If you cycling, or only watch something about cycling in TV or over Internet, you should know aerobars – „strange” extension for road bike handlebar, or standard element of time trial bicycles. Is it worth buying something like that? I decided to check it out and bought XLC HB-T03 Tri-Bar aerobars.
Let’s start with the fact that I do not have specific bicycle for time trials and triathlon. It’s only standard road bike with road bike handlebar. With that type I can change position quickly, avoid wind and increase speed in many situations. But… I’m still not as aerodynamic as I could be. This is particularly noticeable in windy days and with strong gusts – riding becomes difficult and need a lot of energy. Standard road bike handlebar helps but insufficiently.
Aerobars can “fix it”. Prices are not high and also most of aerobars are compatible with popular handlebars diameters: 31.8 mm with optional adapters for 25.4 mm. Assembly is also very simple and quick: we must only screw a few screws, check positions and test in on road. But what about comfort, what about safety? It isn’t simple matter. Aerobars need different position to be comfortable during long riding – we must slightly lower the front of the saddle in many cases. Without that, we can feel unpleasant pressure on the crotch.
Safety was big question for me. I was afraid that the drive would not be stable, that I would not balance. It turned out that it was no problem and very quickly coped with the new position on the bike. Of course, changing hands is a moment of uncertainty, but I can do this now without fear. What about a road with a poor surface? We must change position and use standard handlebar or… stick harder :) This is not a great price considering the advantages of handlebars.
First: I’m much faster. Not only on windy days, but also on great conditions. Riding is faster because I am more aerodynamic. Fighting with wind? No problem, I can deal with it and feel free. But there is additional and bigger advantage – we have additional position… or maybe many positions. It’s very important on long rides to change position and make riding comfortable in any case. So, is it worth buying aerobars? I think yes, it’s new experience and faster ride.