There are the ones integrated into the whole handlebar system and the ones that are added to the bike as an aftermarket addon. And then there is the different ways of getting gearing and breaks to the bars.
I am writing this opinion peice as I have sold a few of these products in the lead up to this season and just wanted to have my say.
Myself, I have a fully integrated tri bike with the bars built into the handlebar. Of course even with thie system there are many different ways to set it up and I am still changing it regularly to get the most comfortable ride. My bike is the Felt AI2 and as it has shimano Di2 it allows me to have gear leavers on both my aero bars and my drop downs.
This brings me to the main things you need to look at when you are creating your setup.
- What gearing are you using? mechanical or Di2.
- Where do you want to have your gear shifters?
- Do you need shifters on the aero bars?
- Do you want to always have the bars there or not?
Secondly, do you even need the shifters on the bars? For me, I say yes, but then a lot of the riding I am doing is not on flats and so I am reguarly reaching for the shifters to get the right gear to maintain my speed. But not everyone is in this situation.
And do you always want them there? If so then you might want to look at an integrated set. These just make it simple and often then come with a more aerodynamic dropdown bar. But there are many versions that can be bought to be added to your current set up.
As with most things bike it is really about finding the right match for you. There is no right or wrong bar to use as long as it feels good to you.
Take a look through our handlebar selection to find a tri/aero bar for your bike.
Enjoy your riding.