Every once in a while an endurance sports product comes out that piques my interest, even if it’s not directly a sports technology item. A perfect example of that would be the Redshift Aero system. I’ve followed it since they first launched on Kickstarter a year or so ago, and then continued to check in with them at various events like Interbike. That culminated back this past spring when they sent out a final production unit for me to try out, which I’ve been poking at since.
So why the interest here? Well, the Redshift Aero system essentially allows you to convert your road bike into a triathlon bike. That in and of itself isn’t unique – there are tons of products on the market that do that. What is unique though is that you can instantly do so (in a few seconds), and convert it back to a traditional road bike configuration in a few seconds as well. That’s ideal for triathletes that may spend more time as a roadie (or rather, with roadies). Further, it’s perfect for someone like me that still might stumble into the rare draft-legal race (such as in Europe) which don’t typically permit aerobars on bikes.
So with that brief overview, let’s dive into things a bit.
The unboxing in my case was a bit more of an unbagging. Redshift has just recently shifted to actual boxes now, so there’s a legit piece of cardboard as opposed to plastic bags. But no worries, aside from one further item of note, it’s all the same goods inside.
There’s actually three major components here to unwrap, depending on which components you buy. First up is the dual-position seatpost. This is by far my favorite from an unboxing standpoint.
Why’s it my favorite to unbox? Well…because it has precisely one piece. Thus, unboxing done:
You’ll notice that the seatpost flips forward and back, but I’ll cover that a bit later in more detail.
Next we’ve got the aerobars. This is the biggie from an unboxing standpoint:
First you’ve got a bunch of little bags inside the bigger bag (or rather box these days):
After getting rid of all the plastic, you’ll be here:
Now this is a undoubtedly a bit daunting. But, I’ll give you an insider secret: The vast majority of these are spare parts. Thus it’s confusing. Which is why Redshift has since put in a separate bag all the spare parts and just kept the core essentials in the main kit.
What you’ll notice though is that you’ve basically got: The aerobars themselves, the armrests, armrest pads, and then the mounts that attach it to your bike. Everything else is for adjusting fit and/or spare parts. For example to the right of the screws seen above you have spacers that can increase the height if need be.
Last but not least we have the water bottle and bike computer accessories. Note that these are two separate accessories from a purchasing standpoint.
Below you can see the water bottle in the upper half of the photo. It simply has a single screw that attaches to the aerobar base mount.
Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the photo you’ll see the bike computer mount. It too only has a single screw to worry about installing, though it contains two screws depending on which position you want to install it in. Both of these components I’ll cover within the individual component sections.
As I noted earlier – the instructions seem daunting. But in reality, they’re not. Especially once you realize that basically everything is already put together for you and all those random parts aren’t needed (nor are half the instructions). So basically you can skip a good chunk of the instructions unless you need to significantly change something.
We’ll start with the aerobars first. Note that Redshift sells two variants of the aerobars, one is a carbon aerobar and the other is an aluminum aerobar. For the seatpost, it’s just aluminum, though they are looking at carbon offerings down the road.
The core component that keeps the aerobars in place are the mounting brackets that connect to your handlebars. This simply requires hex-wrenching in two bolts on each mounting bracket (forward/rear).
Your width between the two mounting pieces will vary depending on how aggressive you want your position to be. Typically speaking the closer the two brackets the more ‘aggressive’ a position is considered to be. Whereas a wider position is considered to be more open. In my case, I attempted to simulate the width on my triathlon bike, which required me to put these as close as possible.
Note that the brackets can be rotated up or down in angle to achieve a perfectly level set of aerobars. Though, you can certainly adjust them in case you want a slight rise to the aerobars.
Next you’ve got the armrests. These have a ton of flexibility in terms of different mounting positions. You can see below that you’re able to slide the pad base forward/backwards as well as left/right into numerous positions.
This is true of both left/right armrests of course, which each have two mounting screws.
Further, the actual bars themselves can be slid forward/back as well, in case you want them slightly further or closer to you from a bend standpoint. Speaking of which, Redshift actually offers two aerobar bend configurations. One is considered an ‘S-bend’ (the one I have), and the other is more of a single-point angle (called the ‘L-bend’).
With the bars and armrests set, you’ll plop on pads. Like most offerings on the market, these simply Velcro to the plate and can be easily removed. Additionally, you can also get a few pairs of them – which allows you to wash them easier and reduce (or replace) the stank that often develops (well, it does for me anyway). I often replace my aerobar pads once a year.
Next up we’ve got the seatpost. The unit doesn’t come with a seat, rather, you’ll just take that off your existing bike seatpost.
You’ll see that you can adjust the exact position of the seat on the rails forward and backwards, as well as use the two screws to adjust the exact forward pitch of the seat.
Installation of the completed seatpost onto your bike is pretty much silly simple. You take the tube, and stick it in the hole. Most adults should be familiar with such a procedure.
