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Bar end shifters

I'm new to all the gear in tri but recently I'm thinking of installing time trial bars to my bike but have been advised to put bar end shifters on how do these work? And are they easy to install? I've already got aero bars but haven't put them on yet. I want to be able to change gear while in the aero position. Any ideas??


  • You either buy a fully integrated set of tri bars, which will include everything that attaches on to the stem. These will have the bar end shifters.

    Or you just buy a set of clip on aero bars. These will be considerably cheaper, but are basically just an additional set of bars that you attach to your current bars - i.e. extra weight.

    My feeling with putting clip ons or the fully integrated tri bars on to a conventional road bike, is that it'll be difficult to find the correct position to ride in the tuck due to the frame geometry. This may be that I just have difficult proportions anyway and it's hard enough to get me into the right position on a TT bike anyway (I have a short reach and long legs).

    When I was making the decision earlier in the year in preparation for IMUK, I decided I didn't want the extra weight of clip-ons on my road bike and wouldn't get the full benefit of the fully integrated bars on my road bike either so I just bit the bullet and bought a TT bike.

    Obviously available finances have to come into the equation though. Very happy with the decision I made though, TT bike is massively faster even over a relatively hilly course.
  • fire trifire tri Posts: 173
    also if you put the shifters in the clips ons you lose shifting from the normal position, you cant have both unless you spend and get di2
  • Ga3Ga3 Posts: 14
    I have to agree with rich on this, fully integrated tri bars would feel wierd on a road bike. Your best bet is to stick the clip ons you've already got on, I doubt you'll notice the extra few grams in weight.

    If you want the fully integrated tri bars you're probably best off going all out and buying a TT.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    I disagree with Rich. If you're new to the sport then a set of simple clip on tri bars is the single best and cheapest way to get an improved aerodynamic position and go faster. If you're starting out, you don't need to spend hundreds of pounds on a TT bike (but don't let that stop you; plenty have. If you do, make suyre you get one that fits!!)

    When I started racing triathlon, I got some tri bars with no shifters, then I changed my entire cockpit over to a base bar and tri bars with bar end shifters, then I bought a TT frame and, well, I haven't really stopped upgrading bits and pieces since then!

    If you want to, it is eminently possible to put tri bars with bar end shifters onto your road bike while keeping your existing drop handlebars and brakes, and it's an easy job assuming your existing cables are long enough. I would buy spare gear cables anyway, in case the old ones can't be re-used - if the ends are frayed they are very hard to re-route and if you have to cut the ends off you may be left with too little cable.
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