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You can pay a lot of money for aero levers but you'd be mad to when you can have the Tektro TL 720s for less than thirty quid. They're simple to fit, they're fairly slippery, they work – not something than can be said of some others we've tried – and they're cheap. I like them.
Constructed from Aluminium, the 720s fit by dint of an expanding bolt accessed from behind the lever. Once you've tightened them up it's a case of routing the cables through – you'll need bars with exit ports as the cables run inside the bars – and wiring up the brakes.
In use the levers have a good feel and pull plenty of cable. Like most aero levers they feel a bit spongy due to the slightly tortuous route the cable outers take but there's plenty of stopping power on offer. The levers are a bit larger than some but that's unlikely to affect your time by more than hundredths of a second. If those hundredths matter to you then maybe you need something a bit more, well, expensive.
The aero business is, of all disciplines, the one most starkly concerned with diminishing returns. And while I can see the benefit of an evening ten racer investing in tri bars or a disc wheel – which really can save the right rider a lot of time in the right conditions – many of the other equipment choices you make will have as much to do with posturing as performance. Okay, small incremental gains do add up, but do you need carbon brake levers when these are likely to be as effective aerodynamically and more so in their ultimately more important purpose of stopping you. Nobody's going to be looking at your brake levers so save yourself some money here and put it towards something people will notice, like an aero helmet...
Good quality aero levers for less money than most. Check you have cable ports in your bars before you buy.
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Make and model: Tektro TL-720 aero levers
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 37 Height: 190cm Weight: 96kg
I usually ride: whatever I\\\'m testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.