Then simply tighten it up using your bike’s existing tightening nut. Like all other bike parts you’d ideally tighten it with a torque wrench to ensure proper tightening. But in my case I just took a swag from years of seat-post installation.
Note that on the back are measurements – allowing you to easily refer back in the event you travel with the bike and need to remove the seatpost. Kinda handy.
Next up on installation we’ve got the first of two accessories: the water bottle cage.
This installs to the side of either of the two aerobar pads. You can simply flip the water bottle cage baseplate over to switch it from left or right.
Now in my case the armpads overlapped this area a tiny bit, so I had to temporarily remove an armpad plate to affix the water bottle cage, and then I was able to put it back in place.
Once I was done, I simply slid the water bottle in. It’s like every other water bottle cage out there, thus, nothing special there from an operational standpoint.
Last but not least, we’ve got the bike computer mount. This comes with two screws. The bigger of the two screws allows you to mount it forward of your handlebars between the aerobars, while the smaller screw allows you to mount it directly to the water bottle holder behind the bottle.
Here you can see me mounting it ahead of the handlebar – directly replacing one of the two aerobar mounting bracket screws.
Alternatively, I can mount it directly behind the water bottle cage onto the back end of that baseplate.
Ok, with everything installed lets talk about day to day usage.
Usage – The Aerobars:
When it comes to the Redshift system, I personally find the aerobars the coolest component of the set. Mostly because of the engineering that clearly went into designing such a system that’s so easy to use, yet knowingly so complex to get designed right.
To start though, let’s cover how you actually clip on and off the aerobars. The system works by starting with the always-on your handlebar mounting brackets. These will remain on your bike at all times. You can see them in the photo below on either side of the head tube.
Next, you’ll grab the aerobar (either left or right). When not in use you’ll have those two pieces floating around: The left side, and the right side. The pads and (if purchased) water bottle cage stay attached to the aerobar itself as one solid piece.
You’ll notice how both my left and right hands above are holding onto two metal pieces and pulling them up. I’m actually pulling up a spring that is used to lock a bar down in place and act as a security measure.
Next, I’ll slide the aerobar in from the side and release the spring, which releases the locking mechanism down in a slot preventing the bar from sliding left/right.
Finally, I’ll use a bike-skewer like lever to further lock and tighten the entire component into place.
You then complete the other side, which ultimately gets you here:
Want that in video form? No problem, here’s the whole process from start to finish in less than 30 seconds. It normally takes about 10 seconds per aerobar, and that’s even with stumbling slightly on the second one as I tightened it too much and had to loosen it a bit in order to put the safety clamp down. Plus, I was trying not to block the camera so a bit slower.
So with that overview – how about stability?
Well, that was my single biggest concern. Having once screwed up re-attaching/tightening aerobars after traveling with my bike and then finding myself mid-race with the bars sliding down, it was an area I was skeptical of.
There are actually two separate pieces I was looking at. First was how well the mounting bracket kept attached to the handlebars. Did it move or slide (either forward or side to side)? And did it offer any play at the attachment point to the handlebars? The answer to both was a resounding no. I’m pretty sure I could have actually sat on my aerobars and it would have stayed put. I was very happy there.
The second piece I was looking at was lateral play in the system from the mounting bracket to aerobar attachment point. Did bumps in the road cause any jostling of the aerobars? And was there any play in the armpad area? Again, a clear ‘no’. I took it up and down, and all around through the cobbled streets of Paris, including up and down the famed Champs-Élysées. No vibrations and no unexpected wonkiness. And certainly nothing on more regular roads outside the city as well.
From the standpoint of the aerobars, they’re about as perfect of a clip-on aerobar as I can imagine. Super-easy to remove and put back on, but equally as easy to tweak the configuration if need be.
Usage – The Seatpost:
The next piece of the Redshift system is the changeable seatpost. Like the aerobars, you can purchase this separately or as part of a larger kit. The key benefit to the seatpost is that it allows you to shift forward your seat to replicate a more triathlon-specific fit – thus putting you further over the aerobars. Then, when you’re sans-aerobars it allows you to shift back into a traditional road configuration.
See these two images to understand the difference – focusing specifically on the hinged section directly below the seat:
It does this using a joint that flips up and forward (or back). To prevent unexpected flippage, the system effectively leverages your own body weight as a secondary lock. The primary lock is that you really have to give it a solid tug up first and then in the direction you’re moving. Attempting to move it directly forward or back doesn’t usually net anything. The whole hinge feels almost magnetic in that it wants to lock/pull to one side or the other, there’s no middle ground.
Here it is in action:
In my testing I found it almost perfect. I had a single instance – on a trainer no less – where it flipped somewhat unexpectedly. In that situation I was just standing up on the pedals briefly and the inside of my cycling shorts had managed to catch it in an awkward way that actually completed the up and back movement, thus snapping it into place in the rear position. For most triathletes you tend not to go into a standing position, so it’s less of a concern. And for roadies who are doing standing sprints/etc, the seat being in the rear position is far less prone to accidental flippage because the seat is further back.
