Early last week, I received the first product for my beginner triathlon series, a set of Profile Designs Century Aerobars. These are the least expensive bars available from Profile Designs. Profile is one of the most popular suppliers of aerobars, with the majority of Ironman competitors using Profile Designs.
The Century Aerobars are the least expensive bars and don’t have a raft of features to really discuss. The Century bars are made from aircraft grade aluminum and have a thick set of arm rests. Unlike the Profile Designs AirStryke bars, the arm rests are fixed, that is, they aren’t spring loaded and don’t pop up to provide more room on your handlebars. The bars have shims that allow them to fit 26.0mm and 31.8mm handlebars, so there’s no need to worry about replacing these bars if you upgrade or change your bike setup.
Installing Profile Century Aerobars:
I put these bars on a LeMond road bike for testing purpose. The bars are pretty easy to install, though much easier to install with a helper. The easiest way to install these bars is by setting the shims and bars properly, then with a little help, tightening the bolts until they catch, just enough to hold the bars on. After this is done, you can start to tighten the bars while adjusting the exact placement of the bars. After you have the bars set, you can bolt on the pads.
I’ve used these bars for three rides, each about 17-25 miles, in the past week. One of the nice things about living in Beaufort is that the terrain is pretty flat and you can really tuck in to a good aero position. The first day I had these bars on the bike, I stopped a few times to dial in the position exactly right. After a few adjustments, the bars were really comfortable and felt like they were in the perfect position for me. The arm pads are pretty thick, comfortable, and slightly adjustable, that is, there are three different positions available.
After the three rides, the biggest problem I’ve noticed is that the bars seem a bit short for my forearms. I have to turn my hands quite a bit to grip the front of the bars and, though not uncomfortable, I find this position a bit awkward. By the third ride, I felt a bit more comfortable, but still a bit odd. I’m about 6’1 with average sized arms for my height, so I don’t think I’m unique here, but maybe other folks would find this setup a bit more comfortable.
To date, I really can’t complain about these bars. They’re light, well made, and easily installed. Even though these are the least expensive bars from Profile, they’re not lacking any of the essentials for a good set of aerobars, but you won’t find many frills. Stay tuned for our overall review of the Profile Designs Century Areobars.
If you’d like a bit more information about the aero position, you can check out our video tips on the aero postion.