When I first saw Farr’s Aero addition to a handle bar I was intrigued to see what difference or benefit it would have to general gravel riding. At the time the bars were only available from Farr’s international website but not long after I contacted Farr a UK distributor came online and I was able to source an Aero Bolt-On from Mark at RideFarr.co.uk Mark also has set up UKgravelCO readers a special discount, scroll to the end for more details!
First impressions are that this bar is light, weighing in at 133g, but it seems well made so the lightness didn’t give me any cause for concern on its durability. The clamps are split like a face plate of some stems and fit 31.8mm bars which means they’ll fit most modern cockpits, the bolts are of good quality so shouldn’t round off or rust. The website says the bar is easy to fit and so it proved. Just make sure you don’t clamp over any cables or hoses when fitting to a drop bar. I fitted them loosely so I could test them for the correct angle while the bike was stationary and once happy I torqued the bolts up to the required force. I’d always recommend using a torque wrench when fitting bars or stem of any brand.
The Ride, I did quite a few short and longer rides with the Aero Bolt-on attached using a few different bags in different configurations. When riding the bar is pretty unintrusive and it was nice on a long stretch of tarmac or smooth track to be able to move my hands onto the bars for a different position. I also tried it on much rougher ground just for completeness but as you’d expect that took a lot more practice and commitment as controlling the bars from the middle takes an extra amount of skill. I don’t think the bar is designed for that sort of trail though. long fireroad cruising and road sections between technical trails are its forte.
The bars stayed exactly in place throughout the test rides with no slippage and the anodized finish looked like new despite my attempts to hang various things on it and touch it with gritty and muddy gloves. One downside was that the diameter of the bar is too small to fit a light bracket to but this was easily sorted with some old inner tube. The carbon version of this bar has a “bulge” that is 31.8mm to overcome this.
I have to confess the only “tri-bars” I’ve ridden are on bikes that I worked on as a pro bike fixer but I think these bars are designed to come from a different direction. To be a true aero position bar they would need to be longer to enable a proper aero tuck, these bars offer much more than that though, they offer additional hand positions over a standard bar and anyone who has done decent length rides will know that being able to hold the bars in a different place relieves all sorts of aches and cramps. You can also hang extra bags or accessories on it too, albeit in the case of lights you’ll have to use something to bring the diameter of the bar up to the size of your light bracket if it’s 31.8mm. Mark at RideFarr.co.uk tells me there’s a specific widgit bolt on to adapt the bars for this on its way. You get all this plus a small aero advantage too, this will depend on your set up though.
I think “Aero” is probably the wrong name for this bar as it gives the impression that aerodynamic efficiency is all this bar is about and to a casual glance that would give the view that this is a one trick pony. However I think it’s much more versatile than that with it supplying extra hand positions and space for accessories and strap securement.
This bar is a great addition to any day rider’s or long distance bike packer/tourer’s kit decision.
You can find the product page here and as a special bonus if you use “UKGRAVELCO” at the checkout you’ll get 10% off anything on the site
As with all my tests, this is an impartial and real world review. I’m not sponsored and I’m just an average rider like most of the cyclists out there. I do inform anyone who sends me things to test that It will be an honest review good or bad