When You Can’t Draft – Go Aero!
After one year of borrowing a road bike from my bother-in-law, I decided it was time to finally pay the money and buy my own ride. I asked the same question that many people who get the tri-bug ask…do I buy a tri-bike or a road bike. After too much deliberation I decided to buy a road bike which meant I needed to purchase some clip on aerobars.
I chose the Profile Design T2+ Aerobars primarily because of cost and design. I found them online for around $70. They typically run about $90 but the range of cost is surprisingly wide. If interested in buying this product, be sure to look around for a better deal. The design of the bars was the clincher for me. I had tested a few designs and there are some that just didn’t seem like a natural position, especially with my wrists. The design of the T2+ fit my style perfectly.
I was excited to finally get my aerobars and went to go install them. I was surprised to see all the parts that come with the product. There are parts that may or may not be needed depending on your handlebars. I was able to follow the directions with some ease. One issue I had with installing the T2+ on my bike was fitting the clamps next to the stem. My bar tape was wrapped close to the stem and had to be moved a little bit to make room for the aerobars.
The biggest key is getting the bars set up perfectly for your position. The great thing about the T2+ is that there are multiple angles to fit your style. There are multiple bolts that require an Allen wrench (Hex wrench) to tighten. If you don’t follow the proper order you may have to unscrew some of the bolts to get to the others. This may cause some issues for slightly changing the position of the bars, but I have never had to do that much adjusting after my initial installation. Be aware that when installed it may limit hand placement on your handlebars. I placed my aerobars as close to the stem as possible so that I can still hold onto the cross-bar. I have to slide my hands slightly under the armrest pads of the aerobars, but it works great.
I have seen that many people have complained about the armrest pads on the T2+. They do attach with velcro, but I don’t have a problem with it and I believe it works great. The one problem I have had with the T2+ is the plastic pieces of the armrests. Once, while trying to adjust my bike, I placed quite a bit of my weight to my arm. My arm was on the armrest and the plastic piece snapped and broke off. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find a replacement, but my local bike shop was able to order the “armrest kit.” This included bolts, the plastic pieces and pads. Unfortunately it cost me $45 to buy the replacement kit, more than half the original cost of the entire product. Last summer, I crashed and the plastic piece broke again. This time it was a small corner of the plastic and I can still use it.
The Bottom Line ~
This has been a popular product for lots of people needing aerobars and with good reason. The T2+ really is a great value compared to many other options that are out there in the market. The bar’s specifications are decent and they don’t weigh all that much. For the most part they are solid, but be careful with the plastic parts of the arm rest. Don’t place all your weight on them because they will snap and the replacement parts are expensive compared with the actual price of the entire T2+.