We’ve reviewed the best triathlon clip-on aero bars on the market, so which are deserving of your money?
RSP Clip-on Aero bar
Raleigh have revived their once-revered Raleigh Special Products name to replace their Outland brand, but the functionality and low prices are the same.
The first big bonus for real aeroheads compared to most low cost clip-on bars is the fact the extensions are fixed under rather than over the bar, which means a potentially much lower hand position. The extensions are also angle adjustable, independent of the pads, and the S-bend section is slotted for clean internal gear cabling. They’re laser etched for accurate symmetrical cutting and the alloy pad cradles are adjustable for rotation. Add an upswept outer edge for security and we were able to get a comfortable, fully customised ride position very quickly and easily compared to the more expensive bars. Chunky clamps make them heavy, but otherwise these are really good for the money.
Verdict: Heavy, but very adjustable and low-position friendly for under £50
Pro Tempo Aero Bars
These one-piece clip-ons offer loads of hand positions but at the expense of a lardy weight.
By using an old skool single-piece U-bend design with end hoop and S-bends on the forward extensions, the Tempo offers a big variety of hand positions. You obviously can’t set them up wonky either, which speeds set-up slightly. The extensions are rivetted on in line with the bar clamp, which keeps them relatively low. Deep pads raise your arms, though, and while they’re slightly more comfortable on rough roads, they’re not adjustable for rotation and it’s quite easy to slip over the rounded edges if you’re shuffling about on a long ride.
The chunky clamps and closed loop design mean they’re heavy too, and you’ll have to add an aftermarket bridge if you want to fit gears.
Verdict: Lots of hand positions and comfortable, but precarious pads and heavy overall
Deda Parabolica Due Aero Bars
This clip-on set from Italian frame and tubing specialists Dedacciai is well-priced and classy-looking if you want a semi-raised aero position.
While the upward S-bent extensions sit above the bar line, the alloy plates with thin pads mean height isn’t too tall, and we easily managed to find a neutral position by swapping some steerer spacers. There are no less than 12 potential positions from the two-bolt fixing arrangement too, and all our testers managed to get comfortable.
The smooth cold-forged clamps have rounded edges that won’t damage carbon base bars, and a classier look than most budget bars. The S-bend extensions are laser etched for easy symmetrical trimming too. Weight is low for the money, making these a very attractive entry-level bar.
Verdict: Well-designed, lightweight clip-ons that are worth paying a little bit extra for
TRIATHLON PLUS GOLD AWARD WINNER
Giant Connect SL S-bend Aero Bars
Giant’s accessory range is increasing all the time and now includes these tidy semi-carbon clip-ons.
The carbon extensions certainly make them look pricier than they are, as well as making weight very competitive. They hang below the bar line too, with the S-bend bringing them up to a neutral hand height, with internal cable slots and trim lines at the rider end for symmetrical cutting.
The neat hinged clamp is designed so the single bolt tightens both extensions and separately angle-adjustable armrest arms together. The low profile Velcro-anchored pads sit on three-position pad plates, with three holes on each arm too. It is all a bit of a balancing act getting it together, but adjustability works really well once together. There’s a U-bend version too, but that’s £30 more expensive and heavier.
Verdict: Good-looking, lightweight and highly adjustable mid-price bar once it’s set up
This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine – click here to subscribe