The RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars are ideal for riders who like the extra performance and comfort that aerobars offer on some rides, but who prefer to have a cleaner and/or lighter setup on other rides.
Personally, I’m not in the target market because I prefer to always leave my aerobars mounted. In addition, the adjustability of these aerobars wasn’t sufficient for me to set them up for my preferred position. Even so, these bars function extremely well, are quite comfortable, and are reasonably adjustable.
Function, Weight & Versions
The special property of these aerobars is that the clamps can be left on the handlebar while the elbow pads and extensions are easily removed. The clamps alone weigh 80 grams (see image below).
It takes less than 10 seconds to slide each side of the elbow pads and extensions onto the clamp and fix them securely with quick-release levers and all adjustments of position and angle are perfectly preserved. The mechanism is well designed and well manufactured, so the rigidity feels as good as any fixed aerobars.
The total system weight is 630 grams with full-length L-bend extensions (I trimmed the extensions slightly, which reduced this to 600 grams). Similarly-priced models that don’t have the quick-release feature normally weigh at least 400 grams, so the penalty for having the convenience of the quick-release feature is about 200 grams.
Two shapes of extensions are available, either S-bend or L-bend. I find that L-bend extensions put my wrists at a more natural, comfortable angle. The extensions are a standard size (22.2 mm diameter) so extensions from other brands also work. Carbon extensions are also offered and would reduce the weight slightly but increase the cost.
The RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars have a reasonable amount of adjustability for the elbow pad width from extremely narrow to extremely wide. However, even when the clamps are placed adjacent to the stem then the extensions (the tubes that you hold with your hands) are 120 mm apart (center-center). They can be made wider by placing the clamps further apart, but not narrower. For me, the narrowest extension position was slightly too wide, I’m more used to using 80-100 mm spacing.
The elbow pads can be moved forwards and backwards, with the center being up to 35 mm behind the center of the bars (which is reasonable but not extreme). When no risers are used, the platforms of the elbow pads are 34 mm above the top of the handlebar (this is often referred to as the “stack height”). Riser spacers are provided to increase this height by 13 or 26 mm.
As is often the case, the stack height was the biggest problem for me because I prefer to have the elbow pads as low as possible. The pads on my regular set of aerobars are 17 mm above the bar, but that’s only possible because I use the discontinued 3T Flip Clip-on bars where the elbow pads can be flipped up to give full access to the base bars. In contrast, most clip-on aerobars have fixed pads that need to be higher to allow room between the base bar and the pads for the rider’s hands to hold the base bars.
The elbow pads of the RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars measure 90 mm from front to back, 115 mm wide and have about 15 mm of padding. The padding is good quality and they have a good shape, so I found them to be comfortable to ride on for long periods.
As mentioned above, I’m used to having my extensions in a narrower position, so the wider hand position felt very odd to me, but many other people would probably not be bothered by this. In addition, the higher stack height of the elbow pads isn’t ideal for me, but necessary to allow access to the base bars.
To install these aerobars, your base handlebars need to have a round, 31.8 mm diameter central section that is at least 85-90 mm wide (2 x 22 mm for the clamps, plus 40-45 mm for your stem’s faceplate). Shims are also provided for 26.0 mm bars. If you have carbon handlebars, check with the manufacturer to know whether the bars are rated to allow clip-on aerobars. All of this is quite standard for clip-on aerobars.
The quick-release feature is the main selling point of the RedShift Quick-Release Aerobars and that aspect works extremely well. Someone who often does group rides and doesn’t want to have the aerobars mounted or someone who does some rides that involve almost no flat terrain may appreciate having this feature. They are competitively priced at US$180.
Personally, I don’t find the quick-release feature to be useful and it just adds unnecessary weight and somewhat limits adjustability. I’m happy to leave my aerobars on regardless of the ride type. I know how little the extra weight is going to make to my overall speed and how useful having the aerobars can be. Because I don’t ride in groups very often, I frequently appreciate using the aerobars for a complete change in hand and body position and for the aerodynamic benefits, so I almost never ride without my aerobars mounted.
If you want to have aerobars mounted only some of the time then you can either choose the ultimate convenience that these quick-release models offer (with installation and removal times of 10-20 seconds) or you can choose from a large variety of other aerobars that offer lower weights and various fit options. Standard models normally only require two bolts per side to install and remove, and only the position and angle of the clamps needs to be re-adjusted. I would expect that you could install many models in 3-5 minutes and remove them in 2-3 minutes, but it is a more fiddly process than this quick-release option and you may struggle to get the position exactly the same each time.
The elbow pads and extensions are comfortable and have a reasonable amount of adjustability. Personally, I prefer to have the extensions closer together and the elbow pads lower than what this model allows. However, they are not much different from many other models in this regard and I expect that many people will be able to find a position that suits them.
RedShift markets these bars as part of their Switch Aero System that also includes the RedShift Dual-Position Seatpost that I’ve reviewed before. That post allows the saddle to be moved forwards by 5 cm while riding to make the bike’s geometry more adapted to using aerobars.