Aero bars transform your barn door upright position into a slippery aero shape. But what features should you look for in the ideal set?

For long rides and races it’s imperative that your aero bars have good arm rest pads. Look for a set dense and wide enough that they don’t leave any area of the arm-cups exposed. Some can be removed for washing. 

Then there are extension poles, which come in various shapes. The choice is down to comfort and position, and flatter isn’t always more aero. Alloy poles are cheaper, so you can try different shapes, but carbon is lighter.

In terms of weight, excessively heavy bars make life harder if you compete regularly on hilly courses. On the other hand, if you tend to ride flatter courses, aerodynamics and comfort should be your main concerns. 

Your position directly impacts your aerodynamics and power, so your bars must be adjustable. This includes the height and width of the arm rests and the fore and aft position of the poles.