Road Cycling, Time Trial and Triathlon Aerobars

This site is designed to help you choose, find and buy aerobars for your bike from the top cycle shops. We hope you find it useful for your cycling.

Our buying guide covers all types of cycling, from road and track racing to triathlon, together with some advice on fitting the bars and and achieving the best position for your rides, whether they are competitive or for touring or leisure.

There are several types of aerobar from a simple straight clip on bar to one piece bars that come complete with custom made brake levers, shifters and all manner of adjustments you can make. Materials also range from alloy, through composite to pure carbon, which is the lightest.

Looking for a particular brand ? - Use the left hand menu for details & prices

The aerodynamics of aerobars

The whole purpose of using this addition to your handlebars is to get your body into a shape which minimises wind resistance. This is obviously more important on fast flat or downhill sections than on climbs.

The idea is that you use your aero bars to move the whole of your upper body much lower, by resting your elbows on the bar pads and holding the bar extensions with your hands. Ideally your back is horizontal and your elbows and arms tucked in quite close together; however, for a lot of cyclists this is not a comfortable position, either physically for muscles or for breathing.

For this reason you need to check what sort of adjustments can be made to the aerobars you are considering, to give you the best position.

Choosing the type of aerobar for your ride

Firstly it has to be said that if you are in top competition, then unless you already know which product to choose, your aerobar is best chosen together with your bike. This is because there are quite a few factors to take into account to get the right position for your particular type of cycling competition and for the decision to have some effect on your results.

However, for most of us, with different shaped bodies and requirements, the choice is usually a compromise between comfort and performance. For short fast power rides, you'll probably want to pull up on the aerobars strongly at times, so the exact shape and position of them may not be as important as when you are doing long mileages in a triathlon, where you need a comfortable and correct position.

If you are a reasonably serious leisure rider, an aerobar can be very useful as a way of changing your position on the bike for a while, especially into the wind !

If you have an existing handlebar, the simplest form of aerobar is a clip on one and this is perhaps a good starting point if you've never used them before, as it will allow you to get used to the position.

You can also buy an entire 'kit' where there is a base handlebar together with a stem and extensions. This allows you more variety in positions.

At the top, certainly in terms of price, are the one piece integrated aerobars.

Adjustments that can be made to aero bars

The general concensus is that you should be aiming for a 90 degree or slightly larger angle between your upper and lower arms at the elbow, with your back near, but not below horizontal.

There are a lot of areas of adjustment. Firstly, the length of the extensions is probably the most important because if you are reaching too far forward it will be extremely uncomfortable and possibly damaging to back and muscles.

Secondly the height of the elbow pads will determine how close to horizontal you get. However, many cyclists opt to be a bit higher as the low position can feel cramped, especially for breathing and even more so if you have developed a bit of a Homer Simpson belly !

Similarly the distance between the elbow pads may be a useful adjustment to make, again because you can still have the hands close together, while giving your chest more 'space' by having the elbows further apart, forming a V shape.

Then, you'll find that aerobar extensions have different shapes and this is an important consideration for longer rides. They commonly come in S, J, flat and hoop closed end extension shapes. Although the S shape is particularly popular, you may find that the J shape is actually more comfortable, because your wrist is in a natural position, not bent forwards. Again this depends on the type of competition; if you are up in the saddle a lot and pulling hard, the J shape may not be right. If you like to change your position a lot, then the hoop style of bar extension might be best.

Some of the more advanced aerobars also allow height changes to the elbow pads, rotation of the pads and extensions and sometimes hundreds of combinations of all the above.

Materials used in aerobars

The first material used was aluminium and this developed into various other alloy combinations, all attempting to deliver strength and lightness, as with most bike components.

The market then moved into alloy composites with carbon and now there are quite a few pure carbon fibre aerobars available. The only major issue with carbon is that if you have a carbon handlebar and are looking to clip on a separate aerobar, you need to be check that the mounting area on your carbon bar is reinforced as some of them do not take kindly to the heavy forces that can be applied when you are pulling on the bar extensions !

Stability when using aero bars

Another issue that you'll have to deal with is how safe you like to be on your bike. The aero position puts your body weight much farther forward than just using drop handlebars, so your centre of gravity moves as well. Combine this with a narrow hold on the steering and you don't have much scope for coping with potholes and uneven road surfaces.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't have them, it just means that if you're doing a lot of riding on roads that are less than smooth, you might want to make sure you get aerobars that give you some scope for widening your grip.

Aerobar brands

In our left hand menu, you can find all the top models from the main suppliers, including Vision, Profile, Oval, Zipp, Easton and 3T bars. You can also find out where to buy them in our up to date listings which automatically scan the top cycle shops.