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Clip on Aero Bars worth it?


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Hey guys,


A bit of a noob question, so I apologise for my ignorance..haha


Anyway, I am doing my first IM next year and will be using an ordinary racer. I would love to buy a Tri bike, but financially it is out of the question.


So my question is, will adding clip on aero bars really make a difference, or is the set-up on a tri bike that vastly different that I cant really replicate it with clip-ons?


I have done a few century rides on this bike already, and they have been okay - but would my time (and money) better be spent just making the most of the road bike, or are clip-ons really a viable option?


Any insight and help from those more experienced would be appreciated.



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There is a big difference, but you have to weigh it up with your budget and how often you'll use the tri bike.


Clip-ons will help: they offer more hand positions (nice for 180km ride), they can help you relax your arms after the swim (depending on setup), and when you use them they're more aero.


If possible, drop your handlebars a bit when you put them on. This depends on how high the pads are stacked for the specific model of clip-ons you buy.


What you'll miss:

- changing gears if you're really racing.

- you won't get the TT bike hip angle, which will affect your run.

- if you move your saddle forward to compensate the hip angle, you'll mess with your bike handling (not a big issue, IMO, on the IMSA course.)

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Most certainly worth it if you not getting a tri bike. Aero wise dramatic difference, also just the ability to change position to give different parts of body a rest so you are fresh for the run

Would go as far as saying if its your first IM, its a must. Clip ons are relatively cheap in comparison to a new bike. If budget allows, a better saddle is next upgrade to consider with a good bike setup

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I got a R500 set from chainreaction for 70.3 last year. My average speed on a 55 km training ride, in the same conditions went up by 2 - 3 km/h. So you are probably looking at around 10-15 minutes faster over ironman distance. Just don't expect the comfort and fit that you get from a TT bike and consequently the better leg condition for the run.

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Clip-ons really do work well, but then you have to get your seat forward as well.


Personal opinion: A TT is a nice to have (if you're not a pro or age grouper looking to podium) and you can't do group rides with it. So not worth the money...

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