In the event accidental flippage does occur though, getting it back into the correct position merely required standing back up and reaching down to the seat and pulling up and forward and I was back in place. I later tried doing so outdoors mid-ride (manually changing positions if I needed to), and found it’s pretty straight forward. If you can grab a water bottle, you can change the seatpost (again, not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world if it does). And remember, as long as you’re sitting on it, it can’t actually go anywhere.
Finally note that the shift in position moves the entire seat forward 50mm, and changes the effective seat tube angle by roughly 3-4° (degrees). However, the saddle height to bottom bracket actually remains the same since you see the slight shift upwards. The Redshift folks point out that the seat tube angle is not quite as steep as a traditional triathlon bike geometry as doing so on a road bike would likely put you too far forward from a steering standpoint – so it’s a small bit of compromise there.
Usage – The Water Bottle Cage:
For most triathletes, proper nutrition and hydration are typically the biggest obstacle to a successful race. Fail to hydrate on a hot day and no matter how much training you’ve put in, your performance will flounder. As has been the popular trend over the past 3-4 years, Redshift offers a water bottle attachment within the aero bars. Many companies have been going this way (horizontal water bottles) as in some cases it’s found to be more aerodynamic than front mounted systems (or nothing at all).
The aero bottle system is essentially three pieces: A water bottle, a water bottle cage, and a platform that holds those and connects to one of your aerobars.
The platform uses a single screw to attach to the side of the left or right aerobar (simply flip it over), where it then holds the cage/bottle.
It’s just a standard cage so you can put just about any bottle you’d like in there.
Otherwise, the cage holder works pretty much just like any other water bottle holder. Note again that it’s attached to the aerobars, so when you remove the aerobars you’re also removing the water bottle cage with it.
Usage – The Bike Computer Mount:
Last up you’ve got about the only sport-technology specific piece of the entire equation: The bike computer mount. This universal mount allows you to mount just about any bike computer…or action camera…onto your aerobars in a centered location that’s more easily viewable than the handlebars.
We left off in the installation section with the unit attached in the forward position, directly to the aerobar mounting bracket on your handlebars.
So this means that the bike computer will be there regardless of whether you have the aerobars in place. For most, this is actually probably ideal – since it acts like an out-front mount that people otherwise pay extra for.
Once attached, it sits there just like a standard road bike out-front mount:
Note that it works well for smaller watch units, but you might need to re-think some of the larger Edge units due to the quarter-turn mount. For example I wasn’t able to fit the Edge 1000 in there. This is because the mount sits slightly below the bars, so it actually blocks me being able to place the unit in sideways to complete the quarter-turn motion. (Update: A reader pointed out that you could actually remove the aerobars quickly, install the Edge 1000, then put back the aerobars – which would indeed work. Thanks!).
Of course this is directly related to how wide the distance is between my aerobars. If I had made it a bit wider, it would have then fit.
Now the only downside to being an out-front mount is that because of that the bike computer sits a bit further back, compared to mounting the unit more forward on the aerobars. For me personally while in aero position I find it slightly behind my desired locale – which would be a bit further up the aerobars. Additionally, you can’t really use it in that same position with the water bottle holder because it would sit below the bottle.
Alternatively, you can always get something like the Barfly mount instead, à la what I’ve done on my regular triathlon bike.
Or, you can also just mount it behind the water bottle on the water bottle holder using the second provided screw:
Last but not least, the front computer mount location actually makes for a bit of an action cam mount in a pinch.
It’s not perfect though because you’ll get a tiny bit of vibration/flux there due to the weight of an action cam and that the mount is only supported on a single side. But if you’re only using it sparingly and on relatively smooth roads then you’ll likely be fine. But if you’re looking at cobblestones you may want to consider a true action cam mount that’s a bit more stable.
For those curious, I tried the K-Edge GoPro mount, but it’s too wide. So you’d need some sort of rubber piece in between to fill the gap (sorta like I have to the left of the mount).
Overall though, in my opinion if you’re getting the bars you should at least get something (from Redshift or otherwise) to mount your bike computer more forward than just on the bike itself.
Brief guidance on road bike versus tri bike:
Many of you have asked about my thoughts on road bikes versus triathlon bikes. I’ve written about it in the past here a bit, both in that post and in my post on getting into triathlons. And largely speaking, those posts still stand as fully relevant.
I should preface I’m not a bike fitter, nor do I play one on TV (though, I do use a cool app to pretend from time to time). And to that end, the decision between a road bike and a tri bike is heavily weighted from the fit perspective. The other pieces that weigh heavily on that decision is which races you’re participating in and how new you are to the sport.
