` Tribars | Triathlon, TT, track and Road Race Tri Bars
 

Guide to the tribars available for triathlons, TT and road racing.

Our site helps you find, choose, and buy tribars for your road bike or MTB.
We search the top cycle shop stockists.

We cover the advantages and disadvantages of using them; the common types of tribar available, the variety of materials used, and some information on fitting them and adjustments that you can make for best performance.

We also cover all the main brands of tribar and for each brand, the different models and model variations that you can get.

Ready to buy ? - Our site lists where to find each tri bar in the top cycle shops.
Looking for a particular brand ? - Use the left hand menu.

Advantages of using tribars

The main benefit of using tribars is noticed when you are cycling competitively, which is when they will ultimately speed you up. However, if you do a lot of touring on your bike it may be that the comfort factor of using them may help to alleviate fatigue and increase enjoyment.

Although the final result of using tribars will be to increase your speed, there are a number of factors at work. Firstly your position on your bike is changed significantly in terms of aerodynamics; because at speed, the main obstacle to your progress is air or wind resistance. Using bars your whole body is put in a streamlined position, which will result in much less resistance as the front part of your body is made narrower.

Secondly, especially on a long ride tribars give you the chance to support your upper body weight through your arms, rather than your hands, wrists and forearms. This can significantly reduce tiredness and commonly with many designs of bar, you also have several positions to rest in.

This combination of position and comfort should also lead to a more efficient cycling style, again leading to less fatigue and tiredness.

There are a couple of disadvantages as well, depending on the type of cycling you do and how well you set up your tribars. Your position on the bars gives less control over the bike, so if you are on for instance bumpy roads you could be more at risk of a fall.

Also if you position yourself with your arms and elbows too close together, it may hamper your breathing which of course would not help your cycling. For this reason you should consider carefully what sort of adjustments are possible on the tribars you are planning to use.

Factors in selecting the right tribar

Your choice is really determined by the type of cycling; so if you are involved in short sprints, comfort and adjustability are unlikely to be as important as when you are on long distance competitive rides such as those in a triathlon.

At the basic level you can get tribars that have a fixed size and simply clip onto your handlebars; these are perhaps best used where you are relying on a good aerodynamic position for a short time to accelerate rapidly and to maintain that speed. Within this group the shape of the bars is the main variable, as you can get straight ones and also bars that tilt upwards where you hold onto them.

Next, if you are doing longer competitive events it is likely that you will need some adjustability in your tribars and possibly some which allow you to hold them in different positions as your ride progresses.

The length of the bar extensions is important to allow you to adjust how far forward you lean; you don't really want to to adjust your saddle position as that will affect the geometry of your leg movements. Next, you may want to check whether you can change the height of the elbow pads or the angle of the bars. Also there is the distance between the pads and the left and right bars to consider; these two adjustments are mainly a matter of comfort.

Finally a key feature to look at is the shape of the tribars. There are a number available, including an S shape, J shape and both flat and hooped extensions, where the ends of the tribars may also be open or closed. Your choice here will depend a lot on the position as you will adopt while riding; so for instance a J shape may be very comfortable for long periods, but may not be appropriate if you are frequently up in the saddle and pulling hard on the bars.

Types of tribar

There are two main types of tribar available: clip on and integrated. Both come with varying abilities to adjust their geometry.

There are also different materials in use ranging from basic alloy through alloy and carbon combinations, with full carbon tribars available at the top of the price range. In general the advantage of carbon is that it is lightweight and strong, while also absorbing a good amount of road and bike vibration and shock.

We have covered these in more detail in separate sections.

Price guide for tribars

At the entry level are the fixed size, fixed geometry models that simply clip onto your handlebars and might cost around the £100 mark. These are followed by clip on tribars that are also adjustable and these may be available in alloy or carbon (which will be more expensive). You would pay more for these, anything from £100 to £200, depending on specification. Finally at the top of the ranges are the integrated tribars which are usually fully carbon and can cost upwards of £500.

Tribar manufacturers

We have covered all the top models from the well-known suppliers, including Zipp, Profile, Vision FSA, Eastern and 3T. Our up to date listings also find your chosen tribar in the top cycle shops, together with the latest prices.

Useful sites for triathlon competitors

If you're competing in triathlons and looking for the latest discounts on wetsuits, or even just take part in watersports for leisure or recreation, sites like Watersport Sales provide lists of the main sales at various retailers.