Vision TFE Home Brew Forearm Rests

The only problem with full forearm extensions is you can’t rest your full forearm on them. At least not usually. Take as a case in point the Vision TFE Pro aerobars. They look like full length forearm rests, but they aren’t, and they can’t be. Not as sold stock. They can’t be full forearm rests because of UCI rule 1.3.023, which defines the aerobar for use in timed races. That rule says that armrests cannot be more than 12.5cm long and that is why the foam armrest you see in the aerobar does not travel up the full distance of the forearm.

So, why make that kind of aerobar if you can’t rest your forearm wholly on it? Because that kind of aerobar is more aero. Supposedly. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the testing. But I don’t care. That’s never been why I wanted that kind of aerobar. I want to displace the weight of my upper body on a greater surface area of the aerobar. But I can’t do that.

Or, I can do that, as long as I’m not racing in an event governed by the UCI Cycling Regulations, and in triathlon we are generally not governed by those rules. However, so far Vision has not made their aerobars with full length pads that allow a user to deploy that product in the way I would most like to. So, I did what I tend to like to do, which is to dive into the bowels of my workshop and come up with my own jury rigged solution.

I used an armrest from another aerobar brand, and placed this extra padding up the armrest. I didn’t need it the entire distance. In fact, I specifically omitted placing the armrest where my palm rests on this bar. I tried the pad up forward of where my wrist is, and I found that it was not ergonomic. I ended up with the armrests place where you see them, because this is what works. This is how I can place roughly half my weight back near my elbows, and half on these forearm rests.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I wish I had a picture of an aerobar I made almost 20 years ago, which I dubbed Mosquitos in Congress. I cut the outward metal protrusions on a Syntace C2 aerobar. On those protrusions, which stuck out sideways, sat Syntace’s armrests. I welded them further up the extensions of a whole second set of Syntace aerobars, which meant I had 4 Syntace armrests on 1 aerobar. One set of armrests were right in front of the other. Functionally, I had an armrest twice as long, but the additional armrest length was all forward of the traditionally-placed armrest. I’d been asking whomever might hear that I wanted longer armrests, but not just longer front-to-back; rather I wanted the length all to be forward of the traditional armrest. My funky welded Syntace contraption was Mosquitos in Congress because danged if it didn’t look like a pair of mosquitos doing whatever it is mosquitos do in their spare time.

Needless to say, what I had in mind was function; but what I lacked was industrial imagination. Speedbar, Wattshop and other brands – and most commercially Vision – figured out what that aerobar should look like, but my use was never aero-inspired. It was comfort-inspired. But then the UCI had to waltz in and harsh on what would have been my high, leaving me to wonder: What does the UCI have against comfort? Isn’t cycling at that highest level uncomfortable enough?

But that is why I have a workshop! This problem isn’t anything contact cement can’t fix, along with the blade from a utility knife. For this case the armrest I chose is slightly thicker than the armrest Vision chooses.

Here’s what I didn’t know. Vision makes a product that may work already. It’s a product for a different aerobar. It’s called Pads Speed Extensions and I don’t know what speed has to do with these, unless you factor in how much more speed there is in an aerobar when it is yet more comfortable over, say, 112 miles. Will this work for the TFE Pro aerobar? I don’t know. I’m going to order a set of these up and see if they suit their other aerobar.

In the meantime, this is my home brew method for taking a very nice bar and making it work (for me) a little bit better.