In general I’d suggest that if you’re just getting into the sport then a clip-on system is the best way to go. It allows you to take an existing road bike and make it a suitable triathlon bike for certain race lengths. A system like Redshift is at a premium over cheaper clip-on products. That premium is simply because it’s far more convenient to go back and forth between road and tri.
Overall, I’d suggest that if you’re doing a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, and aren’t at the pointy end of the pack – then a road bike clip-on bars of some sort is more than sufficient. Especially if you’re new to the sport and aren’t really sure if you even like triathlon yet.
If you’re looking at a full-iron distance, than I’d strongly recommend a triathlon bike. The reason is that those bikes are designed from a fit standpoint for getting into the aero position for 5+ hours.
It’s the half-iron distance where things are tricky. If you’re a regular – then going with a tri bike makes sense. If it’s your first year and a 70.3 race is your ‘A’ race and you aren’t sure if you’ll be doing future tri’s, then going with a clip-on is more logical. After all, you can complete a 70.3 just fine on clip-on bars – as I’ve done in the past. But, if the 70.3 is a pitstop to more 70.3’s or to other longer races, then I’d recommending biting the bullet and getting the tri bike.
Ultimately though there is no perfect answer here, as it just depends a bit on your personal requirements and future race plans.
Overall I’m really impressed with the Redshift system. It performs exactly as you’d anticipate and does so without any issues. The fit flexibility of the system is on par with most aerobar systems on the market, yet with the significant added benefit of being able to remove the aerobars on demand. Meanwhile, the seatpost is highly unique in the market and fills the gap for folks wanting to be able to maintain a better fit across both road and triathlon positions.
Of course, these added benefits do come at a cost premium. The Redshift aerobars are about double that of generic clip-on aerobars. Thus I’d focus my recommendation here on people that want the flexibility to go from road to tri and back to road as needed from ride to ride. For example, on group rides that discourage aerobars (or, with roadies that look down on those with aerobars). Additionally, for those in Europe that may come across the stray draft-legal triathlon race that prohibits aerobars, this offers a happy medium.
As always, if you’ve got any questions – feel free to drop them below!
Found this review useful? Or just wanna save a bundle of cash? Here’s how:
Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.
I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items). You can pickup the Redshift system below. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.
Redshift Sports Dual-Position Seatpost
Redshift Sports Quick-Release Aerobars Aluminum (select dropdown for S or L bend models)
Redshift Sports Complete System Aluminum (Aerobars & Seatpost)
Redshift Sports Quick-Release Aerobars Carbon (select dropdown for S or L bend models)
Redshift Sports Complete System Carbon (Aerobars + Seatpost)
Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the Redshift system and accessories (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.
As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories and variations (models/bundles/etc…) for the system. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart:
Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.
I have these on my road bike and I have to say they are a quality piece of kit. They do the job they are designed for perfectly. The switch from tri-bike to normal road bike takes mere seconds. Make sure you measure your seat post diameter before ordering though and select the shim when ordering if necessary. I didn’t and had to buy a third party one. Redshift kindly refunded the amount I had to spend on the shim though. Nice customer service. Highly recommended for roadies who want to do triathlon events without buying a second bike.
I’ve been using the Redshift Switch system since launch – I have the system with carbon S-bends and I swap my light road racing saddle/seatpost out for the Redshift seatpost for Tris and Tri training. I only do about 3-4 tris a season, and the rest of the time it’s road adventures/rides; I also can’t afford or justify a tri-specific bike (at least not yet); I imagine I fit the target market quite well and was very happy as a pre-order customer (I wasn’t a backer.)
I’m glad you brought up the “will there be play in the system” question – that was my biggest concern, and it’s been more than solid in many hours of use.
I just completed an OLY with it this past weekend, and the system and was very happy with how it all behaved in anger. I couldn’t imagine doing the 40k bike leg with clip-on aero bars while having my seat setup for my normal road-riding position. I also finished at the pointy end of the pack (but to be fair the field wasn’t very deep – the next one will prove much more difficult.)
I also really love the fact this system truly is “clip on.” Not clip-on as-in “bolt on.”
I really like the ability to move the seat out of aero during the odd climb where I want to move back to my usual road position; and I also like the ability to sit back during liaisons to and from my tri-training rides (which happen on a racetrack here in Montreal.)
I haven’t experienced a single unintended seat movement and I love that I can just use my rear-end to push it back into “road” position when needed. I made a video to show users on another triathlon forum just how hard it is by hand: link to vid.me
Also I use a 0-setback seatpost for normal riding and I found it easy to get the right fit in both regular (16mm setback as described by redshift) and tri (forward) positions.
Thanks for the review – I saw the hint of it coming when I noticed the mounts on your bike in another review (Edge 1000 had the hint.)
I bought the seat only (because I already had aero bars) post-kickstarter and I love it. I find that I don’t shift it that much (I mainly stay in the forward position) but I really like the option – and it’s not difficult to adjust on the fly while riding.
