12 of the best clip on tri bars tested, rated and reviewed
Token Alloy Extensions
Weight 410g Length 340mm Pad width adjust 10mm
Pad fore aft adjust 15mm Extension adjust 100mm
Tri-bars don’t get much simpler than this. The rear clamped forged block gives a secure bar fit and it’s easy to slide the extensions back and forth or rotate them in the single-bolt clamp. The shallow S-bend shape is multi-position friendly but they’re not slotted for internal cable routing. There’s minimal adjustment in the two-arm spar and pad positions, and any twisting movement can soon work the single bolt loose. The small oval armrests with simple EVA pads give scant comfort, they’re sweaty and the edges start to dig in on rougher roads.
Bare minimum comfort and adjustment but correspondingly minimal cost
Weight 576g Length 350mm Pad width adjust 35mm
Pad fore aft adjust 0mm Extension adjust 100mm
RSP can always be relied on for good value kit, and this clip-on gives all the adjustment you need. With five pieces held together with eight bolts, each combined bar and armrest clamp section is on the hefty side. The multi-part design means it only takes one loose bolt for the whole set-up to rattle apart, though. There’s enough tweaking potential via the various clamps to suit most riders, and the underslung extensions can also be arranged to sit either side of the bar clamps. The Lycra-covered, textured armrest pads are OK as long as the road isn’t too rough.
Complex and bulky, but enough adjustment for reasonable comfort at an excellent price
KCNC Extensions S-bend
Weight 556g Length 400mm Pad width adjust 20mm
Pad fore aft adjust 25mm Extension adjust 175mm
KCNC’s simple modular design affords plenty of adjustment. The long extensions add weight and mean you’re likely to need to get the saw out to stop the back ends knocking your knees, but they’re laser etched for symmetrical cutting. There are only two pad mount positions, but separate bar clamp and armrest clamps let you arrange the pads as you want in relation to the base bar. The pad rests are angle-adjustable and they come with a 35mm stack of spacers as standard, but they’re firm rather than cushy after a couple of hours or on rougher rides.
Large range of adjustment with firm but secure pads at an affordable price
Zipp Vuka Alumina
Weight 510g Length 360mm Pad width adjust 40mm
Pad fore aft adjust 0mm Extension adjust 90mm
Zipp’s ‘Vukafit’ free app converts your cockpit dimensions into the Zipp components to replicate that fit. While ours could be achieved with the basic twin-bolt base bar and interleaved armrest spars, there are 10, 20 and 50mm riser block options and pad wing extensions to add 40mm of adjustment either side. The big, flexible oval pads with gentle curve and arm spar angle adjustment are super comfortable. The pad clamps can be fitted in front or behind the extension/bar clamp section too. The slightly rising tip Race version of the S-bend is a particularly good fit.
Lightweight big pad, big mileage comfort with app-guided fit, at a great price
Vision Mini Tt Clip-on
Weight 363g Length 175mm Pad width adjust 0mm
Pad fore aft adjust 5mm Extension adjust 0mm
These bars are hard to beat for their pack-friendly aero advantage. Solid end plugs are cut away for base bar wraparound then riveted onto the short-reach ITU-legal extensions. This looks neat and sits low on the bar but adds weight, and the U-section clamps are at odds with the sculpted terminals. Metal expander wedge inserts also add weight compared to plastic plug-ins, but help bar security. Flexible armrests with rubberised wrist pads, the slight upturn in the extensions and the thumb grip make them outstandingly comfortable for draft-legal bars.
Slightly heavy and short on adjustment, but very comfortable for draft-legal bars
Profile T4+ Carbon
Weight 612g Length 330mm Pad width adjust 20mm
Pad fore aft adjust 30mm Extension adjust 100mm
Profile’s new extensions add internal cable routing ergonomics to a proven clamp set-up. The standout feature of these bars are the carbon extensions, with a reverse teardrop tip, which feels good to hold. The expanding wedge clamp looks neat but adds a lot of metal compared to a conventional split clamp. The big armrest pads allow a bit of fore/aft and width adjustment and can be rotated, but again the plates are heavy. There’s no trace of ‘suspension’ beyond the deep pads, but they spread pressure well so long-haul comfort is good, as long as they adjust to fit.
Well shaped extensions with comfy pads, but heavy weight and limited adjustment
3T Clip On Team
Weight 518g Length 350mm Pad width adjust 30mm
Pad fore aft adjust 75mm Extension adjust 120mm
3T’s new Clip On Team uses a distinctive extension design – the deeply hooked extensions need angling inwards to find a comfortable angle, giving a twisted forearm position. The deep handles were appreciated by riders who like to brace themselves against the bars to drive a bigger gear. Nine potential pad mounting points offer plenty of adjustment. The clamps can be reversed to put the extensions inside or outside, and come with 30mm of spacers. Fat pads with flexible outer edges make them comfortable and secure on rougher surfaces too.
