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Gravel cycling has no rules, other than to have fun and do it comfortably. Like them or not, traditional aero bars have found their place on customized gravel bikes. Whether you believe they have a place or offer a true aero advantage is not up for discussion here, but placebo is strong. If you feel fast, you ride fast.
But more than that is the additional hand positions offered by such a device. However, riding on forearms on gravel is inherently dangerous, so RideFarr.com designed their Carbon Aero Bolt-On V2 to offer a small amount of extension and no forearm support. Long-time cyclists may inevitably compare the Farr extensions to a popular Italian extension bar during the early to mid-1990’s, but carbon tech puts this device way ahead of those early designs.
The Farr Aero Carbon Bolt-On V2 is light, looks good, is relatively unobtrusive and provides many options for additional hand positions. JOM of the Gravel Cyclist crew, known for not being a fan of aero bars on gravel bikes put his personal tastes aside, and reviews this Farr product with an open mind.
Is it for everyone? No. But some gravel cyclists are going to love it. In this video, JOM runs through the tech details, installation and actual riding o the product. Remember, always ride such a product safely and responsibly – no pacelines, no group riding or sitting wheel to wheel using a product like this. This product is best for solo use.
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8 comments on “FARR Aero Carbon Bolt-On V2 Review: Aero on Gravel? More Hand Positions? – RideFarr.com”
I’m not convinced there’s enough extension with these to be very useful; even Spinacis and their clones were considerably longer and they weren’t exactly roomy. The Farr thing is also not going to fit on some bars, plus they will take up space right where things like computer or light mounts go, or GRX sub brake levers.
Apart from NOS Spinacis or similar (which won’t fit 31.8 bars anyway), there are a few other options which occupy less space than normal aero bars:
1. Someone, IIRC Deda, make a clip-on bar that mounts to just one side of the stem, not both
2. Jtek were making an aero bar that attached instead of the faceplate on a specific Thomson stem, but it seems to be gone now
3. Googling found this (not that I’ve seen it) which can be clamped to the stem if there’s no room on the bars: https://www.controltechbikes.com/products/item/383.html
4. Regular aero bars might fit too, and some are easily removable: https://redshiftsports.com/quick-release-aerobars
It’s all a bit of a conundrum. 🙁
PS: With flat top “aero” drop bars, resting one’s forearms there is quite comfortable for shortish periods, so any aero extensions could be quite minimal. They’d only need to give a little steering control and security, not support any significant weight.
These are all first world problems but options galore for everyone.
A couple years ago I broke my hand, but still wanting to ride, I thought that an aero set up would be the hot ticket. Now I know why triathletes are the squirrelliest riders on any road ride! I messed with angle of the ‘bars’, the location of the pads and I was still a menace trying to ride a straight line let alone maneuvering thru non technical paved roads. I ended up trail running.
Mike is right, narrower grip on the dirt is not good. Look at the progression of mountain bikes, they didn’t get narrower! haha
Jom, in the review it ‘appears’ you are a little wobbly when using the bars. In my mind, never tried them, my first concern would be about control. The hands being so close to the stem in that position would be less offer less control than regular aero bars. That combined with what I agree would be a minimal aero advantage. Not a product I’s try – in part due to much of the gravel I ride not being ‘smooth’.
Thanks for the review.
He gets a bit wobbly after a pint or two, but is rock solid on the bike.
I got a set of these last year. They work okay, but really aren’t long enough. They also take up a lot of valuable handlebar real estate to mount lights etc. Putting anything on the mount integrated into the Farr bar makes it uncomfortable to hold. I ended up taking them off because the pros did not outweigh the cons.
I bought a set of these late in the fall and used them for a few 100+ gravel rides. For me, they offer another hand position – one that externally rotates my shoulders and brings my elbows in and that’s both comfortable and a nice relief from the hoods and/or tops.
They’re rock solid stable on straight gravel roads, too – no problems with twitchiness or steering issues. I would think that they offer a real aero benefit as well because they force your elbows in and lower your chest a few degrees.
The only issue for me was that the place to zip tie your gps at the front of the loop doesn’t fit my gps mount very well. I’ll need to work on that bit.
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