I’ll add this bit if people are concerned: I got a professional fitting with this and initially the bike guy was concerned that the shifting seat would change the distance from my hip to my foot/ankle. It doesn’t. The slight movement up when it’s moved forward preserves the distance perfectly (at least for me).
I can’t speak to the aerobars because I don’t have them, but the seat is great!
I should clarify: the bike fitter took measurements from both positions and confirmed they were the same distance. Preserving the distance wasn’t a matter of my personal opinion.
Grease the seatpost. On metal frame bikes it keeps the seatpost from binding and then being impossible to remove, on carbon it helps increase the friction so the post doesn’t slide down even with proper torque
Carbon paste (even on alu/alloy frames) can be your best friend! I’ve used both Tacx and Finish Line with great success.
That is a great recommendation, but you seem to have mixed up grease with carbon assembly paste, those are two different things: although it can be argued that CAP is grease, it also contains something to increase friction. Grease alone OTOH will increase the chance of slipping.
BTW grease is also required to prevent corrosion if you use a non-painted alloy seatpost into a frame made of a different metal or carbon, or a carbon seatpost into a steel/alloy frame.
Actually I did not; carbon assembly paste is great for use in seat tubes whether the frame or post (the disjunction is inclusive) is alloy or carbon (again inclusive).
While I regularly use grease (synthetic and waterproof) for all manner of parts assembly, I think in many cases the added friction in carbon paste means less over-tightening (for users not equipped with torque wrenches) and easier setup (things don’t slide around quite so easily) for seat posts especially – something beneficial for all.
In fact, the instructions on some carbon assembly paste indicate as much. From Tacx’s marketing blurb:
“This unique assembly compound is composed in such a way that high-quality carbon, aluminium and steel parts like seat post, pedals and handlebar stem can be assembled without difficulty.”
PK I was not replying to you but to Eli, I should’ve made that clear. Read again his comment and you’ll se what I meant.
“Fail to hydrate on a hot day and no matter how much training you’ve put in, your performance will flounder” so true!
Another clear, concise and impartial review Ray!
Okay, put this question into the category for those who have to tinker at their own risk.
Any thoughts as to whether the Redshift aerobars can accommodate the Shimano Di2 SW-R671 Dura-Ace 2-Button Time Trial/Triathlon Bar End Shifters?
Obviously it would slightly slow down removal of the bars due to the need for disconnecting the wires at the connection block on the other end. Yet I can see the value given the investment already in the road bike.
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’ll see if I can get Redshift to drop-in with any thoughts there.
Scott – I’m one of the creators of the Switch Aero System. The aerobar extensions are standard 22.2mm extensions that will accept bar-end shifters. I’ve never installed Di2 bar end shifters personally, but I’m quite confident that it would be no problem. You would just need to make sure that you have the 5-port Di2 junction box that accepts sufficient shifter inputs (since you would have 4), and that the junction box is easily accessible so that you could connect and disconnect the the bar-end shifters when you want to remove the aerobars.
Here’s a link to the Di2 junction box that you would need:
link to trisports.com
I recently put these on my road bike, which came in useful at the Vineman 70.3 when I found myself without my tri bike. It was a breeze to fit them and they performed really well. I found it pretty useful to go into “road bike mode” on the downhills which lowered my center of gravity and provided great stability. Then it’s super easy to switch on the fly back to “tri bike mode” and crank out the power. The position is pretty good if you spend the time on setting it up well. I rode a 2:24 bike split which was not bad for using a road bike!
Ray – try taking the aero bars off before attaching the edge 1000. Since the mount is attached to the brackets and not the bars, you should be able to mount the cycling computer before attaching the bars.
Ahh, very nice idea!
So, I am generally a marathoner, but I just did another 70.3 at Vineman last weekend. We have aerobars for racing but do not use them on normal group rides. My posse is considering a full ironman in the next year or 2 so my question is – do you buy a tri bike solely for one ironman. None of us are age groupers – we just want to finish, and I don’t see doing more than one ironman.
“I don’t see doing more than one ironman.”
Famous last words… 😉
I guess I’d ask yourself if you enjoyed the 70.3 and if you plan to race that distance again beyond the build-up to the Ironman. If so, I’d probably go tri bike. If not, and if you’re fit doesn’t bother you on your bike with clip-ons, then I’d stick with that.
That’s cool to read you Ray!
Keep the good works!
For now, i’m not interested in that because I’ve a Tri Bike and a semi-road bike (cyclocross) that I sometime use to train. But that’s good to know that something like this exist!
For those of you with the system and getting your bike fitted. Do you fit the bike in the road position or in the tri position?
Trent – Since most people are riding their existing road bike with a fit that (presumably) works well for them already, we generally recommend that you set up the seatpost to replicate your current road position. That way, your road geometry is unchanged from what you’re accustomed to. The resulting aero position will be 50 mm forward (and slightly up) from that road position. In our testing, we found that this provided an effective, comfortable aero position for the vast majority of people.
