Clip-on aerobars: 3 of the best reviewed
Often the easiest way to shave off seconds on the bike is with a set of clip-on tri bars. Chris Hovenden tests and rates three of the best drag-reducing aerobars…
You’d expect a set of clip-on bars with carbon extensions to be light and, with a claimed weight of only 425g, this offering from Bontrager is noticeably the lightest on test; and at a competitive price, too. With measurements on the extensions helping you to get the desired position, setting up the bars is straightforward, but a torque wrench is a must when pairing alloy and carbon! The ergonomic-shaped ski arms start straight and have a short kick up for your hands to rest at a comfortable angle, without having to over rotate your wrists, but those with larger hands may need to grasp the end of the extension. The pad stack height of only 43mm lets you get a low profile and the position of the armrests are easy to alter. Yet a minor gripe is that, to stop them moving, it feels like you’re at risk of over tightening the bolts.
Verdict: Sharp and light bars, but the profile won’t suit all 82%
The highly-adjustable Trimax certainly live up to their name. With 40mm of lateral movement you should be able to find a comfortable position for the armrests. If you’re a fan of a slammed stem, or like to hold the tops of your handlebars when taking a breather, you’ll appreciate the height offered by the Trimax’s bracket and stack spacers. Yet this bracket is quite substantial and contributes to the Trimax being the heaviest bar set-up on test (claimed weight of 667g). Once the mount and pads are installed, you slide the alloy ski arms in and fix them in place. Although tightening the extension bolts is a little fiddly, even when at the recommended torque under force they rotate and the white decals don’t last long. The shallow J-bend bars really do look the part and allow you to get a good position, but for longer rides we’d prefer thicker pads.
Verdict: A solid set of clip-on bars, but for £180 they’re behind the competition 70%
Don’t be concerned by the relatively low price and the simple appearance: Profile Design’s T5+ Aluminium are a reliable pair of aerobars. Unlike the other bars on test, the mounts for the armrest and the extensions are independent, meaning that you can move the pads back from your handlebars and tilt them without affecting the angle of the ski arms. Installation is very easy; all you need is a 5mm Allen key and a torque wrench. The extensions have a classic appearance with a subtle 15º bend and, like the other test bars, have ports for internal cable routing. But there are questions about the long-term durability of the pads, especially if being frequently used indoors on the turbo, and, despite being tightened securely, when riding over potholes the bars tended to move slightly.
Verdict: Ignore the lack of glamour, these are a good option without breaking the bank 77%
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