Felt's Newest Aerobar

Felt does not make a full range of parts and accessories. It does pick off a particular - and sometimes particularly hard - category of product and work at it until its perfected, or close to perfected.

Felt makes an integrated aerobar that pedestals correctly, as we describe pedestaling (see 3 Clip-Ons I Like), and this aerobar is built with armrests that allow three discrete width positions, the widest of which is fairly wide, the narrowest of which is narrower than you'll probably want to go. Then there is an entirely separate set of thru holes in the pursuit bar for a really wide aerobar position, if that's your preference (look at the pic above, you'll see this mounting option just outboard of the extensions), and I've never seen that before.

The Felt aerobar is mid-profile (high-profile has never been a motif chosen by Felt). This is important, because its bike frames are, geometrically, pretty high profile these days. The new B series bikes - the B2 and B12 - are really tall for their length. They are "narrow and tall" in their geometric theme, more so than the former B series mold, which you will still find used in the B16. The DA? It's pretty mainstream in its geometry, but it builds tall, because of the tallish 1-piece stems that most frequently come on that bike. So, the stem and frameset combine to form a complete bike construct that is rather tall (see Michellie Jones' Felt DA build for an example, keeping in mind that you can build this bike pretty flat as well, and I'm just about done with my own DA build with a flattish front end, pics of which are forthcoming). Counterbalancing these tallish stems and geometries is this Felt aerobar that places the pads not that much higher than the pursuit bar. Whereas Profile Design's pads sit 60mm above the center of the pursuit bar - before any pedestaling - Felt's aerobar pads sit 45mm above the pursuit bar center.

What's better? How or low profile aerobar pads? Depends on the bike you're riding. Depends on your position. Depends on your morphology. Depends what you need. It's just good knowing the Felt aerobar is out there, because, if you'd really like a Profile Design T3 + Carbon, but you can't get the pads low enough, Felt's aerobar is quite comfortable, and gives you 15mm of "lowness."

But let's say you need that Felt pedestaled. One thing about the pedestaling motif I wrote about in the clip-on article reference above, it does change the distance between the pads and the pursuit position. What if you have to pedestal the heck out of Felt's bar and you don't want the pursuits to sit down that low? Felt has an ingenious solution. The pursuit bar is flippable. The pursuit ends sit 15mm in height lower than the handlebar clamp, and the ends are straight, rather than curved up at their ends. You can flip this bar, and the pursuit position now sits 15mm higher than the handlebar clamp. If you, therefore, pedestal the pads 30mm, by flipping the pursuit bar you keep the height relationship between the pads and the pursuit position exactly the same.

You may not like straight pursuit extensions, however. You may prefer that little ski bend at the ends of the pursuits, as a weight stop. Felt's got a product l love: it's a grip that has a little knob on the top that acts as a weight stop (the Tri-Tip Aerobar Grip. I would always use this Felt grip on the ends of, for example, 3T Brezza aerobars, so that I get everything out of that bar I want, plus I get a weight stop. The image just below is of this bar with Profile Design's nifty Aero HC hydration solution.

What do I not like about Felt's current aerobar presented here? I don't much like the extension. That F-bend extension was really designed for a pedestaling motif that predated the current Felt aerobar design. Felt ought to make an extension like the Wrist Relief style shown in the Profile T3 + Carbon, or the Bontrager clip-on. If you choose to use Felt's F-bend extension, you must cut the extension first from the front, just before the furthest, aka most distal, aka most forward protruding bend. You must sacrifice the second bend and everything forward of it. You'll be left with an extension that looks like a regular ski bend extension. That's fine. Use that. Other than an extension bend that needs an upgrade, the Felt clip-on shown here stands up well against any clip-on designed today.

You might note that these pics here do not demo the two features I just mentioned above: the Tri-Tip grips and the extensions cut before the second bend. I didn't build up the DA this bar is mounted aboard. I'm going to have to unbuild the aerobar part of this bike build to reconstruct it the way I'm recommending. But you can see, I think, how the aerobar extensions are really not planar with the pads. This is why I recommend the extension cut that I do.

Felt's Bayonet 3 aerobar is not, to my knowledge, available except on Felt's bikes. This is a great bar. Note the available extra wide placement option on the Felt pursuit bar.

This bar uses an ingenious method of armrest clamp attachment. If you need only 5mm or 10mm of pedestal there are thru bolts that mate to a nut on the bottom. For 20mm and up, the pedestal itself is threaded, so you push one bolt up from underneath the pursuit bar, another down from on top, thru the armrest bracket. This saves weight, and the aerobar kit comes with a lot of bolts, spacers, washers, etc., to enable any desired config.