That said, if you’re planning on doing the majority of your riding in aero (as PK mentions), you could consider basing your fit specifically on the aero position at the expense of exactly matching your current road position. It will generally be fairly close, but may vary a bit.
Also, one thing I forgot to mention (and that I don’t believe was mentioned in Ray’s review) is that you have a degree of independent saddle tilt adjustment in the road and aero positions. That is, you can choose to have the saddle tilt identical in both positions (the default setup), or you can dial in 0-5 degrees of additional forward tilt in the aero position.
We found that some riders preferred a slightly more nose-down saddle tilt in the aero position vs. the road position, so this adjustment allows you to choose the saddle tilt that works best for you in both positions.
I measured my road bike fit and matched the redshift seatpost to that then went over to competitivecyclist and used their fitting guide to get a decent triathlon position. With the aero bars on top of the normal handlebars it makes it hard to get the saddle-pad drop that I’d like but it still works fine and is comfortable. It can be fixed with an adjustable stem but I’m content with where it is now
Tri position fit here. The road position doesn’t exactly match my normal road position (comes very close however), but I swap seat posts when I’m out on a road-specific ride.
For road riding, where I need/want to get out of the saddle frequently (something I almost never do in the aero position), having an extra 1.5lbs (all that weight way up high – the highest point on the bike) makes a big difference to me over the course of a few hours both on ascent (in terms of extra work when I’m mashing it standing up and moving that weight side to side) and descent – where the much higher centre of gravity makes the ride down less stable and less pleasant.
If swapping is no big deal, then getting something like Profile’s FastForward is likely a better choice: it’s ligther, probably sturdier and maybe cheaper, and you can leave the tri saddle on the tri post and a road saddle on the other. That will save you a ton of time and possibly pain as you would have to get the saddle adjustment right each time.
From a previous comment from Redshift:
“The aerobars (uncut L-bend extension, no stack spacers) weigh approximately 675 grams. By comparison, a set of Profile T1 bars is listed at 503g (per their website) – approximately 3/8 lb difference.”
“The “Carbon System” has carbon aerobar extensions, but the seatpost is still aluminum (and weighs 400g for reference). We’re currently developing a carbon post, hopefully for late 2014/early 2015.”
Perhaps I wasn’t clear (and it’s also highly probable I’m an idiot):
I like my bike’s centre of gravity to be as low as possible. The lower the centre of gravity, the more stable it is.
When one is climbing out of saddle, moving the bike side to side, I find it makes a small (possibly in my head but I don’t think so difference) when I’m moving the saddle from side to side as I crank out of saddle at the end of a long climb. My road setup weighs just about 300g (saddle and seatpost), the redshift system with an Adamo saddle (as mine is configured weighs almost 3 times as much.) When one’s bike is 15 or so lbs, that’s almost 10% added weight (which is not much when carrying water along will add something like 1.5kg.)
My point however is that with the redshift system, a heavy saddle and seatpost mechanism (which I love BTW) that extra weight sits at the very highest point of the bike and therefore has a bigger overall effect on the bike’s general handling characteristics when used in non-aero style riding because the centre of gravity is moved upwards dramatically.
Look, it’s nothing overly dramatic, but it makes a difference where weight is as well. If it was all added low to the ground, where lateral movement diminishes the closer you are to the contact patch, it would probably be unnoticeable.
So does it matter, probably not; I’m just saying I really like a low centre of gravity on my bikes and a light saddle and seatpost are part of that equation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very happy customer! And I could cut my loses by running a road racing saddle on the post for only a marginal increase – but triathlon bikes themselves never had the lowest centre of gravity either since they’re not designed to be as nimble – so it’s not a complaint but rather an observation and a reality of physics – weight high up vs weight low down. 😉
Really Stephen and crew, you deserve major props for such a fantastic development.
You’re tricking yourself with numbers there: the bike itself is only a small fraction of the total mass – which is what matters in the end. Your body weight is the main driver of the center of mass height, and that’s above the saddle.
Let’s assume you weigh a pro-like 60 kilos, plus the almost 7 of your bike. Then you’ve got water bottles, possibly some kit for flats, a telephone, your clothing, maybe a helmet?
The extra 600 grams make for a whopping 0.9% difference (rounding up). But they’re higher up ?
I usually have a ton of crap on the longer trips in my jersey pockets (e.g. a LED headlight which weighs more than 300g). Not enough for you, I have also ridden with backpacks heavier than that. Mountain bikers often use hydration packs. Ray does his training rides with an extra metric tonne of stuff all over his bike.
If you can detect the difference a few hundred grams make, then there’s a problem with your bike.
Have you got any side-on pics of yourself “before” and “after” to see how your position looks?
Don’t wish to stand unduly harsh but the ones on link to redshiftsports.com hardly look optimum.
