The aerobar is probably our favorite part on a triathlon bike. The aerobar is essentially the heart and soul of our bikes, and perhaps the defining piece of hardware in our entire sport. And aerobars are often one of the first upgrades a consumer will make to his or her ride. Off go the stock bars, and on with something with a little more bling.
As you may have gathered if you've followed TriRig for any amount of time, we appreciate kit that is not just functional, but elegant. And, as we've found, so do the folks at Felt Bicycles. Felt makes some excellent tri bikes, and they are so concerned with having the right bar that they manufacture their own bars from scratch and ship them with the bikes. These aren't another company's bars, or chinese open mold bars. They are specific to Felt, and they are fantastic.
Felt customers have known about these bars for a long time, as they are original equipment on every Felt bike from the B14 on up. But what's not so well-known is that Felt sells these bars separately, direct on their website or through Felt dealers. And for reasons we'll get to below, it's one of, if not THE best production aerobar on the market right now.
The bars consist of a mostly flat base bar (it actually has a very sight drop of about 1 or 2cm. The extensions plug into openings on either side of the stem clamp, which are on the same plane. Personally, I prefer this look, and generally find it to be cleaner and better-looking than extensions that sit on top of a bar (a la 3T). The bars are about 13cm from the center of the stem clamp area to the end of the brake grip area.
The bar comes with a couple nice accessories to finish off the package. First is a set of rubber grips that replace bar tape on the base bar. The grips have a textured surface, and a little nub that gives your hands something to lean against to prevent them from sliding forward and off the bars. We're partial to Arundel's Gecko tape, but that's really just a matter of preference and familiarity. The Felt grips are certainly a good option, and are certainly a worthy of the bar, should you choose to use them.
Next, the bars come with a novel computer mount, consisting of a round tube that just slots in between the bars, and secures with zip ties. Because the bars sit at a fixed width, and are considerably stiff, the mount probably wouldn't move much even if the zip ties were removed, but this way it's a little more secure. The extensions are 10cm apart, center-to-center, appropriate for mounting just about anything you'd want between them - an aero bottle, a horizontal standard bottle cage, or the aforementioned computer mount.
Finally, a note about the aero profile. The base bar is offered in TWO different depths. One is a based on a UCI-compliant 3-to-1 aspect ratio shape, which also has enough room inside to route the Di2 TT brake lever/shifter module. The other, pictured in this review, is a much deeper 4.2:1 aspect ratio bar, which is more aerodynamic, but can't accommodate the Di2 levers (you could still use Di2 shifters on the extensions, of course).
Why do these bars rock? Click below to read our full review.