1. I have a basic road bike, how will Aero Bars help me? Is it worth the investment?
Well, first of all, there is nothing like a "basic" road bike. Every bike is as strong as the rider is. Cycling in Triathlon is majorly equipment-driven. Having a good carbon bicycle is certainly an advantage, but it is not a magic wand to make you go fast.
Coming to Aero Bars, they help you to get into a more Aerodynamic position on your handlebars, which otherwise is not possible without an Aero Bar. The tucked-in position helps you to cut the head wind, and saves a lot of your energy, maintaining your legs for the run later. The Aero Bars automatically make you go a little forward on your saddle, engaging your quadricep muscles more, keeping your hamstrings fresh for the run.
Are they worth the investment?? YES! Why? Because the clip-on Aero Bars can be easily transferred from one bike to another! In the future, when you upgrade to a premium road bike or a full fledged Triathlon Bike, your Aero Bars can always be used to build that bike. So, buying a good pair of Aero Bars is NOT a dead expense for the future.
2. I am just a Beginner, I am not sure if I have the fitness levels to bend forward for the Aero Bar.
Fair enough, point taken! Every accomplished Triathlete was once a Beginner! That is NOT a reason to start on the wrong foot, isn't it? And who says that bending forward for the Aero Bar is a pain?? Who says that going into an Aero position is a torture?? In the end, it all depends on the BikeFit, and how properly your position has been set up by the Bike Fitter in your local bike shop. There are riser stackers available in multiple variants, helping the Triathlete to get into an Aero position, depending on his/her fitness levels. A pair of Aero Bars is to "help" you, NOT to "unsettle" you.
3. Should I go for an Alloy Aerobar or a Carbon Aerobar?
Well, to be honest, the weight difference between the Alloy and Carbon for an Aero Bar is not much. Although, Carbon has a much better stiffness to it and it is known to absorb the vibrations of the road, making the ride much smoother, something which Alloy cannot do. However, I strongly suggest to start with the Alloy Aero Bar, eventually then some day go for Carbon when you get your dream Triathlon Bike.
4. I have a Back Problem, or in general I want to have a little more upright position for comfort.
No problem! Having a pair of Aero Bars does not mean you have to bend down and scream in pain. There are riser kits available to additionally purchase, and they are available in various heights, such as 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm and 70mm! The Bike Fitter in your local bike shop can help you choose what you need, or usually a stack riser of 40mm or 50mm is known to provide adequate comfort to the rider, helping to achieve a perfect balance of comfort and aerodynamics. Riser Kits are your Life Savers!
5. Great, so I am convinced I need a good pair of Aero Bars, now what shape to go for?
Well, I am going to throw some light on that in the following section. Profile Design is by far the industry leader, selling the best Aero Bars for TT and Triathlon, and in general the best Road Bike Cockpit. However, if you are looking for alternate or cheaper options, you can still read this article to get an understanding of the shape of the Aero Bars.