Why do triathlon bikes have aero bars?

The reason why triathlon bikes have aero bars is to enhance aerodynamics and improve the overall efficiency of the bike. Aero bars, also known as tri-bars or time trial bars, are components that extend the riding position of the cyclist and allow them to maintain a more streamlined, aerodynamic posture.

By using aero bars, triathletes can reduce their wind resistance and minimize drag, which can significantly increase their speed without expending additional energy. The aerodynamic benefits of aero bars are particularly advantageous in the cycling leg of a triathlon, where every second counts.

Aero bars allow the cyclist to position their body lower and more forward, reducing the frontal area and pushing against the wind more effectively. This position allows the rider to slice through the air with less resistance, which can save energy and increase speed.

Additionally, aero bars also provide a more comfortable position for triathletes during long-distance rides. By resting their forearms on the padded extensions of the aero bars, riders can alleviate stress on the neck, shoulders, and back, enabling them to maintain a more aerodynamic position for extended periods.

It’s important to note that aero bars may not be suitable for all riders, as they can affect handling and maneuverability. Therefore, it’s essential to train and practice using aero bars to ensure proper control and stability on the bike.

In summary, triathlon bikes have aero bars to optimize aerodynamics, reduce wind resistance, increase speed, and provide a more comfortable riding position for triathletes.