Yeah, I’m going to try this weekend – something on a trainer to show the details. It’s just that my apartment looks like a hurricane hit it…thus, weekend project.
Dangit Ray! This will possibly be the third several hundred dollar purchase you’ve coaxed me into this year! (After an 810 and Fenix2).
I’ve been tempted by getting clip-ons, but do a fair amount of group riding and figured I’d be too lazy to take them on and off. Problem solved!
Hello – I have a orbea orca. The seat post is an irregular shape – any news on how this could be accommodated? Thanks. Graeme
I checked out their FAQ on their website, only support round seat post at this stage.
Maybe check with Orbea if they have an adapter for round seatposts?
I’m not overly optimistic, the main purpose proprietary seatposts serve, besides selling bikes, is selling more proprietary seatposts.
Graeme – As some other folks have already mentioned, we only have a standard round seatpost available currently. There’s been a lot of demand from riders with aero seatposts though, and we’re actively working on developing a solution for riders with non-round or non-traditional seatposts (i.e., seatmasts like some of the Trek Madone series bikes). We expect to have some new products available in early 2015 that will provide the same functionality to aero bike riders. Stay tuned!
I bought the carbon bars and seat post as part of the Kickstater campaign after seeing a link on Ray’s weekly update. I am a duathlete in the UK and had found that I was getting cramping off the bike with my cheaper clip on bars. I’ve completed 2 events since getting my bars and seat post with complete success – in fact I am utterly thrilled.
My bike was set up for me (it’s an ex-pro Team NetApp carbon Focus) by the guys that run the team so I was nervous about whether I’d had to have another bike fit to ensure the “new” seating position but thought I’d give it a go and see how it went. In fact perfectly. I matched my seat position to that of my standard carbon seat post and the tri position is very comfortable and gives me a perfect aero position.
Only one minor issue and one general question. The minor issue is that often I find it difficult to get the locking mechanism back up on the tri bars when attempting to remove them as my fingers are pretty weak. I’m wondering if I’m clipping them on too tightly?
The question is a general one and not about this system. It’s whether I can get a straw system of some sort to fit on the water bottle so I don’t have to release it from the cage. I’ve looked around but can’t find anything suitable so if anyone has any recommendations I’d appreciate it.
Overall as a very amateur athlete this system is perfect for me, saved my marriage (I already have “too” many bikes allegedly!) and it’s a thrill to support such passionate and jolly clever chaps!
I bought an X-Labs torpedo shaped bottle with a straw system. I pulled out the stops and bought the carbon cage model. In retrospect, the carbon cage was overkill. It was hardly lighter than the standard Redshift bottle cage, which also fits the X-Labs Torpedo shaped bottle. Also I didn’t use the X-Labs computer mount because I devised a computer mount at the end of the Aerobar that works better for me. Bottom line — I don’t know if you can just buy an X-Labs replacement torpedo bottle and throw it into the existing Redshift cage, but it would be way cheaper.
You take the tube, and stick it in the hole. Most adults should be familiar with such a procedure.
Should read :
You take the tube, and stick it in the hole. Most teenagers and adults should be familiar with such a procedure.
This review came in at a very opportune time! I’m very thankful. I recently tried the aero position on my road bike. I have been placing my arms on the bar tape (then bringing my hands together so the knuckles touch), but its not the most comfortable. My arms are a bit sore/ one of them is a bit chaffed from it. However I can stand it for over 2 hrs. I had pondered looking up some padding to relieve the arm pain. I didn’t want to buy or add another permanent thing to my bike. So as such you can see how sexy this is. Now being that I have never used aero bars before. Which one is going to be more comfortable or better? L-bend or S-bend. I dunno. Is there a way to try out the two? I appreciate your time and thoughts. Thank you.
I’m guessing I can just buy both and return the one I don’t like. Other than personal preference is there any functional difference between the two bar types?
Merlinbk – The L-bends place your wrists in a more relaxed, ergonomic position that’s generally well suited for triathletes and longer rides. The S-bends are a bit more “aggressive”, requiring you to flex your wrists more, which can give you a bit more leverage if you’re riding really hard (like in a time-trial).
In general, if you’re unsure, we recommend the L-bend shape because it tends to be more comfortable for most people. If you want to try both, you can purchase the extra extensions alone on our website and simply return the extra set for a full refund once you decide.
Killer Shot makes a GoPro handlebar adapter that might work with the computer mount. It’s a K-Edge clone, except it is designed for 22mm diameter handlebars.
link to killershot.com
Very helpful! Pragmatic question….has anyone tried the system with a seat bag attached? I imagine it would be a problem but do need a bag to carry tire change kit and whatever else needed on long training rides.
Scott – Most strap-type saddle bags work fine with the dual-position seatpost – all of us here were able to use our existing saddle bags with no issues. You may have to loosen the straps slightly so that the bag can shift a bit. If your saddle bag is one that rigidly mounts to the saddle rails or seatpost via brackets or clamps, that probably won’t work. Hope that helps.
