Wattshop, the performance engineering business owned by pro cyclist and aerodynamics expert Dan Bigham, has announced its latest tri-bar system, the Anemoi aero extension system.
With prices starting at £1,495, the carbon system is significantly cheaper and more user adjustable than Wattshops’s £4,000 Anemoi Olympic Edition Pentaxia Cockpit.
Wattshop also claims it can be fitted to practically any existing bike on the market, bringing levels of cockpit integration to standard bikes that rivals the custom options only available to elite athletes.
Similar to its pricier cousin, the Anemoi aero extension system takes advantage of the maximum cross-section (40mm x 40mm) allowed under current UCI regulations, to create a more aerodynamic leading edge on a rider’s forearms than traditional extensions.
A new forearms race
Similar to the Vantaggio aero extensions by Aerocoach, used by Filippo Ganna to break the individual pursuit world record in November 2019, the Anemoi extensions are designed to close any gap between the rider’s forearm and the extension, smoothing the airflow in this area.
Bigham says extensive CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis confirms this theory. “It significantly reduces the aero drag induced by separation and recirculation of the airflow,” Bigham told BikeRadar.
“Intelligent profiling of the extensions also encourages the boundary layer of airflow to stay attached as it transitions from the extension to the rider’s forearm, further reducing drag.”
It’s impossible to deny that nearly £1,500 is still a very large sum of money for aero extensions, though. Especially when you consider that highly-rated aluminium options can be purchased for less than £200 (including a base bar), albeit from companies that have much greater economies of scale.
The system looks to bring superbike levels of integration to practically any bike on the market, including bikes such as the Scott Plasma 3, which was originally released in 2012. Wattshop
Bigham maintains that for riders seeking every advantage, there are a number of benefits to his system beyond the claimed improvements in aerodynamic performance.
He says the biggest gains are likely to made thanks to the broad range of precise adjustability available to riders seeking to optimise their position.
Custom parts are also available to order (at extra cost) for riders whose positions fall outside of the standard adjustment range.
Bigham says the improved ergonomics lead to a much more even weight distribution across the entire length of the extension, rather than just on the armrests, as with a traditional setup.
This, along with the 50mm-tall armrests, which aim to prevent side-to-side movement, are said to help riders maintain their optimum position more easily during maximal efforts.
The sum of its parts
Reach, width and extension angle are adjustable via mounting plates and angled risers, and every set comes with a choice of interchangeable hand grips of various angles for further fine tuning fit.
The hand grips are designed to work with both mechanical and electronic shifters from all major manufacturers, and cables can be fully internally routed through the extensions, with multiple routing options. There’s also room for an integrated Shimano Di2 junction box.
The extensions are guaranteed to meet the UCI’s regulation regarding the maximum 10cm height differential between the arm rests and the tip of the extensions, when used with the 15-degree riser blocks and the included arm rests.
This enables a high hands position without the risk of falling foul of UCI commissaires at an important event.
Designed and made in the UK, Wattshop claims the full Anemoi aero extension system weighs 696g and surpasses the ISO safety standard for bicycle steering components (ISO 4210-5:2014) by 260 per cent.
Further options for customisation include custom base bar mount plates, hand grip styles, angled risers and mounting options for aero sensors such as the Notio Konect.
Available for standard dual-mount base bars, or mono riser base bars (like that on the Trek Speed Concept), the full Anemoi aero extension system includes:
- 1x pair of carbon fibre extensions
- 1x pair of specified angled riser blocks (5-/10-/15-/20-/25-degree options are available)
- 1x pair of specified mount plates
- 1x pair of specified hand grips
- 1x pair of two-piece carbon fibre arm rests including foam padding
- 1x computer mount (Garmin or Wahoo compatible)
- All required mounting hardware, bolts and instructions
The Anemoi aero extensions system is available to order now, exclusively from WattShop.