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What Are Aero Bars? How to Install Them on My Fixie?

Aero bars; For when you have the need for speed!

Man riding track bike at velodrome.
Man riding track bike at velodrome. Source: Simon Connellan, Unsplash

Aero bars are handlebar extensions that enable an aerodynamic stance by lowering your upper body and aligning your arms with your torso. Aero bars include both handgrips and armrests, allowing you to greatly minimize the amount of strain on your wrists and hands.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on November 1, 2021, to include additional information regarding aero bars.

What are aero-bars?

Aero bars, also known as “clip-on bars,” “triathlon bars,” or “tri-bars,” are handlebar extensions that attach near to the handlebar’s center and cantilever out over the front wheel. They enable you to adopt a more aerodynamic stance by lowering your upper body and aligning your arms with your torso.

In comparison to conventional handlebar positions, aero bars include both handgrips and armrests, enabling you to greatly minimize the amount of strain on your wrists and hands.

The best kinds of clip-on aero bars allow for extensive adjustment of the height and separation of the bars and armrests, enabling you to strike the optimal mix of aerodynamic placement and comfort.

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Can I install aero bars on a fixed gear bike?

Fixed gear bikes can use aero bars. There is nothing stopping you from slapping on a sweet set of these bars on your fixie. They are not commonly seen on commuting fixed gear and single-speed bikes, but others certainly have nothing wrong with having them.

As a matter of fact, this is very typical in the track bike scene. Track bikes are all about speed and are aerodynamics, so these bars are ideal.

Some aero bars offer a quick-release function that enables you to install and detach the bars in seconds without the need for any tools.

If you are in the market for a set of aero bars, check out some of these options.

How do I install aero bars on my bike?

Clip-on bars are one of the most common methods of installing aero bars on your bike. The term “Clip-on” alludes to the fact that they are secured to the handlebar with bolts and are easily removed with the appropriate tools.

Clip-on bars are typically fitted just once and are not removed on a regular basis. However, some bars offer a quick release that may be swiftly mounted and removed without the need for tools.

Follow the steps below to install clip-on aero bars.

1. Prep the handlbars

Begin by preparing the handlebars. If required, trim and unroll the bar tape to expose the bare metal and liberate the wires, so they do not become clamped. Clean the bars thoroughly to ensure that no oil or debris gets trapped behind the clamps.

2. Grease the bars

Grease the tri-bar bolts to ensure they are installed easily. Bring the clamp up to the handlebar and check that it is approximately in the proper position. Now insert the lubricated bolts, starting with a finger-tight fit to prevent cross-threading the threads.

3. Secure the bolts

After inserting the Allen bolts, gently tighten them by alternating a few twists on each to ensure that the clamp pulls up equally, and then softly nick them up.

4. Adjust the elbow pads

Now, adjust the elbow pads to customize the width and reach of the bars. The width should be as thin as possible while yet supporting the elbow.

5. Attach the second bar

Attach the second bar in the same manner as the first, precisely the same distance from the stem, to ensure consistent spacing between the bars. To guarantee this, measure the distance between the stem and the clamps.

6. Make finall adjustments

View the bars from the side. Adjust them so that they are both parallel to the ground, pointing slightly upward, and consistent with one another. Once satisfied with the setting, tighten the clamps’ bolts. To complete, trim and fasten the bar tape.

Check out this video from Global Triathlon Network that shows you how to install clip-on aero bars on your bike.

A video called How To Fit Clip-On Aero Bars from the Global Triathlon Network YouTube Channel.

Conclusion

If you are looking for even more speed, aero bars might just be the accessories that can take your cycling game to the next level.

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In this article, we covered what aero bars are, whether or not you can use them on a fixie, and how to install them on your bike. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Aero bars are handlbar attachemtns used to improve aerodynamics
  • Fixed gear and sinle speed bikes can use aero bars, tho its uncoommon, especially for commuters
  • They are common on velodrome track bike racing
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So, have you ever tried riding with aero bars? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

Written by Bradly Knight

As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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