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Cinelli mini sub8 tri bars are fairly unique, although something of a mixed bag. As their name implies, they're miniature extensions of the Spinacci mould legal for triathlon and ideal for smaller riders with shorter torsos. However, incompatibility with anything but ultra traditional bars coupled with a sizeable price tag overshadows their impressive rigidity and solid build quality.
Tried and tested 6061 aluminium brackets combine rigidity and strength while using lighter 5074 and a “techno polymer” rubberised bridge saves a few precious grams. Black anodising is described as matt, closer to satin by my reckoning but most importantly,doesn't clash or look out of place and seems hardy enough. Mounting them aboard the bars is something of a juggling act so remember to keep a long handled 5mm Allen key at the ready.
The trick is to position everything finger tight, tweak slightly, check alignment and tweak again as required. If you’re the sort unable to resist mid ride roadside fettling then carry a longer, single Allen key as those typically found on pocket tools lack the necessary gusto.
Broad shouldered riders may need to forgo the polymer bridge and set the extensions further apart but remember to cap the ends (Audax and/or nocturnal types may be pleased to know these will accommodate LED types for additional night-time safety). The convenient, if slightly unusual Velcro armrests are surprisingly comfortable, even over long periods and the extensions are impressively rigid, inspiring confidence when descending and even cantering up the climbs, heaving provocatively with all my might couldn’t cajole any discernable whip but those nearing the ninety kilo mark may well sing a different tune.
Clever mini extensions better suited to smaller riders and traditional road bars
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Make and model: Cinelli Mini sub 8 Aero extensions
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Triathlon adjustable short extensions, adjustable aluminium armrests, interchangeable pads in no slip material.
Allowed in all triathlon competitions.
Possibility to assemble it to the Ø23,8 diameter areas of traditional aluminium handlebars with maximum width of 150 mm.
Tube extensions in Al 5754, other elements in Al 6061. Central bridge in techno polymer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
6061 aluminium brackets, 5074 aluminium extensions, "techno polymer" bridge, velcro arm rest pads.
Solid and to Cinelli's usual high standards.
Surprisingly comfortable over long periods.
Good, if slightly pricey.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's a lot to like here. Reassuringly solid build quality improves confidence whether swooping into descents or cruising along the flat. The slightly curious arm-rests are deceptively comfortable-even over long periods, although broader riders may find the very narrow 150mm tolerences a little cramped.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good build quality, fairly unique and geneally pleasing design that should suit riders with shorter reaches.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Compatibility (even with standard diameter road bars) can be a little hit and miss.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)