Aerobar accessory How-To
Written by: Greg Kopecky
Added: Sun Feb 03 2013
That’s right – many manufacturers of cycling accessories (lights, computers, cameras, and the like) love making their products compatible with 26.0mm or 31.8mm road and mountain bike handlebars. These bars face parallel to your torso, and present a relatively easy piece of real estate for mounting things to. Want to run a head light AND a Go Pro camera? No problem. Want to add a Garmin 500? Go for it – just add the Garmin stem mount, and you have space for all three items.
Now – if you ride a triathlon or time trial bike, your options are much more limited. Base bars are often wing-shaped, not round. The aero extensions typically measure 22.2mm in diameter (a relatively odd/small size). As we all know, these extensions run perpendicular to our base bars (rotated 90 degrees, so they face straight ahead). There are some solutions for using accessories on aerobars. You can use a Bar Fly TT mount for your Garmin or Joule GPS. You can buy a Profile universal computer mount, which is a small ‘nub’ to which you can attach accessories. What if I want more, though? And what if I want something that measures 31.8mm in diameter? What to do?
The list of materials is very short: PVC pipe and zip ties. The key is finding the right size PVC pipe. My local hardware store had many sizes, sold in convenient pre-cut 5’ segments. The cost of each piece is about two or three (US) dollars. Here’s what I bought:
Once you’ve decided on a length, cut it down with a hack saw:
Safety note: WEAR EYE PROTECTION! White PVC dust will get everywhere – there’s no way around it. You don’t want to get it in your eyes.
The upside to this is that the mount is very sturdy (important if you’re using a camera and want to reduce vibration and noise). If you do it right, the width of the mount will perfectly match your bars.
The next step is to drill holes for zip ties. You want these holes to be slightly inboard (say, 5mm) of the narrowest part of the pipe. With my 4.5cm minimum width, this means that I made drill marks about 3.5cm apart:
Of course, this style of mount probably isn’t for everyone. If you use a Profile Aero Drink system (vertical bottle with a straw), it won’t work. I haven’t yet tried it with a horizontal bottle between the bars, but I imagine I could rig up something that would work. Lucky for me, my frame has two bottle mounts in the main triangle, so I don’t have to worry about it.
All images © Greg Kopecky / slowtwitch.com
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