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One of the tell-tale signs that you are looking at a triathlon bike is a set of aerobars. These appendages allow riders to get into an aerodynamic position that – along with a proper bike fit – help riders maintain relative comfort for the duration of the bike leg. If you’ve never ridden with aerobars, you’re missing out. If your bike came with aerobars or you bought your aerobars a long time ago, it’s worth looking into the new breed of highly customizable, lightweight, and comfortable aerobars that’ll easily adjust, keep you out of the wind, and not add a ton of weight to your rig. The best aerobars today look a lot different than the best aerobars from even just ten years ago.
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All of the models we looked at below are clip-on style, which means they can be used with almost any traditional road bike in addition to being mounted to a tri-specific bike. Each will also help you gain valuable speed in the discipline between the swim and the run.
We’ve put together a list of four of the most interesting sets of aerobars to help you find your best setup. Some may be looking to add aerobars to their road bike, some may be looking to upgrade what they’ve got to something lighter, more aggressive (or less aggressive), or something more comfortable.
Our easy-to-use guide includes ratings and info on criteria like value, ease of assembly, ease of adjustment, pad comfort, grip comfort, and more. We’ve also put together the specs to help you make your buying decision—fore/aft adjustment, armrest width, stack, extension shape, and more. Read on all of the info you need to make an educated decision on the best aerobars for you.
Editor’s Note: While the gear below was loaned out by the brands represented, all choices were selected independently by the tester without any promotional consideration or brand input. Also, unlike other “best aerobars review” websites, our testers actually install and try the gear ourselves—no glancing at spec sheets and rewording marketing terms! For more on how we review gear, click here.
How We Test and Rate Aerobars
|Armrest Fore/Aft Adjustment||Range of adjustment in the armrest forward and backward|
|Armrest Width||Range of adjustment in the armrest widthwise|
|Armrest Stack||Range of armrest stack|
|Extension Shape||Shape of the aerobar extensions|
|Clamp Diameter||What size basebar or road bar this setup will fit|
|Overall Value||Not just price, but how much bang you get for your buck. 1-5; 5 being a great value.|
|Ease of Assembly||How easy was this setup to install on the bike? 1-5; 5 being extremely easy.|
|Ease of Adjustment||How easy was this setup to adjust once installed? 1-5; 5 being extremely easy.|
|Overall Adjustability||How much adjustment does this setup have? Does it work for many different types of positions? 1-5; 5 working for all types of positions.|
|Pad Comfort||How comfortable are the arm pads on the arm rests? 1-5; 5 being extremely comfortable.|
|Grip Comfort||How comfortable is the shape of the grips on the extensions? 1-5; 5 being extremely comfortable.|
Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions | $140
|Armerest Fore/Aft Adjustment||The armrest cup has three rows of six holes which allow a good range of fore/aft adjustment, around 50mm.|
|Armrest Width||Width is also adjusted primarily through which set of holes on the armrest cups are chosen to affix them to the bars, with additional adjustment provided from the clamps themselves, approximately 70mm range on each cup.|
|Armrest Stack||Lowest setup position is 63mm of stack from center of base bar to top of the forearm rest.|
|Extension Shape||Modified s-bend with a 20mm inward roll of the extensions|
|Ease of Assembly||4|
|Ease of Adjustment||3|
The Zipp Vuka Clip with Alumina Evo Extensions is a great bar for athletes looking for a great all-around bar at a good price. With a wide range of adjustability, a competitive weight, and a price that won’t break the bank, it would be difficult to find another bar to match the value proposition that this bar offers. One of this bar’s highlights is the “evo” bend extensions that provide ample wrist relief, even after extended periods in the aero position.
Read an extended, in-depth review of the Zipp Vuka Clip (for Triathlete members – subscribe today for as low as $2 per month).Section divider
Profile Design Sonic Ergo 35a | $160
|Armrest Fore/Aft Adjustment||Just over 75mm of fore/aft adjustability, due the mounting holes on the armrest cup and two rows of mounting holes on the handlebar clamp.|
|Armrest Width||Almost 60mm of range on each armrest cup’s attachment to the base bar.|
|Armrest Stack||60mm from the center of the base bar to the top of the pad in the lowest setting, with height adjustable up to 130mm using spacers|
|Extension Shape||A ski bend design with a single bend at a 35-degree angle.The included extensions are very long to accommodate larger riders and can be trimmed as needed.|
|Ease of Assembly||5|
|Ease of Adjustment||5|
Profile Design’s Sonic Ergo 35a builds on the company’s legacy of popular aerobars with an exceptional range of adjustability. Robust hardware is complimented by soft armrest pads and comfortable extensions. The design of the updated Sonic bracket reduces frontal area to minimize drag without giving up reliability.Section divider
ENVE Carbon Clip-On | $350
|Armrest Fore/Aft Adjustment||40mm made possible by flipping the armrest cups around|
|Armrest Width||Almost 25mm of lateral armrest cup adjustment is possible by reversing the armrest cups|
|Armrest Stack||Center of the base bar to top of the pad is 40mm|
|Extension Shape||A unique extension shape allows athletes to select what bend they would like to utilize based on where the extensions are cut. Options include s-bend, ski-bend, or straight extensions.|
|Ease of Assembly||3|
|Ease of Adjustment||4|
Certainly some of the most lust-worthy bars we’ve come across, the ENVE Carbon Clip-On lives up to the company’s reputation for producing functional pieces of bicycle art. Unidirectional carbon fiber construction results in an exceptionally stiff bar. While the weight of the ENVE Clip-On is relatively low, the high price of these bars means the dollar-per-gram-saved ratio isn’t all that impressive. Adjustability is also somewhat lacking, however if the bars fit you as needed, a wide range of adjustability is unnecessary.Section divider
Vision Team Mini Clip-on | $162
|Armrest Fore/Aft Adjustment||Only 15mm of fore/aft armrest adjustment|
|Armrest Width||30mm of lateral adjustment is possible with three rows of mounting holes to select from on each armrest cup. Adjustment is further limited but the extensions fixed-wide due to a bridge attaching the extensions to one another, a necessary design to make these bars legal for draft-legal racing.|
|Armrest Stack||40mm of stack from center of base bar to the top of the armrest pad|
|Extension Shape||The single bend extensions are almost not even long enough to classify as ski-bend, given their purpose-built design focused for draft-legal racing.|
|Ease of Assembly||4|
|Ease of Adjustment||2|
Vision’s Team Mini Clip-on is a bar on a mission: provide draft-legal triathletes with an aerobar that can help athletes get aero on the bike while conforming to the rules specified for draft-legal racing. Said rules likely limit the range of adjustability that is even possible, leading to the Mini Clip-on’s limited range. More sturdy hardware and a lower price could potentially improve this bar’s value proposition, but this bar might be one to consider if you’re looking for a compact design to give your road bike a bit more versatility when trying to get into an aero position.