Bikes designed for triathlons and time trials are drastically different than the road bikes most of us are used to riding. Alameda Runners previously published an article describing the basics of tri/TT bike geometry, and tri-specific geometry was discussed.
A different article focuses on the basics of tri/TT bike aerobars (PDF), which offer riders a more aerodynamic position able to limit wind drag. The brief article discusses the brief basics of road bars and aerobars, and why road bars aren’t as well designed for aerodynamics as aerobars.
Triathlete Tech Editor Aaaron Hersh also points out the locations of the base bar, brake grips, brake lever, and other basics. Hersh also discusses clip-on aerobars that give road riders the ability to use aerobars without significant changes to the bike.
Integrated aerobars, which are put on bikes designed specifically for triathlon and time trials bikes, come with the shifters already at the end of the aerobar extension.
If you’re in the market for a bike to ride during triathlons or timed efforts, it’s extremely important to be properly fitted for the bike. Along with comfort and injury prevention, riding a bike frame that is the proper size coupled with aerobars set at the right angle could help performance on race day.
Ted has aero bars on one of his old bikes. He says it is great for resting your upper body before you go out on a long run after the bike ride.