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FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars

8
£745.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Aerodynamically optimised time trial bars offering impressive levels of adjustment at a good price
Good value
Drilled version is easy and intuitive to set up
Ergonomics are top class
Impressive levels of adjustment
Neutral looks will complement most TT bikes
Not compatible with mechanical groupsets
Weight: 
302g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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One of the most important aspects of any time trial bike is that of the cockpit, the control room of the bike, responsible not just for steering, braking and shifting but also for letting you get into a slippery aerodynamic position. The trouble is, stock components don't work for everyone; the aero riding position mixed with varying body types and limited flexibility mean bike fit is crucial, and usually involves parts needing to be swapped out, which can become very costly. That's where the FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars come in – a three-in-one aftermarket solution that bolts to your existing base bar and offers impressive levels of adjustment along with a superlight weight and top class ergonomics, all at a good price.

I've been using them for the past six months in a variety of settings, ranging from training rides to traditional British 10-mile and 25-mile time trials to find out how they stack up against the best aftermarket aero bars for triathlons and time trialling, a fast-growing market flooded with extensive and often complicated options.

> Buy now: FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars for $945 from FastTT

The FastTT Aero Bars are constructed from top-shelf pre-preg carbon fibre and tested to 3.5 times the ISO/UCI required testing forces. The full set comes with both left and right integrated bar units, two foam elbow pads with Velcro for easy removal, mounting brackets and bolts (38mm M6 bolts in my case), an adjustable Garmin/Wahoo computer mount and a small syringe of anti-seize thread compound. That's a comprehensive list of items some rivals charge for as optional extras. The only item you may need to buy separately is the adjustable angled riser kit for $160 (around £130).

The Aero Bars are available in two options – raw carbon weave or gloss black. I prefer the former as the visible weave of the cloth layup adds a distinct contrast to the brazen colour scheme of my Cannondale SuperSlice Disc bike. I would assume this is the most popular choice, though gloss black will also complement most colours.

In terms of aesthetics, there's nothing particularly loud and proud here. If anything, it's rather stealth-like in appearance, save for a solitary FastTT logo and web address bookending the outside of each bar.

2023 FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars extention profile.JPG

As far as weight goes, these aero bars are some of the lightest on the market. The full set without arm pads and bolts is just 302g (left 144g, right 158g). The right side is heavier than the left as it incorporates the computer mount into the monocoque. The bar ends can be cut to size to conform with UCI regulations.

2023 FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars Garmin mount.JPG

I originally tested the non-drilled version of the bars which, as the name suggests, required me to drill the bolt holes myself before mounting them to my base bar. While it was a pretty nerve-wracking exercise, I managed just fine and the setup was rock solid. The Vision Metron TFA cockpit on my TT bike uses proprietary spacers but this posed no issue for the supplied spacers, which slotted into place like Lego bricks.

Company owner, Wayne Attwell, then sent me a set of drilled bars, which took fitment from easy to ridiculously easy – it's a foolproof setup that can be done by anyone.

2023 FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars drilled mount detail below.JPG

The balance of the installation is pretty straightforward, especially the Shimano Di2 shifters, which plumbed through with ease thanks to the handy guiding tool FastTT includes in the box.

The extensions are compatible with Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo electronic shifters, but not manual shifters; this is probably their only downside, given there's still a sizeable pool of time triallists who use mechanical setups.

Getting low, feeling pro

While many of the current aero bar systems offer tile angles ranging from 15-30 degrees, I opted to set the FastTT Aero Bars at 25 degrees, which is the maximum angle on offer; this is neither too aggressive nor radical in terms of aesthetics but rather something that works for me and my body type. I also angled the bars in a 'toe-in' position (the bars provide a 40-degree inward or outward angle of adjustment).

2023 FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars extention cockpit detail.jpg

The holes in the drilled versions also allow significant adjustment and fine-tuning, which can be further tweaked with the use of various brackets. I kept things pretty simple and merely mirrored my existing layout, the only change being an increase of 10 degrees in the bar angle.

This was a huge gamechanger for me as it reduced the gap between my hands and face, allowing me to focus and use my hands as a sight, thereby letting me hold my position for the duration of 10- and 25-mile TT distances. Often, what tends to happen if there's a sizeable gap between your head and hands and there's nothing to focus on, is that you tend to lose your shape and your back starts to relax after a while. I found it easier to stay aero, and the ergonomic shape and forearm support helped in this regard, too.

