Preserve your favorite road bike attributes or quickly convert to a more aero ride with this novel cockpit combo.
Setting up a road bike with typical clip-on aerobars comes with compromises: Finding a powerful position is difficult without jamming the saddle far forward, and a seatpost that pushes the saddle toward the bars improves comfort in the aerobars but can contribute to hand numbness, shoulder fatigue and sketchy handling when riding in the road position.
Redshift has a solution: The Switch Aero System ($300, Redshiftsports.com) allows a single road bike to comfortably accommodate an aerodynamic position while preserving the road position.
We tested the system on the road and found the two-position seatpost to be very secure. It never accidentally shifted between settings, ev en over rough roads. The aerobars are comfortable and, despite the quick release, felt as solid as any ordinary clip-on.
Although it doesn’t exactly mimic a triathlon bike setup, the Switch Aero System allows riders to get some of the benefits of tri-specific positioning without the drawbacks of installing a forward sweeping seatpost on your road bike. Measuring the bike fit implications of the Switch Aero system using the Retül 3D motion capture system, we found that shifting the seatpost forward caused the rider’s minimum hip angle to open up 5 degrees when riding in the aerobars. Dropping into a low position on aerobars can stress the hips, and this 5-degree difference provides relief equivalent to lifting the bars by approximately 5 centimeters. A fit check with the Retül system also showed that a rider’s other important lower-body fit dimensions stayed within generally accepted guidelines when switching between saddle positions.
- The seatpost features a linkage that allows the saddle to easily move between two positions—one rearward and the other forward—without any tools. Simply unweight the saddle and pull it to swap between positions.
- A quick-release mechanism allows the bars to be easily removed from the bike, leaving only a small piece attached to the handlebar. The aero bars are extremely adjustable so you can fine-tune your aero position. Every time you install or remove the bars your setup will be exactly the same.