    Reply

  11. Hey GCN, how about reviewing a set of the synthetic lightweight cabling systems from PowerCordz ?

    Reply

  12. I use aerobars most of the time and I've tried a lot of different makes and models. I'd prefer to use an integrated aero handlebar with aerobar combination but none on the market are adjustable enough to fit my geometry. So I've been forced to use only the clip-on variety. My favorite manufacturer is Profile Design and my favorite road bike setup includes a pair of their Carbon Stryke extensions mated to a set of alloy ZB Flip-Up brackets. The brackets are spring-loaded and flip up into a vertical position when you are not resting on them. This is a great feature because it allows you full access to your handlebar, making riding on the tops possible. The Carbon Stryke extensions are Profile Design's most easy on the wrist because the grips curve upward at the greatest angle of any aerobar extensions on the market. This is essential for me because a bike accident several years ago injured my right wrist and prevents me from bending it as far down as most of the other aerobar extensions require.

    My aerobars are mounted to a Ritchey WCS Carbon Evolution handlebar and here I'd like to add a word of caution: If you use a composite handlebar like I do, make sure that it is designed to accommodate aerobars. If it does, the mounting position will be marked on either side of the stem to show you how far away from the stem you can mount the aerobar brackets. If you mount them too far away from the reinforced area near the stem or if you mount them on a composite handlebar that is not designed for aerobars, you will probably damage the handlebar with the clamping force required for the aerobar brackets. Important: Be sure to use a good friction compound (like Park Tool SAC-2) between the handlebar and aerobar brackets and do NOT exceed the allowed clamping force for your handlebar (typically 4 to 5 Nm)!!!

    Discovering how to fit aerobars can be a big challenge if you must do so on your own — especially if you're tall like me. In some cases, the aerobar extensions are too short for tall cyclists. I began by purchasing a set of cheap alloy aerobars via eBay so I could experiment with mounting position, angle and extension length. Once I had a rough idea what geometry I needed, then I was ready to spend more money on some nice aerobars. I chose to go with composite carbon extensions because they offered the most comfortable shapes (especially the hand grip) and felt much less cold in cold weather. However, the carbon extensions are rarely the lightest — often alloy extensions are lighter. I tried Profile Design's T3+ Carbon extensions but I eventually settled on their T1+ Viper Carbon extensions. After my accident, I had to switch to the Carbon Stryke extensions to accommodate my wrist. Unfortunately, Profile Design doesn't appear to sell their ZB Flip-Up brackets separately like they used to. But you can purchase them with a full set of the Airstryke S alloy aerobars. This is a joined extension that is short and meets the length restrictions that Si mentioned. But you can remove the alloy Airstryke extensions and replace it with any extensions that you want. Unfortunately, the ZB Flip-Up brackets mount the extension on the bottom of the handlebar — that's why I needed to use the Carbon Stryke extensions in order to avoid bending my wrist too far downward.

    Lastly, Profile Design also has some nice accessories for aerobars like their UCM mounts for mounting lights, cycling computers, etc. They also have a UCM Aerobridge but I've heard that it isn't very strong. I used two of the short UCM mounts, cut them a little shorter and joined them into a common bridge between my two aerobar extensions. It's quite strong.

    Reply

  13. Hi there, I have the S3 disc with the new cervelo handlebar… Have you come across any aero clip on bars that work with these handlebars?

    Reply

  14. I used to ride with clip-on aero bars but they caused too much pain in my neck. And something else I really dislike; they make my bike look like a mess. I like clean bikes. The less visible parts the better.

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  15. How long ago did you record this? UCI has set 3:1 ratio as obsolete for the 2017 year. Silly Simon. Would be awkward if I were wrong

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  16. Anyone know the ball park wattage difference between clip-ons (on a normal road handlebar) and a full aero setup?

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  17. clip ons; do me a favour. other than ultra distance dont bother. Otherwise get a tt bike if you need to chase seconds. Don't look like the dork chasing that strava kom.

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  18. My understanding is you are not suppose to clamp Aero bars onto Carbon fibre handlebars?????? Is this true????
    Cheers.

    Reply

  19. I have a question, I do cycling ultramarathon, my distance as 24h, 500 km to 1400 km. Which aerobar for us cyclists ultra-marathon?

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  20. GCN can you do a video about how to do shopping along the way for road cyclists?

    Reply

  21. You didn't mention sweet spot once in this video, not once even though Si was clearly doing it testing the aero bars

    Reply

  22. Here's a question for everyone: 2 bike riders have equal speed and performance, side by side, neck and neck.
    One is wearing full lycra racing gear, clipless pedals, aero bike, slammed stem, extreme position.
    The other is wearing shorts, flat shoes and pedals, wider tyres, relaxed geometry, just powering through.
    Which would you rather be?

    Reply

  23. In October I start training for a 4500 mile cross-continental bike ride. Your videos have made it seem less impossible!

    Reply

  24. on long rides the position they provide seems to be more comfortable. is it? i have tried putting my elbows on my handle bars and it seems more comfortable but is it in the long run? i never leave my elbows on the bars for more than a mile or so. the bumps etc.. are too much and it feels very unsafe

    Reply

  25. I am looking for aero clip in handlebars but my handlebar of my bike is pretty wide (more oval then round shape) and a normal mounting system is too narrow. Any suggestions?

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  26. I just want to enjoy the ride. Knowing how to ride with a peloton is the best way. You always have someone to ride with. You use less energy and that is what makes the ride enjoyable.

    Reply

  27. I want to see a video where you guys change the whole drop handlebar to the time trial handlebar

    Reply

  28. Hey there!! I would like to know how to avoid lower back pain caused because of the bike's position.

    Reply

  29. What are the good tt aero bars for the road bike which is already having aero bar and not circular handle? Like canyon cf sl 8.0 handle. Or can profile design t4 fit thr canyon cf sl 8.0 handle?

    Reply

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