When a special bike shows up on our front page, or on our Reader Forum, there’s a number of adjectives that might be used to describe that bike. Fast. Sleek. Sexy. But there is one descriptor saved for a bike or a bike part that takes it to another level. I don’t use that word, not because it’s bad but because it just doesn’t resonate with me.
This term is used to describe not just sweet. But all business. As I began to acquaint myself with this aerobar, that term came to mind. Sick.
This bar is spare, trim, not ostentatious, not overbuild. It’s a black 1970 Oldsmobile 442. You might not have heard of it, but you wouldn’t want to wager your pink slip to race it.
It’s not even the bar, per se. It’s just the extension. It’s Profile Design’s 43ASC, and this bar is mounted on a Wing 20c+ pursuit bar, which is in turn mounted on a Quintana Roo PRsix from a couple of years ago. I’m going to write one or two follow ups on this extension, and the brackets you can mount it on, and the possible pursuit bars, because Profile has again built a system of brackets and sub-assemblies that one can mix & match, depending on the products you already have if you like any of these products as retrofits.
If you’re a dedicated reader on our Forum you might have seen this extension, because it was shown at the Eurobike show last month. Here’s that post and you’ll see this extension mounted on a new (as of yet unreleased) bar/stem combo called the Wing Ultimate. For me, the Wing Ultimate is of limited utility and the bike I’m showing here is a case in point. That system won’t mount on a PRsix or, at least, my PRsix. If it did, I’d have to get a different Profile Design hydration system. In short, there are too many problems to solve.
But the Profile Design Wing 20c+ has a round section that mounts to a regular stem. The PRsix you see here is a superbike but it does have that one fault or virtue, depending on how you look at it: You mount a mortal pursuit bar to it. The Wing 20c+ is a kind of a tweener pursuit bar. It’s mortal in how it mounts to a standard stem, but it’s got an integrated bracket system. It’s cleaner than a typical bar and stem, but next week I’m going to show you this very same extension and armrest system mounted in a standard, old school, pursuit bar and bracket system.
The two bracket systems Profile Design offers – that I prefer to use – are the integrated system here, on the Wing 20c+, and the standard bracket system which is called variously the Supersonic or the J5 bracket. (We'll get to that one next week.) The point is, from Profile Design you choose your pursuit bar, your bracket system, your armrest and your extension. Same as it ever was. In this case the pursuit bar and bracket are all of a piece; the armrest is the Race+, and the extension is the 43ASC.
The armrest is nice, but not otherworldly. It mates well with the extension I’m writing about now, the ergonomics are good, the adjustability is fine. The Race+ armrests are one of two that I like. This one is slightly narrower and either confining or secure, depending on whether that’s what you like. The Ergo+ armrests I’ll put on next week’s bar. They’re wider, more forgiving, less confining, but you’re less locked in.
Why am I bullish on these extensions? As I’ve written for some years now, the next thing we need in this category is a set of armrests on which you can rest more of your weight. We have that now, from Vision, and from some really exotic and expensive products like the Speedbar. They’re marketed as more aero. Are these aerobar styles more aero? Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is that – when done well – they’re more comfortable. You can ride more comfortably for longer which, in my mind, translates to a more pleasurable ride, and a faster one. Faster because the more comfortable you are the less you’ll fidget or bail from the aero position. The two comfort imperatives this extension nails are additional places to displace your forearm weight; and that rest right at the wrist, dropping down to the handhold. The only negative to extensions like this (this one and certain others) is if you wear a watch while riding. This extension matches the ergonomics of the arm so perfectly the watchband can be a complication.
I cut several centimeters off the back of these extensions because they’re made to be cut to length. In my case, the forearm rest area extends pretty seamlessly from the cup to the wrist. I’ve got SRAM Wireless Blips on this bike as shifters both at the extension end and at the pursuits.
The 43ASC is not available yet. When they are available it’s my understanding they’ll sell for a pretty reasonable $300 a set. Because they’re standard round as they fit into a bracket, these extensions are great retrofits for a lot of bars made by both Profile Design and other brands. The only question I have is how many will be available when they hit the U.S. West Coast in November, as is projected. I suspect the OE bike makers will get priority and if they like these extensions as much as I do they’ll buy them up and you’ll find them on the configurators of their websites. If you can't or choose not to scoop them up in November, I presume you'll get another crack in the late winter or spring.