Super comfortable, secure and lightweight set-up if the extension shape agrees with you
Bontrager Race X Lite
Weight 454g Length 360mm Pad width adjust 45mm
Pad fore aft adjust 45mm Extension adjust 150mm
This is another pistol-grip style bar but the kink isn’t as pronounced as the 3T bar’s so fit is more inclusive. It still suits riders who like to grip their tri-bars rather than just rest their hands on them, though. The extensions are twin-slotted for gear cables, with slotted rubber end pieces. Neat egg-shaped 31.8mm cold-forged clamps with built-in rear offset pad spars keep things secure. There’s ample adjustment and the plastic cradles are firm rather than sprung. A big outside lift gives security while dropped edges reduce pressure for long-haul comfort.
Lightweight, secure and widely adjustable clip-ons with firm rather than sprung pad feel
Controltech Carbon Aero Cockpit
Weight 314g Length 170mm Pad width adjust 0mm
Pad fore aft adjust 0mm Extension adjust 15mm
Controltech’s aero has a one-piece carbon H shape with flat, fixed armrest wings and a round centre joining section for your bike computer, which makes for a stiff, power-friendly base. The ‘trombone’ double-handgrip slider section with thin joining bridge at the front can be slightly adjusted for draft-legal reach requirements. The short B-shaped Lycra-wrapped pads sit on stiff cut-away carbon cups, so comfort is borderline bearable rather than luxurious. The alloy base (with carbon bridge and grip) version costs £60 less but is only 30g heavier.
Lightweight, reach adjustable, draft-legal cockpit but bearable rather than comfortable
PRO Synop Carbon
Weight 472g Length 295mm Pad width adjust 35mm
Pad fore aft adjust 0mm Extension adjust 80mm
Pro’s low-profile Synop is a neatly minimalist, lightweight, if costly, design. The shallow S-bend extensions have a pronounced curve and are prominently marked for symmetrical set-up. No rotational adjustment on a relatively small pad with a steep outside curl means accurate angling of the parts you can change is crucial. The twin-bolted cold-forged clamp is really secure though. The rubberised leatherette surface of the pads gives excellent wet grip but can get sweaty. There’s no flex and little padding either, so rough roads are a painful experience.
Lightweight and very secure but costly, with minimalist pads and limited adjustment
USE TR2 Bar & Extensions
Weight 416g Length 400mm Pad width adjust 35mm
Pad fore aft adjust 13mm Extension adjust 170mm
It may come in a luxury soft case but building the TR2 bar is a painfully prolonged process of hammering and alternate bolt tightening all the pieces together. The fancy red anodised expansion plugs that secure the extensions add weight (and dependency on the special USE spanner). Swapping the offset clamps left to right gives you inside and outside mounted extension options, which adds 20mm of effective sideways pad movement, but there’s no angle adjustment. The very narrow, focused pressure pads don’t offer much in the way of comfort either.
Beautifully presented lightweights but a fight to build, limited pad comfort and very pricey
Ritchey WCS Clip On Carbon
Weight 358g Length 370mm Pad width adjust 25mm
Pad fore aft adjust 0mm Extension adjust 100mm
This is a masterpiece of minimalist design but the alloy version makes way more sense: £25 (and only 10g heavier) rather than £180 for the S-bend extensions here (the pads are a separate buy). The cold-forged bar clamp and neat clamped socket for the extensions are reliable and light. The extension tips still get a short alloy section, so you can tighten your shifters without worrying about splitting them. The small pads focus pressure though, and some testers found that the long flat section and shallow outer edge with no tilt adjustment lacked grip security.
A minimalist lightweight masterpiece, but the carbon version is insanely expensive
Considering the relatively simple job they do, there’s a remarkable range of clip-on designs. Our favourite bars combine simple set-up and reliable security with low weight and high comfort. While the cheapest bars start at £40, they give a bare minimum level of comfort, adjustability and reliability. We reckon it’s well worth spending the extra £7 to get the fully adjustable clip-ons from RSP, making them our value winner.
The fight for cost-no-object honours is a close one between the draft-legal Vision Mini TT, Bontrager’s neatly designed Race X Lite and 3T’s Clip-On Team. In the end the high-comfort, smoothly sprung pads and distinctive pistol-grip extensions earned the 3Ts our peak performer award. Zipp’s modular fit system means their Vuka Aluminas deliver an excellent ergonomic fit at a reasonable price, making them our overall winner.
3T Clip on Team
Zipp Vuka Alumina