Hi there . Just got the seat post and tri bars. There’s no stack spacers in there .? Do you have to order them separate.?
David – You definitely should have received the stack spacers with the aerobar kit. They would have been in a small bag labeled “Spacer and Shim Kit”. If it is not there, shoot me an email with your shipping address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get a replacement set sent out to you. Sorry for any inconvenience!
Thanks Stephen . Just emailed you.
Purchased the seatpost based on review here. Very pleased with the performance and fit. Gives me the ability to have a stretched out normal position for climbing and descending, and also have the aero position for flats. The post seems to be overbuilt with rather thick tubing wall, it could be lighter with thinner tubing although most of the weight is probably on the linkage mechanism anyway. I might cut the post since I’m using just about a third of it exposed. Dedicated triathletes won’t mind the extra weight, but since this is meant to be used on the same bike that one might use for climbing, a carbon post with titanium hardware would be a good follow-up version.
Spoke to Stephen at Red Shift Sports about the timeline of the carbon seat post design. He’s OK with me posting this update, quote:
Thanks for your inquiry! We are currently working to finalize the carbon post design. We’ve gotten through testing with the prototype units, which is a big hurdle, and we’re currently working with our vendors to finalize the production units. We expect to have the posts available by late Spring or early Summer of this year.
I’m very interested in getting the seatpost, but I have existing mini-clip ons. Will the seatpost work well with other aero bars? Thanks.
Yup, two totally separate products in that respect.
Hi Marvin, I am one of the Redshift guys and thought I would chime in. The seatpost will work just fine with other aero bars, but it is worth noting that it is primarily designed to be used with full-length pursuit style aero bars. With the seatpost in the forward position, you will be able to support yourself more comfortably (resting on your elbows as opposed to your forearms which is typical for shorty bars) and maintain a more open hip angle. But, if your extensions are too short, when you rest your elbows on the pads you might not have a place to put your hands. Unless you need the aero bars to be short (for draft legal racing), you can likely just replace the existing extensions with longer ones (pretty much every extension is 22.2 mm in diameter). Hope this helps.
is resting on the pads because they are meant to be used with a normal road saddle position
I’ve been liking the Redshift system. However, today while going over expansion joints I had one of the bars (with attached bottle and computer) fall off! So keep an eye out for the bars shifting if going over rough terrain.
Fortunately I wasn’t using the bars at the time. The quick release was clamped down pretty tight so I don’t know why it would slide out.
Mike – Stephen from Redshift here. Sorry to hear that you had this issue!
I’d love to hear a bit more about your experience, so if you have a few minutes, shoot me an email at email@example.com. Was the quick-release lever still attached to the aerobar after it fell off? (i.e., did something unscrew while you were riding?). If everything was still together, then I suspect that the QR skewer may not have been “clicked” down into the groove on the handlebar clamp before the lever was tightened. This would prevent the clamp from gripping properly even though the lever might feel tight, and would also allow the aerobar to slide sideways because the skewer isn’t engaged in the safety slot.
Whenever you attach the aerobars, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the aerobars are locked in place before you cinch down the QR levers, and that the skewers are fully engaged down into the grooves on the handlebar clamps.
I hope that helps! Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need any replacement parts!
Thanks, Stephen; I just sent you an email. And while the QR was tight it’s possible that the skewer wasn’t fully seated as you note.
I want to use this system with my scott foil team issue bike but I realise the seatpost is not compatible with my scott foil frame :(((( is there any adapter for it ? ???
why don’t you design another mechanism which we can use our original seat post and mount your mechanism on our seat posts ????
I’m in the same boat. I want to buy a Giant Propel Advanced along with this redshift seatpost, but the system is also not compatible with this bike.
Is there a workaround or are there any comparable systems out there that would do the job?
Just bought a Giant TCR pro and plan to add Redshift aero bars but would really love to add the adjustable seat position as well. Same question, is possible to make a universal unit for all seat posts.
I am a 12hr/24hr/ultra Time Trial rider who LOVES this system. I ride a Cannondale Supersix and very much need to change positions when riding that long. The Red Shift allows me to vary my position. I had a retul fit done in both the regular and TT positions to maximize the system optimization. I am switching from a Fizik saddle to and Adamo Prologue as I find i tend to drift up onto the nose in aero position causing discomfort after a while. Adding a set of Flo 60/90 wheels and I’ll have a beastly steed for ultra cycling.
Does anyone know if these are legal in ITU non-draft legal ITU races? I ask because I am doing the Draft Legal and Standard Duathlons at Worlds and I want to only lug one bike with me. I know I can’t use aerobars on the DL race but I would love to use them in the standard distance race (along with the forward positioned saddle).
Unfortunately you cannot use it to replace a 25.4 seatpost…
Backcountry carries the seat post.
Do these fit on the Tacx neo bike?