Racing in long-distance triathlons involves a lot of time in the aero position (hopefully). Setting up the bike is a fine balance between finding comfort and a slippery, aerodynamic position. If the bike is too aggressive then often this will result in pain and discomfort, which may mean you cannot maintain the position for the whole race, whereas a comfortable position may be too upright and take more wind than you need to.
I ride a Giant Trinity Advanced TT bike and have tried a few different aero bar extensions to try to optimise my riding position. Zipp offers two different shapes, the EVO 70/110 and the RACE. The main difference is the amount of rise at the end compared to the pad; the RACE has a 52mm rise and the EVO comes in 70mm and 110mm. The stock giant extensions have minimal rise and have a flatter hand position. I have found the Zipp bars more comfortable, having a more relaxed and natural wrist position. The EVO shaped bars also incorporate a 20mm inward roll to bring the rider’s hands closer together.
The bars are 22mm diameter, which is the industry standard for aero bar extensions, so these are compatible with most aero bar systems. All of the Zipp range are available in carbon or aluminium. The bars are also available as clip-ons for road bikes or bikes with round handlebars. The carbon ones are slightly lighter but come at a premium, as they are around twice the cost.
Aero bars are just a small part of your bike set up. Getting a proper assessment and fit by an experienced fitter is the best investment you can make. The fitter will be able to advise which of these Zipp bars may be best for you.
By Mike Phillips – Pushys Sponsored Athlete