|With carbon extensions, picture from ProfileDesign.com. Aluminum also available. I have both.|
|Rabbit Creek descends from Hillside Drive to the Seward Highway at the South end of Anchorage.|
My next aerobars were the ubiquitous Profile Design Carbon Stryke bars, mounted first on the IRO fixie, then on the Novara, and later the Gunnar for triathlon use. The Carbon Stryke were of Profile Design's common species of under-mount bars, with pads mounted just above the base bars and the extensions mounted underneath.
|Carbon Stryke, picture from ProfileDesign.com. I cannot believe they are still selling these.|
Second problem: those cups and pads, branded the "J19." They are mind-blowingly uncomfortable. Profile Design nonetheless put them on every bar it made from at least 2006 (when I bought the Carbon Stryke) until -- well, it still does, although there is finally an option.
Third problem: the "rise" function on these bars means mounting the cups above the brackets with plastic spacers. Doing so does nothing to clear up the base bars for comfortable riding (because the brackets stay in place) and has the perverse effect of placing the cups too high for the extensions, in effect putting your natural hand position above the end of the bars. Truly the worst of all worlds.
I've also tried stubby aerobars, including the PD T2+ DL. Going for them is the above-bar mount option, giving a slight ability to squeeze the hands underneath to encounter the base bars.
|In their favor: they actually look good on a road bike in a way full-length extensions do not.|
|T2+ DL mounted on the old Cervelo prior to the National 24-hour, 2013.|
|Not the perfect place for your arms to contact the bars. At the Mid-Atlantic 12-hour, 2014.|
|Sam has ridden these successfully in a number of events. I have never particularly liked them.|
Finally real innovation has found the aerobar market and just when I decided, "f*** it" and ponied up the dollars necessary to get the right bars. (The other innovation to intervene is Amazon, which made the nice PD bars available for what used to be bargain prices.) Enter the T3+:
|T3+ on the Focus prior to the Natchez Trace 444.|
|Pretty sure this is the 50mm rise option.|
There is actually an uber-cush 2 cm pad, which I have purchased but not yet used, marketed for those cups. You can expect to see me with that on a ride or two this coming year.
|J4 cups and pads. These are actually affirmatively comfortable.|
|Some makers brand this design "wrist relief." It's an appropriate descriptor.|
|To a triathlete, those arms are extended a little too far. On a long road, it's about perfect.|
End note: PD is not the only maker to have experimented with design, and the primary features of these -- double bend extensions, comfortable pads, well-conceived riser systems -- are now well dispersed. Look at offerings by 3T (reasonably affordable from Merlin) if you are comparison shopping. (Zipp used to have a similar offering, but I do not see the double-bend extensions currently listed.)
Conclusion: if you, like me, swore off aerobars because of one too many bad experiences with old Profile Design offerings, it's time to get back in the market. My second best gear purchase in 2015.