Electric Vehicles For India Electric Bikes Review: PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar goes far

Review: PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar goes far

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PRO’s all-new Compact Carbon Clip-On puts a new shape on the smallest of miniature clip-on aero bar extensions, with integrated computer & accessory mounts. As a long-time bar of alt bars – and of simply stretching out over my bars to give my hands a break on long-distance rides – I’m always game to try out a new bar. And while a full-size set of clip-on aero bars feel a bit out of place on anything but a time trial rig, these mini Compact Clip-Ons deliver many of the same aero & comfort benefits in something that’s not much bigger than some out-front GPS mounts….

Review: PRO Compact Clip-On mini aero bar

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, fast riding

c. Bike Connection Agency, all photos by Mirror Media

The first question you have to ask yourself when you are about to bolt an aero bar onto a gravel bike is why? Because your riding buddies are going to ask you too, so you might as well be prepared with a good answer to stave off any ridicule. Let’s be honest, aero bars are funny on any bike that’s not a time trial or triathlon bike.

But with the rise of ultra-endurance all-road races, ultra-distance gravel bike races, or even just multi-day bikepacking rides – a clip on aero bar does double duty. One, it helps you get into a more aero riding position for long, straight stretches into the winds. And two, it gives your hands a much-needed break from having to support your upper body weight for long sustained periods.

Into the details

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension

PRO Bike Components just debuted their all-new PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aerobar extension last Friday, alongside their lightest ever Vibe SL road bar.

It’s an incredibly simple product. A pair of 2-piece 31.8mm alloy clamps on either side of your stem, secure a ~10cm long carbon loop in front of your bar giving you a more narrow and more forward place to rest your hands without sacrificing steering control.

It doesn’t extend further as PRO wanted to be sure this could be used in mass-start evens that prohibit any protrusion beyond the front of your regular brake/shift hoods/levers.

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, top & bottom

The whole thing weighs just 135g (claimed), including a built-in GPS cycling computer mount on top, and a 2-bolt accessory mount underneath that can support a GoPro, light, or a further out-front GPS mount if you prefer. The UD T700 carbon loop sells for $180 / 160€, and is compatible with most (but not all) round top road & gravel dropbars.

How does it work? And what’s so special?

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, low-profile

Remember, it’s a simple, small setup – and a further refinement of a product we seen around since 2018. In fact, it is very similar to the Farr Carbon Aero Bolt-On that we reviewed last autumn. From the front, it’s rather unobtrusive.

What really sets it apart from Farr’s original Aero Bolt-On is the PRO’s more angular shape and integrated accessory mounts.

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, GPS mount

Additionally, the PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On has a short flat section right at the bar, then ramps up with a more prominent ~4cm of rise. That higher angle makes more space for your hands and reduces the need to over-rotate your wrists to maintain a good grip on the front loop. In fact, Farr already reshaped their newest, longer Carbon Aero Bolt-On Large with similar ramping.

That upward angled shape means you don’t get quite as low, but it is ergonomically more comfortable, so I was able to maintain this tucked position longer and over more varied road surfaces.

Improved aero hand positions

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, hand positions

The smooth, wide hexagonal shape created inside the PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On extension loop offered a surprisingly flexible spot to place my hands. Subtly grippy printed-on texture let me hold my hands comfortably either all the way forward with my thumbs pressed up against the front of the loop (above) or slid back with my last fingers hooked over the widest part of the mini aero bar (below).

At just about 10cm center-center in front of the main handlebar though, I really wasn’t able to get super low or super aero. In fact, my wrist essentially ended up sitting on the tops of the bar, and I couldn’t tuck my elbows in, lest I hot them with my knees while pedaling.

This is essentially the same limitation I had last year testing the original Farr carbon loop. And while the fit of my hands inside this PRO clip-on is much more comfortable – this still isn’t a true replacement for proper aerobar extensions.

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, riding aero

I did really like the neat integrated computer mounting – which even worked well with my large Wahoo Roam GPS without it getting in the way of my hands. And for long-distance gravel adventures, I’m confident that I could mount a small bar bag under the loop and still use an out-front mount from the bottom bolts to mount a headlight in front of the bag. That’s a surprisingly common dilemma to solve (bikepacking bar bag + bike-mounted headlight), so it’s nice to see more than one accessory mount here.

The other thing is that, even though the PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On isn’t long-enough for a full aero tuck, I’m already used to just resting my forearms on the tops of my padded bars with nothing to hold onto. (Obviously, that’s not super safe, and is why the UCI has banned the imaginary aerobar tuck).

But now I can do my imaginary tuck and actually have something to lean and leverage against for improved safety & a modicum of control (see my full imaginary aerobar tuck in the image at the top of this review).

But does it make you faster?

PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On mini aero bar loop extension, group ride

Of course, it makes me faster. See that smaller frontal area and deeper aero tuck when I’m sprinting head-to-head against my gravel buddies (above)!

OK, maybe the Compact Carbon Clip-On doesn’t make me magically, quantifiably faster. But I really appreciate the extra hand positions, especially when I’m grinding out a few days of mixed-surface riding in a row. Plus, the weight penalty is pretty minor, and the two built-in accessory mounts are a big plus. Would I prefer it to be about 5cm longer… yes.

But there are certainly merits to this compact size, as well.

PRO-bikegear.com

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