Switch Aero System turns a road bike into a triathlon bike – and back again
The Switch Aero System consists of quick-release aero bars and a dual-position seatpost
If you’re an Olympic-level triathlete, then chances are that you’re going to buy yourself a dedicated triathlon bike. Should you be someone who does the occasional triathlon more just for fun, however, then you might not want to shell out the thousands of dollars required for such a machine. That’s where the Switch Aero System comes in – it lets your existing road bike double as a triathlon bike.
There are two parts to the system: a set of aero bars, and a dual-position seatpost.
While there are already plenty of bolt-on aero bars available, the Switch Aero bars are somewhat unique in that they attach or detach within seconds via a quick release mechanism. This means you can leave them off when going on regular road rides, but pop them on when training for or participating in a triathlon.
The bar extensions and armrests are fully adjustable, with the bars available in L-bend, S-bend, and straight shapes.
The seatpost includes a spring-loaded mechanism that allows the saddle to sit back in a road-friendly orientation, or be moved forward into a more aerodynamic setting. Not only does this not require any tools, but it can actually be performed while riding. On the same ride, the saddle could be moved forward for sprints, and moved back for climbs or easier cruising.
Redshift Sports, the Philadelphia-based company that developed the system, is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$109 will get you a set of the bars or the seatpost, and $199 will get you both – when and if they reach production.
The Switch Aero System can be seen in use in the pitch video below.
Sources: Redshift Sports, Kickstarter
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
As one of the people this is targeted at (a roadie who does the occassional trip with just one bike) this is absolutely brilliant. My only questions are what's the weight penalty and does it come in carbon?
what keeps the seatpost from flipping between road and aero settings? Just the weight of the rider? If the seat cannot be locked out, can the friction of the mechanism be adjusted ?
can you get additional mounts for the aero bar stubs? Could a rider mount a GPS/ iPhone/ Go Pro when the extensions are not in use?
Thanks for the great post Gizmag! I'm one of the creators of the product, so I thought I'd jump in and answer a couple of the questions that have been posed.
@darren - Glad it caught your interest! The aerobars are very comparable to existing aluminum clip-on aerobars, at around 500g per set. The seatpost is around 300g, which is slightly (around 60g or 1/8 lb) heavier than a good standard aluminum post, but we think the improved aerodynamics and more efficient riding position afforded by the post more than outweigh the weight penalty for most riders. And yes, we're considering making carbon extensions for the aerobars if we reach our stretch funding goal!
@toolman - Two things keep the post in place. The main one is your weight (as you correctly identified). We selected the angles of the linkages in order to ensure that the post is rock solid when you're sitting on it in either position. In order to move it, you have to actively lift your body weight slightly off the seat, and then move the saddle forward or back. The second part is a spring loaded detent that snaps into place in both positions. This holds the saddle firmly in place when you're riding out of the saddle.
You can get additional mounts for the aero bar stubs - if you end up backing us on kickstarter, send me a message and I'll let you know how to get an extra set. And yes, we're working on some accessories mounts that take advantage of the handlebar clamps when the aerobars are removed. It's like you're reading my mind....
Thanks for the interest! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Another good idea that I'm sure the UCI will ban because Eddy Merckx didn't have access to it.
Best of luck for the success of this interesting concept.
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