I set out earlier last week to decide which were the best aerobars for me. The bike shop guys were fairly useless in their ability to help me choose – but I was someone expecting that since it’s a ‘personal preference’ thing. I picked up two sets at a bike shop, not really knowing which ones I would like best. The first part of my ‘review’ is here. On Thursday I went ahead and detached the first set of bars and put on these bars below (hereafter called the second set).
First of all – these bars were a pain in the butt to get installed in comparison to the other ones. Of course, this might be more to do with perception as I was trying to do it as quickly as possible since the install was directly eating into my cycling time (I had to meet up with a running group at a set time, so every minute spent fiddling was one less minute on the road cycling). But I would still ascertain that the first pair was easier to ‘clip-on’ then the second pair. Not that it matters too much once it’s installed, but worthwhile pointing out.
The arm rests are a bit different than the first pair in a couple of ways. In the first pair, the padding is fully detachable via Velcro – making it easy to clean. In this pair, they’re stuck on like a sticker. Also, on the other pair the arm rests were non-movable once installed. In this set the arm rests actually go up and down on a set of springs (think like a clamshell, not vertically up and down) that could move throughout your ride. Interesting concept, not entirely sure of the point though.
A few things I didn’t like about these were that they made me feel more open than the first pair – it’s plausible that I didn’t have them configured correctly, but given where I would have to put my hands on these, it made my hands about 4-5 inches further apart then on the other ones – causing my body to naturally open up more and be less aerodynamic. Secondly, I felt that the arm rest wings went too far out on the horizontal axis in comparison to the other ones – likely as a result of the hands being further apart – but it covered up useful room on my handlebars.
So, given everything I choose to keep the first pair (pictured below) and will be returning the second pair. It really primarily came down to the feel of being more open on the second pair than the first pair.
I rode on them (the ones pictured above – the dual bars) yesterday for my two hour ride. They felt pretty good and I was able to stay down in them the vast majority of the time – the only times I had to get out of them was when I was crossing towards 40MPH mark (I just didn’t feel in control enough given the wet roads) and on some sharp corners. Otherwise I felt pretty comfortable in them.
i’m going to get the t2s on my bike tomorrow, actually…glad to see they’re getting good reviews. 🙂 (thanks for your comment…)
I have been trying to locate a set of aerobars to replace your set #1, which you like so much. I have the Profile Cobra, carbon models, very similar to the ones you have shown above. My beef with them is that the arm rest, particularly on the right side, tends to lose its grip and drift down when I put any weight on it. I have tried everything from cranking it down hard, to scuffing up the carbon as well as the inside of the armrest clamp, to installing a gritty material between the clamp and the aerobars. I still am “riding on eggshells”. I am fed up with my one arm drifting lower than the other. I was going to try out the Airstryke S’s, having had the regular Airstrykes on a previous bike. I guess it is all a matter of preference and what you are used to. The bottom line is I will never buy another set of the aerobarts where the armrest clamps directly onto the bar. It will slip eventually.
What are your thoughts on (the kickstarter) switch aerobar system link to kickstarter.com I’m intrigued by the saddle; would it work?
I think it’s great. I talked to them early on in their Kickstarter cycle, and I love the idea. When they get units out the door I’ll definitely be doing some testing on it.