2023 FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars extention on bike 3_4 view.jpg

Whether or not these bars are indeed faster than anything else I've tested is hard to quantify without the use of a wind tunnel, but the setup did feel fast. Looking at my real-world testing, my times across both the 10- and 25-mile distances were more or less in line with my personal bests, but the thing that stood out most for me was the way I felt during these sessions. I felt fast and my position was notably more disciplined and aerodynamic. With the many newly resurfaced chip-sealed courses and slow conditions this season, I wasn't able to have a proper rip at the 10-mile distance, but I did beat my 25-mile personal best – twice. According to FastTT, independent aero testing showed a saving of 11-16W over standard cups and extension poles at 43-50km/h. I improved my 25-mile time by over a minute at the same wattage as my previous personal best, which is pretty much in line with these claims.

> How to get into time trialling: simple tips for racing the clock

While there was nothing particularly scientific when it came to my testing, the improvements and on-the-bike feel were tangible, and I expect many riders using these aero bars will improve in terms of performance, speed and comfort.

Value

At £745 ($975), the FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars represent a significant outlay, but should be seen more as an investment than an extravagant upgrade – especially considering the level of adjustment and customisability they afford. That said, they're still not the priciest option around.

British brand AeroCoach offers a professional setup of carbon aerobar extensions called the Ascalon for £795, but that's just for the extensions – you'll need to pay extra for items such as the armrests, bolts and computer mount, which push the price up to £1,095.

The Carbon Wasp Aero Bar System makes a strong case for itself, with a £795 sticker price, but it's not the prettiest option around nor the most user friendly, though it does also provide a decent level of adjustability, allowing you to get low and secure thanks to the ensconcing arm cups.

In terms of mainstream options, Vision has the J-bend extensions at £250. These work very well but only offer a maximum rise of 15 degrees, and unless you already own a complete Metron TFA cockpit, items such as the bridge, armrests, spacers and bolts will have to be bought individually, which will hike the pricing to £510, though that's still significantly cheaper than anything else listed here. The full Vision Metron TFA costs just £765; adjustability and customisability are limited, however.

Conclusion

Overall, it's hard to fault what FastTT has produced here with its Time Trial Aero Bars. They're refined, superlight and offer a level of adjustability that is hard to beat. They're compatible with practically all standard base bars and relatively easy to install. Having tested several of the front runners in this category, the FastTT bars are leading the charge and firmly occupy the top step on the podium.

Verdict

Aerodynamically optimised time trial bars offering impressive levels of adjustment at a good price

road.cc test report

Make and model: FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars

Size tested: One size

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?

The FastTT Time Trial Aero Bars are designed for the ardent time triallists looking to get more comfortable and faster on the bike.

FastTT says: "Improve your aerodynamic performance and speed with our UCI legal and ISO-4210 certified advanced carbon FastTT time trial bars. Independent aero testing showed a saving of 11-16watts over standard cups and extension poles at 43kph-50kph."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The Aero Bars are constructed from top-shelf pre-preg carbon fibre and tested to 3.5 times the ISO/UCI required testing forces. The full set comes with both left and right integrated bar units, two foam elbow pads with Velcro for easy removal, mounting brackets and bolts (38mm M6 bolts in my case), an adjustable Garmin/Wahoo computer mount and a small syringe of anti-seize thread compound.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Rock solid and beautifully put together. Tested to 3.5 times the ISO/UCI required testing forces.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues during the testing period. Bars were put to the limit on some terrible road surfaces and came out tops.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

Superlight, which is a massive selling point.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

Ergonomically designed to play nicely with forearms.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Superb ergonomics and on-the-bike performance. The bar design and layout allow you to customise the angle of tilt, ultimately improving your position, aerodynamics and performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The build quality, light weight properties, aesthetics and huge levels of adjustability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, to be honest, but the lack of mechanical shifting compatibility might be off-putting to some.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're well priced – some of the other front runners in the market might look cheaper, but aren't as comprehensive, well designed or adjustable.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

They're very good: refined, superlight and offer a level of adjustability that is tough to beat. They're compatible with practically all standard base bars and are relatively easy to install. They're also good value when you take into account what you get in the set.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 0  Height: 175cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, mtb, Gravel and Elite Cycling eSports

Aaron is the editor of off-road.cc. He completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former tech editor of Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect, digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's travelled the world writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 17 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, raced nearly every mountain bike stage race in South Africa and completed the Haute Route Alps. He's also a national-level time triallist and eSports racer, too - having captained South Africa at both the 2022 and 2023 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships. 

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2 comments

Avatar
fizban | 6 months ago
0 likes

Dumb question, how easy to mount a front light for CTT regs?

Avatar
galibiervelo replied to fizban | 6 months ago
2 likes

Raveman do a mighty front light which fits into a garmin mount and the computer mounts on top

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